During a sermon on the scripture verses that are misinterpreted most often, pastor Craig Groeschel shared that Jeremiah 29:11 was a specific promise of God’s blessing for the exiles living in Babylon. He added that God does have plans to bless people, but that verse is not a general verse about God’s blessing. It was for a specific people at a specific time.
Why this story matters for church leaders:
The trustworthiness of pastors is on the line when teaching from the Bible. Make sure you’re teaching the scriptures correctly.
- Who is the audience? While a scripture verse can speak with significance to certain situations or offer encouragement, there is a danger of misunderstanding the Bible if we turn a specific blessing into a blanket blessing for all times.
- Don’t cause a crisis of faith: When we turn a specific blessing into a blessing for all time, we create a crisis of faith for those who are going through difficult situations.
- The Bible is full of blessings we can share: The story surrounding Jeremiah 29:11 is full of relevant lessons about God’s blessings, and the rest of the Bible offers more than enough to consider about the ways God blesses his people.
How do we balance historical interpretation with contemporary application during our sermons?
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