"..Yet in My Flesh I Will See GOD" [Job. 19.26]

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Why Many Christians Despise Reading the Bible

Many pastors would deny it, but if you're honest enough, you'd admit that a lot of Christians today despise reading the bible. Young people or adults. They'd bury themselves in various church activities but not in seriously studying the bible.

I always study people's attitude toward the Word of God when I visit churches.

You'd see them seriously involved in the choir, worship team, fellowship, church concert or cantata (or other stage ministries), medical mission, feeding program, gifts giving, social work or community outreach, etc.

But it's different when it comes to serious bible studies.

Listless During Bible Studies

When bible study comes, they show disinterest, sluggishness, lethargy, don't pay much attention (you always catch their thoughts wandering far from the topic) or don't show up at all. Or they'd show up late, when bible study is almost over.

Others go there just to see their crush in church, or be recognized, or because they have responsibilities or positions.

I once checked a group of young people in church about how familiar they were in the bible. Mostly, all they knew was John 3:16 and other popular passages like that, and these were long-time church members. Amusingly, they were mostly strangers to Romans 3:10.

Romans 3:10 was among very basic and easy passages to us when I was in a college campus ministry where we seriously studied and meditated the bible. Everybody knew what it was. But today, you ask young people active in church about it and they'd likely give you a blank stare.

What more passages in Zephaniah, Habakkuk, Micah or Nahum?

And yes, I wonder how many church people today actually meditate God's Word in their quiet times alone with the Lord? Even among pastors---I wonder who'd study in bible schools or seminaries if these institutions didn't give out diplomas or certificates?

Most pastors enroll in bible institutions for the diploma and credentials---to earn degrees and titles, probably to get higher-paying ministry jobs---not really for their love for the Word.

And you who are reading this---do you love meditating God's Word day and night?

Born-Again Yet WORDless

It's alarming how the number of born-again people who despise studying the Word is growing. They received Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, profess being born again, and yet there they are, terribly lacking interest or love for the Word, despising or even hating the Word of God.

They think being active in church is all it takes. And many church people and pastors mistake their activeness in church as a sign of "spiritual growth."

There's no other way to measure spiritual growth and maturity except seeing how a person is deep in God's Word and living it out daily.

Church involvement  and seminary studies prove nothing.

I asked the Lord about this and one day he showed me something. There are two kinds of people who receive Jesus as Savior---those who received him because they fear going to hell and those who received him because they fell in love with him.

Well, there's a third---those who just became used to going to church. Somehow they have equated that with "receiving Jesus," especially after they have learned church lingo and traditions.

There is no fear in love. The reverse is true---there is no love in fear. But perfect love casts out fear. I received Jesus Christ not because I feared going to hell---it was more of discovering how deep he truly loved and cared for me. I was feeling extremely and rebelliously worthless in those days when I heard the Good News that Jesus saves from sin and hell because he sincerely cares for people.

I saw how Jesus actually loved and cared for me.

That caught my attention---no, that nailed my attention. I had thought that God hated me because of the wrong things that had happened in my life. But hearing the Gospel, I realized how wrong I was, aside from how wicked and sinful I had been and how I needed Jesus to save me.

I knew I was a sinner needing God's grace. But more than that, I embraced God's love and concern for me.

I fell in love with God.

Since I received Jesus on September 5, 1980, I have been extremely dependent on the Word of God. I've been like an addict---I desperately need the Word, even craving for it. And each time I have it, I experience extreme highs.

If You Love Me

Then God told me a secret---a secret that those who still loved the world can never discover. He showed me how to know if you received Jesus out of love and not out of fear: "If you love me you will obey my commands" [John 14.15].

Those who receive Jesus out of love obey or keep his commands or his WORD. If you don't have that love for God's Word, it means you received him out of fear.

And fear has nothing to do with love. Even demons fear God [James 2.19]. But they can't love God. Only God's true sons and daughters can love Him because true sons and daughters of God obey his Word.

If you love Jesus and keep his Word, only then will he ask the Father to send you the Holy Spirit.

"If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth."
You see, if you have the Holy Spirit in you, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE not to love the Word, study it deeply and live it out daily. You can't claim to have the Holy Spirit and yet be uninterested about the Word. 

The reason many church people cannot love the Word as they ought to is because they still belong to the world.

"The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him."
Even if you have just a little bit of the worldly system still in you, you cannot accept the Holy Spirit. And anyway, if you don't love the Word, Jesus won't ask the Father to send you the Spirit of Truth. Everything has to be according to God's Word, not traditions or church denominational manuals.

If you received Jesus out of fear of hell , you have to re-think and re-consider your salvation. Get serious with it before it's too late.

"If you...believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."[Romans 10.9]

Salvation is believing with your heart (genuine belief because you love God), and not just knowing in your head (because you feared going to hell).

Some people think they're born again, not realizing that all that happened was that they transferred church membership.

You will know them by their fruit, says Jesus.

And the most important fruit of being genuinely born-again is loving the Word, being deep in it, and living it out daily. If you love the Word like that, the fruit of the Spirit will naturally manifest in you.

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