There are many people who like to preach on their own authority. You see them on TV all the time, or on the internet, or writing books, and so many other mediums beside. They use the Bible as it suits them, and only because they’re trying to use the Authority of God to enrich themselves or drive an agenda. I hear many of them, though, preach popular slogans or garbage that they heard other people say as opposed to the actual scriptures. What is sad is that I often hear people who confess Christ do the same thing. They say things that are a matter of opinion, or popular statements like “God will never give you more than you can handle” or “God must be challenging you because He knows you can handle it” or “don’t you know the Bible has 365 verses that say fear not?” None of these are Biblical, and some are only partially true (which partially true is still false)! It makes me wonder if people who say such things are only wading shallowly in to their Bibles, if they read them at all. It leads me to scratch my head and ask “Who on earth told you that?”
Church, our authority doesn’t come from preachers. As a preacher, I can confidently state this! The authority any believer has comes from God’s word through His Holy Spirit because of the blood of Jesus Christ! We should, then, be confirming any words spoken by preachers or people who say they follow Jesus by the Word of God! God will not contradict Himself. God does not change His mind. His word is to correct, rebuke, teach and train in righteousness so that the people of God may be fully equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Loved ones, we need to stop listening to people who speak on their own authority, and even some who say “God told me.” We need to ask “who told you that?” and seek after biblical answers, not popular ones. Our authority should come from God alone. Everything else is self-love, self-pleasing, and self-condemning. Measure everything against the Scriptures, and if it does not hold up, it has no real authority.
The word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, speak to your people and say to them, If I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from among them, and make him their watchman, and if he sees the sword coming upon the land and blows the trumpet and warns the people, then if anyone who hears the sound of the trumpet does not take warning, and the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet and did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But if he had taken warning, he would have saved his life. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any one of them, that person is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.
“So you, son of man, I have made a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to the wicked, O wicked one, you shall surely die, and you do not speak to warn the wicked to turn from his way, that wicked person shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, that person shall die in his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul.
“And you, son of man, say to the house of Israel, Thus have you said: ‘Surely our transgressions and our sins are upon us, and we rot away because of them. How then can we live?’ Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?
“And you, son of man, say to your people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him when he transgresses, and as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall by it when he turns from his wickedness, and the righteous shall not be able to live by his righteousness when he sins. Though I say to the righteous that he shall surely live, yet if he trusts in his righteousness and does injustice, none of his righteous deeds shall be remembered, but in his injustice that he has done he shall die. Again, though I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ yet if he turns from his sin and does what is just and right, if the wicked restores the pledge, gives back what he has taken by robbery, and walks in the statutes of life, not doing injustice, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of the sins that he has committed shall be remembered against him. He has done what is just and right; he shall surely live.
“Yet your people say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just,’ when it is their own way that is not just. When the righteous turns from his righteousness and does injustice, he shall die for it. And when the wicked turns from his wickedness and does what is just and right, he shall live by this. Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ O house of Israel, I will judge each of you according to his ways.”