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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




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