To spiritually test everything against the word of God is not only a wise thing to always practice, but it is also a command. This is especially important in our day with many false prophets and false teachers. Part of the Christian's responsibility, under grace, is to guard himself (and others he knows) against religious deception. To guard oneself like that, such a person will have to test everything, that is, the concept(s) in question to the standard of God's truth - the Bible, which is final authority.
Test Everything To Detect Religious Deception
Everyone Should Know This About Some Spiritual Leaders
An example of this with Reformed theology in mind is the following. If we compare their errant teaching that Jesus did not die for everyone (which they call limited atonement) to the Biblical message — Jesus died for all of mankind -- darkness will be exposed. One Scripture which directly addresses that issue is 1 John 2:2:
An Example of How To Test Everything
and HOLD ON To The Good
He [Jesus] is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
(Other similar Scriptures can also be cited.) Since the standard of truth (the Bible) reveals that the teaching: Jesus died for all of mankind is true then Calvinism, therefore, is false. We are also commanded to hold on to that truth, for it is good, having passed the test. The test everything scripture is:Test everything. Hold on to the good. (1 Thess 5:21)
NOTE: Christians are commanded to hold on to doctrine which has been tested and approved. That is important to remember! Many religious people are holding on to doctrine they never tested with Scripture and should reject. They think things are true when they aren't—things like the pre-trib rapture, eternal security, infant baptism, the Prosperity Message, etc.). On that basis, without the safeguard to test everything against related Scripture, the following counterfeit groups would all be endorsed as sound: Jehovah's Witnesses, Calvinists, Church of Christ, etc. for they all misuse Scripture. Remember, even the devil can quote Scripture! That fact should drive us to carefully examine what everything in the Bible says about any given subject. To be wrong is be open to SOUL damning danger. We must, therefore, test everything.
Carefully Test Everything To Safeguard Your Soul
Test Everything and Test Everyone - Including Leaders
One of the primary reasons multitudes of people are wrongly trusting in religious figures for spiritual truth (which will affect their SOUL) is because they are too trusting! Many people are in a place of spiritual influence, where they should not be. When I was a Catholic, we all trusted our priest, who we also wrongly thought could forgive our sins. We didn't test everything as we should have! In the non-Catholic religious world, a similar misplaced trust is also widespread to the detriment of even some God fearing, but gullible people. Too many people seem unaware that many get in a teaching position merely because they are rich or have influential family members in that same congregation or because they have musical talent — not because they are spiritually qualified. The devil can easily (and does) use such people!
Dear reader, for your SOUL'S sake, learn the New Testament by directly reading, memorizing and pondering the truths stated in it. There is no substitute for this. Do NOT fully trust even the closest loving family member for Biblical truth because he or she may be sincerely wrong. You must test everything with the Bible carefully to be safe. In other words, even doctrine from one's twin brother or sister should be evaluated by scripture (which doesn't take away from your love for him or her). If one's twin was converted into a false belief system, such as Mormonism, the other twin is being righteously wise to test everything with the Bible and will flatly reject it all. That same twin can then help free his brother or sister, whom he/she loves, from that dangerous spiritual deception. Part of our responsibility to test everything is to test every spirit:
Test Everything With The Bible To Be Safe
Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1)Neglect in these areas has resulted in ruined lives here and SOULS being damned. Read Scripture for yourself from several reputable and understandable translations. Do NOT rely upon the so-called study aids, which are often laced with FALSE DOCTRINE. Don't trust any commentary either. Test everything with the Bible ALONE. Let the Holy Spirit guide and teach you, as you sincerely draw near to God. Such worked for centuries past and is surely not outdated now.
Getting back to 1 Thess. 5:21, after a doctrine has been tested and proven true, hold on to it to the point where it affects your goals and behavior. That is when a spiritual blessing will follow. (Especially do this with the believer's conditional security and living obediently.)
Test Everything Then Hold On To The Good
Recently, a Catholic wrote in about John 6:53 with the typical Catholic literal interpretation of eating Jesus' body and blood. Few seem to realize how a wrong interpretation, such as that, has led to — worshipping the communion wafer as God Himself (called the Eucharist) in Catholic circles. Clearly, idolatry is being spread in that manner because of church tradition and a faulty interpretation of scripture. It occurred over the centuries because people did not test everything with Scripture alone, which is our spiritual authority. (I was there once in the past myself because I didn't test everything as I should have.)
If you are Catholic, have you obeyed the command to test everything for yourself? Transubstantiation is a doctrine embraced by nearly 1 billion people in the world! You can observe one way to test everything from a Bible answer to an actual Catholic email. Click Eucharist.
To test a teaching, consider the context and look up all related Scriptures on the given subject. For example, to look up eternal life (or everlasting life) in every Scripture, and record your finding, will be very enlightening and destructive to the typical faulty view of salvation taught by the once saved always saved people.
It is Christian to be cautious and not just accept what others teach. It is not being unloving, judgmental or hateful. You are OBEYING God and being wise to test everything and not be gullible!
We must be alert — testing and holding on to the good, or we'll be devoured by the devil (1 Peter 5:8). This is a raging battle and it is for all eternity. This is not a practice drill. This is the real thing and the one and only earthly life you'll ever get. How you live and believe will affect your entire future beyond the grave. Take this seriously. Test everything, for eternity is a looooong time.
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