Anyone can readily see that our area is filled with a variety of churches. Therefore, I think it would be fair to conclude that our city is filled with religiously minded individuals… presumably those that believe in God (Hebrews 11:6) and in the inspiration of the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16-17). No doubt, our city is made up of countless ones that love the Lord and the Bible.
A Common Problem
However, what I have found to be quite discouraging in such a religious environment are those who have no interest in studying the Word of God (2 Timothy 2:15). Granted, I have come across some that possess a sincere interest in learning and growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord (2 Peter 3:18). Yet more often than not, I have met those in the community who have no desire whatsoever to sit down and study the Scriptures together.
Why is that? Well, it’s not because they are atheists or agnostics. No, the individuals that I have in mind are very religious. The most common response I receive when I ask a neighbor if they would be interested in studying the Bible is: “I’m already a member of…” such and such church. When they answer the door, I don’t ask them to leave their church and become a member of mine. I simply ask them if they would be interested in a Bible correspondence course or a home Bible study.
Why People Refuse to Study the Scriptures
I believe a significant part of the problem is that of spiritual complacency. We often grow content about our spiritual condition. Apathy and laziness to personal Bible study can become the norm (Hebrews 5:11-14). As a result, many today, like God’s people of old, have been “destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6). Where is the “hunger and thirst for righteousness” that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 5:6? Have we forgotten that “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4)?
Often I’m afraid we blindly trust that what we have been taught is the truth without taking the time to search “the Scriptures daily to see if these things [are] so” (Acts 17:11). Have we been taught “the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:9) or “the commandments of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 14:37, NKJV)? There is only one way to find out – search the Scriptures!
The Need to Investigate Our Beliefs and Practices
Is it safe to just assume that what you believe and practice is right without ever questioning or investigating it (Matthew 7:21-23; Colossians 3:17)? What if you were taught error instead of truth? What if you belong to a man-made church (Matthew 15:13) instead of the Lord’s church (Matthew 16:18)? Can you find the name of your church in the New Testament (Romans 16:16)? Is the destiny of your eternal soul not worth taking the time to find out and be absolutely sure (Luke 1:4)?
“Come now, let us reason together” from the Scriptures (Isaiah 1:18; Acts 17:2). Truth has nothing to fear from an open and honest investigation. So neighbor, let’s study the Bible!