Isaiah 28-30, Psalm 115
Though we have the words of eternal life at our fingertips in our language and in an easy to read format, most Americans spend very little time in the Bible. Of those that own a Bible, only 11% claim to have ever read it through once from cover to cover, and only 9% have actually read it multiple times. Most who do read the Bible read a line or two as part of a daily devotion, stay in their favorite parts, use it as a reference tool, etc. 15% consider the Bible to be bigoted or harmful, and over 30% consider it nothing more than a book of stories. People have a multitude of reasons for not reading: too difficult, too many interpretations, no longer relevant, not applicable, etc. The overwhelming majority of those making these statements do so without ever having actually read the Bible. When the end comes for each of us, ignorance will not be an excuse.
We read in Isaiah 28:13, "But the word of the Lord was to them, "Precept upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line, Here a little, there a little," That they might go and fall backward, and be broken And snared and caught." That is why I appreciate my church CCOB (Calvary Chapel of Old Bridge) and for that matter the entire Calvary movement for going through the Bible line by line. Though having chapters (inserted in the 1200's) and verses (inserted in the1500's) are helpful as study tools, they have also allowed this cherry-picking approach to Bible reading rather than taking the whole counsel of God. We read the alternative in Isaiah 28:14-15, "Therefore hear the word of the Lord, you scornful men, Who rule this people who are in Jerusalem. Because you have said, "We have made a covenant with death, And with Sheol we are in agreement. When the overflowing scourge passes through, It will not come upon us, For we have made lies our refuge, And under falsehood we have hidden ourselves." There are no shortage of self-help books and wrong philosophies which people adhere to, especially the overwhelming majority who hold to the belief that their good works will earn them a place in heaven. We read in 30:9-10, "That this is a rebellious people, Lying children, Children who will not hear the law of the Lord; Who say to the seers, "Do not see," And to the prophets, "Do not prophesy to us right things; Speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits." This explains the current watered-down "seeker-friendly" church movement which avoids difficult topics which might convict people and make them stop coming. We read in 2 Timothy 4:3-4, that this would be the state of affairs as we approach end times, "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables."
People have their excuses for not reading the Bible as they did in Isaiah's time, As we read in Isaiah 29:11-12, "The whole vision has become to you like the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one who is literate, saying, "Read this, please." And he says, "I cannot, for it is sealed." Then the book is delivered to one who is illiterate, saying, "Read this, please." And he says, "I am not literate." Eternity is too important a matter to put our trust in any church, any man, any self-help method, any philosophy. God has placed our eternity not based on what we do, but on what He ( Jesus Christ) did. We can only be secure of our destination if we abide in His Word. But when we approach His Word we also must make a choice: do we approach it to put in our time or do we approach it with fear and trembling waiting on what the Holy Spirit will reveal to us today. Without the Word of God we have no hope to stand against the onslaught of attacks from the world we live in. Jesus said in John 8:31-32, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: