THE BIBLE IS TOO CONFUSING TO CARE
Looked at as a whole, the Bible can feel like a massive jigsaw puzzle. Not knowing where to start, some fail to launch and others soon crash.
Since “God is not the author of confusion” (1 Corinthians 14:33), His word is not hard to understand. It was not written for the intellectually elite or the highly educated. The common people heard Jesus gladly while He was here (Mark 12:37), and common people find no trouble enjoying His words today.
Since the Bible is written on a fourth-grade level, the past generation’s farmers, merchants, shopkeepers, railroad workers, and factory employees had no problem deciphering Scripture although they generally had less education than people today.
If one were putting together a puzzle, she would look at the picture on the box and assemble the edge pieces first. Then she would find colors that match and straight lines that connect. Then she could fit the remaining pieces fairly easily. Studying Scripture is like this. It helps to get the overall picture first and then the easy-to-grasp-parts. After that, it is easier to follow the message from book to book, chapter to chapter, and verse to verse. Do not get bogged down with names and places. Those can come later. Just get the meaning.
The overall message is simple. The Bible has one
- villain—Satan. He comes early (Genesis 3), often (Matthew 4; 1 Peter 5:8), and late (Revelation 20).
- problem—sin. It starts with Adam and Eve and is on every page.
- hero—the Savior Jesus Christ. He is featured in the 89 chapters of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John (John 20:30–31). The whole Bible is about Him: He is coming (Old Testament); He is here (Matthew–John); He is coming back (Acts–Revelation).
- purpose—salvation. The Bible is not just for learning or even for living. It is for saving (Acts 2:21, 38, 41; 4:12; 16:30–34).
Beginning readers can start with easily understood verses: “God is love” (1 John 4:8); “Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8); “sin separates” (Isaiah 59:2); “all have sinned” (Romans 3:23); “love the Lord your God with all your heart” (Matthew 22:37); “whoever believes in Him should not perish” (John 3:16); “repent, and let every one of you be baptized for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38); “the gift of God is eternal life” (Roman 6:23); “love one another” (1 John 3:11); “teach all nations” (Matthew 28:19); “be faithful unto death” (Revelation 2:10); and “enter into the joy of your lord” (Matthew 25:21).
Next, begin reading the New Testament. Write down things you learn in each chapter and questions you have. In time, you will find answers to the questions (often in a subsequent reading). Think about what you learn. Live by it. Follow this by reading the Old Testament.
Do not believe Satan’s lies about the Bible. His goal is to keep you away from it—unimpressed, uninformed, unconverted. Someone said, “The safest road to hell is the gradual one—the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.”
-Allen Webster, (housetohouse.com)