Class, we have a little experiment to do today. Take out your Bibles.
Now, I want you to use your fingers and measure how big your Bible
is. I know you don’t have a ruler; that’s okay. I want you to measure
it without one right now.
This is how I started a Sunday school class I taught the other
day. The sixth grade girls I was teaching took out their Bibles
and did their best to figure out how big their Bibles were. When
they finished, I found two girls whose Bibles were the same size
and asked them to tell me how big their Bibles were. I was not surprised
to find two different answers. I asked them why they thought that
was. They were quick to respond that they had
no ruler so they just had to guess at what an inch was.
This is how many people today view right and wrong. They have no
True Ruler to tell them what is right and what is wrong so they
just guess. I think I kind of expect this out of non-Christians.
However, I have seen an increasing amount of Christians who are
in a similar boat.
As Christians, we should never “guess” at what
is right and what is wrong. We have a True Ruler to help
guide us in these matters -- The Bible. God knew that if left to
ourselves, each man would be quick to guess at what is right
and wrong and we would soon find ourselves in the same situation
as the Israelites in the book of Judges (17:6): “In
those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.” (NIV)
Whenever we choose our own way, we invariably choose wrong because
of the corrupt nature we have inherent inside of us. (Rom. 3:10
”There is no one righteous, not even one.” NIV)
And what a mess we can get ourselves into!
The illustration is often made of how to boil a frog alive. A frog,
being a cold blooded animal, can be boiled alive if you place it
in a lukewarm pot of water and slowly raise the temperature. The
frog has no internal thermostat, as do mammals, so its body adjusts
to the slowly rising temperature around it. How
many Christians have been seduced into the slowly rising temperature
of the world because they do not have an internal thermostat put
there by taking in the Word of God? Or even, how many Christians
have been taken in by a church group (a recent example is the Heaven’s
Gate cult) because they have listened to the leaders instead of
the Word of God...and haven’t noticed the lies of the leaders because
they didn’t sift every word through the sieve of the Bible?
Psalm 119:9-11 tells us: “How can a young man
keep his way pure? By living according to Your word. I seek You
with all my heart; do not let me stray from Your commands. I have
hidden Your word in my heart that I might not sin against You.”
(NIV) How do we get that internal thermostat? By reading and memorizing
God’s word. We need to be so familiar with the
True Ruler that we don’t trust our own wisdom or the wisdom of our
leaders but we know a true inch by holding it up against God’s infallible
Word and testing it.
How can we know if something is truly of God?
We hold it up to the Word of God and test whether it maintains the
character of God that is presented to us in the entire Bible or
it doesn’t. I witnessed a scene played out the other day that broke
my heart. My brother said that God told him not to attend our parent’s
50th anniversary renewal of their vows. There were no family problems
and there was no reason behind this except his belief that God had
“said” this to him. I sincerely doubt that what he thought he heard
was the voice of God. My reason is because it directly contradicts
the 5th of the Ten Commandments, “Honor your father and your mother.” (Ex. 20:12 NIV) and the
continuing character of God who expects us to honor our parents.
In this case, who am I to believe? Should I believe my brother
who says God spoke to him concerning this? Or should I believe my
inner thermostat and the True Ruler of the Bible?
Be so very careful to test all that is said, and especially be
wary of those who claim to have a revelation from God. I
do believe that God speaks to Christians today, but I also know
that God will never contradict Himself nor go against His nature.
Many are quick to hang on every word of the leader who says God
told him a special word of revelation. Paul tells us in I Thess.
5:19-22, “Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; do
not treat prophecies with contempt” and most would like to
stop there. But Paul continues with a portion of scripture that
finishes the thought and to ignore it would be the same as ignoring
his admonition about prophecies. While we are to keep from treating
prophecies with contempt, it is also imperative that we, “Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.”
This indicates that there will be some prophecies that are not from
God. If that were not so, then we wouldn’t be told to “test everything”. Hold it up to the entire Bible, compare,
and decide if it agrees with what the Bible says or not. If it does,
“hold on to the good.” If it doesn’t agree, then, “Avoid every kind of evil.”
The Bible is the only True Ruler we can trust
when we are measuring right from wrong, good from evil, holy from
sinful. It’s important to get into it yourself and to let
God’s Holy Spirit reveal His commands to you. Only by knowing the
whole Bible and by memorizing what we can will we be certain to
see the truth for what it is and not be lead astray by false doctrine.
2 Tim 4:2-4 tells us: ”Preach the Word; be prepared
in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage -- with
great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when
men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their
own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers
to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their
ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” Let
us not always listen to what we want to hear, but what we
need to hear directly from God’s Word.
written by Chalkbrd