I’m an expert! I’m excited, and not just a little surprised by that! No doubt, you are too. In fact, I’m detecting more than a little skepticism from you.
But, the evidence is strong. I was once included on several web sites offering expert advice on sleep disorders. That’s funny because, while I have put many people to sleep with sermons, I’ve never written anything about sleep disorders.
Wait. There was that column which I started with a joke about a man going to see his doctor about “being cured of snoring”. That’s apparently what did it. Some computer, scouring the internet for such phrases, harvested my column and posted it as “expert” advice on sleep disorders. I know my mom was so proud! I felt very accomplished, too!
Actually, I felt so amused. It just goes to show that you should not believe everything you hear or read, even on the internet. Especially on the internet!
But you also shouldn’t believe it just because you hear it from a preacher! Standing in a pulpit does not make one an expert on God’s kingdom any more than being included on a web site makes me an expert on sleep apnea. God has graciously given each of us a mind and has given most of us access to his Scriptures. He would like, I believe, for us to use both.
Early Christians in Berea were commended because “they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true” (Acts 17:11). It was good that they were open to God’s message, but it was also commendable that they checked their Bibles to make sure that what Paul was telling them squared with what had been written.
Keep in mind that Paul’s preaching really rocked their boats. His message was very different from what they had always heard. It challenged life-long perceptions. It called them to radical change in their religion. But it was true, and investigation of the Scriptures supported it.
Don’t believe it just because it matches what you’ve heard before. Don’t dismiss it just because it’s different. Check it against the Bible to see if it’s true. You may find that God’s message rocks your world and keeps you awake at night. (Then you can visit those web sights on sleep disorders. Be sure to catch my column while you’re there.)