You probably may have been taught during your childhood days or sometime in the past at Sunday school on a set of noble Christians during the time of the early apostles called the “Bereans“. These, the Bible recorded, were noble than many of their brethren, especially those at Thessalonica. However, a deep insight into these peculiar Christians will remain vague without first understanding the records of their origin.
A highlight of this biblical scripture from where these brethren were first mentioned goes thus:
10.And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11.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.17:10-11)
The underlined phrases clearly proves the clear-cut disparity between the Bereans and their brethren.
The Bereans were inhabitants of a small city Berea, in Greek Macedonia which is today known as Northern Greece. These were also proselytes (converts) who passed through the same process of salvation just like their counterparts. So then, what made them unique?
To get a vivid picture of their personality, we must critically examine the following key-points
- Were there the likes of the Bereans in other parts of the biblical scriptures?
- How did the Bereans’ acts keep them distinct from the rest of their brethren?
- How does the Last Age christian fit into this role?
Were there the likes of the Bereans in other parts of the scriptures?
Yes, there was, even though they were not explicitly mentioned, their acts in this cited case were unquestionable. The likes of David, Daniel, Ezra were dedicated scholars of the book of the law (during the Old Testament) who spent a quantifiable amount of time searching the scriptures to ascertain what direction the Lord God would lead them to at each point in time. This is obviously similar to the striking key-phrase obtained from the verse above: “…………….and searched the scriptures daily…………..”
How did the Bereans’ acts keep them distinct from the rest of their brethren?
These zealous-driven eternally-minded Christian folks were so joyful each time they heard Paul had to make a routine visit to their city. They had their hearts, spirit and bodies prepared and ready to receive the sound doctrine of truth , not necessarily because of the presence of Paul in their midst, but because they knew they had the privilege of receiving an unadulterated message of The Way (Jesus Christ) through the teachings of His servant (Apostle Paul), which they wouldn’t take lightly as there were many unbelievable fallacies going on shortly after the coming of Jesus Christ to the earth. This, their counterparts were indifferent to, as they saw Paul’s coming as an intrusion to their care-free living and acts, which they envisaged would be short-lived.
This was the key reason the Bible had recorded that these noble brethren “received the word with all readiness of mind”, signifying the extent to which they had dropped their own personal carnal desires, will and self, to imbibing and giving way to the two-edged sword (Word of God) which cuts every evil asunder, take absolute control of their lives. What a great lesson to learn from!!
It did not just end there. They went further searching the scriptures, thereby daily igniting their vessel and keeping it guarded against the tactics of the enemy; another very vital point to consider. But then, did they do that to be noticed or for fun?
No. So what was it for? “………………..whether those things were so……
Evidently, we must understand that this scriptural portion in Rom.2:1 which says “Therefore, thou art inexcusable, O man………….” goes a long way to prove that there would be no mercy for any individual on that Last Day of Judgment who will claim ignorance of the scriptures owing to teachings of end-time false teachers. Why? The answer is already provided as we can see what the Bereans exhibited in their own time. These noble ones did not allow the awe of a man becloud their understanding and study of the scriptures, rather, they went further to be assured what they received from Apostle Paul was in accordance with the laid-down tents of God’s Word.
What happens to us in the Christendom today? Let’s find out in the last point.
How does the Last Age christian fit into this role?
Christianity in this Last Age has severely been juxtaposed by men who instead of being teachers of the Word of God and light to the world, have turned into ravenous wolves and ambassadors of the kingdom of darkness. These men which could even be you or I (no one excluded) have taken to twisting the scriptures to suit our personal cravings, while deceiving the babes who can neither discern their left nor their right, thereby leading many into wanton destruction.
But in this menacing saga, how does a christian (Christ-like individual) adopt the role and unique personality of a Berean (that is, act as a Berean in this end-time) in preparation for the end?
First, the Bible declares in the book of Timothy:
15.Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that worketh need not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2Tim.2;15 KJV).
Other scriptural citations:
16. Seek ye out the book of the LORD, and read: no one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate: for my mouth it hath commanded, and his spirit it hath gathered them. (Isa.34:16 KJV)
15. I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways. 16. I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word. (Psa.119:15-16 KJV)
These few highlighted verse among the many, are trivial points to portray the unreserved attention, those who dedicate themselves to diligently searching the word of God, attract from the Most High. Any doing this, bears a similar role to the Bereans. It is worth-noting that not only is it beneficial to such christian in doing such to guard against unscrupulous doctrines from falsehood preachers, but also to be an end-time Son of Issachar (these are those who understand the times and seasons and significance of every event happening this end-time). This feat, can be achieved by no other way but studying the scriptures, working in it practically and be led by the Holy Spirit.
Another Berean act worthy of emulation for us today is receiving the Word of God with readiness of mind. Until we are ready to let go off self and delight ourselves in understanding the true nature of Christ Jesus and walking in the same path, receiving and abiding by the word of God with ready and prepared hearts will continually be an arduous task. It therefore behoves on us to set aside any factor or cause that will stray our minds from the Word of God taking full control over every aspect of our lives if we must be regarded noble in the sight of God.
…………Searching the scriptures should not just be an activity, but a lifestyle for us as Christ exemplified during His stay on earth before His ascension. When we inculcate unquenching desire in seeking what the Lord wants from us each day and the steps to take at every point in time and phase of life, then we will not be misguided in our steps, but will walk according to the plan of the Lord and in the course of time, surpass those who looked down on us or took to scorning His name.
Last but not least, searching the scriptures assists us in a very long way in disproving many heretical teachings by modern-day power-materialistic driven individuals under the guise of ministers of God whose “god is their belly” and have little or no regard for what Christianity is meant to be. Every one will give account of his/her deeds, whether in knowledge of the scriptures or not.
Why? Because the primary purpose of the new covenant starting from the new testament which was established, is for the law of God to be written in the hearts of men and give them unrestricted access in maintaining a steady personal relationship with the Father.
Unfortunately, the reverse is the case today as many look unto their preachers (hirelings), instead of looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of their faith. These set of Christians tingle their ears to hear only that pleasing to them and applaud these preachers while wallowing in blindness, of which the Bible regard such as babes, who only desire milk(fundamental or basic concepts of the Bible, not dealing on upright living) which does not profit the soul instead of strong meat (righteousness principles as gateway to Eternal Life).
Clearly, for any who falls into such category, will on the Last Day be shown the Bereans as witnesses.
Conclusively, we must test every spirit, not minding the source from which it emanates from. Whether advice, speech, actions, from whoever or wherever it comes from, so long it contravenes the laid down tenets of the Word, should be totally shunned without a second thought. Again, we mustn’t allow our personal emotions, interests, desires and actions have an interplay in the working effect of the power of God in our daily dealings, if we so desire to be over-comers and victorious during the coming of our Bridegroom.