I just returned from a three day conference called Recharge with Kay Arthur of Precept Ministries. Precept Ministries envision people who are "established in God's Word living as exemplary followers of Jesus Christ, studying the Bible inductively, viewing the world biblically, making disciples intentionally and serving the Church faithfully in the power of the Holy Spirit". Kay started the ministry in the 70's and now at 80 years young is still going strong. She is an incredible woman of God, dedicated to making sure Christians have a relationship with Jesus Christ and not just a religion. She does this by encouraging believers to get back into the Word of God, which I'm sad to report, is not something Christians are doing today.
Kay shared some startling facts with us over the weekend. Discouraging facts about the Bible's importance in the lives of Canadians and Americans. I share a few of these facts below:
We are in serious trouble as a country. But, don't think that lets you off the hook my American friends. Your Bible reading habits are just as bad.
Truthfully, Canada is in worse shape then America, but according to Kay (who is an American) she is finding more and more people who go to church, who have a "religion" but do not read their Bibles. And this is sad news indeed.
One has to ask - how do Christians think they will know God if they do not read His Word? Unfortunately, many Christians today are becoming so secularized by the world that they have a religion, not a relationship. They are entertained instead of instructed in the Word. Our youth groups are all about fun, with no real substance to them. Our teenagers do not know how to study their Bibles inductively and as church becomes more and more entertainment driven they will fail to be grounded in the one thing that will strengthen their relationship with God. For the most part, people go to church every Sunday, sit and listen to a sermon, sing a few hymns then leave thinking they have "done their duty" and all is right with God. But Jesus says in Matthew 7:21-23:
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'"
My friends, you cannot have a relationship with the Lord if you do not read your Bible. If you are just going to church on Sundays and then do not pick up your Bible during the week, you are not in a relationship with God. You have a religion. A person who calls themselves a Christian but does not live in relationship (daily Bible reading and prayer) with the Lord are not really Christians, and according to the Bible study Kay took us through, they are going to be in shock when they leave this earth expecting to step into heaven, because Jesus is going to say, "I never knew you...depart from Me."
Quite a few people realized with weeping last night that they were not Christians. They had gone to church faithfully, but that was it. They did not know the Lord, they did not know Him because they did not read His Word to find out about Him. Thankfully, many came to the Lord last night and are beginning a new life in Christ. One that will be grounded in the Word of God.
What about you? Are you in a relationship with Jesus Christ or are you in a religion? Are you aware that being a Catholic, Baptist, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, Anglican, etc. do not guarantee your salvation? Membership in a church means nothing if you are not in a relationship with the Lord and know Him personally. Getting baptized as a baby will not save you unless you make a personal decision to commit your life to Christ.
How do you do that? It's very simple. Acknowledge your sins and confess them to the Lord. Repent of them and never turn to them again. Thank the Lord for taking your punishment on the cross. He took your sins there you know. They died with Him. All you have to do is say Thank you Lord and invite Him to be a part of your life. Now commit your way to Him. Read your Bible everyday. Start in the gospel of John. Find a bible believing church and Christians who do read their bibles every day. Join with them in fellowship and grow in your relationship with the Lord.
To learn how to study your Bible correctly visit Precept Ministries and join an online Bible study or find a group near you. You will never regret it.