Tag Archives: Bible


2 Peter 3:8 One Day is as a Thousand Years?

One Day is as a Thousand Years

But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

2 Peter 3:8, 9

Peter makes a statement, almost offhand, that one day is as a thousand years. It’s unexpected although in context it makes perfect sense. It’s important not to misunderstand Peter’s point and make this into something that it is not.

Peter does not that one day literally equals one day. We know this because of the way Scripture uses the word day in other passages. For example, the Bible says in Genesis 11:26: “When Terah had lived 70 years, he fathered Abram, Nahor, and Haran.” If Peter is taken literally, then Kenan was 25,550,000 years old when Abram was born (70 years x 365 days per year x 1000). In Psalm 90:10, using the same formula, the days of our lives are 25,550,000 years. Jeremiah prophesied that Judah would go into captivity for 25,550,000 years. They would still be there! “One day is as a thousand years” is not to be understood literally.

One Day is as a Thousand Years is Hyperbole

Hyperbole is a writing technique common to the Bible and common speech. Someone may ask the age of someone else. You might reply, “he’s as old as dirt!” You don’t mean that literally, you are saying that he is very old.

Mark says of John the Baptist that “all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem” were going to be baptized (Mark 1:5). Surely not every person was going out. Mark is emphasizing that many people were traveling to be baptized by John.

In 2 Peter 3, “One day is as a thousand years” serves to illustrate and highlight Peter’s following statement:

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

2 Peter 3:9

Peter wants the hearers, and the scoffers (vs. 3), to understand that God does not operate on their schedule. God’s time is not our time. The hyperbole emphasizes Peter’s point.

One Day is as a Thousand Years Makes Perfect Sense

Taken in context we observe the following.

  • Some do not believe judgment is coming because it hasn’t happened yet.
  • Their justification for such a statement is the claim that nothing has changed since long ago.
  • Peter reminds them of the great flood; a waterborne judgment that looks toward the coming firey judgment yet to come.
  • It hasn’t come because God is not on man’s schedule, indeed “one day is as a thousand years.”
  • God may seem to delay only because of his patience toward men and his desire that all will repent.

When taken in its context, the statement as hyperbole becomes very clear. Nothing in the text suggests that it should be understood in any other way.

Never Trust Your Preacher!

Why would a preacher tell you to never trust your preacher? Isn’t trust inherent in the job of preaching? I mean, if you never trust your preacher, who can you trust?

Gallup published a new poll last month which put preachers on par with journalists for trustworthiness. Only 37% of respondents rate clergy as high or very highly honest or ethical people.

“Gallup has measured Americans’ views of the clergy’s honesty and ethics 34 times beginning in 1977, and this year’s 37% very high/high rating is the lowest to date. Although the overall average positive rating is 54%, it has consistently fallen below that level since 2009. The historical high of 67% occurred in 1985.

Gallup suggests the decline is, at least partly related to scandals in the Roman Catholic Church. Christianity Today cites many failures among protestant preachers too. All of this may be so, but my warning isn’t based on a survey.

There’s another reason you should never trust your preacher.

Never Trust Your Preacher Because He Is Human

Human’s err. The Bible is even stronger.

“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Romans 3:23

“If we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

1 John 1:8

“This is a faithful saying and worth of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.”

1 Timothy 1:15 (KJV)

So if I put my faith in a man, no matter how good he may strive to be, I make a deadly mistake. He, like me, is a sinner.

Never Trust Your Preacher Because His Wisdom May Be Faulty

There is a real conflict between worldly wisdom and godly wisdom. The same clash happened in the first century too. Paul had much to say about it.

“Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. “

1 Corinthians 2:12, 13

“Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, ‘He catches the wise in their craftiness,’”

1 Corinthians 3:18, 19

Surely we hope that our preachers are steeped in God’s wisdom. We expect and hope that their motivations and passions are driven by the Spirit of God. But remember, we are thinking of our own soul; that precious eternal piece of me that will live forever. Am I that sure that my preacher’s wisdom is divine?

Never Trust Your Preacher Because He Is Not Inspired

God’s word is inspired ( 2 Timothy 3:16, 17). It is infallible and must never be tampered with.

“You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you.”

