If Only We Had Followed the Bereans Example
"Now these were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, examining the scriptures daily, whether these things were so" (Acts 17: 11). First we want to notice the attitude they manifested toward the preaching of the gospel. They received it with "readiness of mind." The word, "readiness" means "eagerness, willingness, readiness" (W. E. Vine, pg. 250). This is a commendable attitude and should he the attitude of us all toward the gospel when it is preached.
But read on, and see what they did after they heard the word. They "examined the scriptures, whether these things were so." Realizing that the preacher was Paul, why would they check up on him? Was it because they suspected he was a false teacher? No, we have no reason to think that they believed that. But they wanted to make sure that he taught the truth, because it pertained to their eternal salvation. They were not willing to put their souls in jeopardy by taking the preacher at his word. We can assume that they were also concerned for the sake of the preacher's soul, knowing how God deals with those who preach lies. So they checked the oracles of God to be sure these things were so.
If God's children had followed the example of the Bereans through all the ages past, think of the trouble that could have been nipped in the bud. We are commanded to "grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18).
We are to study (2 Tim. 2:15); to understand the will of the Lord (Eph. 5:17). When men quit following every "big preacher," "big elder," big editor," and "big-mouth" in the land, and begin to examine the scriptures daily to see whether these things be so, then we will be on the way to solving old problems and preventing new, ones. We were given minds by our Creator and it is time we started, each of us, to use our own, and not depend on another to do our thinking for us. When we do this, we' will get out of the predicament that Israel was in when God said through the prophet Hosea, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge" (Hosea 4:61.)
TRUTH MAGAZINE, XV: 31, p. 2