Do you have a Bible? Most people do. Do you read the Bible? Most people don't. What is your attitude toward the Bible? It is the most loved and the most hated book in the world. In between these two extremes there are many other attitudes toward the Bible.

ANTAGONISM: There are some like Jehoiakim of the Old Testament, who took the word of God addressed to him and cut it to pieces with his knife (Jeremiah 36:23). He despised God and any word of God. There have been many like him. Emperor Diocletian in the third century decreed that all copies of the Bible should be destroyed. He also decreed death as the penalty for reading the Bible.

RIDICULE: The atheist, Thomas Paine, like Communists of today, scoffed at the Bible and said that it would soon become a mere museum relic. Paine is dead, and yet the Bible is our nation's "best seller" today. The Bible forewarned of such scoffers (2 Peter 3:3).

SUPERSTITION: Many people look on the Bible much like a superstitious person who carries a rabbit foot or a buckeye in his pocket. They do not read it, but feel safer if it is close by. They lay their hand on it when they swear, but they never handle it aright as the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15). They clutch it in fear in foxholes but refuse to read it in times of peace.

INDIFFERENCE: There are many who neither hate it nor love it. Their indifferent attitude results in ignorance. The prophet Hosea reprimanded the people on this point and warned of the consequences: "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children" (Hosea 4:6). "For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed: lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them" (Matthew 13:15).

PREJUDICE: Many people read the Bible to prove their point. They use the Scripture for their purpose (2 Peter 3:16). They do not read their Bible with the sincere desire to find what the word of God is.

LOYALTY: In contrast to te extreme attitudes of Jehoiakim and Diocletian, there have been great men like John Wycliffe and William Tyndale. These men held that "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thor- oughly furnished unto all good works" (2 Timothy 3:16,17). Wycliffe, who lived in the fourteenth century, was dedicated to the proposition that the "Scriptures are the property of the people" -- even as the noble Bereans searched the Scriptures daily. He was hated for this attitude, and 40 years after his death people dug up his body, burned it, and threw his ashes into the River Swift as an expression of their violent hatred for the man who loved the Bible so much. Tyndale was determined that even a plowboy should know the Scriptures. He was forced to work in secret because his life was in danger. As a result of his efforts thousands of copies of the Bible were circulated in England in the sixteenth century. For all of this he was imprisoned, treated shamefully and finally strangled and burned.

Such love for the Scripture was expressed beautifully by Sir Walter Scott:

"Within this ample volume lies The mystery of mysteries. Happiest they of human race To who their God has given grace To read, to fear, to hope, to pray, To lift the latch, to force the way; But better had they ne'er been born That read to doubt or read to scorn."

Our Lord Jesus Christ pointed to the judgment day in these words, emphasizing the eternal importance of the word of God: "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day" (John 12:48).

Unknown==Via, Evendale Enlightener

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