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Knowing the Bible

 

Bible, Translation of

           The story is told of four ministers discussing the pros and cons of various bible translations and paraphrases. Eventually each stated which version, in his opinion, is the best. The first minister said he used the King James because the Old English style is beautiful and produces the most reverent picture of the Holy Scriptures. The second said he preferred the New American Standard Bible because he felt it comes nearer to the original Greek and Hebrew texts. The third minister said his favorite was the paraphrased Living Bible because his congregation was young, and it related to them in a practical way.

           All three men waited while the fourth minister sat silently. Finally he said, “I guess when it comes to translations and paraphrased editions of the Bible, I like my Dad’s translation best. He put the Word of God into practice every day. It was the most convincing translation I’ve ever seen.” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Bible, Hatred of

           It is told that many years ago, while on a visit to England, a wealthy businessman was fascinated by a powerful microscope. Looking through its lens to study crystals and the petals of flowers, he was amazed at their beauty and detail. He decided to purchase a microscope and take it back home. He thoroughly enjoyed using it until one day he examined some food he was planning to eat for dinner. Much to his dismay, he discovered that tiny living creatures were crawling in it. Since he was especially fond of this particular food, he wondered what to do. Finally, he concluded that there was only one way out of his dilemma—he would destroy the instrument that caused him to discover the distasteful fact. So he smashed the microscope to pieces!

           “How foolish!” you say. But many people do the same thing with the Word of God. They hate it and would like to get rid of it because it reveals their evil nature.

 

Bible, Knowledge of

           There is a story about a New England teacher who quizzed a group of college-bound high-school juniors and seniors on the Bible. The quiz preceded a “Bible as Literature” class he planned to teach at Newton High School in Massachusetts, generally considered one of the better public schools in the nation. Among the most unusual answers from his students were: “Sodom and Gomorrah were lovers” and “Jezebel was Ahab’s donkey.”

           Other students thought that the four horsemen appeared “on the Acropolis,” that the New Testament Gospels were written by Matthew, Mark, “Luther,” and John, that Eve was created “from an apple,” and that Jesus was “Baptized by Moses.” The answer that took the misinformation prize was given by a fellow who was academically in the top 5 percent of the graduating class. The question: “What was Golgotha?” The answer: “Golgotha was the name of the giant who slew the apostle David.”

 

Bible, “Problem” Passages in

           Mark Twain once said: “Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture which they cannot understand; but as for me, I have always noticed that the passages in Scripture which trouble me most are those which I do understand.”

 

Bible, Context in

           There is a story of two lawyers on opposing sides of a case. During the trial, one thought he would make a great impression on the jury by quoting from the Bible. So he said, concerning his opponent’s client, “We have it on the highest authority that ‘All that a man has will he give for his skin.’”

           The other lawyer knew the Bible better. He said, “I am very much impressed by the fact that my distinguished colleague here regards as the highest authority the one who said, ‘All that a man has will he give for his skin.’ You will find that this saying comes from the Book of Job and the one who utters it is the devil. And that is who he regards as the highest authority!”

 

Bible, Context in

           On a Christmas card the following verse was cited: “They exchanged gifts and made merry…(Rev. 11:10).” The context of the verse, which describes anything but what it appeared to mean on the Christmas greeting, is rejoicing over the death of God’s two witnesses at the hand of the beast.

 

The Bible

In 1989, Americans purchased Harlequin romance novels at the rate of 7191 per hour.  If only God's people would show a similar interest in his word!

 

The Bible

As an illustration of "learned" scholars tampering with the Scriptures, I quote from a newspaper article:  "An electronic computer figures that St. Paul is the author of only four of the 14 epistles attributed to him in the New Testament.  Two researchers fed the computer a quarter of a million words of Greek prose to

reach this conclusion.  They said the method could be used to determine the authorship of any part of the Bible."

   Truly amazing - a mindless machine questioning the Word of God! If its findings were correct, they would make Paul a liar, for he claims the authorship of at least 13 of the epistles.  Just think, a lifeless mechanism "proving" that the Bible is not true!  The computer is now a disputer.  Strangely enough, it was proven by the same computer analysis that the man who wrote the book about these

conclusions couldn't have been its author.

