Recurrent doctrinal error of notable Christian leaders in the last two millennials is the reason you should be a ‘Berean’ Christian. Throughout church history, notable Christian leaders have always erred by preaching directly or indirectly a particular wrong doctrine – Salvation by works but our faithful God always send His servant(s) to correct this error and to remind Christians that salvation is by grace through faith.
After the ascension of Jesus Christ to Heaven, the new believers under the leadership of Peter preached salvation by grace/ faith. Then came some Jewish Christian leaders that started preaching salvation by fulfillment of the law. Thankfully, the Jerusalem council under the leadership of James, earthly brother of Jesus, corrected this error. Then many years later, notable leaders again preached this same erroneous doctrine. Apostle Paul then wrote series of letters (especially, the letter to the Galatians) to correct the error. Apostle Paul was even forced to place a curse on anyone (including himself or an angel) that will preach a gospel contrary to the one based on the finished work of Christ on the cross.
As expected after many years, the church went back to preaching the erroneous doctrine – salvation by works and it was preached until Martin Luther wrote the Ninety –Five Theses or Disputation on the Power of Indulgences in 1517. Luther emphasized that ‘the just shall live by faith.’ Luther left Catholic church to start the Protestant Reformation and this was continued by John Calvin, Huldrych Zwingli and other Protestant Reformers in the 16th– century Europe.
The church then got back the preaching of the real gospel of Jesus Christ…
But, today I must say that history has started to repeat itself. Notable Christian leaders are indirectly preaching another gospel – Salvation by works and fulfillment of the law.
Every believer must beware and be watchful. Understand the real gospel and study especially the book of Romans or/and Galatians if you have some questions. Also be like Berean Christians who went back to check whether what they heard from the great Apostle was in line with the Word of God. Appreciate your pastor, pray for your pastor and support your pastor but always find out if what he or she preaches lines up with the Gospel.