13 Sep 2020
Christians today have more bibles, commentaries and bible studies than ever before. Yet Christians are more unlike Jesus Christ than ever before! Is the Bible incomplete and impotent to mould and shape us to Christ likeness? By no means!! But Satan has deceived us to believe that the bible is largely a Myth, too Mysterious for the average Christian to understand, too Messed-up to read as a book with a beginning and an ending and led us to Mutilate the bible into little pieces of texts that can be taken out of context to make our own versions of Christianity! The bible is the greatest masterpiece on earth. The bible reveals God perfectly. God through the Holy Spirit wrote the bible for His children - not scholars! So let’s begin our journey through The Beautiful Book to discover the Beautiful God!!
We are looking for sermon transcribers/transcript reviewers.
Email [email protected] to serve or to report transcription errors.
The sermon topic is ‘Today's Unused Bible’. We live in a time where there are more Bibles than ever in history. In the last 50 years, the printing of Bibles has been so profuse. There is no book ever in history that has been as much printed as the Bible. It is number one by far; number two is like 10 times behind. Every one of us has Bibles, in our homes, in our phones. This generation has more Bibles, more Bible commentaries, more Bible survey books, more Bible handbooks, more Bible maps, Bible charts, all kinds of things. All of us have so much information from the Bible at this time. All of us are filled with Bible knowledge. The world says this is the age – the knowledge age, and most Christians can say, “this is the Bible knowledge age”. And yet, today's topic is ‘The Unused Bible’. Now, that doesn't seem to make sense. “I got so many Bibles, Pastor I refer to all the time. If I don't understand this version, I turn to the other version,” and if again you're not sure, “I opened my take my cell phone and I checked the lexicon and the Greek and the Hebrew. And I can do all kinds of things, Pastor. I use the Bible.” Oh, really? Can I say today, though the Bible is used as a book, it is unused as our guide. Can I say today, at the risk of being attacked, that we are more away from the truth today than previous generations? Many will straightaway say “Pastor, what data do you have to support that? Show me your data.” I don't have. How do you survey some people who were dead long ago anyway? But I go on as a clinical guy, as a medical guy, I see things I can see. Right? Today, if I see a lot of obese people, I say, “Well, the world has more obese people than ever before.”. How do I know? I don’t have pictures of people in the 15th century, or in the 12th century. I don't have statistics on them but I just have a gut feel. So in the same way, as we did last week, we saw that in spite of all the Bibles that we have, all the Bible studies we have gone through, we saw last week that we have produced an unrecognizable church. To be honest, if Jesus came into the church today of the four S's: the sanctuary, the Sunday thing, the service thing, and the sacrament thing – if Jesus were to walk into a today church with those characteristics, I don't believe he would recognize it as the church. He had modelled as the church he had wanted us to produce. I'm sure Paul and the rest would be shocked. They will walk in here and wonder, “What is this? Why is everybody just sitting so passively? Is this church or did we go in the wrong place?” No, no, this is church! We had produced an unrecognizable church in spite of all the Bible knowledge. I'm not saying is that is the ignorant people that produces unrecognizable church. I'm telling you even the Bible schools that have all the scholars studying the Bible and studying even the book of Acts and writing PhDs on the book of Acts, will produce a church so unlike the book of Acts. So the Bible is not used, really. It is a textbook for learning, not for leading. Wow, that's very harsh. And so, let's just look – quick review. That's what we want to be, right? That's what we believe the Acts church should be. And we want to be an Acts church, right? We believe that. We call ourselves ‘Bible-believing’. I am responsible for this. Four S's. Alright? Hey, this guy who probably will tell you, he has read the book of Acts 50 times at least and he produces this. It's like, ‘Hey, do you ever use the Bible as your guide? Or is it a textbook for discussions? Bible studies? Classroom?’ You see, can you see the mismatch? When I say it's an unused Bible, please understand where I am coming from. I'm not criticizing people. I'm criticizing myself. If I had truly used the Bible, how did I produce this type of church, the four S's, which has nothing to do with the church Jesus wanted – the early church; nothing to do. And they met in the house of such and such and they met in the house of such and such and we built this huge thing without people meeting in houses. ‘Just temporary, just temporary, after the COVID will get back.’ Really? So, you know, I'm not criticizing. I hope you don't get me wrong. I'm just preaching to myself today. This guy who claims to be Bible-believing, Bible-preaching, who claims to not fear what men will do, I feared what men will say, and I built today's church. Alright, so how did we come to this condition? Is it because the Bible didn't provide us enough guidance? That's totally nonsense. We know in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All scripture is breathed out by God (inspired) and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness, that the man of God (I hope that refers to me) may be complete, equipped for every good work.” I hope the work I wanted to do was build God's church. I wanted to do that. I sincerely wanted to do that. This man of God dreamt of building, obeying God and build God's church or to leave something that I can say, “God, I did my best and left this behind.” And what did I leave behind? Something unrecognizable? Honestly, on that day, Jesus said, “What, what? What did you leave? You left people confused. You left people thinking the four S’s, the satanic deception, for religion. Instead of relationship with me, you taught your people that? I say, “No, no, I never taught that. Lord, I never taught that.”