• Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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Will there be Remedial Classes in Heaven?

BibleI often wonder about things like, “Will there be remedial classes on reading the Bible in heaven for those Christians who spent little time reading it here on earth?” Maybe in heaven, God has a way to pour the Scriptures into our heads and we are given instant knowledge of its contents. Of course, we had rather have this gift now because we lack the self-discipline to study the Bible on our own.

On one occasion, I walked into a teacher’s classroom after school to discover that she and another teacher were having a lively discussion about whether Christians were the only ones going to heaven. They knew I was a Christian and invited me to join the discussion. I sat on the edge of a table and listened. In the meantime, a third teacher joined us from a nearby classroom as I listened to the conversation. Before I could say anything, the third teacher began to answer their questions by quoting specific verses of the Bible from memory and then explaining the context and meaning of each one. When she had finished, she had said everything that needed to be said and had explained it beautifully. Although I had been ready to take part in the discussion, I was in awe of how the third teacher had answered their questions so thoroughly. I knew, however, that this lady had been a Christian much longer than I; that she read the Bible consistently and taught the Scriptures to women’s classes at her church.

Have you ever avoided a conversation with an acquaintance or colleague on the subject of Christianity because you felt inadequate to defend the Bible? Charles H. Spurgeon once observed, “Defend the Bible? I would just as soon defend a lion. Just turn the Bible loose. It will defend itself.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

Often, our reluctance to talk about Christianity in a casual conversation is our lack of familiarity with the Word of God. This is why so many young men and women abandon their faith in their early college years. When impressionable teenagers sit in a university classroom taught by a well-read atheist-Marxist professor, the effectiveness of our youth programs, sermons, and family commitment to Jesus Christ is put on trial. Unfortunately, it is often found wanting. As a parent, I can now see that the Bible should be taught to children early and thoroughly. Teddy Roosevelt went so far as to say, “A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education.”

The Scriptures transform our minds, but it requires a Holy Spirit disciplined intellectual, life-long pursuit. My soul shudders when I hear church members say that they just can’t find the time to read and study the Bible. These people seem to believe that once they have made a profession of faith and joined a church that all they need is a sermon once a week (which they do not even bother to bring a Bible to). The truth is that as Christians, we never outgrow our need to read and study Scripture. The wealth of Biblical treasure seems to grow more abundant to me after years of study.

All Christians know that the Holy Scripture contains everything necessary for salvation. Our problem is that we don’t act like it. When it comes to setting aside a moment of time to read and study the Bible, we are often dismal failures. How can we expect to be useful servants of God without spending time in His Word? As D. L. Moody once said, “If a person neglects the Bible there is not much for the Holy Spirit to work with. We must have the Word.”

Samuel at Gilgal

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