I don’t dislike false preachers personally.
I just can’t stand what they represent.
And I loathe how the publicity and perception of a false-doctrine preacher casts a light of disdain on those ministers of the Gospel who are trying to represent God and His Word with authenticity and accuracy.
Once while watching TV, I saw a preacher just completely manhandle a particular piece of God’s Word. But what bothered me more than his gross mismanagement of the text was the response of the audience!
Hundreds of people in this large auditorium stood up rocking and swaying, weeping, wailing and shouting their approval back at the preacher as he moved them with his erroneous teaching. Some of them stood holding their closed Bibles and clutching them tightly to their chest.
My first thought was: “If they’d sit down and open it, they might realize that they might realize that what they’re shouting about has no biblical relevance whatsoever.”
One of the biggest lies people tell on God’s Word is the “many interpretations” lie. Opponents of Scripture’s inerrancy — and even some Christians — say, “There is more than one interpretation to God’s Word. Everybody has their own interpretation.”
I’ll admit it; people do tend to interpret God’s Word with an interesting brand of variety. That doesn’t, however, make what they interpret correct. When God moved through and inspired divinely called men to write Scripture, He didn’t have a thousand potential meanings in His mind. He just had one.
Yes it is true. The Bible was written by men. But these men were eyewitnesses of what God did and who He was throughout time. Second Peter 1:20-21 (NLT) says this: “Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding, or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God.”
Simply stated, these men wrote — just like most authors write — from inspiration. Only their inspiration came from God’s Holy Spirit.
Newspapers, social media, bloggers, our favorite 24-hour news channels. The information we see and readily pass along from these outlets are gathered by people who claim to be eyewitnesses of what they are reporting. The men who wrote the Bible claim to be nothing more and nothing less.
If God can give men abilities to write in order to titillate our senses and inform us civically and politically why can’t He give men ability and inspiration to sit down and write His own story?
The truth is God intended His Word to be SUPER SIMPLE, to where even a child, could grasp it and run with its power! Christians can singlehandedly put false preachers out of business if they’d just learn how to study God’s word for themselves.
Here are six simple steps to proper Bible reading that, if followed and regularly practiced, will make Bible reading a little less intimidating:
-- Pray earnestly to God for understanding from the Holy Spirit.
-- Select the passage or text that you want to study.
-- Perform observation of the Scripture passage.
-- Find the proper interpretation of the passage. What exactly was God
trying to say?
-- Find the personal application for your own life. What exactly is God
trying to say to me?
And, finally, always end your study just as you began:
-- Pray earnestly to God to speak further to you by His Spirit about His
Next week, I’ll explain these six steps in more detail.
Gabriel Stovall is a Church Planter and the founder and pastor of NewLife Christian Church which meets at Forest Park Middle School’s cafeteria in Forest Park. If you’re on Twitter, you can follow him @gabrielcstovall.