In this day and age, we can get information from just about anywhere. Radio, TV, and especially the internet has made it easy to get news and hear opinions coming from every possible angle. This is also true concerning our faith. People from pastors to laymen write and speak out their views of God and the Bible, and can attract great followings. But how often do we test what we hear?
Unless we test what we hear, we can easily be swayed by those who really don’t deserve our trust. We see this with many of the people who lived in Thessalonica and Berea. Many of the enemies of the gospel found it quite easy to stir up the crowds against Paul and his companions. Why? Because the crowds didn’t test what was said. Instead, they simply believed the lies that were told to them.
But even the people who believed Paul’s message didn’t always test what they heard. Luke compared the believers in Thessalonica and Berea by saying,
Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. (11)
Think about this a moment. Paul was one of the greatest of the apostles. And yet Luke, through the Holy Spirit, praised the Bereans for not simply believing what Paul had said, but for checking that what he said matched scripture. If the Bereans checked out what Paul said, shouldn’t we be doing the same with our pastors? Shouldn’t we be doing the same with the Rick Warrens, Joel Osteens, John Pipers, Joyce Meyers, and Billy and Franklin Grahams of the world? (I personally have my reservations on two of these names. I’ll leave you to test their teachings with scripture to figure out who. 🙂 )
The problem with too many people is that they don’t check out what they hear. They simply believe because someone sounds good or makes them feel good. The result? They end up by being blown around by every wind of teaching and away from the path God has for us. (Ephesians 4:14)
Let us not be that way. Let us not miss the path God has for us because we fail to test what we hear. Instead, as the apostle Paul says, let us,
Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil. (I Thessalonians 5:21-22)