 

The Bible

Henry Ford is credited with saying, "Cut your own wood and you

warm yourself twice."  What he meant was that the man who chops his own firewood not only enjoys the heat from the logs burning in his fireplace, but he also gets physically warmed from the exercise involved in his labor.

   If you really want to enjoy your Bible, you should "cut your own wood" by studying things for yourself.  Check the cross references, look up the meaning of key words, and ask God to show you how the passage on which you are meditating applies to your life.  The truth you discover for yourself in the Word will have a fresh, new flavor.

   Have you tried to "cut your own wood?"

 

The Bible

The heads of a thousand major American companies and twelve hundred universities were asked which book had the most influence on their lives and far and away the number one book was the Bible. --Associated Press 6-6-90

 

The Bible

A 91-year-old woman wrote, "I spend about one hour each day with my Lord, reading my Bible and Christian literature.  When people ask what good all my reading does if I can't remember what I've read, my answer is always the same.  I'm in pretty good health, have a roof over my head, and have plenty of food to eat... I also have two sons and one grandson who love me dearly.  My cup runneth over.  I am not concerned about my memory.  I just do my reading and God does the remembering."

   Does the way look dark?  Keep reading God's Word.  if you can no longer read, listen to it on tapes.  Thank the Lord daily for meeting your physical needs.  Draw on the support of other Christians.

   Even if you forget God's promises, you'll discover that He never forgets them.  He'll strengthen you and stand with you.

 

Did You Know The Bible

Did you know -

* That the longest verse in the Bible is Esther 8:9 (91 words)?

* That the shortest verse in the Bible is John 11:35 (2 words)?

* That the NIV has two "shortest" verses:  John 11:35 and 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (2 words each)?

* That there are 1189 chapters in the Bible?

* That there are 31,102 verses in the Bible?  7957 of these are in the New Testament, and 23,145 are in the Old Testament.

* That the RSV has one more verse than the KJV?  The extra verse is 3 John 1:15.

* That the longest word in the Bible is Jonathelemrechokim?  It occurs in the title of Psalm 56.

* That there are 790,704 words in the Bible, but only 12,775 different words?

* That there are 180,392 words in the New Testament and 610,312 words in the Old Testament?

* That in the RSV, Exodus 22:4 is printed between Exodus 22:1 and Exodus 22:2?

 (Unless otherwise noted, all facts relate to the King James Version)

 

Did You Know The Bible

Did you know -

* That the longest verse in the Bible is Esther 8:9 (91 words)?

* That the shortest verse in the Bible is John 11:35 (2 words)?

* That the NIV has two "shortest" verses:  John 11:35 and 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (2 words each)?

* That there are 1189 chapters in the Bible?

* That there are 31,102 verses in the Bible?  7957 of these are in the New Testament, and 23,145 are in the Old Testament.

* That the RSV has one more verse than the KJV?  The extra verse is 3 John 1:15.

* That the longest word in the Bible is Jonathelemrechokim?  It occurs in the title of Psalm 56.

* That there are 790,704 words in the Bible, but only 12,775 different words?

* That there are 180,392 words in the New Testament and 610,312 words in the Old Testament?

* That in the RSV, Exodus 22:4 is printed between Exodus 22:1 and Exodus 22:2?

 (Unless otherwise noted, all facts relate to the King James Version)

── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

BIBLE

I was never out of my Bible. 

John Bunyan.


I am a man of one Book. 

John Wesley.


It seems that famed scientist Albert Einstein had more trouble finding his way home from work than he did finding the key to atomic power. One evening as Einstein sat deep in thought aboard the train that brought him home each night, the porter approached to collect his ticket. Einstein rummaged around in his coat, through his pockets, in his shirt, and everywhere else he could think of, growing alarmed at his inability to find the ticket. "That's okay, Dr. Einstein," said the porter. "I know you ride this train every day. I can collect tomorrow." "That's fine for you, young man," Einstein replied, "but how am I supposed to get off the train without my ticket?"

Source Unknown.


The Bible is a window in this prison-world, through which we may look into eternity. 

Timothy Dwight.


The inspiration of the Bible depends on the ignorance of the gentleman who reads it. 

R.G. Ingersoll.


