How can we determine if a pastor is preaching from the Bible?
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Q: How can we determine if a pastor is preaching from the Bible and not from another source that may sound good but is not God’s Word? – D.P.
A: Through Bible study and prayer, we are given discernment to tell the difference between what is of God and what is not. God’s people are instructed to test the various doctrines that abound, and test them against the standard of the Word of God. This should drive us to daily Bible reading.
People sit in church week after week listening to sermons. Many slap the preacher on the back and say, “Your talk was wonderful this morning.” But how many pause to think about what was really said, and did the teacher back it up from the Word of God? A trustworthy authority figure welcomes honest questions and will answer them frankly. A true person of faith is willing to be corrected by the Word of God. Those who speak against the authority of Scripture are not interested in questions; they only want loyalty and power over other people’s lives.
Victims are often from religious homes and churches in which people are not instructed to question authority figures nor taught to make decisions on their own. False teachers keep people busy. Exhaustion sets in. Deception follows. Unless we maintain our physical strength, we will lose our spiritual stamina.
Jesus warned, “Take heed that no one deceives you” (Matthew 24:4). Now who is behind this deception? It is none other than Satan himself. His method is to imitate God, often disguising himself as a minister of righteousness. Thousands of uninstructed Christians are being deceived today. False teachers that seem like the epitome of scholarship and culture are actually clever and crafty, adept at beguiling thoughtless people.
We must read the Bible for ourselves and seek God, for His Word is truth.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)
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