Have you ever wondered why there is such serious diversity and differences in regards to the many religious beliefs and teachings? The main reason I would submit is that most do not check out what they are being taught with the true standard, which is God’s Holy Word. If we will only look to this same word we will find a commandment, to do that very thing. God tells us through his inspired apostle Paul, “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (I Thes. 5:21). The word “prove” is rendered, “discern”, “examine”, “approve”, and “try” in different scriptures. (Luke12:56, Rom. 2:18, I Cor. 11:28, I Thes. 2:4)
The Jews could “discern” the face of the sky (Luke 12:56). They approached weather forecasting with all seriousness, as a science, and with intelligence. Based on cloud formations and other subtle changes in humidity and wind direction, they could predict what the likely occurrences would be. I would suggest that this is exactly what God means for us to do with proving if a thing is right or wrong according to the scriptures. He knows we are intelligent beings, for he made us that way, although we sometimes try to prove him wrong on this point.
When we hear some preacher, or for that matter anyone, say anything about the bible, check it out to see if it is the truth, or just someone’s opinion. For instance let us “prove” a few things that so many seem to have trouble understanding. A common misconception is that there are many churches in God’s plan. Jesus promised to build his one and only church (Matt. 16:18). In the second chapter of Acts we read of the miraculous beginning of His promised church. Again, Ephesians 1:22,23 proves there is only one body of Christ which is the church. Christ is head of the body, his church and promises to save only that body (Eph. 5:23). The designations applied to the church should be to glorify her founder and head, not some man (Rom 16:16).
Now let us look at God’s one and only plan of salvation. God’s plan is uniform and straight forward and never changes. God is not wishy washy, he does not save some this way and others in a totally different manner. Throughout the book of Acts, we see the gospel being preached and the lost being saved in exactly the same way. (Acts 2:36-42, 8:4-13, 8:26-40, 9:1-20, 10:1-48, 16:13-15, 16:23-34, 18:8,19:1-7) When we examine each of these accounts, without exception, we see lost souls hearing, believing, repenting, confessing Christ, and being baptized for the remission of sins. Then and only then does God add them to his church (Acts 2:47). Since admission to his church is solely controlled by God, it is impossible for man to join the Lord’s church. The only way we can hope to gain admission to His church is by doing exactly what the Lord has commanded us to do. Why would anyone be so bold as to defy God’s holy word and think it would be acceptable to join a church of their choice? We have proved by God’s word that there is but one church and that one must be in that church to have hope of eternal salvation. It is our duty as Christians to “prove all things” by using the word of God as our absolute standard. If we would try every spirit to see if they are of God ( I John 4:1), I feel the vast amount of damage rendered by false teachers and division would be eliminated. In all that we believe, let us “prove” why we believe it by the scriptures and in all things that we do not believe, let us “prove” that by the scriptures also. May each of us study daily to show ourselves approved unto God, a workman who needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth (II Tim 2:15).
We invite all who would, to come together with us each Sunday morning at Kedron on the Coopertown Road, Russellville, Kentucky, to worship God in spirit and in truth. We neither add to God’s word or take from it. Bible study at 10:00 and Worship at 11:00.