The writer of the Book of Acts commended the Bereans of old by saying: "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and SEARCHED THE SCRIPTURES DAILY, whether those things were so." (Acts 17:11). The Bereans who listened to the preaching of the apostle Paul, received the word with all readiness of mind. They were anxious to receive it. Their hearts indeed were receptive. However, before accepting the preaching of the apostle they obviously wanted to be sure that he was telling the truth of God. So they "SEARCHED THE SCRIPTURES DAILY." Luke later records the fact these Bereans were noble. Many people today are not characterized by this nobility. First, they aren't willing to receive the word with all readiness of mind and secondaly, they aren't going to put the effort that is required to "SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES DAILY" to see whether or not the things that are spoken are so.

In 1 Pet. 3:15 Peter exhorts us saying: "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason fo the hope that is in you with meekness and fear." We thus have the responsibility of preparing and being willing to give an answer to those who may ask us concerning our hope. Some are prepared but are not willing to answer. Others are willing but are not prepared to answer. We will never be "ready" to answer as we should unless we "sanctify the Lord God in our hearts." We cannot "sanctify" the Lord in our hearts unless we are taught of God. If there is no knowledge, there can be no genuine faith since "faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God." (Rom. 10:17). We cannot have the knowledge and faith that will make us "ready to give an answer" unless we are willing to search the Scriptures.

The apostle Paul commanded Timothy saying: "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (2 Tim. 2:15). The idea of "giving diligence" is involved in "study." One must be zealous, yet cautious as he searches the Scriptures. This requires a lot of time and much effort. Many will never be approved unto God, rightly dividing the word of truth because they are not willing to give the time nor put forth the effort required. Such ought to be ashamed! They will be lost in the day of judgment.

The fact that Paul shows that one should study in order to "rightly divide the word of truth" suggests that if one does not study that he will not divide aright God's word. Many people try to justify themselves in their ignorance of God's truth by saying: "Educated men don't agree on the Bible. If they can't understand it and agree on it, there is no use in me trying to." Friends, you and I will not be judged on the basis of what educated men may have said about the Bible, but we will be judged by what the Bible teaches! YOU HAVE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF SEARCHING THE SCRIPTURES, as did the Bereans of old, to see whether or not the things that are spoken are so! Paul warns that "evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being decieved." (2 Tim. 3:13). Don't be deceived by others and do not deceive yourself. SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES for yourself in order that you may KNOW what God's word actually says. YOUR SOUL is involved! KNOW WHAT YOU BELIEVE AND WHY YOU BELIEVE IT! The day is far spent, Night is drawing nigh. This life will soon be over. The resurrection and judgment are coming. Then what?

By Carrol R. Sutton in The Instructor, Vol. 7, No. 11, Nov. 1970.

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