Deuteronomy 4:2

” I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. “

Revelation 22:18, 19

Your preacher is not inspired because he doesn’t need to be inspired. The word which you possess is from the very mind of God. It has been delivered to us today in a final and complete form. Jude writes that the word was “once for all” delivered (Jude 3).

I do not suggest that your preacher is not inspiring; I hope he is. But that is vastly different from being directly inspired by the Holy Spirit. As preachers, we have nothing new to bring to the theological table. We are spokesmen for what God has already given.

Never Trust Your Preacher Because You Can Understand the Bible

It’s nice to be wanted. It’s nice to feel needed. It’s nice to think yourself important. But when it comes to your knowledge of God’s word, you can understand it through your own study and prayer. You have no need for someone to tell you what the Scriptures say.

Solomon knew that study was hard (Ecclesiastes 12:12). But Paul tells Timothy that study is important.

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)

The command to Timothy is to study and to be a workman. The Scriptures were written for our learning (Romans 15:4). It is in the word that we find hope and comfort. The Christian was never pointed to a priest or rabbi but instead was always pointed to the word of God.

I know you appreciate, love and respect your preacher. You should. But your soul is far too precious to entrust to fallible men. Be sure and read our coming article on Fact-Checking Your Preacher.

Thinking About Drinking: Is There Any Guidance? (part three)

In two previous articles, (one / two) we have assessed social drinking from a secular perspective. We tried to show that consumption of alcoholic beverages carries certain risks to the imbiber as well as to his family, friends, and even those people he does not know but who happen to cross his path. All of these risks are viewed in the light of the unnecessary, voluntary place of alcohol in life. In this article, we will examine numerous Biblical passages which speak to alcohol consumption. The reader should understand that there is no “thou shalt not drink” passage found in Scripture. There are, however, many passages that teach a principle of abstinence. These are the teachings we will address.


Excessive drinking is condemned.

“Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality,  idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions,  envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

(Galatians 5:19-21)

Observe that while Paul specifically classifies drunkenness as sin, he also condemns many behaviors that often arise from intoxication like fits of anger and orgies. He further expands his list with the phrase, “things like these.” A happy drunk or a fighting drunk both sin by their drunkenness and by their alcohol influenced actions.

Paul echoes the same thought in Romans 13:13, 1 Corinthians 5:11, 1 Corinthians 6:10 and Ephesians 5:18. Without a doubt, drunkenness is condemned by the Holy Spirit.

Tipsy Drinking

Some like to walk a line between drunk and sober. They enjoy alcohol and the social environments where alcohol is served. What says the Bible?

Proverbs 20:1 divides drinking into two types, wine, and strong drink. He says “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.” Shortly he adds, “Do not look at the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup and goes down smoothly. In the end, it bites like a serpent and stings like an adder” (Proverbs 23:31, 32). He seems to have in view the progressive nature of alcoholic consumption, the movement from first drink until crossing that undefined line into drunkenness.


The Christian is better off without any alcohol. Consider Proverbs 31:4, 5, “…its is not for kings to drink wine, or for rulers to take strong drink lest they drink and forget what has been decreed and perverts the right of the afflicted.” God himself prohibited Aaron and the priests from drinking while serving in the Tabernacle (Leviticus 10:9). In assessing a man for the position of elder the Scriptures warn that he must not be known as one who lingers over the wine. His reputation is enhanced by abstinence.

A reader might quickly assert that these passages are offered for kings, priests, and elders. That is true. But it is also true that this high quality of life should be sought by all Christians. Shouldn’t all Christians seek to rise to the qualities of an elder? Why not?


Given all of the reasons in these three articles against alcoholic beverages, and given that consuming so-called adult beverages is never required and completely unnecessary, and noting the Bible condemnation of drunkenness and even the dangers of light drinking, does it not lead to the conclusion that the Christian should avoid alcohol?

Seek purity and godliness and separate yourself from the traits of the world.



Thinking About Drinking: Is There Any Guidance? (part two)

Previously we noted that adult beverages are unnecessary and potentially dangerous. We observed that early signs of intoxication might easily be missed leading to drunkenness. It is also beyond dispute that alcohol, even at lower levels, blunts judgment while giving the drinker a sense of wellbeing. This feeling that all is well may mask attitudes, behavior, and conduct that are harmful and sinful. Now, we examine more reasons why alcoholic beverages should be avoided.

