Q 039

Question: How is it that truly born again Christians can read the Word of God and have a different understanding of some scriptures ? An example would be pre tribulation and post tribulation rapture etc. Is it different levels of maturity or tradition that believers get hung up on? Also, it seems that the Holy Spirit would lead all in the same truths by conviction.”

Answer: Believers coming to different conclusions on the interpretation of Scriptures is made possible when you remember that there are false teachers among the church. See II Timothy 4:3-4; Jude 1:4; II Peter 2:1-3. There will be doctrines (which means teachings) which are purposefully deceptive and set to undermine the doctrines from God. Spiritual maturity levels come into play regarding whether or not a person can recognize when false doctrines are being taught. This is why Paul said to Timothy, who was a young man and yet to have much experience, to rightly divide the Word of truth. God’s Word is truth. We must verify doctrines about it with what it says about itself.

The timing of the rapture is a good example of this principle. Believers who have not correctly divided the Word will be led into error. There are some errors that do more damage than others. I once had a college professor tell me to major in the majors and minor in the minors. He meant that there are some doctrines that cause a break in fellowship and are very damaging. There are others that are a minor issue. Do with that what you will.
I want to to address what you said regarding the Holy Spirit. Yes, the Holy Spirit is leading the believer. However, this is conditional by how much the believer yields to His leading (cf. Galatians 5:16-17, 25; I Thessalonians 5:19). A believer can live a carnal lifestyle which brings about chastisement and discipline from God. The Holy Spirit can also be grieved by the believers choices. All this can hinder the Holy Spirit’s ability to lead the believer, which includes the ability to understand the Word of God (I Corinthians 2:12-13).
I pray this helps.