I asked this question within the first few weeks of our assembly to our group: Doesn’t everyone take the Bible literally already? If I were to ask most Christians the question, do you take the Bible literally? Or even does your pastor teach the Bible literally, probably all would answer “yes” and “yes”. The actual fact really is probably NO and NO. I would dare say almost every person I have ever went to church with over the years believes that they were taught a literal interpretation of scripture. But the FACT is we were NOT taught the Bible literally in many ways. I will give you a few questions to ask yourself to very quickly determine if you are being taught the Bible literally. 1. Does your pastor spend most time preaching from Matthew, Mark, Luke and John? Although this does not answer the question definitively it gives you a strong indication he is not teaching literally. 2. Does your pastor teach Matthew, Mark, Luke and John as your marching orders for today? If so, this definitively proves your pastor is spiritualizing the scripture and is NOT teaching literally. If Jesus says his earthly ministry was only to Israel, but your pastor does not teach this, you are being misled. Your pastor is following mainstream Christian doctrine based on Covenant theology and the allegorical interpretation of scripture. 3. Does your pastor grab verses from wherever he wants including the OT and the Hebrew epistles to prove his doctrine? If so, once again, this proves he IS NOT teaching his Bible literally. Please don’t misunderstand. I teach from the OT as well as the Hebrew epistles all the time. The difference is that I teach them WHERE THEY BELONG doctrinally and dispensationally. 4. Does your pastor mix kingdom doctrine and salvation doctrine? Or in other words, does he use “the kingdom” and “heaven” synonymously? If so, I can GUARANTEE he is teaching the allegorical interpretation of scripture. The kingdom is exactly what scripture teaches it is, which is the earthly kingdom promised TO ISRAEL. The body of Christ is promised a future in heavenly places and this IS NOT the same thing as the kingdom. The resultant confusion that Christianity lives in is a direct result of the misguided and allegorized teaching of preachers today that ignore the direct command of scripture to follow their Apostle Paul and to rightly divide the scriptures as instructed.
1Co 1:10 ¶ Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
Please read the verse several times. Friend, the verse would not say what is says if this was not possible. This is possible! You will NEVER learn how if your preacher thinks the gospels contain your information about salvation and marching orders for the church today. You can understand the Bible. It will take guts. It will take you deciding you want to. It will take you deciding that you DON”T CARE what others think or say about you. The body of Christ could be fulfilling Paul’s command here if they would just follow the man Jesus himself called and sent TO THEM. YES! It is this simple.
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