Hello. Thank you for reading this. Just yesterday the Lord allowed me to understand something which both enlightened as well as burdened me. It answers the question: “Why Christians, most of them anyway, do not read and study the Word of God?” when I speak of Christians in this article, I am speaking generally.
I have been a pastor for over twenty years, and during this time I have found that one of the greatest challenge is to get Christians to study the Bible for themselves. Some of them do not mind attending courses or seminars to increase their knowledge of the Bible. But to study it for themselves on a regular basis? It is like asking them to run the marathon.
In less than a minute, the Lord allowed me to identify with the average Christian who has a full-time job, a spouse, and perhaps children too. As you can see, he (or she) already has a few balls to juggle, so he doesn’t need another to added. I guess I am one of the very few who has a habit of regular personal bible study. I’ve had it since I was fourteen. Each week, I would spend a minimum of two hours in bible study. Am I expecting this of others just because I am doing it? Is my case the exception rather than the rule?
I saw that Christians, even a new born again believer, can “survive” spiritually with very little knowledge. At his conversion, he would have known that he is a sinner, and out of His love for him God gave His Son to died in his stead. Now, if he would believe in Jesus Christ, he will be a Christian and have eternal life. Hereon, he is expected to live in a godly manner and God will answer when he calls. This is what a typical believer knows. And even if he does not add to this knowledge, he can still be a “good” Christian by attending church and reading the Bible regularly. Christians are not motivated to study the Bible because they do not see the need for them to have an in-depth knowledge of it. Doctrine classes are very often poorly attended for the same reason. They feel that they have, what they call, “a working knowledge” of the Bible. When they or someone else is in need, they are happy just to be able to provide some sort of assurance in the form of cliches such as “Don’t worry; God is in control,” or “I will be praying for you.”
The Christians of the Early Church were in the same state after about forty years from its conception. This compelled the writer of the Book of Hebrews to write: ” For by now you ought to be teachers yet you need someone to teach you the first principles.” Many Christians I spoke with are contend just to be able to “share” their testimonies, their devotional thoughts, and the gospel with others. The standard the Bible holds up for us is, however, not the ability to share but to teach. You can share your experiences and your opinions. But you must teach the truth and defend it. Most Christians can’t do that, I found. According to the writer of Hebrews, these Christians are not just theologically untrained, they are spiritually immature.
Instinctively, and naturally, Christians know that they should at least read the Bible regularly, if not daily. But, as hard as they try, nothing comes to them. They might as well read a novel in Greek (or a foreign language). Devotionals come in handy at times like this. But, unfortunately, instead being an aid or supplement to the Bible, for many they have replaced the Bible.
Consequently, Christians remain in their spiritual infancy for a very long time. “Babes” are not only unskilled in the word of righteousness, they are also clueless about what is God’s Will for them. And even if it were revealed to them, would they be equipped to fulfill it? According to Paul the apostle, the Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, reroof, correction, and training in righteousness. It makes the man of God ready for every good work.
So you see, it is essential for the word of God to dwell richly in every Christian. Each one must do more to be skilled in the word of righteousness than the casual listening of weekly sermons. More and more, preachers are delivering homilies instead of expositing the Bible. As a result, congregations leave at the end of the service impressed (by the humor and charisma of the speaker) than convicted (by the Holy Spirit).
I have always been amazed at how nearly every Jew knows the Scripture so well. I discovered that they were trained from young. By their thirteenth birthday, they must be able to quote chunks of the Torah…in Hebrew…word perfect. This is a tradition that Christianity would greatly benefit from.
It is not too late for you to start. Begin by setting aside an evening each week for Bible study. Dont hesitate to ask if you need help.