“He that hath an ear let him (or her) hear!” Please indulge an ol’ prof and pastor an urgent word of concern. We are losing systematic Bible study in many local churches! You should see the faces of some pastors (and hear their response) when I ask them this probing question… “When do you offer systematic Bible study in your church?”
Why do I pose a question like that, you ask? Because of what Apostle Paul declared in 2 Timothy 3:14-17… He said, “But as for you continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it! From childhood [that’s right BIBLE STUDY FROM CHILDHOOD!] you have been acquainted with the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. ALL SCRIPTURE IS INSPIRED BY GOD, AND IS PROFITABLE for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, THAT THE MAN (or woman) OF GOD MAY BE COMPLETE, EQUIPPED FOR EVERY GOOD WORK!”
Now I’m fully aware that the Old Testament Scriptures were what Paul had primarily in mind when he penned these words. Peter, however, broadened the scope of Scripture to include what we have in the New Testament (check out 2 Peter 3:16-17)
Now, I am a fan of quality, anointed Biblical preaching (the proclamation of the message of God’s word to gain a commitment and decision)! But in many churches we have marginalized “Sunday school” for all ages and developmental groupings and relegated it to the museum of “ancient Christian dinosaurs.” Hey I don’t care what you call it… JUST DO IT – SYSTEMATIC BIBLE STUDY FOR ALL AGES! (That’s right… “systematic Bible study!” – so that when the “scope and sequence plan is complete” individuals in our churches have studied the Bible “lid to lid!”) “For Heaven’s sake” Let’s stamp out “Biblical illiteracy” among Christians!
Now we have a plethora of topical Bible studies still available today, and for that I rejoice! However there is not a lot of “systematic Bible study” (i.e. “book by book” – passage by passage inductive Bible study opportunities) in our churches… and for that I grieve!
Yeah, I know all the arguments… I’ve heard ‘em: “I don’t have any quality, trained teachers!” “We don’t have the space!” “People are so busy!” “I wish there was the interest in my church!” Etc! And believe me, there are solutions to every one of those arguments if we want to find them! The facts are… 2 Timothy 3:14-17 is still in our Bibles (and for the life of me, I don’t know how you make “a fully trained, mature, fruitful, reproducing disciple without getting them involved in “systematic Bible study!”)
“Rant” done… Thanks for indulging me! Hope it bears some fruit!