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Saturday, July 12, 2008

You'll Never Know . . .

Yes, this is very true.

You will never know what is in the Bible if you read it like most Christians read it.

Because most Christians are attempting to serve God by keeping the law, they really do not enjoy reading the Bible, or . . . as they refer to it "having their daily devotions".

So, just before they go to sleep at night the tormenting thought hits them: "I haven't read my Bible today?"

"Oh, my, I'm supposed to be a Christian and I haven't read my Bible!"

So they flip it open---it doesn't matter where---(because they are going to daydream about something else anyway while they "have their daily devotions"), and they read for three or four minutes.

After a lifetime of this kind of "study" they do not have the slightest idea what is actually in the Bible.

How do I know this? I've talked to them all over the United States. They really are clueless.

Imagine going to college and reading a textbook like this. Imagine reading a novel like this. Just flip the book open, read a paragraph or two and then slam the book shut and go to sleep. And very possibly, very very possibly, don't even pick up the book again for two or three weeks.

What kind of a grade do you think a student would receive in his class if he "studied" like this?

You know that he would get an "F".

Well . . . many, many Christians are getting "Fs" in the Christian life for the same reason.

Here is an intelligent way to study God's Word:

1. Start at the beginning of a book (not the middle or some other obscure place). It does not matter which book because it is all God's Word.

2.Have a notebook and pen in hand. After each SENTENCE, write in your notebook what you think that sentence means. Write what you feel the Holy Spirit is saying to you.

3. Go through the Bible like this sentence by sentence.

4. And talk to God after you read each sentence. Take time to listen to his voice in your life. You will be amazed what you hear when you take time to listen.

He is a better teacher of His book than any human on this planet.

When you finish one book, then go to the next one.

Don't rush!

Don't do this so you can tell someone how long you have studied. Don't try to be religious. Don't do it so you will be able to say that you read an entire book of the Bible. Don't do it to impress anyone.

Do it because you are trying to commune with the Living God!

I have challenged people all over the world with this very simple exercise. Do this for three months, never miss a day, and then see what happens in your life.

The Bible is a supernatural book; and it is still the best selling book in the world!

God wrote it. Christians often emulate the Bible and say things like: "God's Word is so good."

And then they never actually study it.

If anyone exposes himself on a consistent basis to God's Word his life will be changed. I don't care if you have been a "Christian" for 50 years, or if you have had no interest in God. Your life will be transformed if you actually do what I'm suggesting.

I was recently talking with someone about this and the first thing he said to me was, "I usually go to church."

I told him that he was changing the subject. "I'm not talking about going to church. I'm talking about studying a book called the Bible."

Can you imagine having a discussion with someone about one of Hemingway's books and his response was, "I usually go to church!" You would think you were dealing with a mental freak of some kind.

Satan uses every opportunity to get people sidetracked. And he has certainly been good at deceiving American Christians by keeping them from actually studying God's Word. A few unrelated verses in Sunday School each week is not a serious study of the Bible. I know people who have sat in Sunday School classes for a lifetime and don't have a clue as to what is in the Bible.

A 60-year-old lady told me one time, "Laying on of hands is of the devil."

I guess she never read Hebrews 6:1-2 to find out that "laying on of hands" is one of the six basic doctrines of the Christian faith.

And she had been in church all of her life.

I could site literally dozens of examples where "Christians" showed their ignorance of the Bible after a lifetime of church attendance.

After one of my trips to Israel I was invited to speak at a church. I was astonished beyond words when one of the parishioners asked me, "Did you drive or fly to Israel?"

Where to begin with people like this?!

Many pastors do not know how to study the Scriptures either. They have never been taught, never been told. And so they jump around all over the Bible. The end result is that they end up just as confused as the people in their congregation. They, too, grew up in churches that did not know how to study God's Word.

What a mess!

Two of the greatest needs in the American church are serious Bible study and prayer. Actually studying God's Word and praying would transform any congregation and bring about a real revival.

There are many times when I've wondered if some pastors intentionally make sure that their people do not find out what the Scriptures actually say.

Jesus put it more bluntly:

"How terrible it will be for you experts in religious law! For you hide the key to knowledge from the people. You don't enter the Kingdom yourselves, and you prevent others from entering."

For those of you who think that I fabricated the above statement: It is found in Luke's gospel, 11:52

Hosea 4:6
"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge . . ."

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The Menorah
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Dome of the Rock
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