Hold fast to the Bible as the sheet-anchor of your liberties. Write its precepts in your hearts, and practise them in your lives. 

U.S. Grant.


The Bible is like a telescope. If a man looks through his telescope he sees worlds beyond; but if he looks at his telescope, he does not see anything but that. The Bible is a thing to be looked through to see that which is beyond; but most people only look at it and so they see only the dead letter. 

Phillip Brooks.


In 1915, A Russian Armenian was reading his Bible when he was beheaded. I saw the Bible--large, thick, and well used. Inside was a reddish stain that permeated most of the book. The stain was the blood of this man, one of more than a million casualties of a religious and ethnic holocaust. About 70 years later a large shipment of bibles entered Romania from the West, and Ceausescu's (dictator of Romania) lieutenants confiscated them, shredded them, and turned them into pulp. Then they had the pulp reconstituted into toilet paper and sold to the West. 

Robert A Seiple, president, World Vision, June-July, 1990.


A Bible in the hand is worth two in the bookcase.

Traditional.


Men do not reject the Bible because it contradicts itself, but because it contradicts them.

Traditional.


A former park ranger at Yellowstone National Park tells the story of a ranger leading a group of hikers to a fire lookout. The ranger was so intent on telling the hikers about the flowers and animals that he considered the messages on his two-way radio distracting, so he switched it off. Nearing the tower, the ranger was met by a nearly breathless lookout, who asked why he hadn't responded to the messages on his radio. A grizzly bear had been seen stalking the group, and the authorities were trying to warn them of the danger.

Any time we turn out the messages God has sent us, we put at peril not only ourselves, but also those around us. How important it is that we never turn off God's saving communication! 

Harold M. Wiest, Power for Living, p. 109.


My doctor had recommended surgery and referred me to a specialist. Arriving early for my appointment, I found the door unlocked and the young surgeon, deeply engrossed in reading, behind the receptionist's desk. When he didn't hear me come in, I cleared my throat. Startled, he closed the book, which I recognized as a Bible. "Does reading the Bible help you before or after an operation?" I asked. My fears were dispelled by his soft, one-word answer: "During." 

Eleanor Schmidt, in Reader's Digest.


STATISTICS AND STUFF

George Muller, who was known for his strong faith, confided. "The first 3 years after conversion, I neglected the Word of God. Since I began to search it diligently, the blessing has been wonderful. I have read the Bible through one hundred times and always with increasing delight!" John Bunyan, who wrote Pilgrim's Progress, testified, "Read the Bible, and read it again, and do not despair of help to understand something of the will and mind of God, though you think they are fast locked up from you. Neither trouble yourself, though you may not have commentaries and expositions; pray and read, and read and pray; for a little from God is better than a great deal from man." 

Daily Bread, August 12, 1992.


I would recommend you either believe God up to the hilt, or else not to believe at all. Believe this book of God, every letter of it, or else reject it. There is no logical standing place between the two. Be satisfied with nothing less than a faith that swims in the deeps of divine revelation; a faith that paddles about the edge of the water is poor faith at best. It is little better than a dry-land faith, and is not good for much. 

C.H. Spurgeon.


HUMOR

CAMELS BIBLE In 1832 an edition had Rebekah leaving her tent to meet Isaac with a group of - not damsels - but camels.

WIFE-HATER BIBLE An 1810 version read, "If any man come to me, and hate not . . . his own wife (instead of :life"), he cannot be my disciple."

"SIN ON" BIBLE. The first English-language Bible to be printed in Ireland, in 1716, encouraged its readers to "sin on more" rather than "sin no more." A similar error in 1653 had declared: "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall inherit the kingdom of God?"

THE WICKED BIBLE of 1631 reported the Seventh Commandment as "Thou shalt commit adultery," a mistake that infuriated King Charles. He ordered all copies destroyed and fined all printers whose hands had touched the edition.

MURDER'S BIBLE. This 19th-century faux pas had Mark 7:27 as "Let the children be killed" instead of "filled."

PLACEMAKER BIBLE. a 16th Century printer had Jesus blessing the "place-makers" instead of "peacemakers." An American printer later substituted the "Parable of the Vinegar" for the "Vineyard."

