Home Bible Study- Lutz, Florida
Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
(2 Timothy 2:15)
This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 1Timothy 2:3-4
The Communication of the Remnant (Part 8)
Throughout this teaching series I have taken you through the Bible to show you that when given the opportunity to believe God or to go their own way, the majority time and time again has chosen to go their own way.
Only the few, or the remnant, believed God; thereby demonstrating faith in His Word.
This trend continues…
Teaching the Word of Truth
2 Timothy 2
2: The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to (what kind of men) faithful men who will be able to (do what) teach others also.
Why do people decide to become teachers?
I believe it goes way beyond educating students so that they can pass a test or an exam. It’s much more than that. We teach others so that they, in turn, will teach others, and this legacy is then passed on from generation to generation.
9: Give instruction to a wise man and he will be still wiser, Teach a righteous man and he will increase his learning.
The primary role of the pastor in the 1st century Christian Church was Bible teaching.
Over the years Bible teaching has become “less” important as churches have grown in size and other ministries have come on the scene (in the modern day church) to dare I say take its place.
The majority of the churches today have “delegated” this most important mission field to their Sunday School Ministries and the pastor or church leader has stepped aside.
Now for the most part these Bible study programs are facilitated by volunteers who have little if any Bible teaching experience. Rarely will you find one being led by a pastor or a member of the clergy today. The smaller churches simply can’t afford it.
The larger churches (or mega-churches) can and often do to some extent but not always.
There are only so many pastors and junior pastors to go around.
So what you wind up with is a group of people sitting in a room, with brochures, or materials the church has purchased or provided. In some cases your Bible study may use a DVD or an audio tape such as Rick Warren's “Purpose Driven Life” for example.
My wife and I participated in the “Purpose Driven Life” Bible study at our church.
It went on for more than 8 weeks, if I remember correctly. Each week we came to the Bible study, we watched the prescribed DVD (Rick Warren) commentary, and then we sat in smaller groups with our Purpose Driven Life workbooks, and we discussed certain aspects pertaining to that week’s course.
Important to note: WE DID NOT OPEN OUR BIBLES ONCE!
Back to the original thought; before you actually get to the point of participating in the Bible study at church you will first most assuredly have blocks of time set aside for fellowship, food, coffee, and prayer time. Please note: by the time you wade through these activities there will be very little time left on the clock for your Bible study…and so on it goes.
Now is this really a Bible study?
I mean you’re viewing a DVD, listening to an audio tape; or you’re reading a brochure.
But is any of this really studying your Bible? Think!
Since when is reading anything called a study?
I read through the Fox News webpage yesterday, but I couldn’t say I studied it.
I read through the classified ads, but I certainly didn’t study any of it.
Since when is watching anything called a study?
I watched a T.V. program last night. I don’t believe I can honestly say I studied it.
Who’s fooling who? Let’s be honest with ourselves.
I think we call these church-offered Bible studies a Bible study to lift ourselves up erroneously. It’s fantasy. You’re kidding yourselves. You think you’re accomplishing something worthwhile when in actuality you are not.
It would be different if these folks left their individual Bible studies, and then went home with their brochures, or what-not, and then continued to study the Word of God on their own in their homes or in smaller groups. But statistics show that doesn’t happen.
Facts are facts. Very few people read their Bible and fewer still study it.
Furthermore, statistics show that the average church-goer only remembers 10% of the preacher’s sermon on any given Sunday. That breaks down to approximately 1 word out of every dozen or so spoken by their preacher. By Wednesday, the church-goer only remembers 5% or less of the sermon, even the really “good ones.”
So is it any different with a Bible study group member in his or her Bible study?
I don’t think so.
I have attended many Bible study groups over the years.
I have led many Bible study groups over the years.
I have more than enough experience in this area to offer opinion but instead I’ll ask a couple questions:
How’s the church’s plan working out?
Is “downsizing” Bible teaching a good idea?
Are your Bible study groups getting the job done?
As my mother often said, “The proof is in the pudding.”
I watched the annual Teenage Jeopardy Tournament program last week.
Although these teenagers were young and still in high school I have to be honest.
I was blown away by their intellects. They were educated on a wide range of subjects.
Then they came to “The Bible” category.