Alcohol is Dangerous

Alcohol does more than blunt judgment. It blunts reaction times and slows our ability to respond to physical dangers. Drunk driving is probably the best known physical danger associated with alcohol. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 12, 514 Americans were killed in crashes where a driver had some level of alcohol in their body at testing (2016 data). That is 33% of all deaths. In 28% of the deaths, at least one driver was legally under the influence (31% and 27% in Alabama). In 2004, The U.S. Department of Justice data showed that 36.8% of state prison inmates reported being under the influence of alcohol at the time of their crime. That’s over 200,000 inmates in which their crime was committed while drinking.

All of this because of an unnecessary drink.

Alcohol is Destructive

Beyond physical dangers, alcohol destroys integrity, productivity, and trust. The latest figures are from 2006, but the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism show a cost to society of $223.5 billion dollars. Most of that is from lost productivity. Consider the damage done to the family. In a report published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs shows that about half of all people with serious alcohol abuse problems divorce. This compares to about 30% who divorce absent an alcohol issue.

As before, we observe that these damaged relationships suffer, at least in part, from an unnecessary product.

Alcohol is Sneaky

Those who make up the statistics never thought they would be involved in crime, divorce, and fatalities. Beverages companies, like the tobacco companies, never reveal the true cost of their product. Adult beverages slowly entrap the unwise and bring them down to despair.

Not all who drink become alcoholics. Not all who drink become a statistic in some depressing report. But some do, but no one can foresee who those people will be. Could it be you? I cannot say, but neither can you. Therein lies the problem. Alcohol use is insidious. By the time the drinker accepts that he has a problem, great damage is already done. All because of an unnecessary, unneeded product.

If these secular facts were not enough for you, God has spoken about alcohol use. Next, we delve into the Scriptures for a look at the divine wisdom of abstinence.


Stop Reading Your Bible and Study It!

Daily Bible Reading and StudyIt is a new year, and optimism drives us to do better in the coming year than in the past. Christians often commit to reading the Bible through in the coming year. It’s a noble idea that will surely build your faith in Christ. But it is also a bigger challenge than we expect. As a result, our good intention shatters upon the rocks of reality. We get behind and soon just give up. A year later our faith and knowledge are little improved from 12 months before. Maybe these tips will help.

Stop Reading Your Bible,  Study the Bible,

Any time spent in God’s word is profitable and brings new understanding, needed reproof and exhortation (2 Timothy 3:16). Have you ever looked at your daily Bible reading plan, seen the required readings for the day, looked at the late hour on the clock, seen the soft, warm bed awaiting, and then rushed to do your readings so you could mark off a successful day? Sure you have, we all have been there! What did you get out of that quickie read? Not a thing!

God’s word is not a Big Mac® to be devoured but a fine, medium cooked, prime rib to be savored. Every word is from the mind of God and aimed squarely at your heart (1 Corinthians 2:1-13). Do not be concerned with checking off passages. Instead, strive to know those passages and mine the depths of God’s thoughts. To be sure, we ought to be reading the word every day, but do not be afraid to read and re-read passages to drink in their power

Stop Reading Your Bible, Live the Bible

Knowledge of God’s word means little if we do not live it in our everyday lives. It is through wisdom that God’s message finds its way into every nook of our lives.

Blessed is the one who finds wisdom,

and the one who gets understanding,

For the gain from her is better than gain from silver

and her profit better than gold.

She is more precious than jewels,

and nothing you desire can compare with her. (Proverbs 3:13-15)


No other life pursuit brings the value of Godly wisdom. This is not the same as human wisdom. It is taught not by men but by the Holy Spirit of God (1 Corinthians 2:13). The spiritual person, that is, the one possessing the wisdom that comes from the Spirit, grows and prospers in his faith because of Godly wisdom.