PRINTERS Bible. Perhaps King David was on target in a 1702 edition, which quoted him as saying "Printers (instead of "princes") have persecuted me without cause.


When the preacher's car broke down on a country road, he walked to a nearby roadhouse to use the phone. After calling for a tow truck, he spotted his old friend, Frank, drunk and shabbily dressed at the bar. "What happened to you, Frank?" asked the good reverend. "You used to be rich." Frank told a sad tale of bad investments that had led to his downfall. "Go home," the preacher said. "Open your Bible at random, stick your finger on the page and there will be God's answer."

Some time later, the preacher bumped into Frank, who was wearing a Gucci suit, sporting a Rolex watch and had just stepped our of a Mercedes. "Frank." said the preacher, "I am glad to see things really turned around for you." "Yes, preacher, and I owe it all to you," said Frank. "I opened my Bible, put my finger down on the page and there was the answer -- Chapter 11." 

Reader's Digest, March, 1993, p. 71.

History of the Bible

If someone asked you where to find the Bible verse that begins, “For God so loved the world…you’d probably know he was asking about John 3:16. If you had a Bible, you could find it for him in no time. But there was a time when no one could find a single verse in the whole Bible. There was no John 3:16, Genesis l:l or any other verse because the Bible wasn’t divided into verses or even chapters. Worse yet, there were hundreds of years when there weren’t even any word divisions. Punctuation marks, capital letters and even vowels were omitted. In those days, if Genesis had been written in English, it would have started: NTHBGNNNGGDCRTDTHHVNSNDTHRTH.” You would have had to spend hours or days just to find your favorite verse.

Words were divided by Jesus’ time, but vowels weren’t used in Hebrew Old Testaments until the sixth century A. D. Gradually, capitalization, punctuation and paragraphing worked their way into the Old and New Testaments. But Bible chapters such as we have today didn’t come into being until the 13th century. They were the work of Stephen Langton, the Archbishop of Canterbury.

For the next 200 years, the Bible, now divided into chapters, continued to be copied by hand. Then in 1448, Rabbi Nathan startled the world by breaking the Old Testament into verses. The New Testament wasn’t divided into numbered verses until 1551 when a French printer, Robert Estienne did the job. He was planning a study Bible that would have side-by-side columns in three translations when he got the idea. He was so rushed for time he decided to do the dividing on a trip from Paris to Lyons. Some people have suggested he did the work on horseback and his sometimes awkward divisions resulted when his “jogging horse bumped his pen in the wrong places.” Yet, with a few exceptions, Estienne’s divisions provide us with the verses we have today.

So just as number of people were used in writing of the Bible over a period of centuries, it was the contribution of countless scribes, hundreds of years, and three men in particular—a Catholic archbishop, a Jewish rabbi and a Protestant printer—who turned “NTHBGNNNGGDCRTDTHHVNSNDTHRTH” into Genesis l:l.

Miller Clarke, Campus Life, March, 198l, p. 40.

 

BIBLE, ignorance of

The story has been told about several famous preachers, but it actually happened to Joseph Parker, minister of the City Temple in London. An old lady waited on Parker in his vestry after a service to thank him for the help she received from his sermons. "You do throw such wonderful light on the Bible, doctor," she said. "Do you know that until this morning, I had always thought that Sodom and Gomorrah were man and wife?" 

Wycliffe Handbook of Preaching & Preachers, Moody, 1984, p. 213.


Commentary and Devotional

Suggestions: 1) The KJV is too difficult and mentally taxing for many people. While this is not an exhortation to drop the KJV from use, Christian leaders need to either use translations appropriate to the audience, or facilitate people's understanding of the KJV if they choose to use it. 2) Biblical illiteracy is at least as large a problem to the Christian community as functional illiteracy is to the nation as a whole. 3) Make the Scriptures more relevant and applicable to the average person. When we teach from the Bible, we need to concentrate on practical, applicable lessons for life. In other words, we must provide people with useful principles, rather than rigid laws. 4) Get people involved in small group Bible studies. 

Christianity Today, April 23, 1990.


