Know Your Bible

VOL. 11                                                                                                                                                             April 22, 2012                                                                                                                                                                NO. 13


 Should We Read The Bible?

Some people would tell us the Bible will only confuse us unless there is some Clergy to explain what we have read. Others would say we can’t understand the Bible alike. While yet others would say it doesn’t really matter whether we read it or not, just as long as we are honest and sincere in what we are doing.

Somehow in my more than fifty years of preaching and studying God’s word, I have never found these things taught therein. As a matter of fact, when we say that we can’t understand the Bible alike, we are pointing a finger at God, and accusing Him of being the cause for religious division in the world today. Not only is this so, but we are casting a shadow of doubt upon the Holy Scriptures.

Paul said that God made known unto him by revelation, “the mystery; (as I wrote afore in a few words; whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ). Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit.” (Eph. 3:3-5). Evidently Paul didn’t know the Bible would only confuse people when they read it. He said when we read it we can understand. He told Timothy to study to show himself approved unto God (2 Tim. 2:15). Peter says we are to sanctify the Lord God in our hearts and always be ready to give an answer to every man that asketh a reason of our hope (1 Pet. 3:15). The word of God is a lamp to our feet and a light unto our pathway. (Psa. 119:105).

It isn’t the Bible that confuses man, but man’s lack of study of it. It is man’s doctrines that confuse. We can read the Bible and all agree on what it says, but where the problem arises is when man says, “I know that is what the Bible says but...”. Usually this means, sure, I know that is what it says but I am going to do what I want to do.

Friends, when we one day stand before the Son of God in judgment and hear Him say, “Depart from Me, I never knew you”, it will not be because the Bible couldn’t be understood or because God is the author of confusion, but because we didn’t read the Bible to see what God would have us to do. If we are lost, we can’t blame anyone but ourselves. God sent His Son to the world. Jesus gave His life ont the cross. The Holy Spirit came to the apostles and guided them in the writing of the New Testament. It has been printed in almost every language and priced within the range of us all. God doesn’t give us the knowledge of the Bible, this is up to us. If you want to know what God expects of you, read your Bible and it will tell you.

The New Testament is the last will and testament of the Son of God. This is the law that we are under today and the law we will be judged by in the judgment. It isn’t a very large book and it isn’t all that hard to read. I suggest that you start with the book of Matthew and each day read a few chapter. Before you know it, you will have completed the entire New Testament from Matthew to Revelation. Try it! I believe you will find it to be very informative and enlightening instead of confusing. My wife and I started January 1st and read four chapters each day and we will complete the entire Bible from Genesis through Revelation by the end of the year.

---Bobby Robinson

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Those Were The Days


I was reading some religious journals from the 60’s and found numerous times that debates were mentioned either as had happened or were being planned. There are few people today in any religious circle that remember what a debate was. Fewer still were part of those debates. Decades ago debates were quite frequent and varied from place to place. Some debates would have crowds of up to 600 to 800 people a night. One such debate spoke of nearly 1000 people in attendance. I am sure there were other debates of various sizes but the debates happened often.

The focus of the debates would examine doctrinal differences between religious groups and for many years well known men were renowned for their prowess on the debating stage. In the ones that I read after it was also noted how that each participate in the debate was cordial and respectful as they argued their position in favor or against the established point of difference. Debates would challenge Baptist, Methodist, Christian Church and so forth on a field of discussions ranging from the means of salvation, instruments of music, church work and benevolence and a host of topics appealing to the minds of the religious community.

It is painfully clear that debates have fallen by the wayside. Trying to imagine a debate between two parties discussing the issues of salvation in a public venue; attended by 600-800 people each night – is truly a thing of the past. Revivals and gospel meetings rarely attain that level of interest. There seem to be some root causes for the demise of debates and public interest.

Religion is no longer a subject that people want to discuss. It either offends them to have challenges to their faith or they have become so satisfied in their system of faith they will not discuss it. It is harder still to find many people who are interested in having a study in their home. Religion has become the manna of over satisfied self-absorbed individuals who have little time to talk about what they believe in. "You believe what you believe and I will believe what I believe" is the clarion call of the religion of convenience.

How did Jesus view this self-inflicted wound of religious pride? In Matthew 23 the Lord said, "The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do” (vv2-3). Did the Son of God suggest that it did not matter what you believed as long as you believed in God? Did Jesus Christ every challenge the religious groups of His day? "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves” (Mathew 23:15).

The apostle Paul went into the Jewish synagogues to discuss the scriptures on a frequent basis (Acts 13; 14:1; 17; 18; 19:8 for three months). He would find few recipients today interested in debating the scriptures. Satan has dulled our senses with the frivolities of the world. Conviction has given way to convenience. Self-indulgence hearts are guided by carnal desires. Who has time to talk of the Bible? “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children” (Hosea 4:6). These are those days.

---Kent Heaton

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Know Your Bible" is e-mailed weekly by the church of Christ which meets at 112 Roberts Avenue in Wise, Virginia. If you know of others who might benefit from the articles contained in this bulletin, we would be glad to have you submit their e-mail addresses and we will include them in next week's mailing. If you are receiving this bulletin and do not wish to continue to do so, please e-mail us with your desire to be removed from the mailing list and we will remove your address promptly. Continue to the bottom of this page and further instructions will be given as to how you may contact us.

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