Discernment Is Not Optional, Inspired by Pastor John MacArthur

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1Thessalonians 5:21-22, “But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil”

A scripture often quoted in Matthew 7:1, says, “Judge not, that you be not judged” and this could be thought to mean being silent and receiving all things in the name of Christ asking no questions or else you may be labeled judgmental. The same chapter vs. 15, says, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits”. How can you then know false prophets without judging first? The One who said do not judge at the beginning is giving indication that it’s ok to judge. I think the “judge not” is in reference to someone’s salvation. There could be 101 clear signs suggesting someone is not saved, the ultimate judge of their souls is God. We can share the gospel and let them examine themselves to see if they are in the faith. The judging I am still addressing today is discernment, what is going into my system must be evaluated. I hate to be deceived, deception is lethal the reason we have to judge everything preached and said by the word of God.

There is a lot of preaching and teachings out here especially coming from the West that must be received with a lot of discernment. As Pastor Gregg Johnson (my pastor) previously shared on the “Need For Discernment” preached along those lines where in Africa the west is influencing their Christianity, there are four areas he preached on that I present to you again because they are very important. As believers, we must be very careful on what we feed our spirit and mind because many of today’s preaching may appear sound, but if you applying discernment through the word of God, you will find that there are alot of errors buried in SOME truths that must be exposed if you are to overcome deception in your life. You will also find alot of misinterpretation and manipulation that comes with it. Four areas where great discernment is needed are. 1. Discern CHARACTER over CHARISMA, 2. Discern DOCTRINE over DECEPTION, 3. Discern PROPHESY over PRESUMPTION, 4. Discern MIRACLES over MANIPULATION.

What is discernment and why is this important? Pastor John MacArthur shares with us on this, In its simplest definition, discernment is nothing more than the ability to decide between truth and error, right and wrong. Discernment is the process of making careful distinctions in our thinking about truth.

1Thessalonians 5:21-22 teaches that it is the responsibility of every Christian to be discerning: “But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil.” The apostle John issues a similar warning when he says, “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” (1John 4:1). According to the New Testament, discernment is not optional for the believer-it is required.
The key to living an uncompromising life lies in one’s ability to exercise discernment in every area of his or her life. For example, failure to distinguish between truth and error leaves the Christian subject to all manner of false teaching. False teaching then leads to an unbiblical mindset, which results in unfruitful and disobedient living–a certain recipe for compromise.

Unfortunately, discernment is an area where most Christians stumble. They exhibit little ability to measure the things they are taught against the infallible standard of God’s Word, and they unwittingly engage in all kinds of unbiblical decision-making and behavior. In short, they are not armed to take a decidedly biblical stand against the onslaught of unbiblical thinking and attitudes that face them throughout their day.

Discernment intersects the Christian life at every point. And God’s Word provides us with the needed discernment about every issue of life. According to Peter, God “has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence” ( 2Peter 1:3). You see, it is through the”true knowledge of Him,” that we have been given everything we need to live a Christian life in this fallen world. And how else do we have true knowledge of God but through the pages of His Word, the Bible? In fact, Peter goes on to say that such knowledge comes through God’s granting”to us His precious and magnificent promises” (2Peter 1:4).

Discernment-the ability to think biblically about all areas of life-is indispensable to an uncompromising life. It is incumbent upon the Christian to seize upon the discernment that God has provided for in His precious truth! Without it, Christians are at risk of being”tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14).”

If you value sound doctrine, then be like the Bereans, Acts 17:10-11, “10 Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.

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