. “By your example.” You see, in preaching, it is not what we say, it is what we do. I always tell the young preachers, “Nobody listens to what you say.”. Everything my teachers taught me came to my right ear and on my left. The night before the exam, I tried to push it back so the next day I could answer the questions. After that, it comes out again. But what I see, I remember. You know, what do people see? A church that people just come in – Sunday worshipers, in their Sunday best, with Sunday sacredness. And then they all go home, Monday to Saturday, doing their thing and they come back for the church-y thing. Now, can I blame the Bible? Nope. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says that I may be complete, equipped for every good work. I failed. Hebrews 4:12 tells me that not only the Word of God is complete, it tells me the Word of God is living. It's active. It is “sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”. Every time I open the Bible, I say, “Lord Teach me.” I'm sure this happened. And yet, I produce something else. So, what happened? There is some kind of deception. Something is lost along the way. You know, and we all think, “Oh, okay. What is this you're talking about?”.
Attacks the Bible
I believe Satan attacks the Bible. I mean, if Satan wants to hurt the church, the best is to attack the Bible because that's our book. That's the only way, the clearest way we know our God. The clearest way we know his will. There's no other way. I mean, you can see God through creation, somewhat. You can see God through events, somewhat. You can see God through testimonies, somewhat. But it is through the Bible that we know who this God is, and know what he wants. And you know, the Word of God is powerful. How come? It is a complete book! That's powerful! And this numbskull, this PC, for 40 years, misled his people. Wow. What happened? Because PC has been deceived, like everyone else. Right? The four S's are not unique to us. The 40,000 denominations today (give and take). You know, the majority, almost 99.999% of them, all have the 4 S’s as part of their way of worship. In other words, Satan has deceived just about everyone. How did he do that? That's our question. And today, I want to suggest four ways he does it. Alright? So all of you who are Bible-believing and say, “I'll believe the Bible, I believe the Bible.”, just remember there is a Great Deceiver. Before you even open the Bible, he has worked on your mind, as he did on mine. So, there are attacks on the Bible, I believe there are four main ones.
1. The Bible is a myth
The first one is: Satan attacks the Bible by suggesting that it's mostly myth. Wow. You say, “Really?”. You know, for me, I'll give an example. When I got saved, I grew up in a Christian home. I went to Sunday school. All the stories were like nothing to me, just stories, just myths. But one day, when I was 33, I got saved. And that day, I picked up my Bible, I mean that day. And I said, “This is not myth.”. Something happened in me. Because when I trusted Jesus as my Saviour, on that day, April 1980, the Holy Spirit came into my heart. I received Jesus and the Holy Spirit came into my heart. You know, the Holy Spirit writes the Bible. And so, He attests. He confirms that is His word. From that day, in 1980, I picked up the Bible and said, “This is the Word of God. This is truth.”. No question. Nobody needed to tell me a word because the Holy Spirit affirmed that to me. For all of you who are believers, the same thing. You pick up the Bible and you don't say, “Prove to me this is the Word of God.” You don't have to! You know because the Spirit in you affirms that that is the Word of God. But you know, in Genesis chapter one, which is probably the easiest chapter in the Bible to translate. I work with people who do Bible translations. They tell me that Genesis chapter one is the easiest to translate because it can be translated into any language. Everything in this can be translated: day, night, darkness, sea, animals. Everything, in every culture, you can translate. No difficulty. Other parts of the Bible are sometimes hard to translate. They don't have words for it. But there are no languages that do not have words for Genesis, chapter one. But you know, in Genesis chapter one, we see God created the world in six days. Today, let me tell you this which may shock you. The vast majority of Bible schools question that God created the world in six days – the majority; I’m not saying a few quirky, way out Bible schools. The majority of Bible schools question Genesis chapter one. They say, “God really didn't make the world in six days. He says it's six days, but it's actually six epochs, eras, periods of varying lengths, million years, billion years, whatever.” And, you know, for me, it's like, come on, I'm not stupid. I can see in Genesis chapter one, verse five, where it says, “God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. Genesis chapter one, verse eight, “And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.”. Genesis chapter one, verse 13, “And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.”