6 Minute Read + Scripture readings

Today’s Bible Reading:

Numbers 20
Psalm 58-59
Isaiah 9:8-10:4
James 3

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

“Not many should become teachers, my brothers, because you know that we will receive a stricter judgment.”
James 3:1 (CSB)

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

First of all, the Bible is clear that there will be varying degrees of judgment for those who spend eternity in Hell and those who spend eternity in Heaven. Click here for some relevant Bible verses.

So, when James 3:1 warns about “a stricter judgment,” it is completely consistent with the rest of the New Testament. Not all unbelievers will suffer the same in Hell and not all believers will experience the same rewards and privileges in Heaven. The judgment upon each individual will be extremely personal and directly related to whether not they were trusting in Jesus and how they lived their life.

So, according to James 3:1, who needs to be wary of the stricter judgment and why is this so?

James 3:1 (CSB): “Not many should become teachers, my brothers, because you know that we will receive a stricter judgment.”

The word for “teacher” means “instructor.” It’s an official office of someone who teaches God’s Word to other people. This would include the office of pastor/teacher as well as other Bible teachers.

Why the warning? What is it about Bible teachers and preachers that would require their judgment to be stricter, more thorough? A few things come to mind:

  1. They are without excuse when they sin. They know (or should know) God’s Word so they cannot claim to be ignorant of God’s prohibitions and commands.
  2. They risk being hypocritical. Since pastors and teachers realize that people tend to listen to only those teachers who have integrity, those Bible teachers may not be honest about their own struggles. In essence, they would be tempted to be a hypocrite – appear to be something that they are not.
  3. They risk leading others astray. Maybe they know that what they are teaching is not true (they are simply charlatans who are in it for the money or power) or they haven’t studied enough to know that what they are speaking is erroroneous. Regardless, others will be led astray by what they say.

For these three reasons and more, God will hold Bible teachers to a stricter judgment. If you are a Bible teacher, you’d better focus on two things: studying to know God’s Word, and then know to apply God’s Word.

If you don’t study and apply God’s Word, you will forfeit eternal rewards when you stand before Jesus. If you do study and apply God’s Word and teach it to others, you’ll hear Him say, “Well done! Well done!”

* * * * * * * * * *

Lord Jesus, I want to faithfully teach Your Word to others. Whether I’m a pastor, a Bible class teacher, or simply a parent who teaches Your Word to my children, I want to accurately teach Your Word and faithfully live it out. Even though I will receive a stricter judgment, I want to pass it with flying colors. So, I will do my part and ask that You, in Your grace, would do Your part by giving me what I need to be a faithful teacher. Amen.

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Photo by Joel Muniz on Unsplash