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Why Read the Bible?

Ron Elkin
Ammi Ministry

You can have the opportunity to read the most important book in the entire universe, the Bible. The reason I can make this statement is based on the words of Jesus when he said, "What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?" (Mark 8:36). The Bible explains how to find God and avoid losing our souls.

Most people involved in the details of life neglect to search for spiritual reality. Or they see the pursuit of spiritual truth as too difficult, time consuming, fearful, or fanatical. Even if they are interested, they may fear that they cannot know the truth or that they will be deceived and follow a wrong path. Consequently, many choose to do nothing about it and hope that things will turn out all right.

However, we do not take this approach to medical problems. When we are sick or injured we go to doctors. This is the sane and right thing to do. Somehow, it is easy to ignore our spiritual illness that also needs attention.

God tells us to take hope: if we really want to know spiritual truth, we can. In the Bible God declares: "I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently [with a real effort] will find me" (Proverbs 8:17). But there is a price to pay. We must be willing to be humble before God and recognize that we are all sinners from his point of view. This is an uncomfortable idea. We all have a degree of pride that wants to find some goodness within us. Of course, it’s true on a relative scale that most of us are not murderers, large scale thieves, or criminals according to man’s law. However, from God’s perspective all people have violated His standards of righteousness.

This life is brief and will one day end for all of us. What happens when we leave this shell of a body and our souls go off into eternity? The Bible has an eternal perspective. It teaches that while this life is temporary, our souls do not die but go into an eternity, either with God in a positive, life-filled existence or separated from God and all that is positive into a negative existence. You owe it to yourself to search out the truth about God. Do not gamble with your eternal future.

The Bible does not teach a "religion." Rather it teaches how to have a real relationship with the owner and designer of the universe--God. There are many different religions in the world filled with all types of traditions and beliefs. How can one find the truth? The physical world reflects the reality of God. However, can we know that the God of the Bible is the creator of the universe?

Left to our own imagination, we can and do come up with a variety of beliefs and non-beliefs. The Bible is God’s way of communicating truth to us, so that we can avoid deception. God is knowable. That is why He inspired the authors of Bible to write down what He wanted them to write down. The creation of the Bible by God’s inspiration of its authors is an act of love. We communicate and learn through words. Thus, God used the words of the Bible to help us know Him.

It is interesting to note that other religions, political movements like communism, and other dictatorships have often banned the Bible, making it a crime to own and read it. Even some orthodox Christian religions have emphasized their traditions as more important than the Bible. In reality the banning of the Bible is part of the spiritual war by unseen spiritual powers, working through institutions and other religions, to keep people from discovering God’s truth for themselves.

Each person has the ability to pray and ask God to show him His truth as he reads and studies the Bible. But if we are to be real truth seekers, we must be ready to see things from God’s point of view, not our own opinion. The Bible has both Good News and Bad News. All of us are uncomfortable or afraid of facing the Bad News of how God really sees us, so we avoid Him and His Word. But it’s worth accepting the Bad News in order to get to the Good News of God’s everlasting love and acceptance.

Briefly, here is what the Bible teaches:

  1. Man fell from his original exalted position of being God’s assistant on this earth by disobeying God’s commands (see Genesis 1-3).
  2. The result of this disobedience was for man to have a limited lifetime, then to die. In between birth and death, we have a difficult struggle to survive and a mixture of joy and pain.
  3. The Bible teaches that we have inherited a sin nature, which causes us to be unable to live up to God’s standards.
  4. God explains that He must punish sin, and since we are all sinners, he will punish us for falling short of his standards. I know our minds cry out this is not fair, since He made us, but as one of the verses in the Bible states, "Who are you, O man, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?' " (Romans 9:20; cp. Isaiah 29:16). God also declares, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55:8-9).
  5. God’s plan to help us was to send part of himself (His son Jesus) to die for us. This plan was revealed in prophecy thousands of years before Jesus was born. You can read these prophecies for yourself in the Bible and decide if Jesus fulfilled them.
  6. God’s word has been preserved in a miraculous way since the time it was first written.
  7. The Bible explains what we must believe in order to be saved from eternal separation from him and from spending eternity in a horrible place of judgment.
  8. The Bible teaches that the way of salvation is this: each individual
    • Has to acknowledge to God that he is a sinner
    • Has to be willing to turn from his sins
    • Has to trust in the work of Jesus who died for his sins and reconciled him to God.

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