. Verse 19, same; 23, the same; 31, the same! You mean an epoch has evening and morning? Really? Why does God repeat six times ‘evening, morning, evening morning’? Because he's telling you, it's a day; a 24-hour day! Everywhere in the world, there is an evening and there is a morning. But you know what they do today in the Bible schools? Question, you know, the first page of the Bible. Christians today question Genesis chapter one because their pastors have been trained in the Bible schools, and the Bible schools are full of these scholars who are so smart that they lost their brains. They're so open minded to evolution and all its theories that their brains fell out. Can you imagine six times God repeats? For what? Because He's repetitive? He doesn't want to say? He's sealing it in. And yet, today, the very first page of the Bible. Many pastors will say, “Well, God says six days, but no, we have to see that in the Greek it says this and in the Hebrew it says this, and you know this, and sometimes it can mean this, and it can mean that.” And you know, when a PhD weaves all these things around, the average brains (we) just say “Yes, sir.”. Alright, so Genesis chapter one. Many Christians today in churches question the first page. You expect them to believe the rest? When they open the Bible, what do they expect to see? Fables! Good stories! Good story about Adam and Eve, good morals about obeying God, good teachings like Aesop's Fables, like Chinese stories. Good. They are not real people, you know. They are just like fairies flying around. But the story is good. Now, how else can you respect the Bible? Did Jesus really die on the cross or you know, does the Bible just say how much he loved us and he sacrificed for us? Did he really suffer or was the Bible just saying, “Oh, he went through something for us.”. You know, if you can't believe the first page, can you believe the rest? I don't know. My average brain says no. Alright? So, what have we got? We have got people who don't see the Bible, though, initially when they got saved, they want to go for bible study; they want to find the truth. They want that; it is instinctive! If you say you got saved and you don't want to study the Bible, I question you. If you got saved and you say, “I don't believe the Bible is the Word of God”, I question whether you're really saved because the Holy Spirit wrote the Word of God and He lives in you. Same Holy Spirit. Okay, so Bible schools. Satan is smart. He attacks the Bible but the best place to attack the Bible is the Bible schools. Now you say, “Isn’t that sad?”; I say, “It is sad, but is that the end of the church? No, not at all.” You say, “Why? What do you mean? What do you mean? Bible schools are attacked, and you're not even concerned?”. I say, “No, I'm not. I'm sad but I'm not concerned because Bible schools are not even in the Bible.”. You say, “Come on, Pastor. You are again going through controversies.”. Really? Find me a verse. Show me in the New Testament a Bible School. Show me. I'll be convinced by you. Jesus didn't even have a classroom, let alone a Bible school. He never even had a class. He just said “Follow me”. He taught stories and at night they asked him, “What do you mean?”. He explained. He didn't say, “Sit down, here are some notes for you. Sit down here, please. Let's do this.”. Nothing of that sort. He never had a Bible class. What about the apostles? They went to Bible School? None, not even Paul who wrote 13 or 14 of the 21 epistles. It tells us in Galatians 1:15-17 that when Paul got saved, “But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by His grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone; nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.”. Paul, the guy who was going to be used by God to write the majority of the New Testament didn't even get any training except in Arabia. What do you get in Arabia? Sand and loneliness. He was taught not in a Bible School. He was taught in the School of the Holy Spirit. I can tell you he didn't have a cell phone with all the Bibles and commentaries in it. Thank God for that. You know, my friends, Satan has attacked the Bible schools. The Bible schools have attacked the credibility of the Bible. And the vast majority of Christians go into the Bible shaken at the very first page. You know, in our church you've had two pastors in this church. I'm not boasting on this. I've never had a day in Bible school and neither has Pastor Jason. When I got saved, I just simply went up, took my Bible, drove up to Mount Faber which is near my office. It was extremely quiet in those good old days. Mine was the only car there. I parked my car. I just read my Bible. There was no commentary to carry, there was no lexicon, no nothing. I just read my Bible. I read it aloud. It was a quiet place and I could read aloud. I didn't have an audio Bible; I wish I had one because you read aloud after a few hours, your voice goes. But it was part of my training. But anyway, you know, no Bible school. You say, “But Pastor, if you don't go to Bible school, you might end up in heresy, Pastor. You know all our CG leaders who do not go for training might preach heresy!”. Let me tell you. Listen carefully. Almost all heresies are not produced by CG leaders. They are produced by PhDs. Listen carefully. Tell me one major heresy produced by a CG leader. You know what the problem is when you're a CG leader? It is that you know you don't know nothing and it's good. You know when you can be corrected, you will because you know nothing. I taught the Bible almost the day, or maybe one or two weeks, after I got saved. I'm shocked to hear what I said before. But along the way, I corrected myself. Why? Because I don't have a PhD to defend. I don't have a thesis to defend. And so, number one, many Christians open this book, and their foundation is shaky already. Is this truth?
