Imagine you’re taking an exam, and it’s a big one, heavily weighted, and the stakes are high. Thankfully, the exam is “open book.” Your instructor has told you to use your textbook as it has all the answers you will need to be successful. The instructor then leaves the room as the exam begins.
Suddenly, someone enters the room and states he’s taken this exam before and can give you all the answers.
As you move through the exam, you begin to question his answers because they do not correspond with what you remember learning. You start to notice a feeling deep inside that something just isn’t quite right. Your textbook is still available on your desk. So, do you check his answers against the textbook your instructor has told you to use, or do you decide to trust this person instead? If you decide to check his answers with your textbook, you will find that his answers are actually…false.
Ironically, our very existence on this earth is much like a heavily weighted exam, but the stakes are the highest-of-high, our eternal destination! Thankfully, the Exam of Life is open-book, and our Instructor (the Lord) has given us a textbook (the Bible) which contains all the answers we need to know.
Also, as in this scenario, there is someone (Satan) trying to tell us the wrong answers.
“But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his trickery, your minds will be led astray from sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, this you tolerate very well!” 2 Corinthians 11:3-4
Paul was warning of false teachers who were apparently teaching a “different Jesus” and a “different gospel” to the members of the church in Corinth. The congregation there seemed to be trusting these guys over their textbooks, the Scriptures (their Bible during that period).
Messages that are either contradictory or not found in the inspired Word of God are spread by false teachers who are being led by Satan. In 1 John 4:1 the Bible says, “Beloved, 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.” Believing in something outside what God has said in His Word can have detrimental consequences.
Satan is crafty. A common tactic of our enemy is to take an idea that seems righteous on the surface, but when the layers are peeled back, a flawed concept is revealed.
See if you can spot the major flaw in this statement: “Life has purpose and meaning. God, our loving Father, wants us to find happiness.”
Well, isn’t that sweet? But it’s wrong. This concept is not found in the Bible.
But wait! It has the words “God” and “Father” in it! And they are even capitalized! Alas, despite the utilization of “Christian” buzzwords and correct grammar usage, it’s still wrong.
God truly is loving, and our lives do have a purpose, yet that purpose is not to find happiness as this statement implies. Our purpose is to glorify God by doing all that Jesus commands us which is primarily to “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to follow all that I commanded you.” Matthew 28:19-20a
“Find happiness” is a not the same as “go and make disciples.” Despite being vastly different concepts, the flaw was craftily subtle, wasn’t it? In fact, it was so subtle that if you did not open your Textbook to check that answer, you would probably miss it.
We must analyze all statements with what God says in His Word to prove their validity. The Bible is our textbook, and all things must be measured against it. God has mercifully provided it for us to find all the answers we need to be successful in the Exam of Life.
About the Writer:
Natalie is primarily a stay-at-home mom to two young boys. Additionally, she occasionally works as an emergency room nurse and is studying to become a Nurse Practitioner. Natalie is on the teaching team for Women’s Bible Study at First Baptist Dallas, and she and her husband, Paul, are members there. Natalie is also a member of the SEEN Collective, a musical group that tells the stories of the women of the Bible through song and leads worship. Visit www.seen-collective.com to find out more.