A Forgotten Command

"Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." These are the words of the apostle Paul recorded in I Thessalonians 5:21. This is not just a casual suggestion, it is not optional, it is a simple, short, concise command given to us by inspiration, which if we will heed, will surely guide us aright.
Many people in our day feel insulted if you ask them to prove anything about their particular religion. Yet the Bible teaches that I have the right to ask people questions about their religion; and they have the same right to ask me to prove mine. Peter and John, as well as Paul, places this responsibility squarely on each person. In I Peter 3:15 we read, "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear," Then in I John 4:1, "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world."
The command to "prove all things" denies an often made statement: "You can prove anything by the Bible." If this were true, the command to "prove all things" would make no sense at all. To make such a statement is an insult to the integrity of God. Truth never contradicts itself. If we think two passages are contradictory, we have simply misunderstood one, or both, of them and we need to do some further study.
The command to "prove all things" also denies the commonly accepted teaching that "it does not matter what a person believes, as long as he is honest and sincere." Why prove anything if it does not matter what one believes. The Bible teaches that it does matter what a person believes and practices in religion. II John 1:9 says, "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son."
It is truly amazing that so many people are reluctant to put their practices to the test. Every person should be willing to examine what they believe and practice in religion in light of what the Bible says. The Bible is "given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works," II Timothy 3:16-17. The Bible also will be the standard by which we will be judged, "In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel,"  Romans 2:16. Jesus said, "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day,"  John 12:48. Now is the time to examine your beliefs and practices in light of the scriptures while you have time and opportunity to make needed adjustments. Once we face the judge of all men it will be too late to change anything. Our destiny will be sealed.
Churches of Christ encourage people everywhere to study the Bible daily and diligently, and to follow its teachings without addition or subtraction (Deuteronomy 4:2, Proverbs 30:6, Revelations 22:18-19).
 

To assist you in your study of the Bible, we offer a free Bible Correspondence Course to anyone who is interested. To enroll, simply send your name and address either to the Mauldin Church of Christ, PO Box 731, Mauldin, SC 29662-0731, or email us using this link. You are cordially invited to our services.


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