Don’t believe everything you hear

By Robert Oliver - Contributing columnist

Few of us have failed to be warned of the above a few times in our life. We will mention that we heard something, only to be quickly told to not believe everything we have heard. Good advice in all ages. When the phone rings and it is someone you do not know claiming to be giving you something of value for nothing on your part, don’t believe everything you hear. We have all heard in recent times, warnings about giving out information to people who call claiming that they work for the bank or credit card company that you do business with and that someone has attempted to get into your account and take money or charge things, but they are there to help if you will just give them certain information. Our list could go on and on with examples wherein we should not believe everything we hear. And we might add, see when it comes to the things found on various forms of internet media. Over and over I find myself asking people have they checked that out to make sure it is true before sharing it or in other words passing it on all over the world. Oh, and let us not forget all the political promises and such made as various ones try to get your vote. They may well have had real intent to do the things they said, but that does not mean they could do them. You just can’t believe everything they say. In recent times, two words that had seldom been placed side by side have popped up numerous times, the words “fake news”. We have become accustomed to believing that only the truth could be presented as news in the various forms of the news media, but we have witnessed “fake news” as being fact. In short, just don’t believe everything you hear from mere men, for they are not all honest and the ones that are honest are not infallible.

Now we come to the application of our topic into an area wherein to believe everything one hears can and will be more destructive than any of the above mentioned examples. When one believes that which is false in the material things of this life, they may pay dearly in the realm of financial loss, loss of health, even to the point of death and other physical losses. But, when one believes everything they hear in the realm of serving the God of heaven, he or she stands to loose the most valuable and important possession they will ever have, their souls. As Jesus asked rhetorically, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”(Mark 8:36-37). When Eve listened to the serpent and then believed that which she heard, it cost her dearly. God had said that in the day they ate of the forbidden fruit they would die (Gen. 2:17). The serpent said, “Ye shall not surely die” (Gen. 3:4). Adam and Eve did not die physically that day, but they died spiritually that day and their physical death had it’s beginning there for they were cast out of the garden wherein the tree of life was.

Many are the Bible warnings about not believing everything you hear as it is related to God’s word. Paul said, “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed” (Gal. 1:8-9). The things presented on “face book” that should not be believed are no more prolific than the false teachings that abound in the spiritual realm. Jesus often spoke of false teachers and said at one point, “beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” (Matt. 7:15). He points toward something here that would apply in all realms. That which should not be believed is often disguised to look like something that one would want to believe. People often have a tendency to quickly accept a religious teaching as true when it is something that they would want to be true. On the flip side of that coin, tell them the truth when it is not what they want to hear and they may well turn against the messenger himself. Paul once asked the Galatians, “Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?” (Gal. 4:16).

So how do we recognize just what we should believe that we hear from that which we should not believe? There were some in Berea when Paul went there proclaiming the gospel that serve well in showing us all how it can be done. When Paul preached to them, the text says, “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 answer in short is that one must do the research to know if it is the truth or not. Don’t just accept that the face book post is true just because it was a friend that posted it, but check it out for yourself to see if it is indeed true. Don’t just accept the teachings concerning being a Christian just because a friend, your preacher or even family tells you it is true, but search the scriptures daily to determine if it indeed is true or is it false. Let’s face it, in no realm of life, but especially not in the spiritual realm should we believe everything we hear.

By Robert Oliver

Contributing columnist

(Send any questions or comments to: [email protected])

(Send any questions or comments to: [email protected])