Statistics and Research

Pollster George Gallup Jr. has long referred to America as a "nation of biblical illiterates." Only four in 10 Americans know that Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount. A majority of citizens cannot name the four Gospels of the New Testament. Only three in 10 teenagers know why Easter is celebrated. Two-thirds of Americans believe there are few, if any, absolute principles to direct human behavior. A new poll by the Barna Research Group suggests that religious illiteracy has increased. For example, three out of four Americans (and nearly half of "born-again" Christians) believe the Bible teaches that "God helps those who help themselves." George Barna argues that self-reliance is not only not scriptural, but that it contradicts revelation. Only God determines a person's destiny, the pollster notes. To believe otherwise "exposes our false theological cornerstone ?that we are the center of things, that it is up to us to determine our destiny, and that God is merely our assistant ..."

A similar number of born-again Christians deny the existence of the Holy Spirit and Satan. One in five denies Jesus' physical resurrection and believes he was a sinner.

Earlier surveys of mainline Protestants revealed that barely half of Lutherans, Methodists, and Presbyterians believe in the devil, but 56 percent of Lutherans and 49 percent of Methodists believe in UFOs. One-third of Methodists and Presbyterians have faith in astrology. While nearly three-fourths of all Americans believe in hell, hardly any believe it to be their likely destination in eternity.

The new Barna poll is intended to help Christian pastors and groups focus their ministries. The sheer number of "errant theological positions" among believers underscores "the magnitude of the challenge facing churches today," Barna notes.

University of Wisconsin historian Thomas Reeves indicts popular religious belief and service. "Christianity in modern America is, in large part, innocuous," he writes. "It tends to be easy, upbeat, convenient, and compatible. It does not require self-sacrifice, discipline, humility, an otherworldly outlook, a zeal for souls, a fear as well as love of God. There is little guilt and no punishment, and the payoff in heaven is virtually certain."

Former Secretary of Education William Bennett concludes that "We have become the kind of society that civilized countries used to send missionaries to."

These are harsh judgments. Perhaps we have been so busy pursuing the American Dream of the good life that we have neglected to nurture the faith on which the Dream is founded. If so, our only fault is inattention. If at the millennium our common faith has faltered, or has shriveled for lack of nourishment, or has been supplanted by sentimentality, at least we have not succumbed to cynicism. Faith has not been lost, only misplaced. As a people, we can retrieve it together.

David Yountd, Beggaring Belief, ?2000 Scripps Howard News Service. September 04, 2000.


Which of the following aren't in the Bible?

Cleanliness is next to godliness
God helps those who help themselves
Confession is good for the soul
We are as prone to sin as sparks fly upward
Money is the root of all evil
Honesty is the best policy

None of the are!

Source Unknown.


"Why is it that the vast majority of Christian believers remain largely unexposed to Christian learning--to historical-critical studies of the Bible, the content and structure of the great doctines, to two thousand years of classic works on the Christian life, to basic disciplines of theology, biblical languages and ethics? Why do bankers, lawyers, farmers, physicians, homemakers, scientists, salespeople, managers of all sorts, people who carry out all kinds of complicated tasks in their work and home, remain in a literalist, elementary school level in their religious understanding? How is it that high school age church members move easily and quickly into the complex world of computers, foreign languages, DNA and calculus, and cannot even make a beginning in historical-critical interpretation of a single text of Scripture? How is it possible one can attend or even teach Sunday School for decades and at the end of that lack the interpretive skills of someone who has taken three or four weeks in an introductory course in the Bible at a university or seminary?" 

Edward Farley, "Can Church Education Be Theological Education", Theology Today, July 1985.


A recent Barna Research Group survey conducted among a random probability sample of 641 adults demonstrated that many Americans have a woeful knowledge of the Bible. Among Christians in the survey, 22% thought there actually is a Book of Thomas in the Bible, and 13% said they did not know whether Thomas is a book of the Bible or not. 65% correctly stated that Thomas is not a book of the Bible. 61% knew that Jonah is a book of the Bible, while 27% said it is not, and 12% had no idea. Among non-Christians, only 29% knew that the Book of Jonah could be found in the Bible, while 27% said it could not, and 34% were not sure. Three quarters of the Christians surveyed knew that the Book of Isaiah is located in the O.T., while 11% thought it is in the N.T., and 13% did not know where Isaiah could be found. Half of the non-Christians knew that Isaiah is located in the O.T. 

