1 John 4:1 – “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” Also read 1 John 4:1-6
Have you ever been to the Gold Country? It is in the foothills and mountains of Northern California. It is there where they discovered gold in the 1840’s. If you have ever been up there maybe you had the chance to go panning for gold. It is a lot of fun to be able to get a pan and go down to a stream to try to find some real gold. You scoop up some sand and water from the bottom of the stream, then you swirl it around in the pan several times allowing some water to spill over the edges. The lighter dirt and sand swirls out, leaving small rocks and hopefully a gold nugget!
Many times though, you may find a shiny, golden nugget that looks like gold. At first, you’re excited to think that you may have actually found a gold nugget. But when you take it to ask an expert, he tells you that it is only a look-alike called “fools gold.” It looks like the real thing, shines like the real thing and even feels like the real thing. But when the expert tests it, it turns out to be fools gold and completely worthless.
The Bible says that we should “test” what people say about Jesus to make sure that it is the real thing. For example, if someone tells us that Jesus wasn’t really God, He was just a really good man, we know that is not true. How do we test it? We go to the expert – the Word of God. The Bible says that Jesus is God who came in the flesh (John 1:14). So we can test what anyone tells us through the Bible and through the Holy Spirit who lives inside of us. A lot of people believe different things about Jesus. Like spotting fools gold, we should be able to spot wrong ideas about Jesus after testing it in our “truth tester.”
• Have you ever been fooled by “fools gold?” How did you find out that it wasn’t real?
• What are the two ways that you can test what people say about Jesus?
• How should we react to those who don’t believe the same way about Jesus?
Kid’s Bible Dictionary
False Prophet: A person or teacher who teaches wrong things about Jesus.
Test: A way of determining whether something that is said is true or not. We test truth through the Bible and the Holy Spirit.