“Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” (NIV) Acts 17:11
You may have noticed that it is so hard to share and learn the Word of God with close friends or relatives who attend churches different from yours. Often than not, they tend to avoid or begrudge you because you shared with them something in the bible that is contrary to the practices of their churches. I have had that experience a couple of times and often grieve over it. I hear words like, “oh, you think your church is better than mine or why are you judging other churches?”. Beloved, we have to learn to study the Word of God with an open mind. When the truth in the bible is revealed to us, it is not a form of judgement but let us see it as God wanting us not to perish but to make it to heaven.
Why should there be different churches with different practices if the only reference point is the one and only BIBLE? As pointed out in Acts 28:26-27, it has to do with our hearts and how well we understand and apply what we read from the Bible. Unfortunately, many hear the truth from close friends and loved ones but do not allow the message to influence their lives. They are glued to the teachings of their churches so much that they refuse to accept and apply the truth they have learnt. Such practices are indications that they are serving God based on what they want to hear and not what God requires of them (2 Timothy 4:3). The Bible encourages us to; “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 - NIV.
Furthermore, we are urged to act like the Berean Jews; “…for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” Acts 17:11 - NIV
In conclusion, let us welcome our friends and loved ones who want to share the Word of God with us wholeheartedly and patiently listen to them as we pray for understanding from God. If there is the need for change based on the truth in the Bible, let’s be willing to take the bold step and initiate that. Also as bearers of the message, let us share it with humility and trust God to touch the heart of our listeners according to His own will and plan (1 Corinthians 3:6-9). God bless us all.