Yesterday we broached a contentious topic. Many people believe it best not to discuss subjects such as religion or politics as those discussions can become heated and lead to arguments. They would prefer to agree to disagree. The Bereans in Paul’s day didn’t do that. They wanted to know if the new teachings he brought to them were true. If they had agreed to disagree with him they would have missed out on the truth of their salvation. If they didn’t have access to the scriptures to prove him true, they would have had to take him at his word. Many new believers of their day did just that. Knowing only the faith other Christians had in Jesus, new believers were added.
The Bereans weren’t like that. Like us, they had access to the scriptures and they were accredited as open minded and noble for studying them to prove Paul’s beliefs. Agreeing to disagree may smooth a discussion but it won’t confirm the truth. On January 3 we read that God is love and as his children we strive to resemble, or duplicate his love.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 in the Lexham English Bible gives us a list of love’s attributes that should be growing in the lives of all Christians.
4 Love is patient, love is kind, love is not jealous, it does not boast, it does not become conceited, 5 it does not behave dishonorably, it is not selfish[a], it does not become angry, it does not keep a record of wrongs, 6 it does not rejoice at unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth, 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Verse 6 describes love rejoicing with the truth. How could the Bereans, or us, rejoice with the truth, if we don’t know what the truth is? Humanity has long had a curiosity in what happens to them after they die. The theory’s range widely, depending on who’s religion or ideas you adhere to. To the best of their ability, Christians need to learn what God’s word can reveal to them. Paul put it like this.
2 Timothy 2:15 King James Version
15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Are you ready to supply biblical answers for your afterlife hopes to those who ask?
1 Peter 3:15 Contemporary English Version
15 Honor Christ and let him be the Lord of your life. Always be ready to give an answer when someone asks you about your hope.