Around 755 B.C. the prophet Amos delivered a message of doom for the people of Israel. In addition to the terrible judgment that would come upon them would be a famine of the Word of God. They had rejected and trampled underfoot His Word, and in the hopelessness of their future condition God would not respond to their cry for a message from Him. The prophet declared, “Behold the days come saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord” (Amos 8:11). They would seek it but would be unable to find it. “They shall wander from sea to sea” (8:12), from one end of the earth to the other, “from the north even to the east,” seeking God’s Word but would be unable to find it. They had wilfully rejected God’s Word and now would suffer the consequences.
Can anyone who loves sacred truth deny that there is a famine of Bible knowledge in our land today? Multitudes cry out for the right to murder their unborn babies in the name of “pro-choice.” Homosexuality is justified as an “alternate lifestyle” rather than being seen as the abomination that it is (Romans 1:27). On the television screen as well as in everyday life adultery is glorified in the name of “love.” Half of all marriages end in divorce for any and every “reason” under the sun except the one biblical reason set forth in Holy Writ (Matt. 19:9). One can read of the sins of avarice and vice in I Corinthians 6:9,10 such as fornication, homosexuality, adultery, idolatry, theft, extortion, drunkenness, etc., and it is indeed a commentary on the times in which we live. Would it be necessary to also mention murder, maliciousness, deceit, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, etc., to show this to be the case? In the days of old, “every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6). Sadly, the same is true today. One of the great lessons of the prophets and history is that in back of a nation’s decay in moral, social, and political life, there is first a decay in it’s religious life.
Dear reader, if we recognize that there is a famine of Bible knowledge in our nation today, then surely we can also see that it extends even into the church of our Lord. I wonder how many of our brethren (including young people) who have been Christians for any length of time know from memory the five steps of salvation along with scriptures for each: Hear (Rom. 10:17); believe in Christ (John 8:24); repent of sins (Luke 13:3); confess faith in Christ (Acts 8:37); and be baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38). If someone were to ask you why the church of Christ does not use instrumental music in worship, could you answer with scripture? Is the use of instrumental music in worship a “salvation issue?” That is, can a congregation use instrumental music and still be acceptable to God? Do you know why the Lord’s church is different from denominations?
One problem in the church today is that many elders are not seeing to it that their flock is fed a proper diet of God’s Word and another is that many of our preachers are not willing to preach the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27). As a result, many do not know the Scriptures as their parents did and their parents before them. Many brethren today never hear sermons on the distinctiveness of the church, the plan of salvation, the authority of the Scriptures, etc. The result: many have departed from the truth and no longer hold to sound doctrine.
The Psalmist declared, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” (Psa. 119:105). So it is with us. Let us read it; study it; and apply it taking great delight in the law of the Lord (I Tim. 4:13; II Tim. 2:15; Psa. 1:1-2). “But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (II Pet. 3:18).
By Jimmy Ferguson
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