Must we read the Bible? Is it a requirement? Can’t we just go to church once a week and let that be it?
We could, but as you will see later, that isn’t the wise thing to do if you do not like fire. It’s far better to read the Bible to the point of retaining it than anything a Christian can do. Why? You can go to a building called a church all your life and not make it into the Kingdom of God. Why? Many who call Jesus Lord and do all kinds of spiritual things today will not be able to enter the Kingdom of God simply because they did not get the instructions right (Matthew 7:21-23).
First, we’ve got to do the will of the Father, and we won’t even be able to test and approve the will of the Father for our lives until after we stop conforming to this world and renew or minds with the truth according to Romans 12:1-2. Its our first order of business after getting saved.
12 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. NKJV
Next, we have got to come to know Jesus Christ or He will say, “Away from Me, I never knew you” (Matthew 7:21-23, Luke 13:22-28). That involves putting to death our old self and putting on the new person, which also includes renewing our minds with the truth of God’s Word (Ephesians 4:20-24).
20 But you have not so learned Christ, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. NKJV
How do we learn Christ according to those verses? We start by putting off our former conduct, but that kind of talk doesn’t sell books does it? No it doesn’t. That’s why you won’t hear that in too many places, but the exact opposite; “live like you want to live because God’s loves you so much.” Now that sells books and fills the pews, and it will also fill the lake of fire with the deceived and their leaders. When the blind lead the blind, both fall into the pit (Luke 6:39).
You shall know the truth and the truth shall do what? Set you free! Praise God. What will “knowing the truth” set us free from?
31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” 33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?” 34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. 37 “I know that you are Abraham’s descendants, but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. NKJV
Knowing the truth will set us free from being a slave to sin. Romans 1:28-32 also testifies to this. Knowing the truth to the point of being set free from sin will also give us a permanent place in the family. As it is written above, a slave to sin does not abide (remain) in the house forever (verse 35 above).
You see, in the end before Jesus gives the Kingdom back to God (1 Corinthians 15:24-28), He will weed out of His Kingdom all things that offend and people who practice sin, which is lawlessness (1 John 3:4).
40 Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. 41 The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, 42 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear! NKJV
So the people who are not set free from being a slave to sin, will not make it. That means that the people who are not renewing their minds with the truth will not make it, because it is the truth that sets us free. Now how important do you think knowing the truth is? Reading the Bible to the point of retaining it can give us an inheritance. Read the verses below.
32 “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. NKJV
21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. NKJV
Things are not supposed to be as they are today. The first thing a Christian should hear as they walk into a gathering of the church is a reminder to know the truth to the point of being one in knowledge and one in faith. That is the very purpose of apostles, prophets, evangelist, pastors and teachers according to the Word of the Lord written in Ephesians 4:11-13, but that isn’t happening today.
11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, NKJV
All of the teaching gifts are charged with preparing the body of Christ, or getting us ready to serve until we reach oneness in faith and (oneness) in knowledge to the point of perfection (perfect man, verse 13 above). I don’t think there is a place left that preaches perfection, but all have learned to teach the exact opposite; we can’t be perfect. I haven’t checked to see if the newer Bibles have taken Colossians 1:28, James 3:2, or Matthew 5:48 out yet, but we will teach that on a different day, Lord willing.
If we ever reach the point of perfection in faith and knowledge, as it is written in Ephesians 4:13 above, then we will no longer be tossed back and forth by bad preaching (verse 14 above).
For example, when someone preaches Romans 8:31 out of context with the rest of the letter, we will recognize it immediately. Some if not most this day and age, preach “if God be for us, who can be against us” without the slightest hint that the people referred to as “us” are the same people who walk in the Spirit and not after the flesh according to Romans 8:4. They keep their mind-set on the things above (Romans 8:5-8). They put to death the misdeeds of the body through the Spirit (Romans 8:12-13), and allow the Spirit to lead them (Romans 8:14). They willingly suffer for Christ in order that they may share in the glory (Romans 8:17, Philippians 1:29).
That describes the people he is talking about in Romans chapter 8, and the people who are not included are the ones who are hostile toward God and do not submit to God according to Romans 8:4-8. To be worldly (carnally) minded is death (Romans 8:6). Imagine the number of people who live in death, but attend church every week and think that God is for them because they do not know the truth for themselves. They have been deceived and don’t know it, but we are warned that God’s people are destroyed for lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6).
Yes, there is still condemnation in those who are “in Christ,” but walk according to the flesh (Romans 8:1, 4). Go back and read Romans 8 again out loud. Not all in Christ, but all in Christ who do not walk according to the flesh have no condemnation in them. Yes they got saved, but they are on the path to be weeded out of the Kingdom for lack of knowledge. They may even be on fire for God, but as it is written, “not according to knowledge” (Romans 10:2). They simply got the instructions wrong.