Stop Reading Your Bible and Apply These Tips

  • Begin with a plan. The basic plans move you through the entire Bible in a year. Other plans are more aggressive and take you through the Bible faster. A plan is a starting place only. It will launch your studies into specific areas.
  • Don’t ignore something that pique’s your interest. Stop, meditate, pray and research until your satisfaction is satiated. Do word studies, run cross-references and keep digging. You may get behind on your plan, but you are gaining a wealth of knowledge and experience in God’s word.
  • Improve the mechanics of your study. Have a set time and place for your work. Keep a special notebook only for your studies and a separate file folder for your notes. Over time you will develop a folder for every book of the Bible. You will also need a Bible (wide-margins are good) that you can mark in. The more notes you make in your Bible itself, the better!

The idea is that Bible study is more like a marathon than a sprint. You are in this for the long run, not the dash. Develop good habits now, and you will profit beyond your wildest dreams!


Deadly Ignorance

New TestamentNo activity or human pursuit equals Bible study. In no other field of human endeavor do we find such benefits as one discovers from studying the word of God. No field of study offers more hope to mankind than the Scriptures. Yet, few works are more neglected than personal Bible study. Likely there are many reasons, but none are valid. The lack of Bible knowledge is staggering. To make matters worse, American pulpits are full of shallow streams of spiritual thoughts which promote the drift away from God’s word toward a blend of man-centered thought and empty platitudes. The time to return to God’s word is now.[bctt tweet=”American Pulpits are empty of knowledge and full of empty platitudes. ” username=”Preachers_Study”]

      My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge;

because you have rejected knowledge,

I reject you from being a priest to me.

And since you have forgotten the law of your God,

I also will forget your children (Hosea 4:6).

The beleaguered prophet spoke this message from the Lord. Israel, once a powerful people, were now reduced to servants. Why? Because they had forsaken a knowledge of God. As a result, they deserted His loving kindness and blessings for lawlessness. While there is “no knowledge of God in the land” (vs. 1), there is “swearing, lying, murder, stealing, and committing adultery.” (vs. 2). God’s word is no longer the standard of truth. Instead, they “inquire of a piece of wood and their walking staff gives them oracles: (Hosea 4:12). Instead, Hosea says, they have “left their God to play the whore” (Hosea 4:12)!

The resulting punishment for their idolatry is the reason he declares Israel and Judah destroyed. The root of it all is their lack of knowledge.

Others before me have decried the illiteracy that plagues God’s people today. In an age where knowledge is so accessible, we starve for a basic understanding of The Lord’s plans, intents, and directives for our lives. We have become infected with good sounding false teachings because we do not know enough to discern truth from error.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied (Matthew 5:6).

While cursing and punishments follow the ignorant, blessing falls upon those who hunger for God’s righteousness. In Psalm 63:1, David cries, “O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you.” Later in Psalms, we read of the satisfied soul, “For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things” (Psalm 107:9). As if foreshadowing the Beatitudes the psalmist declares that God satisfies the hungry.

All we know of God’s love, mercy, and grace, we know from the Bible. Salvation is unknown apart from the revealed word of God. In our joy and thanksgiving let us turn to the Scriptures to deepen our knowledge of him. Let us drink deeply from the ever flowing waters of truth and be filled with his knowledge. Only then will we truly appreciate his love. Only then can we discern good from evil. Only then will our lives become saturated with his truth.


What is the New Testament (part 1)

The quick answer is that the New Testament is the second division in the Bible. It is composed of 27 individual books or letters written during the first century AD. It is the portion of the Bible by which Christians seek to live and worship. But the New Testament deserves a better, deeper explanation.

The New Testament is Truth

Truth is unchanging. If a thing is true today, it is true tomorrow. The words of the New Testament are absolutely true. As Jesus said of his father, “your word is truth” (John 17:17). Some say we live in a post-truth world; they claim truth is no longer relevant. Others assert that truth is whatever is believed. Both ideas are wrong-headed and foolish. Our world cannot function in the absence of truth. We expect the label on our medicines to be true and accurate else we might harm our bodies. How much more important is truth that affects the soul and our eternal life?

The implication of a book of truth is profound. Especially a book as the Bible which reaches beyond mankind’s ability to know and test. The premises of salvation are beyond the scientific method. They can neither be known nor examined by the mind of man. They are divine. Yet they are revealed in the New Testament. The apostle Paul declared of his preaching and inspired words, “…we do impart wisdom although it is not a wisdom of this age or the rulers of this age” (1 Corinthians 2:6). Regarding the teachings from God he says, “these things God has revealed through the Spirit” (1 Corinthians 2:10). This Spirit revelation comes through holy, inspired men who composed the New Testament (2 Peter 1:21).