Not one of the three players answered one question correctly in this category.
Is this a problem? What do you think? Does God matter?
It’s said that most Americans are biblically illiterate. For example:
A Barna poll noted that 12% of adults believe that Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife.
50% of high school seniors thought that Sodom and Gomorrah were husband and wife. When asked, many said that Billy Graham preached the Sermon on the Mount.
Clearly, somebody is doing something wrong somewhere…
When we think about learning our ABCs, the alphabet and the basics of language come to mind—all are vital for communication. Well, we live in a time when it seems the basic ABCs of Christianity are not being taught in the Church, as they once were.
Over the years, I’ve met many people who teach Sunday school (or lead a youth or adult Bible study) who have told me that so much of their material now seems so watered down. In fact, as someone said to me, “I’m tired of the fluff and stuff.” “Where’s the Meat?”
Indeed, as we have examined much of the currently available curricula being used for Sunday schools, youth outreaches, adult Bible studies, and so on, a lot of it waters down the basic truths of the Bible. And much of it concentrates on spiritual aspects, relationship building, and devotional thoughts (of course, some of that is needed), but it’s in much heavier doses today. Too much.
The 2009 “Beemer Study” (from America’s Research Group) helped explain why two-thirds of young people are leaving the church by college age.
The study became the basis of the best-selling book “Already Gone “by Britt Beemer who discovered that young people are beginning to doubt the Truth of the Bible at a much younger age than we all believed.
The research concluded that even Bible believing churches were not teaching their children and adults how to use apologetics to defend the faith, so that they wouldn’t be intimidated by the attacks of the world against Christianity.
Actually, when you think about it, students are being taught a form of apologetics in the public school system. Even though there is a minority of Christians serving as “missionaries” in this system, by and large, students are being taught an apologetic to defend atheism. For instance, they are being told:
· there never was a global Flood
· the evidence is against creation
· the universe formed through a big bang and is billions of years old
· fossils show how people evolved from ape-like creatures
At the same time, most churches and Christian homes have tended to treat the Bible as a book of stories; in today’s vernacular, the word “story” is often taken to mean a fairytale. As a result, recent generations have doubted the Bible’s history.
This doubt leads to unbelief.
No wonder we are seeing such a massive exodus of youth from our churches.
In response to the alarming exodus, many church leaders have tried to make curricula more entertaining. But in doing so all it does is water down the content.
They’ve collectively reduced God’s Word to a “story book.”
The Barna Group supports this statement with their statistical poll taken back in 2007.
The Majority continue to wrestle with the concept of believing God!
When it comes to believing in and accepting the Truth of God’s Word literally, the vast majority reject the notion outright.
With this thought in mind, the church today is doing little to turn this trend around.
Far too many churches would rather teach “fluff and stuff” instead of the “meat” of God’s Word to their parishioners. The youth who represent the future of the church recognize this. 24% of teens and twenty-some things report “the Bible is not taught clearly or often enough.” I believe that number is higher.
Although the pastor and the church have a teaching responsibility you are not off the hook. The main responsibility for Bible learning is yours.
If every church in your hometown shut its doors, and every pastor quit their job, this still does not give you an excuse to stop learning Scripture. The Bible is not a mystery.
You don’t need a PHD to understand it.
The Bible gives a man all the truth that he needs to please God:
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
“William R. Newell in one of his books, writing in 1937, in one of his footnotes wrote—and he wasn’t pinpointing any one denomination—but he said, “As fast as modernism is coming into the churches, I can foresee the day where the only place you will hear the Truth of the Word of God will be in a Home Bible study.”
Well, we’re getting there fast, no doubt about it, because much of Christendom is apostatizing. They hear everything but the truth. Not all churches are like that – there are still some good ones still out there. But there are not nearly as many as there were 50 years ago.
In addition, there’s this comment from Francis L. Patton, President of Princeton University from 1902-1913. I know it’s been awhile but how bright was this man…
“The only hope of Christianity is in the rehabilitating of the Pauline theology. It is back, back, back, to an incarnate Christ and the atoning blood, or it is on, on, on to atheism and despair.”
© Copyright 2011
GJ Heitzman’s Ministry
All Rights Reserved