The face of the Lord is against those who do evil (1 Peter 3:10), point, blank, period. Anytime someone does not know the Word of God for themselves then they can be easily carried away into error by false teachers, especially this day and age. For that reason, my wife and I are in the soul saving business.
19 Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, 20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins. NKJV
Notice he says, “if anyone among you wanders away from truth.” That’s a believer that has been tricked. It’s hard for me to believe that a Christian would wander from the truth if they knew what their Bible said for themselves (Ephesians 4:13-14). That’s the danger in getting caught up in this sound good feel good preaching that is wide-spread today. I can see why people would preach it in order to fill the building or sell books, but I don’t think they know the consequences.
Once we speak against the faith we can fall away from the faith (1 Timothy 6:20-21). So to them, they really can’t see the verses I am showing you. It’s like they do not exists. That’s why they so confidently speak directly against what their own Bible says. It’s called being blind.
So how important is reading the Word of God to the point of retaining it for ourselves? It’s extremely important and even more so today. The Gospel is being twisted into something that doesn’t even fit into the Bible. In fact, a lot of places have switched to books rather than using a Bible. That doesn’t shock me because I know that we are in the last days.
It is predicted that people will not put up with the doctrine found in the Bible, but will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what they want to hear (2 Timothy 4:2-4). We are at that point today, and it is called the “falling away.”
2 Thessalonians 2:1-4
Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. 3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. NKJV
Notice that Jesus does not come back until after this falling away and that is where we are today. What are we falling away from? Just as it is mentioned in 2 Timothy 4:2-4 (below), people will not even put up with sound doctrine. It will get to where people who attend church every week will want to hear anything but what is written in the Bible, and we are there today. I have attended several churches that use books like “Chicken Soup” during the sermon time, which is a direct violation to 2 Timothy 4:2 (below), 1 Corinthians 4:6, and Proverbs 30:6, but people love it! I don’t even use my own books while preaching, but only the Word of God like it is written.
2 Timothy 4:2-4
2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. NKJV
Now I want you to read the passage below and notice that there are two groups of people. One group is caught up in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders meant to keep them away from what really counts which is believing the truth. They willingly continue in unrighteousness thinking that what they are doing is very spiritual. God Himself sends them a strong delusion since they have rejected the truth and love unrighteousness (verse 11 below). The same God who they proclaim is “for them” is the one Who sends the delusion.
The next group believes the Word, and they are putting to death the misdeeds of the body through the Spirit (Romans 8:12-14), and belief in the truth. The Gospel message they heard included a call to this very thing according to verse 14 below, that they may share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Then they are instructed to hold to the traditions (way of life) they were taught whether by word or letter (epistle). Imagine that. One heard a man-made gospel that basically says, live like you want to live because God loves you so much, and the other heard, hold to the teachings, be sanctified (made holy) through the Spirit and belief in the truth. Which group is going to make it?
2 Thessalonians 2:9-15
9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
13 But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, 14 to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle. NKJV
Which group is going to make it? Which group are you in? Do you believe the truth? Are you putting to death the misdeeds of the body through the Spirit (Romans 8:12-13)? Are you walking in the Spirit in accordance with Romans 8:4-8? Are you holding to the teachings? Does that sound like the Gospel message you heard when you started coming to a place called church? Did you hear verses like 1 Corinthians 15:1-2 (below) or were they hidden from you?
1 Corinthians 15:1-2
1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you — unless you believed in vain. NKJV
You didn’t hear that part of the Gospel because it says “saved if.” That’s understandable, because if we have come to accept and believe that the Bible says “once saved always saved,” how can we preach “saved if” like it is written in that verse above? We can’t.
In fact, those who speak against the faith to the point of falling away from the faith can’t even see it (1 Timothy 6:20-21). They will be the first to tell you that there is no such thing as “saved if,” just as they say we can’t be perfect, we can’t stop sinning, and many others. They are blind and have rejected the truth. A big surprise awaits them on the last day according to the Word of Jesus Christ in John 12:46-49. The very Word that they have rejected and do not receive will condemn them on the last day.
If you use one of the newer Bibles you probably won’t see the verses above because they have taken them out and many more like it, but that’s just more evidence of what I am talking about. Welcome to the great falling away!
I’m Alan Ballou; a servant. If you have a question please ask me and I will answer you according to what is written and not human wisdom or philosophy (Colossians 2:8). You may reach me at www.askPastorBlue.com or www.HowToStopSinning.com.
Be sanctified by the truth my friend and not by human wisdom.
17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. NKJV
63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. NKJV