2. The Bible is mysterious
Number two, it's mysterious. What do you mean by that, Pastor? You know, when I got saved, I took my Bible (the same old, ugly Bible). It has been with me forever. This one. I just went up there and I read it, okay? I expected to understand it. I had no doubt that I would understand it. I believed my Father wanted to talk to me, His child. I didn't believe God is going to talk to me out of the clouds with a booming voice. I'm not Apostle Paul on the road to Damascus. I believe God wanted to talk to me and He used His Word. He would communicate with me just as my earthly Father talked to me all the time, to teach me and to share with me. I expected Him to do that. I expected Him to give me enough to understand. 1 Corinthians 2:12 says, “Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.” And 1 Corinthians 2:16, “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.”. Whoa, because Christ lives in me. So I carried my little Bible up to Mount Faber. I didn't carry books. And I said, “God, Papa, teach me.”. Sometimes I got it. Sometimes I didn't. Just as my earthly father taught me was too young, I didn't quite get it. And I said, “Dad, what does that mean?” And he will say, “Son, when you're older, I will explain it to you.”. I mean, some things, at your age, you don't need to know. And that's how God deals with us. You see, it's true. The Bible is one book, for PhD Christians, mature Christians and baby Christians. And we don't need to know everything in the Bible. At the right time, Papa will tell you if you believe the Bible is God's communication with us and prayer is your communication with God. I understood that very simply. I knew God wanted a relationship with me. I couldn't put it as clearly as Pastor Jason did. But I had a relationship with my father. My father wanted to talk to me; he wanted to teach me. Same with my God. So, while there are some things in the Bible that you don't understand, don't be discouraged. I mean, read 2 Peter 3:15-18, “And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”. Grow, Peter says. But he also says in verse 16 that there are some things hard to understand. That is true. Not everything in the Bible, you can understand. It's humbling. How can we fully understand God? That's truth. But enough! I know my God uses that one book to teach this mature Christian and the little child Christian. And I know my God not only uses that one book, but he is also my one personal tutor – that what I need to know at that point of my spiritual life, He will teach me Why should He not? He is my father. Doesn't my father want to teach me something that I need to know? It's too easy to for me to figure that out. I call him ‘Papa, Abba’. What is so deep theology about that? Nothing. But there are some things. So many of you, when you study the Bible, get confused. “I don't understand that.” “How come pastor Jason saw that but I didn't see that?” You're not Pastor Jason. When you reach his level of maturity, and when you have to teach a few thousand people, you will have that knowledge. Till then, God won't give it to you yet. You don't need it except to show off now. Alright, so it's one book. Some parts you can’t understand. Don't worry about it. It's not like a textbook. You know, when your textbooks in school, the textbook is graded for you. If it is a primary one textbook, you better know everything in that because it was meant for you. Then after you go to primary two, there's a primary two textbook. I'm sorry, the Bible doesn't have gradation – it is one book. Alright? So I hope you will understand that it is not a mystery book. The Bible is God's revelation of Himself to His children. How else would you know this God? If your father never says a word to you, how would you know your father? He talks to you and then you will understand him more and understand him better. Alright, so our foundation is shaken when we question, ‘Is Bible myth?’. Then our mind is shaken when we open the Bible and think, “I don't think I understand everything here. You know, this passage, I don't understand. Pastor, how come I don't understand this?” Relax, relax! One day you will, when you need it! God never gets stuff for showing off in a Bible study class. It is for truth, for use.
