Do you take the Bible seriously?
Many professing Christians do not. While most of them do own a Bible, it seems that there are relatively few who actually read it on a regular basis. Even those who do, seem rarely to allow the Word of God to challenge them and change them as it ought.
If Christians did read their Bibles in this manner, their faith would be strong, their doctrine would be pure, their worship would be reverent, and their profession of personal faith would always be adorned with a godly walk.
God calls you to take his word seriously:
“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 complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Do you take Bible study seriously?
Many professing Christians do not. While most of them do own a Bible and while many will attend the Bible Studies scheduled by their local church, it seems that there are few who spend time studying scripture on their own.
If more Christians did study their Bibles, they would not be so easily deceived by the charlatans and heretics who have snuck into the church unawares to draw away disciples after themselves and away from orthodoxy through empty-but-persuasive words.
God calls you to take Bible study seriously:
For the Holy Spirit judged the saints in Berea as “more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.” (Acts 17:11).
Do you take Bible translation seriously?
Many professing Christians do not. It seems that most simply use the Bible translation that their parents used or whatever their pastor happens to use. Many even choose their translation like they choose any other commodity (having being manipulated through mass marketing).
If more Christians did take seriously the topic of Bible translation, they would not only research the differences between text families (i.e., Textus Receptus, Eclectic, and Majority), but also between translation philosophies (i.e., Formal Equivalence, Dynamic Equivalence, and Paraphrase) before choosing a translation.
God calls you to take Bible translation seriously:
“Forever, O Lord, thy word is settled in the heavens…” and “assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.” (Psalm 119:89 and Matthew 5:18).
Do you take scripture memorization seriously?
Many professing Christians do not. While they will indeed memorize a favorite “life verse” from the Bible and perhaps a few other de-contextualized snippets of evangelical sloganeering, it seems that very few devote themselves to a regular and rigorous program of scripture memorization.
If more Christians did take scripture memorization seriously, they would not be so easily deceived by heretics and they would not be so quickly defeated by the devil and drawn into sin when he takes aim at their hearts and lets his fiery arrows fly.
God calls you to take scripture memorization seriously:
For the man of God says, “Thy word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against thee…” and of this man it is written, “The law of his God is in his heart; therefore none of his steps shall slide.” (Psalms 119:11 and 37:31)
Do you take doctrine seriously?
Many professing Christians do not. Rather than following the noble example of the first believers who continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine (Acts 2:42), they have chosen to walk according to that post-modern excuse for biblical ignorance: “Doctrine divides, but love unites.”
The only thing doctrine truly divides is truth from error, light from darkness, sheep from wolves, and wheat from tares. Such distinctions are becoming increasingly rare in the churches of today and that is why so many Christians are confused, weak, unstable, and in danger of apostasy.
God calls you to take doctrine seriously:
“Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine… Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.” (1 Timothy 4:13, 16)
Do you take preaching seriously?
Many professing Christians do not. While they will indeed pay attention and perhaps even take a few notes during the sermon, it seems that few understand and appreciate what actually happens when the Bible is preached by men who are sufficiently gifted and duly approved and called to the sacred office.
If more Christians did take preaching seriously, they would not only attend unto preaching with diligence, preparation, and prayer but they would also receive, meditate upon, and allow the truths preached to bring forth fruits of repentance, faith, and holiness in their lives.
God calls you to take preaching seriously:
“For this reason we also thank God without ceasing: because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.” (1 Thess. 2:13)
Do you take holiness seriously?
Many professing Christians do not. While many will indeed speak of their desire to “become more like Jesus”, it seems that any serious discussions about pursuing personal holiness are immediately dismissed by modern evangelicals as nothing but legalism and phariseeism.
If more Christians took seriously God’s command to come out from the world, stay separate from the world, and even hate the world so that they might become more like their Saviour, they would so shine as lights in this world that many would come to Christ.
God calls you to take holiness seriously:
“Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.” (Hebrews 12:14) “For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.” (Romans 6:19)
Do you take the sabbath seriously?
Many professing Christians do not. While most will indeed attend an hour-long worship service each week, there are very few who consciously and consistently set aside an entire twenty-four hour period each week for rest, worship, and ministry.
If more Christians took seriously God’s command to remember and keep holy the sabbath day, the stores and restaurants would be empty, the houses of worship and prayer would be filled, the orphans and widows would be visited, and the saints would be refreshed and rewarded.
God calls you to take the sabbath seriously:
“If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy day of the LORD honorable, and shall honor him, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words, then you shall delight yourself in the LORD…” (Isaiah 58:13-14)
Do you take worship seriously?
Many professing Christians do not. While most of them do attend the weekly service of their church, many do it only out of custom and merely go through the motions of worship (while their hearts remain far from God).
Even those who attend for the right reasons, are often unable to experience the power and presence of God because the service itself has not been regulated according to scripture and is not conducted in a decent and orderly manner.
