Source: Is “Heaven Is for Real” for Real?: An Exercise In Discernment, by T. A. McMahon
The critical issue for discernment is not “how it works” but “what is being communicated.”
All that a Bible-believing Christian can do in ascertaining the truth of a matter is to be vigilant by “searching the Scriptures” to see if what is being presented is true to the full counsel of God’s Word (Acts 17:11). If we don’t do that, whether we are young believers or mature in the faith, we are just as vulnerable to false teachings as those whose circumstances have directly opened them to deceptive experiences.
see whether these things were so
– Acts 17:11
A believer’s life in Christ is shaped by a great many experiences that the Lord allows for our growth in Him. It begins with one’s believing the gospel, to which sound doctrine is added.
As we abide in Christ’s teachings, our discernment will increase, thus protecting us from “being carried about with every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14). Let us therefore take to heart Paul’s warning: “According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it.” (1 Corinthians 3:10).
–T. A. McMahon