3. The Bible is messed up
And third: the Bible is messed up. You know, when I went to the Bible as a young man, I knew it was one book. I saw 66 different names inside. Genesis, Leviticus, all kinds of funny names I couldn't pronounce. But I tell you one thing: I knew it was one book. I never questioned that. You know, today, the Bible is like 66 books. I had no doubt it was one book by one author, God. He could use; He did use 40 different people over a thousand years, writing different chapters of the one book. But you know what? They all had one theme, the same theme: that we may know Him. I never had a doubt on that. Then as I became a more mature Christian, I listened to more and more people telling me about the Bible and they made the Bible so complicated. They will tell you, “You can’t understand this book. You skip this book and you go to this book.”. Whoa, and then you learn to read the Bible by jumping around. Have you ever read a book by jumping around? If you ever opened a storybook, and let me tell you, the Bible is a storybook about God. It's a love story about the God of love, who loves us. And like all things God does, it's orderly. I know God is orderly. I look at His creations – very neat. In fact, I look at the stars, and they don’t smash into each other. I look at a drop of red blood cell in the microscope; it's amazing. Everything is beautiful. And then when people tell you about the Bible, “I don't suggest you read this. I think you should read here and jump here and then jump here and jump here.”. I mean, if anybody reads a book like that, what do you think the book is? You will think it is messed up! I didn't have that problem. I took my little Bible. I sat in my car. I drove up. I sat in a park bench and I read it, expecting God to teach me. I read it, expecting that it was connected. And it was put in proper order. How can a God of order put things messed up? I don't know. It's new to me. But it's normal today to say, “No need to read this. Just read that. You won't understand this.”. And I can tell you there are lots of Christians who just jump, and jump, and jump. They have a reading list – one passage, one chapter from here; tomorrow morning, one chapter from there; next morning, one chapter from here; the next morning, one chapter from further there. And that's how they read the Bible. You know, we talk about the inspiration of the Bible. All the Bible is inspired by God. We teach about the preservation of the Bible – purified, pure, preserved. Alright. But then, all the perfect words are just thrown in the pot for a stew. Is that true? Do you believe that? But you know it is already in your mind, I am sure. You say, “Pastor, this book cannot read. I cannot understand. I don't mind reading. Can we just skip this and we jump to the next one?”. No, no need, relax! Some of the books are hard, I understand. But read it, you will see enough in that hard book for you to know it is a beautiful book and not a messed-up book. Alright, so that's probably the third one. Do you believe God is the God of order? I do. Do you believe He is a storyteller? I do. Jesus told stories all the time. He is a master storyteller. But when it comes to the Bible, he doesn't know how to tell the story. There's no beginning. There's no end. For many Christians, they have never read Genesis and never read Revelation. Have you ever read a storybook jumping here and there, and don't know what the beginning or the end is? I would call you crazy. Right? And I tell you the devil has made us crazy about the Bible. So instead of having a Bible that reflects God's order, we think it is a Bible that is messed up.
