Ignorance of God’s Word

A Sunday school teacher was telling her first-graders the story of the
Prodigal Son. She wanted to stress the resentful attitude of the older
brother since that was the theme of the lesson. So, as she read the
passage, she emphasized that portion of the parable. After she had
finished reading the story from the Bible, the teacher began reminding the
children about the rejoicing of the household over the return of the
wayward son and how the father had given instructions to kill the fatted
calf and prepare a banquet in his honor. She described the joy, happiness
and desire of the father to celebrate. “But”, the teacher said, “there was
one at the party who didn’t join in with the cheering and singing”. She
asked, “can anybody tell me who that was?” The class was silent and still
for a moment and the teacher began to think she had failed in her
assignment. Then, a little boy named Dexter raised his hand. “Dexter”,
the teacher asked expectantly, “who wasn’t happy to be at the feast that
day?” Of course, she expected Dexter to say, “the brother,” but instead,
the little boy sat up straight in his chair and replied, “the fatted calf”!

A child’s innocent misunderstanding of the Bible may be funny, but when
adults show a willful ignorance of God’s Word it is no laughing matter.
According to a recent Barna Research poll, only 21% of Americans believe
they have good grasp of Bible knowledge. Dr. Michael J. Vlach, professor
of theology at Master’s Seminary, notes that the most widely known Bible
verse among adult and teen believers is “God helps those who help
themselves”. That verse is not actually in the Bible and actually
conflicts with the basic message of Scripture.

I believe that the church must stress the importance of learning the Bible
and applying it to our lives. That’s why we are so blessed to have teachers
and classes in churches all over the world where both young and old can
go to learn more about God’s Word. If you’re not already attending a church
where the Bible is acknowledged as the 100% inerrant Word of God, I pray
that you diligently seek out and find one. Of course, we can learn so much from attending worship services and like most pastors, I spend many hours in Bible
study every week preparing sermons from God’s Word. But as a pastor, I’m
humble enough to admit that Sunday school, small groups, discipleship training
and the various missions and Bible study classes for our young people are some
of the best places to dig deep into Scripture. I also hope that you and your family
spend time studying the Bible every day. If you need help or suggestions regarding
how to learn more from God’s Word, talk to your pastor. I know he would be happy
to talk with you anytime and share some ideas. Please make plans to be present in every service, every class and invite others to come and be a part of these times when the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is lifted up and the Bible is affirmed as our source of truth.