Many let religious teachers and others search the Scriptures for them. Perhaps they think that careful study is only for those who teach (i.e., priests, pastors, preachers, etc.).
This was not the attitude of the inhabitants of Berea, Greece. Acts 17:11 tells us that “they received the word [preached by Paul and Silas] with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” They did not blindly accept the words of these teachers but carefully compared them to the Old Testament.
Let’s look at five reasons why we should also investigate the Scriptures for ourselves, just like the Bereans.
(1) Each one will have to give an account of himself.
2 Corinthians 5:10 says that “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.” (Compare Romans 14:11-12.)
We cannot blame God or anyone else for the fact that we never investigated the truth on our own. When we find ourselves before the judgment seat of Christ in the final judgment it will not be enough to say that “my pastor told me it was God’s will,” or that “the priest of my parish is to blame,” or that “I trusted that my parents were telling me the truth.”
(2) I may not have another opportunity tomorrow.
The years we spend on earth are just a drop in the ocean of eternity. The Bible says that they are “like a shadow” (1 Chronicles 29:15) and as “a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” (James 4:14). After death comes the judgment (Hebrews 9:27-28). There will be no more opportunities to search the Scriptures.
Moreover, except the heavenly Father, no one knows the exact day when Jesus Christ will return again (Matthew 24:36). Jesus came to earth the first time to serve man and give His life as a ransom for him (Mark 10:45). The second time He will not come as a servant but as Judge of all mankind (Acts 10:42, 17:31).
(3) Your soul is worth too much to blindly entrust to another.
We do not blindly trust our body to just any doctor. Why, then, should we entrust our soul to another without investigating the Scriptures for ourselves to see if whether or not what he or she tells us is the truth?
The soul is our most valuable possession. Accordingly, Jesus says, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26) The soul of every human being exceeds the value of all that this world can offer us!
(4) Religious teachers can lead us astray.
Sometimes teachers lead others astray because of their own ignorance. Other times they do so intentionally (Ephesians 4:14). In each case, the consequences are devastating. Accordingly, Jesus said that “if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit” (Matthew 23:13).
The way to avoid this problem is to test all religious teachers with the teachings of the Scriptures to see whether they are from God (1 John 4:1).
(5) All roads do NOT lead to Rome.
Jesus warns us about the danger of going the wrong way. He said in his Sermon on the Mount: “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Matthew 7:13-14).
To make sure that we are on the right path, it is necessary to build our lives on the words of Christ (Matthew 7:24-25). Only they will be able to withstand the greatest storm: the Final Judgment.
May we all investigate for ourselves the teachings of the Scriptures!