There are a number of challenges that face the church today, perhaps none so serious as the lack of knowledge. A dear brother in Christ once told me when he was a ministry student at Harding University, “The more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know…” The underlying message here may be even greater than we see on the surface, in that as we gain knowledge we will also gain a desire to know more.
In James 4:4 we see that tremendous conflict exists between the world and God. The world’s standards differ from God’s and yet many blindly follow the ways of the world thinking that they are pleasing to God, even blessed by Him. I ask myself why would professing Christians make the choices they do, and I believe there are 3 possibilities. The first one is that they believe they’re obeying God, the second is that they are unknowingly disobeying God and the third is that they are knowingly disobeying God. In the last case, if they don’t repent they will alienate themselves from God for all eternity.
In today’s world truth is relative rather than absolute. We live in a world today where gender confusion is promoted and celebrated, thinking we can choose what sex we want to be. God’s institution of marriage is nearly destroyed in that we see approval of same sex marriage, numerous marriages, adultery and immorality running rampant. And last, but not least, the world has approved of the premeditated murder of babies in an act we call abortion.
God certainly made His lament known when He spoke through the prophet in Hosea 4:6, “my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”
We know who’s behind this, for even from the beginning, Satan began changing God standards in the garden when he convinced Eve that she ‘surely’ would not die if she ate of the one forbidden fruit. Just prior to His ministry Jesus, the son of God was faced with Satan’s tactics of deception in testing Him and yet Jesus was able to prevail because of His knowledge and application of God’s word.
Throughout Israel’s history they failed to maintain the relationship God desired with them. Their rebellion and disobedience were often due to a lack of knowledge, understanding or neglecting His word entirely. In the days of Jesus, we see the Sadducees mistaken about God’s word even though one can conclude the truth of the resurrection illustrated in God’s word. Not to mention the Pharisees who elevated traditions above God’s word making their traditions much more important and at times invalidating the very commands of God.
Prominent author Chuck Swindoll when speaking in a Chapel program in the mid 1990’s gave 6 reasons why he believed it was important to pursue knowledge of the scriptures:
- Knowledge gives substance to faith.
- Knowledge stabilizes us during times of testing.
- Knowledge enables us to handle the Word of God accurately.
- Knowledge equips us to detect and confront error.
- Knowledge makes us confident and consistent in our walk with God.
- Knowledge filters out our fears and superstitions.
– Kindred Spirit, Vol. 22, No. 1, Spring, 1998, p. 8
I’m afraid that today we have heard and believed so many lies we don’t even recognize what the truth is anymore. And as a result, the same can be said of God’s people in 2018, that we are destroyed for a lack of knowledge. When Jesus gave His Great Commission to the apostles, He gave clear guidance. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” – Matthew 28:19-20 Have you been taught? Are you being taught? Do you make yourself a student of the word of God? Or are you ‘destroyed for a lack of knowledge’?
Copyright © 2018, Nolan P. Rutter