4. The Bible is mutilated
Let's move on. Number four: the bible is mutilated. You say, “What? Mutilated?”. You know when I was a young believer, I just opened the Bible and said, “God, you want to speak to me, right? I'm sure you have a lot of things to say to me but I may be so dull to understand or too young to understand. But anyway, speak God. I will try to grasp it and You will show me what You want me to see.” And I just read the Bible. Today, we all say this: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4). I hear preachers saying that; I hear them pray, “Oh, God. Help us to preach the whole counsel of God. We want to know your will, God.”. And then you know what? These very same preachers have never read through the Bible. Whole Council? How do you teach the whole counsel of God when you don't know the whole counsel of God? I'm not being harsh. I work with pastors. I’m telling you the truth. I asked them, “Have you read this book?” “No, Pastor. In Bible school, we are asked to read it but not really. I read some things about it. I read the survey around it and the commentary around it. I read something. I never read the book.”. Or others will say, “I read it but I did not expect to understand anything. But because it is part of the assignment, I read it.”. What? And so, we have Matthew chapter four which says, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Let me ask you, a believer, where are the words of God? In the Bible! You read through the Bible? “Oh Pastor, I haven't.” How long have you been a Christian? 20 years? “No, more.” You haven't read through the Bible? It's that thick, man. It's that thick. If you add all your primary school books, kindergarten books, they are thicker than that. You know, I don't blame them. We have been deceived. This is a very, very sad story in Jeremiah 36:23. Jeremiah was a prophet. He was preaching to the kings. And this was in Jeremiah 36. If you have time, read the whole chapter. It won’t kill you. You will understand it. It's easy. Jeremiah wanted to preach to the King Jehoiakim, son of the Great King, Josiah, the good king. But he was not allowed to. He was banned from preaching to the king. He was banned. He was put apart. So, he got his secretary, Baruch, to write all he wanted to say. So, I will summarize it. Baruch went and preached these words, and all the king's men heard these words of Jeremiah and went, “What? Really? Wow, God's going to do this to us? Is God really going to destroy Judah?”. And they said, “The king must hear this.”. So, one of the guys (the officers of the king) called Jehudi, brought the scroll which Baruch wrote from the mouth of Jeremiah, the prophet – God's word. He went to the king and he read. In Jeremiah 36:23, it says, “As Jehudi read three or four columns, the king would cut them off with a knife, and throw them into the fire in the fire pot, until the entire scroll was consumed in the fire that was in the fire pot.”. When you read something like that, you say, “How dare you cut God's Word up and burn it? Or throw it in the fire as if it is trash?”. Christians, many of us, didn't take a scissors, didn't take a penknife, but there are certain books in the Bible that you have already cut up. You've never read them, and you have no intention to read them. Wow. You know, it's strange. Is that kind of like when you read this, you say, ‘How can a king do that? So irreverent?’. You know, for many of us, can I say the vast majority, we have our favourite chapters; we have our favourite verses. We know them. We memorize them. And then we have books we just threw into the fire a long time ago. I have people who tell me, “Oh, PC, your beautiful book. I like it. But I don't want the Old Testament. I just want the New Testament. I have never read the Old Testament.” I have people telling me that, believe me or not. If you don't have the Old Testament, which is the foundation, what kind of building will you have? You know why churches today have about 40,000 denominations. Everybody has read a little bit here, a little bit there. You know, like Lego. You know, pieces you take from the box. You know, a Lego box looks like a mess. For many people, the Bible looks like a Lego box. God just throws books in there anyhow, and it is messed up, and don’t even know why they are there. And then you know what we do when we open the Bible? We take a few pieces. You know, with Lego you can make a beautiful palace. You can make a toilet with the same pieces. You choose it, mix and match. Wow. You mean that's what you do with the Bible? Yes, my friends. That is what we do with the Bible. That's why today there are people who preach the prosperity gospel and everybody is like, “Wow, that’s true. That's true.”. You know why? You take a few pieces, a few verses out of context, and you make your own pretexts. And the whole church will just swallow it because they don't know any better. They have never read the bible. You can make any cult today that you want, by taking verses. This Lego, if you have enough pieces, you can make anything you like. So, what have we got? A lucky dip! We look at the verses we like. What’s good for me? What can God give me? And I was like, “wow, really, that’s how you see it?” but my friends, that’s not how those guys there do it; it is how we do it. So, what have we got? A myth? A mystery?
You know, the Bible was written for ordinary people. People’s education was near zero. Most of them couldn’t actually read or write, to be honest. For hundreds of years, Christians could never read or write. They have never owned a bible and yet, they understood the bible. The bible is written for ordinary people! Not scholars; it is written for us, children of God! Right, so what have we got now? A mutilated bible that we can do anything we want with it.