The implications become clear. A book of truth (the Bible) containing unknown and unknowable truths essential for salvation is:

  • Worthy of our deep study,
  • An effective and essential guide to life,
  • Worthy of guiding, directing and commanding our lives,
  • Unique and far beyond any comparison to any other book of any time, place or people.

The New Testament is our Guide to Life & Worship

If the New Testament is truth, and it is, and if the New Testament is unique, and it is, the New Testament is the perfect, essential guide to every aspect of our lives.

Jesus established his church as he said he would (Matthew 16:13-20). That church began on the first Pentecost (a Sunday) after his resurrection (Acts 2:41). From that point forward, the worship of the new church would be governed by the words of Jesus’ apostles. They had no power within themselves to set or create any doctrine or teaching. What they taught was bound previously in heaven (Matthew 16:19 HCSB, ESV footnote). Therefore, the apostles are conduits, teachers, of truth laid down in heaven. It is this principle, together with inspiration, that accounts for the perfect agreement of the New Testament across over 50 years of composition, almost a dozen authors and a footprint stretching from present day Israel to Italy.

Every moment of our worship ought be fully controlled and subject to the words of Scripture.

Bryant Evans may be reached at bryant at bryantevans.com. You can follow Bryant on Twitter @J_Bryant_Evans.

God’s Covenants – Introduction

God has dealt with men differently through the ages. A misunderstanding of these periods or dispensations can have a profound impact on understanding God’s word today. Denominations base some of their worship practices on the law of Moses as if it were normative today. Supporters of the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender (LGBT) agenda, assert that biblical injunctions condemning their actions are similar to other Old Testament teachings like animal sacrifice, slavery, and stoning of incorrigible children. Christians may contribute to this misunderstanding by depending solely upon Mosaic standards to assert standards for modern life.


God has dealt with men differently through the ages. Typically, He enters into a type of covenant with His creation. These are not negotiated covenants or contracts as we understand them today. These are unilateral covenants in which God binds both Himself and his creation to its terms. God is sovereign, i.e. He answers to no one other than Himself. Therefore, there is no one with whom to negotiate. Performance of the covenant is ensured by God Himself. “For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself (Hebrews 6:13 – emphasis mine, jbe). This is fully acceptable because God cannot lie (Titus 1:2 Hebrews 6:18). The problem has always been that man is not faithful to the covenant.

God’s Covenants: Patriarchal

In the very beginning, God dealt directly with mankind, typically speaking to the heads of the families. He blessed Adam and Eve (Genesis 1:28) but forbade them to touch the forbidden tree (Genesis 3:17). He commanded Noah to build the Ark, which would save him from the coming flood (Genesis 6:14). He promised Abraham great blessings contingent on his obedience (Genesis 12:1-9). All men were subject to God’s commands. Some would remain subject to the Patriarchal covenant until Acts 10 and the conversion of Cornelius. But a subset of creation, the offspring of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, would soon be given a new and unique covenant.

God’s Covenants: Mosaic

God promised Abraham to make his offspring into a great nation (Genesis 12:2). Now, some 450 years later, that promise was being fulfilled. Gathered at the foot of Mt. Sinai, the Hebrews (Israel) received a law of their own – a law never given to anyone else. This law included spiritual and worship mandates, civic instructions, and health regulations. Exodus 20:2 shows God is speaking only to the ones he brought out of Egypt, the Hebrews. The laws that followed, including the 10 Commandments, were only given to Israel. It is true that many of the commands in Christianity, but they are given anew and not as a continuation of the Mosaic law. This law, the law of Moses, was done away with in Christ (Colossians 2:14 et. al). We will focus more on this removal of the Law later.

God’s Covenant’s: Christian

There is now a new law which all men are amenable to – the law of Christ (1 Corinthians 9:21). Many reject Christ and his law, other ignore it and some are neglectful, but this law is the law by which we will be judged. Turning again to the promises made to Abraham, we find the following: “in you all the families of the earth will be blessed” (Genesis 12:3). This is an early and somewhat vague promise (c.f. Genesis 3:15) but would become clearer in time (Isaiah 11:1, 10, Psalm 89:35-37). This new covenant is with all men and all are commanded to submit to it (Acts 17:30).

