Apr 24th, 2017
This particular scripture is where our podcast gets it name from, it's the podcast "namesake." Acts 17:11, "These, the Bereans, were also more noble men than they that were at Thessalonica. Which received the word with all readiness and searched the scripture daily whether those things were so."
Paul and Silas were preaching the Gospel in Thessalonica and led some Jews to faith in Christ, and a great multitude of gentiles as well. But, the Jews that didn't believe became envious and started a riot in the hopes of capturing Paul and Silas to silence their ministry once and for all. Failing to find them the believers in the city snuck Paul and Silas out at night and sent them on to Berea.
Having just been basically run out of the last town, Paul and Silas find themselves in a city where the inhabitants are a mixture of Ultra-Orthodox Jews and Grecians who grew up in a city where they could see the mountain range that included Mount Olympus where their Gods were supposed to live. And, in this city, this is where Paul and Silas think it's a good idea to have a repeat performance of what they had just tried in Thessalonica. Except here in Berea they find that the Jews, while still not believing what they are preaching, actually go to the scriptures to research and study out their messages themselves. And as a result, many of them became believers. And also many of the Grecians, the Gentiles there as well, became believers.
This example is the spirit that I live my life by, every sermon I hear preached I study it out to make sure that it's true and verifiable before I apply it to my own life, every one. It doesn't matter to me if the source is the man that led me to the alter as a 15 year old boy to find the Lord, or the man that has had a ministry for 50 years and has a daily broadcast on T.V., or if it's a pastor of a church with 30,000 or 100,000 members. None of that means anything when someone comes to preach to you, or teach you when it comes to the Gospel. When it comes to the tenants of your faith, when it comes to what you're going to allow into your heart that changes and defines your life. This especially holds true if you're talking about people that are trying to encourage you and build you up and lead you on a path of enlightenment. Especially in those situations you need to judge what you're allowing into yourself off of what you have of the scriptures. You need to judge them off of that and you need to allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you about what you should be allowing into your heart, and what you should do with those things that you bring it.
It's great to get inspirational quotes from people like Abraham Lincoln or Gandhi. You can get great inspiration from those things, but you gotta be careful that, that inspiration doesn't butt heads with what you know to be the truth. You need to go back and make sure that there isn't a conflict there before you apply those things to your life. And, just like that, this podcast, I want you to treat this podcast exactly like that. I don't expect you to believe anything I'm saying until you can go and look it up for yourself, verify it, and then apply it to your heart and your life.
There are resources out there that you can use, you can go to e-sword.net download an e-sword program to your computer. They've also got it for your phone, or tablet. It's very easy to get these resources that allow you to look at the original wordings of the scriptures and find out what the words meant, not in old English, but in a relate-able way where you can actually understand what they are saying. I want to say there's no excuse for you not taking control of the information you're allowing to influence your life. And who is influencing your life? I think it's time in the Christian church for a bit of a culture shift. We need to, like the Bereans, as a whole, approach teachings and inspirations with a judging eye and look them up for ourselves and make sure that they are true before we accept them. There are some out there that are taking on the mantle of preachers and pastors and basing a whole teaching off of getting up and spouting off a bunch of cliches that sound super spiritual and tickle your ears and make you feel like you're being taught something, but don't have any scriptural basis. We can't allow that, that waters down the message and the faith. So, get the resources, study out what I'm teaching you, study out what other people are teaching you. Make sure that they are good and beneficial and true before you apply them to your heart and your life.