I have heard people provide some very odd ideas about God and the Holy Bible. Television ministers are notorious for breeding these odd ideas. In addition, they have deceived others with their money swindling games and choosing to live rich and extravagant life-styles because they profess to be great “men of God.” My question is: Which God are they talking about?
My mother used to say, “If you took all the money out of religion there would be very few preaching the gospel.” She may have been wrong about other things but she was right about this fact.
There are also people who are not strong enough to alter their present lifestyle in order to form a relationship with Jesus Christ. Just like any other relationship, it takes time, dedication, study, prayer and worship in order to form this relationship. If a person does not have a passion for Jesus Christ they will not be able to share in these joyful experiences and they will miss out on a great deal.
If you are one of these people, I urge you to consider the short span of time you will exist on this planet. Compare the huge span of time you will spend in eternity. Can you even begin to imagine what “forever and ever” really is? If you understand that your life is very short compared to eternity, why then would a person fight so hard for money and power during this short span of time? Wouldn’t it be more sensible to concentrate on eternity and where you will spend it?
Some people complain that they cannot study the Bible because it contains too many “thee’s” and “thou’s.” So does Shakespeare; in fact, I can understand God’s Word much easier than I can Shakespeare. Instead of complaining, I strongly urge you to visit the three websites below and purchase a book, video or audio. Why these websites? Because they are the materials I used when I began learning how to study the Bible and I know they are written by born-again, saved Christians.
The method I used when I began learning how to read and study the Bible was that when a Bible reference was given in the book, audio or video, I would look it up. Next, I would ask God to guide my thoughts. If you will give Bible study one ounce of effort, God will take care of the rest. But you need to put forth the effort or the blessing will be unobtainable. Try these web sites:
Also, another tip is NOT to read the Bible looking for ways to discredit it. You must have some level of faith in God to grasp the simplicity of His message.
Hal Lindsey said it best in his best seller, The Late Great Planet Earth: “There are other places men search for answers; philosophy, meditation, changing environment, science. Please don’t misunderstand me; all of these are good if used properly. However, if we are to be absolutely honest, if we are to use our intellectual integrity, let’s give God a chance to present His views.”
If you take the time you will find that with the right mindset, the Bible is actually a very interesting, detailed account of our history and future. It tells us where we came from, where we are at now and what’s going to happen tomorrow. It’s our entire human existence from start to finish in one book that is shorter than War and Peace. The Bible is such an interesting book that you could read the same chapter every day and pick up new information and insight every time. No book like it exists or will exist on the planet – ever. Plus, God has never made any amendments or changes to it in 6,000 years. Mankind cannot even come close to making that claim.
One of my favorite books in the Bible is Ecclesiastes, written by Solomon (the most intelligent man that every existed or will exist on Earth.) He addresses many questions we still ask today and answers them with infallible truth. For example:
Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.
That simplistic statement actually has great depth to it and it is certainly, and infallibly is correct.
Why is the Bible such an important book for you to read? Simply because in reading it, you are alone with God. You will learn what is right and wrong for you and your daily life. While going to church is fine, it isn’t necessary to have other people tell you how to live and develop a relationship with Jesus Christ. God has something special and unique for every one of His children. What works for me, may not work for you. So you need to talk directly to God and get direction directly from God, not people. And what greater way to understand Him than being alone, one-on-one with Him and His magnificent Word; the Holy Bible?
When you begin your study of the Bible, you will begin to have many questions. This is good. There are many things in the Old Testament that I don’t understand. For example I used to be perplexed about all the rituals God demanded of His followers. I couldn’t imagine anyone taking an innocent dove or lamb, sticking a knife in it and sacrificing it to God for a sin they committed. I don’t think I could have done it with the mindset I have today. So I asked God why these acts were necessary.
He replied (by speaking to my mind) that people that existed in this day and age were accustomed to Baal worship of pagan gods. Sacrificing was not thought of in the same manner we look at sacrificing today.
In addition, since Jesus had not been born and died for our sins (ending all sacrifice), the acts of sacrifice were necessary because without the shedding of blood, sins cannot be forgiven. The act of dying is the ultimate gift of love. If you have a child, wouldn’t you freely give your life to save theirs? Most parents would. This is true love. In the same token, killing animals and offering them as a sacrifice was an act of true humility for the sin committed. Now, the Old Testament may be a little easier to comprehend.
For this reason you may want to begin your initial study of the Bible with the New Testament. This section refers to an age of history that you and I can understand because it is the same age of history that we are all living in right now; the age of grace. But still, the Old Testament is necessary to balance out the Bible; but it may take joining a Bible study group and doing research in specific areas before you can begin to understand many parts of it.
Also, never forget to ask God for direction first, especially when you are studying the Bible. If you need to know the meaning of something you are studying, God will reveal it to you. If He does not reveal it to you, don’t try to make up an answer. As we discussed in a previous article, you don’t always give to your child everything that child asks for. In the same manner, God will not always answer every question you have at the time you want that question answered.
I have found that many times, God will lead me into a situation in my life where I experience the answer by living through it. Then, the answer has much more meaning and depth. Praise God that He did not initially answer my question. I would have never understand the answer in the same way if I had not lived and experienced it.
Bottom line: Yes, you should read and study the Bible and you need to spend time in prayer every day with Jesus Christ. The rewards are so great, they last throughout eternity.
The 1611 King James Bible
If you are unable to locate a copy of The King James Bible AV 1611 edition in order to compare the verses above to your Bible, click here to view the online version available on this website or click here to download the entire AV 1611 King James Bible in PDF format for reading offline. You must have Adobe Acrobat reader installed on your computer to view the PDF version. Click here and download this free reader if you do not have Adobe Acrobat reader.