In a coming article, we look closer at each of these periods and the implications for men today.


 Bryant Evans may be reached at bryant at bryantevans.com. You can follow Bryant on Twitter @J_Bryant_Evans.

How Did We Become Illiterate?

The literacy rate in the United States is 99%. We know how to read. But we are illiterate in one important area. We suffer from Biblical Illiteracy.

Many would disagree. They shout that this is a “Christian nation” that is founded upon “Christian principles.” True enough, but we are still ignorant of the Scriptures to an astonishing degree.

Many can recite the broad outlines of childhood Bible stories. We remember the name of the first couple and we probably know that it was Noah who built an ark. We know Jesus is the Son of God and that he was crucified. But beyond the basics we struggle. In fact, increasing numbers of Christians get their faith from their preacher – not from the Bible. That’s dangerous.

The Bible itself tells us to study:

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).

Those who do study are held as good examples:

“For Ezra had set his heart to study  the law of the Lord, and to do it and to teach his rules and statutes in Israel”  (Ezra 7:10).

“Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them” (Psalms 111:2).

Those who fail to study are shown as poor examples who suffer:

“My people are desroyed for a lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest unto me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your children” (Hosea 4:6)

“Desire, without knowledge, is not good” (Proverbs 19:2)

A man without a growing knowledge of the truth is in danger of error. Trusting a preacher with your soul is a horrible gamble. Never trust your preacher! He is fallible and apt to err, sometimes through honest mistakes but sometimes through deliberate sin. Remember the Bible says that even Satan sometimes looks like an angel (2 Corinthians 11:14)

How Did We Become Illiterate?

I’ll offer some thoughts and watch for your comments.

We Became Illiterate When We Became too Busy

Careful Bible study takes time. Although some results are immediate we often must wait for the full results to be evident. Solomon said there is weariness in much study. He is exactly right. Our bodies become tired and our minds slow. Successful study takes time and effort.

Our present world keeps us busy. Sometimes the important things in life are pushed away by the urgent things. With children leading busy lives at school and participating in sports and the necessity for working one and two jobs, it is easy to let Bible study slide away. We need to rethink our time and carve out a few minutes every day for study.

We Became Illiterate When We Became too Rich

Too rich? Is that possible? It absolutely is if we  begin to trust in our stuff instead of in our savior. Paul was clear that we must not trust in our things. Read 1 Timothy 6:6-10. It is the love of money that destroys. The problem is that we trust in physical things which lead us away from God. One of the reasons faith has and continues to be a major force in the African-American community is because for some many years they had few possessions and little hope for any improvement. They had nothing to trust in but God.

When we trust in our possessions we will not expend  the time and effort to grow deeper in our knowledge of God’s word.

We Became Illiterate When We Surrendered the Pulpit to the Clergy

I am a preacher. I am supported by the local congregation but I eschew the term “clergy.” Here’s the problem with the idea of a clergy-laity relationship. Such a system assumes the clergy is somehow special and that his understanding is superior from that of the laity. Now I know I am painting with an awfully broad brush but too often we have seen preachers take churches into places they should not be while fundamentally changing doctrine. You’ve seen it and so have I.

The Bible decries  the elevation of preachers. Consider Jesus’ words of Matthew 23:8-12 where he warned against using terms like “Father” or “Rabbi” to denote religious leaders. The warning is underscored by his comment on being humble and avoiding being exalted. But when we let the preacher tell us what to believe we will not study as we should.

As an example, a young man attended a Vacation Bible School and heard the teacher explain one of the great stories from Jesus’ life. He interrupted the teacher. “That’s not the way my preacher tells it!” The teacher turned to the student and asked him to open his Bible. The youngster blushed, “I don’t have a Bible.” The teacher and the student looked together at the Bible and found that the student’s preacher was wrong. He changed the story to make his point.


We may be illiterate now but it need not continue that way. Decide now to make time to know the Lord better by being in his word. Take responsibility for your own faith. Know the Word!