There are many great books authored by man. While these books contribute to man’s education,
it is not mandatory that people read and study all of them. One book, however, is unique from
all others. It is the Holy Bible, and this book cannot be neglected without eternal consequences.
One will never benefit from the Holy Scriptures if he does not read them or have them read to him. The Lord indicted those of His day for not knowing or not practicing the demands of the Scriptures. When the Pharisees made false accusations against His disciples Jesus said, “Have ye not read what David did...” (Matthew 12:3) and “Have ye not read in the law...” (Matthew 12:5). When the chief priests and elders demanded by what authority Jesus did the things He did, the Lord said “Did ye never read in the scriptures...” (Matthew 21:42)? It is easy to see that Christ intended for people to read and study the Bible. A casual reading of ten to twenty scriptures will not get the job done! It is a truth that folks will be lost because of “a lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6).
There are many who do not read the Bible. Something even more tragic, however, is the number of folk who do read the Bible, but do not believe it. It is a truth that “belief cometh of hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). Only through the word of God is Biblical faith possible, and the word has been given to us to produce belief. The apostle John recorded, “Many other signs therefore did Jesus in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book, but these are written, that ye may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye may have life in his name” (John 20:30-31). It is even today as the writer of Hebrews said, “For indeed we have had good tidings preached unto us, even as also they: but the word of hearing did not profit them, because it was not united by faith with them that heard” (Hebrews 4:2). One who truly believes will not quibble with or question what God has said. Substituting what one believes for what God has commanded will not save a person’s soul. Such is done every time manmade creeds are followed instead of the Bible!
All mankind will either be lost in hell or saved in heaven, and the Bible is the book by which people will be judged. Simply professing to love the Lord while rejecting the words of Holy Writ will not save anyone! The Hebrew writer could not have been more clear when he said, “and having been made perfect, he became unto all them that obey him the author of eternal salvation” (Hebrews 5:9). The Bible principle of hearing and doing is firmly established. James admonished his hearers, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deluding your own selves” (James 1:22). The Lord Himself said, “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself unto him” (John 14:21). Those who “know not God” and those who “obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus” (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9) will be eternally lost.
Many books written by men become popular because they give their approval to whateverit is that people enjoy doing. It matters not to one obsessed with the “best seller” list whether or not his advice is moral. The Bible demands that people renounce sin and live the Christian life. It is as Titus said, “For the grace of God hath appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us, to the intent that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly and righteously and godly in this present world” (Titus 2:11-12). Paul clearly defines one’s duty in terms the world would rather not hear — “prove all things; hold fast that which is good; abstain from every form of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22). One who refuses to “walk in the light, as he is in the light” (1 John 7) will not inherit a heavenly home!
The greatest need today is for people to “learn not to go beyond the things that are written” (1 Corinthians 4:6). The Psalmist stated it like this: “For ever, O Jehovah, Thy word is settled in heaven” (Psa. 119:89). We now have “all things that pertain to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3) as “the faith... was once for all delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3). The words that Christ has spoken will judge all men (John 12:48).
May all of the Lord’s faithful be “set for the defence of the gospel” (Phillippians 1:16, ASV)! It is a very serious matter — a matter of life and death! Why? Error believed and obeyed will damn one’s soul to an eternal hell (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12). The good news is that truth believed and obeyed will free one from his penitent sins (John 8:32; James 1:21; Romans 6:16-18). The Bible is not optional for those who desire to go to Heaven!