God calls you to take worship seriously:
“Honor and majesty are before him; strength and power are in his sanctuary. Give to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts. Oh, worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness! Tremble before him, all the earth.” (Psalm 96:6-9)
Do you take baptism seriously?
Many professing Christians do not. Whether one believes in infant baptism or believer’s baptism, it seems that most Christians believe that baptism is as a religious rite which is once to be received and then may be forgotten.
If Christians were to remember their baptism more often and especially that glorious name into which they were baptized, they would be more conscious of their identity, more diligent in mortifying the flesh, and more careful to walk in newness of life.
God calls you to take baptism seriously:
“Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we were buried with him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:3-4)
Do you take communion seriously?
Many professing Christians do not. Even in the days of the apostles, there were some who approached the Lord’s Supper in an unprepared and unworthy manner. This not only prevented them from enjoying full communion with Christ, but some even became sick and died as a result.
While the Bible clearly states this somber fact, it seems that most Christians have chosen to avoid such uncomfortable thoughts. Many continue to approach the Lord’s Supper in a casual and even nonchalant manner, rather than with humble hearts and godly fear.
God calls you to take communion seriously:
“Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.” (1 Corinthians 11:27-29)
Do you take prayer seriously?
Many professing Christians do not. While most will perhaps ‘say their prayers’ before dinner or before bed, it seems that few (if any) spend significant and soul-searching time with the Lord in prayer.
If more Christians did seek the Lord’s face daily in prayer, they would not only feel God’s comforting presence, but also be filled with emotional peace and spiritual power as they face their daily trials, temptations, crosses and losses.
God calls you to take prayer seriously:
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
Do you take fasting seriously?
Many professing Christians do not. While many will indeed make a few dietary adjustments during the lenten season in obedience to their church, it seems that few engage in voluntary seasons of serious self-denial and intense prayer.
If more Christians did take fasting seriously, their prayers would be more fervent and efficacious, their bodies would be more healthy and lean, and the kingdom of God would exercise greater authority and power on the earth.
God calls you to take fasting seriously:
For after Jesus’ disciples asked him about the weakness of their ministry, he explained, “Because of your unbelief; assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. However, this kind [of demon] does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” (Matt. 17:20-21)
Do you take fellowship seriously?
Many professing Christians do not. While they will indeed “hang around” for a few minutes after worship or even visit a fellow church member on occasion, the concept of fellowship has been largely lost in our self-serving, oft-isolated, and radically-individualistic culture.
If more Christians realized that they were truly in fellowship with one another as members of the same body, they would spend more time together and cooperate together as each member does its share in the work of ministry; thereby enabling the body to grow up in all things.
God calls you to take fellowship seriously:
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:23-25)
Do you take church seriously?
Many professing Christians do not. While they will indeed acknowledge a place for church in their busy lives, it seems that few regard the visible church as the earthly and institutional manifestation of the spiritual kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ.
If more Christians did take the church seriously, they would not only honor its ministry, oracles, ordinances, and officers; but they would also enable the church to grow through their commitment to and cooperation in the work of ministry.
God calls you to take the church seriously:
For Jesus promised, “I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it…” and proved it by ascending “far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come… to be head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.” (Matt. 16:18 and Eph. 2:21-23)
Do you take membership seriously?
Many professing Christians do not. In fact, modern evangelicals approach the Church of Jesus Christ as they would any other commodity in this consumer-driven, overly-commercialized, and abusively-capitalistic culture.
If more Christians took church membership seriously (and stopped shopping around from church to church), they would commit themselves to a local church through covenant promises and be loathe to forsake that commitment unless absolutely (i.e., doctrinally) necessary.
God calls you to take membership seriously:
“We urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you…” (1 Thess. 5:12) “Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.” (Hebrews 13:17)
Do you take church discipline seriously?
Many professing Christians do not. In fact many (if not most) have never even heard of the concept. Even if they have, it seems that most dismiss the practice as out-dated, unfair, and out-of-place in our luke-warm and laissez-faire culture.
If more Christians did take church discipline seriously, they would be far more faithful in their own walk with the Lord and their churches would not be filled with worldlings, false-professors, fornicators, heretics, and schismatics.
God calls you to take church discipline seriously:
“I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner — not even to eat with such a person…” rather, “deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” (2 Cor. 5:11, 4-5)
Do you take giving seriously?
Many professing Christians do not. While most church-goers will indeed “put something” in the offering plate when it passes by, it seems that few have taken seriously God’s claims over their power to make wealth and their duty to honor him with their wealth.
If more Christians took this seriously, they would be far more diligent in seeking employment and increase. They would also seek first the kingdom of God and its further advancement on earth by faithfully offering their tithes and cheerful offerings.
God calls you to take giving seriously:
“For this I say to you: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:6-8)