Examine Everything

Samuel Smith


"PROVE ALL THINGS; hold fast that which is good." (1 Thessalonians 5:21; Capital Emphasis Added)

My dear Brother or Sister in Christ, here, Paul the Apostle writes to the Thessalonians, to a Church he himself had founded. Here is an inspired apostle writing to young inexperienced Christians, writing to the whole professing Church in a certain city, writing too with especial reference to matters of doctrine and preaching. Yet mark what he says: "PROVE ALL THINGS." He does not say that, "Whatever popes, whatever evangelists, whatever bishops, whatever apostles, whatever pastors, whatever teachers, whatever your leaders tell you is truth — that you are to believe." NO! he says that, "Prove all things." He does not say, "Whatever the Conference pronounces true — that you are to hold." NO! he says that, "Prove all things."

The principle laid down is this, "Prove all things by the Word of God. All leaders, all teaching, all preaching, all doctrines, all sermons, all writings, all opinions, all practices — PROVE ALL by the Word of God. Measure all by the measure of the Bible. Compare all with the standard of the Bible. Weigh all in the balances of the Bible. Examine all by the light of the Bible. That which is in the Bible, RECEIVE, HOLD, BELIEVE and OBEY. That which is not in the Bible, REJECT, REFUSE, and CAST AWAY."

Above all, as long as you live, look forward to the great DAY OF JUGDEMENT. Think of the fearful account which every one of us shall have to give on that day before the Judgment Seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10). We shall not be judged by Churches. We shall not be judged by congregations. We shall be judged INDIVIDUALLY, each for himself or herself! What shall it profit you on that day to say, "Lord, Lord, I believed everything the Church told me. I received and believed everything ordained pastors set before me. I thought that whatever the Church and the pastors said, must be right"? What shall it profit you to say this, if you have held some DEADLY ERROR? Surely, the voice of Him who sits upon the throne shall reply, "You had the Scriptures. You had a Book plain and easy — to him that will read it and search it in a child-like spirit. Why did you not use the Word of God when it was given to you? You had a reasonable mind given you to understand that Bible. Why did you not 'Prove all things,' and thus save yourself from error?" Oh, my dear Brother or Sister in Christ, if you refuse to exercise your sense of religious judgment at this end of the world, think of that day and BEWARE!

Paul Fonsi