61% of all Americans named Bethlehem as the city where Jesus Christ was born. Among non-Christians, 55% knew Christ was born in Bethlehem. Seven out of 10 Christians answered this question correctly, while 16% named Jerusalem as Jesus' birthplace, 8% said it was Nazareth, and 6% did not hazard a guess. 

The question that gave the most people trouble was "Is the expression 'God helps those who help themselves' in the Bible?" Only 38% of all Christians correctly stated that that phrase cannot be found anywhere in the Scriptures. Forty-two percent thought that this was a Biblical quotation, and 20% had no idea. Among non-Christians surveyed, 40% said that axiom was part of the Word, 26% knew it was not, and 34% were not sure. 

Why is there so much ignorance about the Bible? Most likely, it comes from a lack of Bible readership. Half of all Americans do not read the Bible. The majority of all born-again Christians read the Bible once or twice a week, or not at all. The survey found that only 18% of all Christians said they read the Word every day, while another 18% read the Bible between three and six days a week, 37% read it once or twice a week, and 23% said they do not read the Bible at all. Among non- Christians, 70% do not read the Bible. Is this because many people do not own a Bible? No. Our research has shown that 93% of all American own at least one Bible, and most own more than one.


A majority of Americans--8 out of 10--say that they are Christians, but only half that number know who delivered the Sermon on the Mount. Most Americans think the Ten Commandments are valid rules for living, but many have a rough time recalling exactly what those rules are. Among teenagers, 3 in 10 do not know the significance of Easter for Christians; among teenagers who attend church regularly, 2 in 10 do not know it. 

George Gallup, "Religion in America", Leadership, Fall 1987.


A new survey conducted by the Barna Research Group reveals widespread ignorance of common Christian terms. Researchers asked a sample group of 1,210 adults to define Great Commission, evangelical, John 3:16, and gospel. In each case, only a small minority gave accurate answers. Even "born-again Christians" had trouble answering.

Only 9 percent of the respondents accurately defined Great Commission. About 75 percent of born-again Christians could not offer a definition.

Eighteen percent of the respondents correctly defined evangelical, with 57 percent of born-again Christians unable to give a definition.

Twenty-five percent of the respondents gave accurate or partially accurate descriptions of John 3:16, and half of the born-again Christians could not offer a definition.

Thirty-seven percent of the respondents correctly defined gospel, and 16 percent of born-again Christians could not offer a definition.

These terms "clearly do not convey the intended meaning to the masses," concluded George Barna, president of Barna Research Group. "The fact that so few of the insiders understand the meaning of these terms also suggests that the Christian church in this country would be wise to invest in training people about the basic principles and concepts of the Christian faith."   

Moody, April, 1994, p. 60.


Only three out of five Christians could recall the names of the first four books of the New Testament, and only half of the Christians interviewed correctly identified Jesus as the person who delivered the Sermon on the Mount. A full 42 percent of the Christians interviewed said that without the government's laws, there would be no real guidelines for people to follow in daily life. 

From a recent Gallup poll.


HUMOR

A candidate for church membership was asked, "What part of the Bible do you like best?" He said: "I like the New Testament best. Then he was asked, "What Book in the New Testament is your favorite?" He answered, the Book of the Parables, Sir." They then asked him to relate one of the parables to the membership committee. And a bit uncertain, he began...

"Once upon a time a man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves; and the thorns grew up and choked the man. And he went on and met the Queen of Sheba, and she gave that man, Sir, a thousand talents of silver, and a hundred changes of raiment. And he got in his chariot and drove furiously, and as he was driving along under a big tree, his hair got caught in a limb and left him hanging here! And he hung there many days and many nights. The ravens brought him food to eat and water to drink. And one night while he was hanging there asleep, his wife Delilah came along and cut off his hair, and he fell on stoney ground. And it begin to rain, and rained forty days and forty nights. And he hid himself in a cave. Later he went on and met a man who said, "Come in and take supper with me." But he said, "I can't come in, for I have married a wife." And the man went out into the highways and hedges and compelled him to come in! He then came to Jerusalem, and saw Queen Jezebel sitting high and lifted up in a window of the wall. When she saw him she laughed, and he said, "Throw her down out of there," and they threw her down. And he said "Throw her down again," and they threw her down seventy-times-seven. And the fragments which they picked up filled twelve baskets full! NOW, whose wife will she be in the day of the Judgment?" The membership committee agreed that this was indeed a knowledgeable candidate!

