The Question

Jesus’ challenge

On several occasions in interacting with the hostile chief priests, scribes, elders, Pharisees, or Sadducees, Jesus countered them with this question: “Have you not read…?” or “Have you never read…?” (Matthew 12:3, 5; 19:4; 21:16, 42; 22:31).

In each case He referred them to a specific teaching in their Scriptures (the Old Testament).

From this we may conclude….

Jesus placed tremendous importance on the Scriptures as the authoritative word of God.

Jesus expected people to be familiar with the Scriptures.

He demonstrated that religious error should be challenged by the Scriptures.

Why would it be any different today?

“Have you not read…?”

Good question!

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Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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Heirloom Faith?

A hand-me-down faith?

I’m grateful for the Elgin pocket watch that once belonged to my father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.

Heirlooms and hair color can be inherited, but what about faith?

Many people believe what their parents believed. But is it a carefully thought-out choice?

If we simply accept what our parents tell us, is our faith really our own?

Loyal to whom?

Parents can be wrong about matters of faith. Can we afford to take another person’s word for it—even Mom’s or Dad’s?

Should we let loyalty to parents outweigh allegiance to Christ? “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me” (Matthew 10:35-37).

Whatever we sacrifice for Christ, even if it’s our family, He will more than compensate (Mark 10:28-30).

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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Even More Dangerous

The danger

The computer spell-check thought I meant “terrorist.” But “errorist” is what I intended.

Oxford English Dictionary defines “errorist” as “One who is inclined to error; one who encourages and propagates error.”

Satan uses both terrorists and errorists to hurt the church.

Before his conversion, Saul of Tarsus was a violent terrorist (Acts 8:3; 9:1-2, 13-14; 22:4-5, 19-20; 26:9-11; Galatians 1:13; 1 Timothy 1:13).

Terrorists work from the outside; errorists from within. Satan has been much more successful using errorists.

Errorists corrupt the truth. People then believe the lie and are lost (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12).

Countering the danger

The best safeguard against errorists is to truly love the truth, search for the truth, and compare teachings we hear with the standard of God’s word (Acts 17:10-12).

Beware of errorists!

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The Day He Changed His Mind

Speaking to King Agrippa, Paul recounts his own conversion (Acts 26).

“I thought”

“. . . I thought to myself that I had to do many things hostile to the name of Jesus . . .” (v. 9).

Point: What we think may contradict what God thinks.

“I saw . . . I heard”

“. . . at midday, O King, I saw . . . a light from heaven . . . . I heard a voice . . . saying to me in the Hebrew dialect, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” (vv. 13-14).

Point: Painful truth is far preferable to sincere ignorance.

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“I obeyed”

“. . . I did not prove disobedient to the heavenly vision. . .” (v. 19).

Point: Truth learned must be truth lived.

Have we made sure what we think is really the truth?

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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Should Everyone Become a Christian?

Many faiths

Years ago I took a graduate course in world religions. It was a profitable study of the major faiths espoused by millions.

Questions: Do all religions have equal validity? Are they simply alternate paths to God?

First, two truths: 1) There are many good and true beliefs in every religion; 2) These religions have much in common.

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One way?

Two more truths: 1) There are also major differences among them—what they teach about God (or gods), salvation, how to worship, etc.; 2) Christianity teaches that Jesus is the only way to heaven (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Philippians 2:9-11; 1 Timothy 2:5).

This claim, of course, runs counter to the broad, inclusive thinking of our day.

But what if it’s true?

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Good Question/Bad Answer

When our son Monte was 11, he called from the next room, “What is consumption?”

I explained that it is an old-fashioned word for tuberculosis.

He then came into the den where I was and read the small print on a one-liter plastic soda container he was holding: “For immediate consumption.”

I had a good laugh over that one. Once again, I had not communicated.

A matter of life-and-death–for our souls!

No harm done. But what if his question had been a really big one, and my answer failed to give him the truth he truly needed to live his life?

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Ever since Eden, Satan has been supplying misinformation to hinder us from salvation.

“Accept no substitutes”

Should we accept what some preacher says, without checking it out for ourselves, using the standard God Himself provides—His Word? (Acts 17:10-12)

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