Grandpop unfortunately gets a lot of scam and phishing emails. He sometimes finds it difficult to tell if they are legitimate or a scam. They are difficult to tell because they look almost exactly like the real thing-unless you know what to look for. He and I have discussed one of the clues to a scam is to click on the email address and look at the full address. Another way to tell if something is legitimate or not is to see if there is incorrect grammar, punctuation or spelling. These can be clues to a fake. The thing is, they sound and look VERY real, and it is only by close observation that one can tell they are fakes or untrue.
After reading my chapters in Acts today, it makes me think that perhaps if Bereans lived in our day and age, they could teach us a little something about faulty versus true or legitimate things. Luke commends them today for this. He tells us that the Bereans checked all that Paul was saying against the Scriptures. They were checking to make sure it was true. In fact, Luke tells us they were of more “noble character” than the Thessalonians for doing this. In other versions, “noble in character” is translated “open-minded”, “fair minded”, “better”, “more receptive”, and “more willing to listen”. So they were more open-minded, BUT in that open-mindedness, they were intent upon making sure what was spoken aligned with God’s Word. They were so intent, they checked every day!
Let’s copy them. Let’s be Berean. We live in a world today where we can hear fabulous messages from podcasts, YouTube, twitter links and more. Jordan and Miriam have been able to hear countless convocation speakers. We even watched part of a message Carson Wentz gave on tv last night to see where his faith really stood. How do we know if these sources are speaking truth? How do we know if we should be listening to them? Look at the verses in your own Bible that they are referencing when they speak. Does the message line up with the Scripture they are speaking on? Is it taken out of context like if someone were to reference 1 Tim. 5:23 (“… use a little wine for the sake of your stomach”) and then said that all drinking of alcohol has the stamp of ok from the Bible?
The church always has people coming in to it with “new ideas”, “new ways” of looking at Scripture, new “insights’ and more. Some are like the scam and phishing schemes Grandpop gets. If we believe them, just like clicking on the emails, the consequences can be dire. It is very important to follow the Bereans example. Be open-minded and willing to listen, but be SURE to check everything against Scripture, so you can know if it is truth or a lie. Remember, believing lies can have very dangerous consequences.