by Tad Lindley
They had gotten tired of life. One night they found themselves in a revival service. The Lord moved upon their hearts, and they found themselves repenting on their knees. Soon they were baptized in a nearby creek following the pattern set down in the Bible. They were immediately delivered from drugs and alcohol.
The wife, very excited about trying to live for God, began to attend church regularly. There was something about her that quickly caused concern among the congregation. In fact it caused her to stick out. The poor woman didn’t realize it at first. People may have held back from speaking about it to her directly, hoping that the situation would change. It didn’t change. After all, she was excited about living for God, and she was so focused on that, that she wasn’t concerned with how she looked or behaved at church. Eventually the congregation could put up with her disrespect no longer. It was decided that this bad behavior would have to be confronted head on.
Face to face, they asked her to stop. What she was doing was an affront to the pastor and the church. She didn’t see others doing it, and neither should she, they said.
What was she doing? I couldn’t believe this when I heard about it, but I heard portions of it straight from the woman. What stirred people up, is that she was bringing her Bible to church. They told her it was disrespectful to the pastor to bring a Bible. A Bible, they said, was evidence that you didn’t trust the pastor.
Run the other way
When a preacher asks people not to read the Bible, he has something to hide. Either he is adding to the word of God or taking away from it. If you find yourself in such a situation, run the other direction.
When a preacher says something that contradicts the Bible, one of them is wrong. Is the Bible wrong, or the preacher? Obviously it is the preacher that is wrong. Unless you read your Bible though, you will never know if a preacher has contradicted God. The Bible was not written for just the preacher, but it exists for all of us.
God wants everyone to read the Bible
The Bible is God’s word for us. It contains everything we need to grow in Him (II Timothy 3:16). The Lord wants you to read the Bible. Consider the following verses of scripture:
And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. (Deuteronomy 6:6-7 NKJV) How can we teach them to our children if we do know what they are? How will we know what they are if we do not read them?
On that last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried saying, If any man thirst let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on me as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (John 7:37-38) How can we believe on Jesus “as the scripture hath said”, if we don’t know what the scripture hath said? Unless we read it for ourselves, or listen to the Bible on tape, we will be subject to believe bad preaching.
I heard a preacher say…
Did somebody ever tell you, “One time I heard a preacher say…” Then they follow it up with something that is not in the Bible, for instance that in heaven we will walk on streets of gold. (Read the Revelation for yourself, there is only one street). Many strange and unscriptural things have been preached from pulpits, but we should not be surprised. This has been going on for almost 2,000 years. Within 25 years of the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2), the gospel was being corrupted. The word of God addresses this in Galatians. But though we or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. (1:8)
Unless we read our Bible, we will have no idea what the gospel was that the apostles preached. We leave the door open for a preacher to pass off his own thoughts as the word of God. (You will find actual sermons preached by the apostles in the book of Acts. There you will also find the way believers responded to the gospel. I recommend we all compare this with our own experiences in God).
Would I lie to you?
Yes. The ability to lie is within all human beings. When I preach, or write, do not believe me. Check out what I say. Don’t compare me with what you think, or what your pastor thinks, or with what the history books say. Compare me with what the word of God says. The only way to make sure your preacher is honest is to read your Bible, otherwise you are leaving yourself vulnerable to believing a lie.
Tad Lindley is a minister at the United Pentecostal Church in Bethel, AK.