Why are we so eager to believe everything we hear? (or see posted on FaceBook?)
Today we read about people who started out listening to Paul, then turned on him when some Jews instigated a persecution agains Paul and Barnabas. The Jews went to the “devout women of prominence and the leading men of the city” and put a bug in their ear.
“Paul is a blasphemer,” they said. Their motivation, we are told, was jealousy.
In Sunday School yesterday we talked about John’s warning against false prophets in His first letter, chapter 4:1. “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
Do you know a lie when you hear it, even if it’s cloaked in a Bible verse or two? Do you watch the TV preachers who preach partial truths, but spread lies? We’ve got to be in the Bible ourselves. We’ve got to be grounded in God’s Word or we’ll believe the lies.
Sometimes the lies come from what a preacher doesn’t say. Take Joel Osteen. Do you hear him talk about sin, or God’s holiness, or the depravity of man? Yet look at his following. He makes people feel really good about themselves.
What about the Power of Positive Thinking? Is that what the Bible teaches? That if we think good thoughts, good things will happen?
What about what your pastor said yesterday? Do you know if his sermon is consistent with God’s Word or not? Or are you assuming it is because he’s the preacher?
I think God would have us be active listeners, researchers, people who know His Word and stand by it. Otherwise, we’ll be easily swayed.