Speculation Can Lead Someone Astray
"Now King Herod heard of him (Jesus), for his name had become well known. And he said, 'John the Baptist is risen from the dead and therefore these powers are at work in him.' Others said, 'It is Elijah.' And others said, 'It is the Prophet, or like one of the prophets.'” Mark 6:14-15 What is speculation? Speculation is looking at something and making guesses about it. What is speculation worth? Zero. In this passage, King Herod heard about this man who had power to heal and to cast out demons. Herod had recently murdered John the Baptist, so his first thought was that John had come back from the dead and was going around doing miracles. But this great and mighty king was ...wrong. Others were speculating that maybe this miracle-worker was Elijah. They had a valid basis for this guess, because they knew the prophecy that the miracle-working Elijah would come before the end of the age, so when they saw Jesus doing miracles, they guessed that he must be Elijah. But they were ...wrong. Others weren't convinced it was Elijah but surely, they thought, he's one of the prophets, and that made them uncomfortable because Israel had killed all the prophets God had sent them. But they too were ...wrong. Is speculation sinful? Not always, because it is important to pay close attention to events and try to understand them, especially as they relate to one's life or well-being, or that of his country. But speculation becomes wrong when it is treated as fact. For example, there are believers who speculate that the Antichrist is one or another of the key players in world politics or religion on the scene today, but the problem is they don't agree with each other, so at least some of them are ...wrong. One day recently the Lord spoke to my heart, "Speculation is not fact." It took me days to ponder the truth of that. And from that came a resolve to try not to put out there my guess on anything, because any guess could not only be wrong, but could lead others astray, and then ...it has become sin. We must always remember that when we state something it can have an impact on others, therefore we must make it clear that when we are guessing at something, that it's just that ...a guess. It can be an "educated guess," but it's still ...a guess. In cases like that it's important to share these speculations only with people of like mind, people who know you well and who are on the same page as far as guessing goes, lest we lead others astray. We all have friends we listen to and we know when they are speculating, and that's fine, it's fun and it can even be important. But it must remain between yourself and those of like mind and like Biblical knowledge, lest it lead someone else astray. It can prompt vigorous discussion and that can be good, but it must be mutually agreed upon and so stated when a subject ...is only speculation.