In this life it is very easy to become secure in the fact that we are surrounded by many people of the same opinion. This security comes from the feeling that we must be correct because we are surrounded by so many people that believe the same thing. We look outside our group and wonder how people could not believe as we do. So, we decide that we are correct and fail to challenge or investigate our beliefs. This is the position I was in for many years. It’s easy to put your trust in the study of others and the knowledge other people seem to have. We tend to believe what the people teaching us believe. I feel this is the state of the vast majority of Christianity today. They don’t study the Bible. They are content to attend church several times a week and consider this enough “study” to feel confident in their choice of denomination or group. You might have heard the adage that 10% of the people in a church do 90% of the work. The adage you should pay more attention to is that 90% of preaching covers about 10% of the Bible. I grew sick of the fact that preaching is usually full of analogies, stories, and emotional jargon to tug at your heart. I became frustrated that the 90% of the Bible we never heard about is full of information and doctrine that many times does not line up with the few verses we hear recited week after week. But when you are sitting in a large sanctuary filled with people who all believe the same way, you can calm these feelings of doubt. If you had any clue about how little the people sitting in the pews with you really knew about the Bible based on PERSONAL STUDY, you would change your opinion very quickly. Friend, sitting in church week after week being told what to believe IS NOT STUDY. Reading an occasional book on prayer or some other common topic IS NOT STUDY. Pretending your current beliefs and interpretation of the Bible are correct because you are surrounded by people that think the same way is a false sense of security. Jesus himself walked the earth for 3 years preaching a literal interpretation of the OT prophecies about himself and his group of followers is called the “LITTLE FLOCK” of Israel. The vast majority of Israel, many of whom knew the scriptures themselves failed to believe Jesus himself. The apostle Paul who was called by Jesus himself and given a revelation of the mystery to dispense to the world at the end of his life concludes that there are few left that still believe what he is preaching. We can find other examples, but you get the idea. Christians today look around them and see the crowds in their church and feel security in numbers. This IS NOT the example left for us in scripture. Jesus had few followers that believed his message. Paul ultimately had few believers that believed his message. I contend that today there are very few people that believe everything the Bible has to say. They believe the 10% that supports their current beliefs. This is the 10% they hear preached and taught over and over Sunday after Sunday. When teachers get beyond the common verses, they teach them with a slant and use them to prop up whatever their chosen position is. Why not use the Bible interpreted just as Jesus and Paul did? Jesus and Paul believed the Bible literally just as it was written. Jesus and Paul left it alone. Jesus and Paul left Israel what belongs to Israel and did not steal verses that don’t belong to them. Friend when you start taking verses for yourself that the Bible applies to other people you can then make the Bible teach just about anything you want. THIS IS the position of Christianity today. This is why your kids leave the church! Their own personal lift experience teaches them that many of the things they were taught in church don’t work. This is why when your preacher teaches a lesson on prayer that he eventually has to teach a lesson on “When God doesn’t answer your prayer.” If prayer was taught properly from a Pauline perspective, you would not need excuses. Stop looking around at the crowd of people in your sanctuary or denomination and start looking into the Bible yourself to find out why there is so much you have never heard taught. Start following the example Jesus sent to you, the Apostle Paul. There were 12 Apostles for the 12 tribes, and 1 apostle for the “one body” of Christ. This simple logic has the power to open the bible up for you. Chances are this simple logic IS NOT taught in your church. We would rather look around us at the large numbers and get our security from that.
Steve Schoenberger is a student of the Bible and the teacher at Abundant Grace Bible Fellowship, A Mid-Acts Dispensational Bible church teaching the Bible rightly divided according the revelation of the mystery delivered to the Apostle Paul