What to do when listening to religious teaching is very important. It is not just the preacher or teacher of the word who has responsibility when God’s word is taught. Each listener must take heed to ‘what’ he hears and ‘how’ he hears it.

The people of Berea are good examples. Note how they accomplished this. Acts 17:11 informs us they were “noble” and that they “received the word with all readiness of mind.” What did they do? “They searched the scriptures daily.” Searched, what? The scriptures. They were checking out what Paul and Silas were teaching.

One thing that impresses me about the Bereans is that they did not just assume Paul’s message was from God. They proved it with the scriptures. They tested what was said by the only inspired source of authority man has, the scriptures. All else is man’s opinion. We should do the same.

1 John 4:1 tells us why we should test the preacher. False teachers have always existed. Even though a preacher may have a silver tongue and a sense of appeal, he may be perverting the truth. It may be unintentional, but nonetheless, it is not God’s truth. We must take heed what we hear lest we be deceived into believing a perverted gospel, Galatians 1:8-9. A perverted gospel will cause us to be removed from him that called us into the grace of Christ. That is dangerous! It causes not only the preacher to be accursed but the believer also!

Once we determine, by God’s word, that ‘what’ we have heard is truth, we have another responsibility. We must take heed ‘how’ we hear. “Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves,” James 1:22 says. The gospel of Christ is truly a life-changing message that is to invade every facet of a person’s life.

Jesus came into the world as a light that we should not abide in darkness John 12:46-48. If we reject his teaching, we reject him. If we reject Jesus, we reject God the Father. Rejecting His word will bring judgment upon us in the last day. We will be judged by the words of Jesus. We must take heed how we hear and respond to Christ’s word, because it will determine our eternal destiny.

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