Why Don't People Read Their Bibles?
The title of this blog is not a rhetorical question. I’m really asking for your input on this.
It has bothered me for quite some time that a lot of Christians simply don’t read the Word of God. They say they believe that Jesus is who He said He is. They say they have repented from their sins. They say they love God. Yet, they fail to engage in 1 of our two direct links to him. (Prayer is the other.)
I came across a stat from an article entitled “Study: Fewer Americans Embrace Traditional View of God” by Audrey Barrick. It was posted on the Christian Post website:
“Only 41 percent said they read the Bible outside of church worship services in a typical week. Last year, Bible readership rose to its highest level since the 1980s with 47 percent. Increases in Bible reading began after engagement in the activity hit a 20-year low in 1995 with only 31 percent.”
41%?!?! Are you kidding me? So what are the other 59% doing to develop their relationship with Jesus Christ? Seriously. How can you build a relationship with someone you never talk to? I can hear folks now…But Wade, I pray! I go to church. I read books from the Christian bookstore. I listen to bible teaching on the radio! I even listen to your show!
First let me say this…please don’t stop listening to my show. One of the 10 commandments was changed to “Thou shalt listen to the Wade-O Radio Show such that all thy days be long here on Earth.” Lol.
In all seriousness, let me start with prayer. This is a very important component to the equation. Prayer is our way of sharing our heart with God as well as a way of praising Him and even a way of asking Him for forgiveness. Jesus taught us how to do it in Matthew 6 and Luke 11. The Bible illustrates many other instances in which Jesus prayed. But the Bible also shows us many instances where Jesus and the disciples and later the apostles, quoted scripture.
Click here for a very comprehensive listing of Old Testament Passages cited in the New Testament.
So if it was important to them, shouldn’t it be important to us?
But to the folks who cite the books, sermons, radio programs and podcasts that they read, my reply is that those things are good (depending on who you listen to and read; that’s a whole other blog, though), and those things are also a part of the equation. But those tools shouldn’t replace your own personal Bible Study. God judges us on our own faith, on our own ability to keep His commandments and on our own personal relationship with Him. How can you know what he requires, if you don’t read His Word?
II Timothy 3:16-17 (English Standard Version)
16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.
So why aren’t more people reading the Bible? If you love God, and you have His Word…why aren’t you reading it? Wouldn’t you want to hear from someone you love? Wouldn’t you want to get to know them better?