I sat down during COVID. I said, “Since for three months at least I can’t travel, in these three months, I want to go through the bible.”. Not as a survey; there are hundreds of surveys – don’t bother to do another one. Not as a chart from the bible; there are hundreds of them. Not as a commentary; there are thousands of commentaries. Stop all that! Just see the bible as a beautiful book. You know, when I was a younger man, I used to go to east coast and Malaysia and we would dive. We didn’t have cameras in those days, underwater cameras, but that was basically the stuff we saw. You know, when you go underwater, you say, “God’s creations are like, wow! Amazing!”. And you know today when you hold the bible in your hand, you should be saying exactly the same thing. God reveals Himself through nature. When you see this, you should say, “God’s beautiful! God’s amazing!”. When you see the bible, you should see the same thing! But no, what do we say? “Oh. Hard to understand. It is pretty messed up. Which book should I read? I don’t think I can understand this.”. You know, you put a child in the water and he can understand that. He will come by and say, “Wow, it is so beautiful! God is so beautiful!”. This scene, if you look at this scene from here, you would think “beautiful!” but if you go on and look at this scene from the ground, it is not so beautiful. All you see are trees in your way, plants in your way, and mud on the ground. Many people, when they go to a beautiful place, they say, “Aiya, it is very muddy there.” Because they were stuck in the mud and could not see the big picture. They saw the bible’s hard parts and they go, “Wow, very hard!”. Take a helicopter, folks, and this is what you will see. The bible is beautiful! So, the whole purpose of that beautiful book, I hope, three months every morning, I produced videos that covered the 66 books, not as a commentary but to show you how beautiful it is, how beautifully fitted it is, and most importantly, how beautiful that Creator of the bible is. We don’t go into the bible to see what is in it for me. We don’t go into the bible to see what God can do for me. We go into the bible to see God! That is what we must do. No, today we open the bible and see how we can get a blessing, what is the promise of God for me. The focus is on you; no wonder you cannot get anything from God. Imagine you have a wife and all you want is to get something from her, or a husband, is that all you want? If you had a father, all you want is ‘What can I get from my dad? What can I get from my dad?’. Alright? So, I look at the beautiful book and it is basically this. I have a six-year-old granddaughter and I love to take her out to the nature, see the monitor lizards, see all the stuff, you know, and explain to her nature. See the seeds in the ground, the trees. You know, as she sits with me and walks with me, through Papa’s eyes, she gets to see the beauty of God’s nature. Hopefully, my wife’s and my prayer are that she would know God, who made it.
So the beautiful book is basically this. I have been on tours and there are lousy tour guides that take you into the city, show you an alley there, you get stuck in the alley and the shops there. You actually never get to know the city. Because when you go on foot, you tend to stop and get stuck in a place. You want to see the bible? Go on a Segway. You want to see the forest? Go on a helicopter. See the beauty. See the connection. See the God that made it all. Then, you can go deeper and deeper along the way. You know, there are Christians that tell me, “Pastor, we must go deep!”. I say, “Are you mad?”. You must go general before you go deep. In school, we learnt general science first before we go into cardiology, oncology. You have to see the whole picture first. See, it sounds so spiritual – ‘we want to go deep’. How can you go deep when you don’t even know the whole place? Nobody would teach science by going deep. We go general first – we call it general science. Alright? And so, some others are more spiritual – “Pastor, it is not about information, it is about transformation.”. This is what they tell me. It freaks me out more; if they don't have information, how did they transform? You choose what you like and then you ask God to transform you to the rich man, the happy man, the prosperous man? You must have general information before you have transformation. And I end with saying, I hope you go to the bible and come out and say, “Beautiful book. Beautiful God.”. The bible is meant to reveal God, not God’s goodies for you. Alright? We don’t go to the bible to see what we can get from God. God has given us everything. We go to the bible to see God. I hope you go through this book. I don’t care whether you use the videos on the beautiful book or not. Go in with the right mind. Don’t let the devil deceive you that it is a myth, it is mysterious, it is messed up, and don’t mutilate it. Enjoy the greatest of God’s beautiful creation.
Let’s close in prayer. God, we thank You. You left many beautiful things for us on this earth. Most of them have been messed up by man. Hardly a pristine patch of Earth or Sea that is left. But God, thank You, for preserving the bible, the most beautiful of your creation. May we know this book, but more than that, may we know the beautiful, wonderful God who wrote this book. Lord, help us as a church to have the right understanding of what the bible is all about and help us not to be continually deceived by the evil one. Help us, God. We pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.
More Episodes from Pastor Paul Choo:
12 Mar 2023
27 Nov 2022
20 Nov 2022
24 Dec 2021
16 Jun 2021
20 Sep 2020
06 Sep 2020
19 Apr 2019
Episodes from other sermons:
12 Mar 2023
25 Dec 2022
20 Dec 2022
11 Dec 2022
04 Dec 2022
27 Nov 2022
20 Nov 2022
15 Apr 2022