Monday, April 18, 2011

2 Peter 1:16-21 - Who should we believe?

Scripture: 2 Peter 1:16-21

Summary: We have been eyewitnesses to Christ's majesty. He received honor and glory from God. So we hve the prophetic message confirmed. Prophecy is not our own interpretation, it comes from the Holy Spirit.

Thoughts: When we tell other people about Jesus Christ, whose authority do we have it on? I think I base much of my faith on the Bible, especially the New Testament. But what did the early Christians do before the New Testament books were written down? Before a council got together and decided which books were holy and should be included in our current Bible?They depended on prophets. They depended on people who told them about Jesus and who he was and what he said and did. This left alot of room for false prophets to confuse people with different versions of the truth. This writer is very concerned that the community to which he is writing has been hearing from false prophets. So the first thing we should look for when we hear a prophet speak is whether or not their truth comes from themselves or from the Holy Spirit. We certainly still have false prophets today. Some of them are extreme and can be seen leading people away from God, like Jim Jones in Ghana or David Koresh in Waco. Others are more difficult to spot. I have always thought that religion would be simpler if someone just told me what to believe. This is why many churches do so well. They are attracting people who don't want to think for themselves, who just want an authority figure to tell them what to believe. But the United Methodist Church encourages each of us to decide for ourselves what we believe. So my entire life will be spent refining what I believe about God and creation and the truth about Jesus Christ. Which means that I will have to be watching for false prophets, constantly evaluating what I hear from others to see if I believe their truth came from themselves or from the Holy Spirit. Yes, the other way seems simpler, just to be told what to believe. But God wants more from me. God wants me to use my mind, my heart, and my soul to reflect on my theology because then it becomes truly mine.

Prayer: God help me to always be searching for the truth about you. Don't let me become complacent, feeling that I know enough, because you have so much more to teach me. Amen.

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