For many school-age children, there comes a time of accountability. Teachers and parents (not to mention children) know it well: the moment when, standing tall before their children, Mom or Dad asks, “Have you done your homework?” This is a big question, and one that has far-reaching implications outside the classroom and into the adult world.
Homework sets a powerful background for learning and keeping truth in proper sequence. It is a tool that gives children responsibility: responsibility to build a work ethic, to study and accomplish tasks on their own that will benefit them in the future—and to practice accountability for what they do, and how they arrive at or accomplish certain goals when they are not entirely under the watchful eye of the instructor. Will they get their work done diligently, or will they come up empty handed, empty minded, and without something to show for their studies?
However, all adults—young adults included, have homework to do in other areas besides the scholastic. “Have you done your homework?” is a way of asking whether or not someone has thoroughly studied a subject out for themselves, and can involve checking the background of what we believe and what we have been taught. Over time, truth and facts have a tendency to be "modified," and teaching then becomes less educational and more theatrical. This is a major issue in all subjects: history, science, and religion included. It is hard for many people to remember whom God really used to keep the truth on track. By doing our homework we pay proper respect to those in the past who paved the way for us today.
Ignorance or disrespect towards true history and heritage is a common failing amongst people, as is rebellion against authority when things do not go or seem to go the way we want them to. These things coupled together have led many to spearhead their own misguided (but often well-intentioned) movements throughout history. Nowhere has this caused more confusion (and deception) than in the history of “Christianity.” From the early days of the Christian Church, deception and false doctrine have plagued God’s people, and to many, the true origins of the Church remain a mystery; but to many others, tradition or personal versions of that history are accepted as “fact”—or the need for history and truth is discounted altogether by “new” Christian revivals and movements that are reactive against old “mistakes.” The result in our modern times is religious confusion: one third of the world’s people profess Christianity, but among them there is no consensus as to the true version of the religion. Protestantism? Catholicism? Lutheranism? Mormonism? And so on.
The Apostle Paul warned that there would be great deception regarding the gospel, and that it would (and did) affect most of the world: “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them” (2 Corinthians 4:3–4). In this condition, many have undertaken to question God’s true ministers since the beginning, and then others took that authority to question the questioners, resulting in apostasy, heresy, and false religion; in essence, the clay questioning the potter as to what is best for making the vessels (Romans 9:21).
But this was not God’s original intent in founding His Church through His Son, Jesus Christ, whose example of Christianity we are to imitate (1 Corinthians 11:1; cf. John 13:13–17).
So, what do you believe? With regard to what you have been taught, have you asked yourself, “Have I truly done my homework?” Or have you simply accepted the explanations of others, as if you came into a halfway finished movie without seeing the beginning for yourself?
Scripture makes it clear that there is a true Church—built by Jesus Christ—that has never been fully destroyed or blotted out by false religious history or traditions (Matthew 16:17–18). Take the time to do your homework, and find out where it is today! To learn more, order our free booklet, Where Is God’s True Church Today? and read our Tomorrow’s World article, “What Should the Church Be Doing?”