Leviticus 5-7, Psalm 31
A 2017 Barna study examining behaviors and beliefs about the Bible among U.S. adults was conducted. 20% are engaged 4x/week or more in Bible reading and consider the Bible as God’s inerrant Word. 38% hold to the same beliefs, but read less than 4x/week. 23% rarely read the Bible but believe the bulk of the Bible, but consider other parts erroneous or false. 19% consider themselves skeptics and consider the Bible as just another book of the teachings of man. Finally, 13% consider themselves hostile to the Bible. They view the Bible as a tool intended to manipulate and control people. Women are much more likely than men to be active in Bible reading. As of October 2017 the full Bible has been translated into 670 languages, the New Testament alone into 1521 languages and Bible portions or stories into 1121 languages. Within the English language, there are over a hundred versions. The Bible is available in print, on audio, on tapes, etc. Many like to say that it is difficult to comprehend, or that it doesn’t make any sense to them, but this is often just an excuse for one with no desire to be in His Word. I have a 67-year-old sister who is cognitively at a 2nd grade level. We gave her a Bible last year and she reads it every day. I’m sure the Holy Spirit is opening things to her, that we would not believe. My mother-in-law is 91. She was taken from her family by the Nazis at age 11-12, never finishing school, though she is cognitively very sharp. Polish is her native language. For the past 5 years, my wife and she read through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation every year.
We read an interesting portion of Scripture in Leviticus 5:17-19, “If a person sins, and commits any of these things which are forbidden to be done by the commandments of the Lord, though he does not know it, yet he is guilty and shall bear his iniquity. And he shall bring to the priest a ram without blemish from the flock, with your valuation, as a trespass offering. So the priest shall make atonement for him regarding his ignorance in which he erred and did not know it, and it shall be forgiven him. It is a trespass offering; he has certainly trespassed against the Lord.” God prescribed sacrifices to be done when committed out of ignorance. Ignorance has never been a defense for wrongful behavior. We see the prophet Hosea write almost 600-700 years later in Hosea 4:6, “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 God, I also will forget your children.” Ignorance is also condemned in the New Testament. We read Paul writing in Romans 1:19-20, “because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,”.
Many question how God can possibly judge those who never knew. People have many hours on this earth, they choose to spend them on other things. They choose to remain ignorant concerning the things of God. God will never force against their free will. People state that it is too difficult, yet many graduate college. Many state that they have no time, but they can quote sports statistics, discuss the latest TV show, spend countless hours on FaceBook and social media. People are only ignorant out of choice. This choice is their responsibility. Interestingly, parents spend all of their attention getting their kids to do well in school, getting into a good college, excelling in sports or activities, while completely ignoring God. Many state that they don’t want to force them, wanting them to make a decision for themselves when they get older. This is ignorance giving way to more ignorance. One of the major reasons for The One Year Bible Challenge is to combat Biblical illiteracy, even within the church. Let’s reach out to anyone and everyone and encourage them to join along in the study. It is never too late to jump on board
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: