Know Your Bible
May 2002

The Importance Of Bible Knowledge

It is not difficult to convince someone of the importance of knowledge they need pertaining to their job, a hobby they like, or other item of interest to them. We desire to know all we can about our job in order that we might do it better. A hobby or something of a particular interest is more enjoyable the more we learn about it. Should we not have the same desire to know spiritual things that pertain not only to our lives now but eternity, too?

The importance of Bible knowledge can be seen in that it can give us the PROPER CONCEPT OF GOD. We can know that God is the Creator of all things (Genesis 1:1). It is in Him that "we live, and move, and have our being" (Acts 17:28). While we are His offspring, we must not change Him in to some graven artwork or any other thing that man might devise. While "the heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork"(Psalms 19:1), these things do not tell us about God's will. That's the importance of Bible knowledge.

Knowledge of the Bible also gives us the PROPER CONCEPT OF SALVATION. This is certainly important in view of the fact there so many false concepts. Many, today, have forgotten why Jesus came into the world. "And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins." (Matthew 1:21). Since He is the one who can save us from our sins, we need to listen to what He says. "I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins." (John 8:24). "I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." (Luke 13:3,5). "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 10:32). "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." (Mark 16:16).

May we all realize the importance of Bible knowledge and begin our search for the truth that we might put it into practice in our lives.

---E.R. Hall, Jr.

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Some Bible Fools

Who is a fool? This is not left for us to answer for, more times than not, we are partial. The Bible plainly tells us who is a fool for God knows man inside and out. "Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do." (Hebrews 4:13).

HE WHO SAYS THERE IS NO GOD. (Psalms 14:1). Why would anyone say there is no God? It is certainly not because of a lack of evidence for His existence. All the natural world around us serves as that evidence (Psalms 19:1). He believes there is no God because that is what he wants to believe. A sinner would wish there was no God for then he would have no one with whom to reckon nor give an account. Then, too, there are folks who live so long without God they begin to think there is none. What would be gained by doing away with God? We would be free to do as we will! That's what some people want, anyway.

HE WHO TRUSTS IN HIS OWN HEART. This is the person who depends on his own judgement and refuses God's council. "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise." (Proverbs 12:15). Why is this person a fool? Because our hearts are subject to error. Even the wisest people can be wrong. "There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." (Proverbs 16:25). "O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps." (Jeremiah 10:23). The self-confident fool does not glorify God. It is, indeed, folly to believe in God and yet not do what He tells us to do. "And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" (Luke 6:46). Our hearts are not to be trusted. "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" (Jeremiah 17:9). So, we must never set our hearts above what God has revealed in His word. Just as the sailor is a fool who trusts his judgement rather than the compass, we are a fool to trust our own feelings and judgements over what God's word teaches.

THE COVETOUS MAN. The man in Luke 12:13-21 was a fool because he was blind to the source of his wealth. We must never forget that "...the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof." (1 Corinthians 10:26) and ever be reminded to " not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;" (1 Timothy 6:17). The man of Luke 12 recognized none of these things. It was "MY goods" and "MY barns". He supposed that riches, when hoarded, would be a comfort. Instead, they are a burden. "For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." (1 Timothy 6:10). The man of Luke 12 boasted of the future. He said "I will" when he should have been doing what James 4:13-15 teaches: "Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that."

HE WHO HEARS BUT DOES NOT OBEY. "And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it." (Matthew 7:26,27). He is foolish because he thinks there is virtue in hearing but hearing is vain unless it is followed by obedience. "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." (James 1:22). For anyone to be a hearer of God's word and not a doer, is to show they are not in fear of the Judgement day. Yet in that day whether we have obeyed or not will have serious consequences "And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;" (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9).

HE WHO DOES NOT PREPARE HIMSELF. Those whom Jesus refers to in Matthew 25:1-13 were fools because they lived only for the present. They forgot about judgement to come and it was not real to them that "...we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad." (2 Corinthians 5:10). They are fools because they do not heed the repeated admonition to be ready and to watch. Instead, they sought to find solace in other things. They may have thought that the fact they were invited was sufficient to assure them a place in the wedding but because of their own neglect they were refused admittance. Claims to being a Christian are all around us but the proof of the claim lies in whether or not we are "doing the will of the Father" (Matthew 7:21). The life we are living must be in harmony with the will of the Father as expressed in the New Testament or else we will be workers of "iniquity". (Matthew 7:23). We live in this life to prepare. If we become too busy with things of this world that keeps us from putting the kingdom of God and His righteousness first (Matthew 6:33), we will hear Him say, "Depart". We will have played the fool. May we not neglect but prepare to appear before Him in judgement.

---E.R. Hall, Jr.

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MAY 26-31.

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