Source Unknown.


The new minister was asked to teach a boys' class in the absence of the regular teacher. He decided to see what they knew, so he asked who knocked down the walls of Jericho. All the boys denied having done it, and the preacher was appalled by their ignorance. At the next deacons' meeting he told about the experience. "Not one of them knows who knocked down the walls of Jericho," he lamented. The group was silent until finally one seasoned veteran of disputes spoke up. "Preacher, this appears to be bothering you a lot. But I've known all those boys since they were born and they're good boys. If they said they didn't know, I believe them. Let's just take some money out of the repair and maintenance fund, fix the walls, and let it go at that."

Source Unknown.

 

DAYS OF SCRIPTURE.

. The Day of Jesus (John 8:56). The Day of Jesus is the day of His humiliation. It is of interest to note that the human name “ Jesus” occurs twenty times in John 8. That day is past.

. The Day of Man (1.Cor.4:3, R.V., margin). “ Man’s Day” is this present time, when man is acting after his own natural desire, and according to the god of this age (11.Cor.4:4, R.V. m.).

. The Day of Salvation. “ The Day of Salvation” (11. Cor.6:2) runs parallel with man’s day, for it is the desire of God that those who will come out from the ranks of the world should be saved by faith in Christ.

. The Day of Christ. “ The Day of Christ” begins with Christ coming for His people, and ends with His coming with them (Phil.1:6,10; 2:16; Eph.4:30).

. The Day of Lord. “ The Day of Lord” begins with the Lord’s coming with His people, and extends to the end of the millennium. Mark the expressions in the Old Testament, “ the day of the Lord”; “in that day.”

. The Day of Judgment. “ The Day. Of Judgment” for the wicked dead is at the end of the millennium, as described in Rev.20:11-15. See Matt.10:15; 11:22,24; 12:36; Rom.2:5; Jude 6.

. The Day of God. “ The Day of God” is eternity (11. Peter 3:12), when God will be all in all (1. Cor.15:28).

── F.E. MarshFive Hundred Bible Readings

 

"GOD'S GREAT BOOK"
 
INTRODUCTION
 
1. When we contemplate the beauty and order of the creation...
   a. We see the glory of God through His handiwork - Psa 19:1
   b. We see evidence of His power and deity - Ro 1:20
   -- Perhaps we are moved to agree with the song, "How Great Thou Art!"
 
2. While the creation reveals much about God, it tells us nothing
   about...
   a. God's great gift of love and mercy
   b. God's great people that He wants us to become
   -- To learn of such things, we must look elsewhere
 
3. God has chosen to reveal this through His book, the Bible...
   a. Is this book equal to the task?
   b. You would expect a great God to give us a great book; has He?
   -- Indeed He has!  By His Spirit, He inspired a book capable of
      accomplishing great things!
 
[For example, let's just start with one portion of the Bible...]
 
I. HOW GREAT IS THE OLD TESTAMENT!
 
   A. IN THE DAYS OF DAVID...
      1. A guide for true happiness - Psa 1:1-3
      2. The virtues of God's word praised
         a. It converts the soul - Psa 19:7a
         b. It makes wise the simple - Psa 19:7b
         c. It rejoices the heart - Psa 19:8a
         d. It enlightens the eyes - Psa 19:8b
         e. It endures forever - Psa 19:9a
         f. It is true and righteous altogether - Psa 19:9b
         g. Making it more desirable than gold, sweeter than honey - Psa
            19:10-11
      3. The value of God's word contemplated
         a. Helps the young man cleanse his way - Psa 119:9
         b. Guards the heart against sin - Psa 119:11
         c. Makes one wiser than his enemies - Psa 119:97-98
         d. Gives one more understanding than his teachers and the
            ancients - Psa 119:99-100
         e. A lamp and a light to guide one's way - Psa 119:105
         e. Provides great peace to those who love it - Psa 119:165
      -- This is the value of just a small portion of God's Word,
         available during the days of David (perhaps the books of
         Genesis to Ruth)
 
