From the Preacher’s Pen… Many have commented how much they missed the blessing of being together for worship. We need to pray that God will teach us the same lesson about reading our Bibles! Can you imagine NOT having access to God’s word for two months. Would you miss it? If you really care about God, then take time to read His word today!

When You Don’t Read Your Bible

Ignorance is really NOT bliss. When we are ignorant of something, we can easily be deceived into believing what is totally, perhaps even dangerously untrue. A few weeks back the President made a comment about wishing we could just take a disinfectant to combat the virus from inside our bodies. In their fervor to mock anything he says, the press reported that the President advised drinking liquid disinfectant. They then proceeded to have “experts” talk about how that could never work and was totally absurd. So there, Mr. Stupid President!

What many failed to notice (and a few of the real experts in the field comment on but were mostly ignored) is that what he proposed is actually a basic layman’s explanation of how many medicines work. For example, all chemotherapy essentially works that way and so do numerous other “medicines” for various illnesses. The point is, when ignorant people savagely criticize someone, they really want to justify what they believe or do and are NOT the least interested in the truth.

The same thing happens when people fail to read their Bible and yet profess to want to serve God. Without KNOWING God’s will, we are most likely going to invent some fanciful nonsense that has absolutely zero basis in fact.

The first example to consider is the “Sinners Prayer.” The idea that salvation comes by saying the words invented by a false teacher without regard to anything God says in the Bible, really doesn’t deserve any serious consideration.  Still, let’s check out God’s word and see what He says about the “Sinners Prayer.” Go ahead and check your Bible. I’ll wait….

….Have you found anything yet? Of course NOT! The “Sinners Prayer” is NEVER mentioned anywhere in the Bible.

Of course, if we recall how the Bible is designed, we know that the New Testament is the place to look for God’s plan of salvation for people today. We should also recall that the only book specifically dealing with the spread of the Gospel to non-Christians is the book of Acts. So that is the best place to go to learn how to be saved.

Those that are outside of Christ, so we learn from the book of Acts, are told to do several things that lead to salvation. The next to last step involves actually becoming a part of Christ and His church, also known as baptism or reenacting the death, burial and resurrection into a new, reborn state. The final step is that of remaining faithful to Jesus and His will for us as long as we live.

Yes, we many times oversimplify it to say (as Peter did in 1 Peter 3:21) that baptism saves us. But that’s just saying “take an internal disinfectant” as a super-simplified way of referring to an antibiotic, for example.

Every single saved person this side of the cross of Christ and establishment of His church on the first Pentecost after His death (cf. Acts 2) has done those things to be saved. NOTHING else works and nothing else is ever taught by God.

Let’s consider a second example of not really reading the Bible but nevertheless forming an opinion based entirely on ignorance. This one comes from a person posting on the internet their “proof” that the Bible is full of hate and error and that you won’t hear about the real Bible “nonsense” in church.

The verse that “proves” all this is Joshua 23:15 and it reads, It shall come about that just as all the good words which the Lord your God spoke to you have come upon you, so the Lord will bring upon you all the threats until He has destroyed you from off this good land which the Lord your God has given you.

There it is! The proof that God is hateful and that preachers lie to you by not telling you what God is really like! A single sentence ripped from the context and forced to say exactly the opposite of what God was saying is somehow “proof” that God is wrong.

Well, truthfully, we see the news media and internet doing just that on a daily basis. Are you impressed?

Hopefully, you went back and read Joshua 23 and saw what was actually going on. As Joshua has now brought peace to the Land and rest for God’s people, they are warned about becoming complacent and forgetting God.

Yes, God will bless them (and us) richly if we are faithful and do His will. But just as certain as God’s blessings are God’s curses for those that turn their backs on Him.

Joshua’s very next verse (Joshua 23:16 is actually the completion of his original statement) says: When you transgress the covenant of the Lord your God, which He commanded you, and go and serve other gods and bow down to them, then the anger of the Lord will burn against you, and you will perish quickly from off the good land which He has given you.

When we don’t let God speak, when we don’t read our Bibles and get the whole picture when doing it, we are just as foolish as those that hate God. In reality, unless we are daily spending time in God’s word and in prayer, we are instead daily giving our allegiance to Satan and sin.

Yes, it IS that important!

~~ Lester P. Bagley