Saturday, July 12, 2014

Studying To Be Approved, Like the Bereans

Principles of Approach
  1. In dealing with biblical beliefs, we should begin by stressing the common denominators that are held by all Bible believing Christians instead of stressing the areas of disagreement. For example, in regard to prophecy:
    1. Christ is coming back to this earth literally, visibly, and personally.
    2. Eventually all the dead bodies of all departed souls will be resurrected.
    3. The Christians alive at the Second Coming will be translated without tasting death.
    4. All the Non-Christians will stand before Christ on the Day of Judgment.
    5. All Christians will one day stand before Christ for Judgment.
    6. This present world will be destroyed by fire and a new earth and new heavens will be created.
    7. The righteous will go into eternal blessedness and the wicked into eternal torment.
  2. The differences of opinion over the minute details of biblical beliefs should never constitute the test of fellowship, friendship, or membership. (This does not, however, include deliberate heretical beliefs, or similar such things, wherein we are commanded to test the spirits and not to extend the hand of fellowship.)
  3. It is important to study biblical positions other than your own position, because
    1. You may be wrong.
    2. You need to understand compassionately the doctrinal views of Christians who disagree with you.
    3. Your own position will be stronger if it is tested by being exposed to other positions.
    4. Truth is never afraid of light.
The Christian who acts the part of the Berean and practices 2 Timothy 2:15 will exemplify the above. The reason most Christians are afraid to study opposing views, or to even study their Bible in the least, is because they are afraid to find out, and admit, that they have believed wrongly. It is a matter of stubborn pride, refusing to acknowledge the truth that we are fallible and imperfect and admit when we are or have been wrong. Remember, it is we who should be conforming to the truths revealed in Scripture—not trying to force Scripture to conform to us.