   B. IN THE DAYS OF PAUL... 
      1. A source of patience and comfort, imparting hope to the
         Christian - Ro 15:4
      2. Serving as examples, written for our admonition - 1 Co 10:11
      3. As with all Scripture inspired of God, profitable in many ways
         - 2 Ti 3:14-17
         a. Making one wise regarding salvation by faith in Christ
         b. Useful for doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction in
            righteousness
         c. Helping the man of God to become complete, equipped for
            every good work
      -- Christians may not be under the Old Covenant, but it remains an
         importance source for truth and happiness
 
[If such is true regarding the Old Testament, how much more so when we
have the complete and final revelation from God!  In other words...]
 
II. HOW GREAT IS THE NEW TESTAMENT!
 
   A. IT IS A LIVING WORD...
      1. The Word of God is living and powerful - He 4:12a
      2. The Word of God is piercing, discerning - He 4:12b
      -- This is because it is the sword of the Spirit, the instrument
         by which He convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and
         judgment! - cf. Jn 16:7-8; Ep 6:17
 
   B. IT IS A LIFE-GIVING WORD...
      1. The Word of God can save our souls - Ja 1:21
      2. The Word of God can produce rebirth and spiritual growth - 1 Pe
         1:23-2:3
      -- This is because of the power contained in the gospel of Christ
         - cf. Ro 1:16-17
 
   C. IT IS A LIFE-GUIDING WORD...
      1. Producing the faith necessary for our walk in life - 2 Co 5:7;
         Ro 10:17
      2. Equipping the saint for every good work - 2 Ti 3:16-17
      -- As Jesus quoted in response to Satan's temptation:  "Man shall
         not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from
         the mouth of God." - Mt 4:4
 
[There should be no question that God's book is great!  It fulfills our
greatest need, and gives us our greatest hope.  But let us consider...]
 
III. HOW GREAT IS OUR RESPONSE?
 
   A. IS OUR RESPONSE WORTHY...?
      1. Many people (including Christians) are "Biblically illiterate"!
      2. Like Israel of old, we suffer from a "famine for the Word" 
         - cf. Amo 8:11-14
         a. Israel's famine was imposed by God by their exile
         b. Our famine is self-imposed by our own neglect!
         c. The effect is still the same!
            1) Our young people faint from thirst!
            2) They fall, and do not rise again!
      3. For many, they feed upon an "unbalanced diet"!
         a. E.g., reading only select passages, often ignoring the Old
            Testament
         b. E.g., reading only to prove themselves right and others
            wrong
      -- Is "God's Great Book" worthy of such a tepid response?  No!
 
   B. WHAT IS A WORTHY RESPONSE...?
      1. We must properly value God's Word
         a. More valuable than gold and silver - Psa 119:72
         b. As precious as great treasure - Psa 119:162
         -- Do we consider God's Word of greater value than money?
      2. We must diligently read God's Word
         a. With an attitude of longing - Psa 119:131; 1 Pe 2:2
         b. With an intention to obey - Ja 1:21-22
         c. With a prayer on our lips and in our hearts - Psa 119:18,133
         -- A consistent program of daily Bible reading in this spirit
            is a worthy response to God's great book! 
 
CONCLUSION
 
1. Contemplating God's creation produces the response:  How Great Thou
   Art!
   a. God is a Being of great power
   b. God is a Being of great intelligence
 
2. Contemplating God's book produces a similar response:  How Great Thou
   Art!
   a. God is a Being of great wisdom and understanding
   b. God is a Being of great love and compassion
   c. God is a Being of great justice and righteousness
 
3. I pray that our study has done at least two things...
   a. Increased your appreciation for "God's Great Book"
   b. Stimulated your desire to be more diligent in your response to it
      1) More diligent in your reading of it
      2) More diligent in your obedience to it
 
  "So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His
  grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance
  among all those who are sanctified." (Ac 20:32)
 
Let "God's Great Book" build you up, that you may receive that wonderful
"inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away,
reserved in heaven for you." (1 Pe 1:4)

 

--《Executable Outlines