“Americans revere the Bible – but, by and large, they don’t read it. And because they don’t read it, they have become a nation of biblical illiterates.” – George Gallup and Jim Castelli
Fewer than 50% of adults can name four gospels
Many Christians can identify only 2-3 apostles
60% Americans can’t name 5 of 10 Commandment
82% believe “God helps those who help themselves” is a Bible verse
50% HS seniors – Sodom and Gomorrah were husband and wife
Some think Sermon on Mount by Billy Graham
“Increasingly, America is biblically illiterate.” – George Barna
“Biblical Illiteracy” is like a poison, wreaking havoc in the lives of individuals, in our churches, and in our communities.
I. Effect On Individuals
A. Ho 4:1–2
1. Ho 4:6
B. Am 8:11–13
C. In ignorance they make the wrong choices
1. When stumble, do not know where to turn
D. Without a knowledge of God’s Word
1. No real direction or guidance in life
a. Ps 119:105
2. No true joy in life
a. Ps 119:111
3. No true peace
a. Ps 119:165
II. Effect On Churches
A. Churches languish for lack of teachers
1. Teachers are few for lack of knowledge
a. Heb 5:12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food.
B. Churches led astray by false teachers
1. How can the ignorant know what is false?
2. 2 Pe 2:1–3
3. Churches “dying on vine”
4. Wholesale apostasy because members cannot discern between truth and error…?
III. Effect On Communities
A. Standards of morality are skewed
1. Is 5:20–23
2. Slaughter innocent (abortion)
3. Reward wicked (stars, entertainers)
4. Deprive good (teachers, medical)
5. Divorce made easy, adultery laughed at
6. Homosexuality alternative lifestyle
B. Effect destroys families and communities
1. Pornography protected by law
2. Children deprived of moral parenting
3. Moral fabric unraveled when “everyone does what is right in his own eyes” – cf. Judg 21:25
Poison of “Biblical Illiteracy” has infected our people, our churches, and our communities. Is there an antidote to this poison?
IV. Antidote To Biblical Illiteracy
A. Daily devotional bible reading in private
1. Ps 1:1–3
1. Bring a person closer to God
2. Increase one’s understanding of Word
3. Strength, comfort and hope
B. In-depth bible study with others
1. Heb 3:12–13 Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. 13But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. 13But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
3. Heb 10:24–25 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
4. Bible classes and in homes
C. Parents accepting their responsibility
1. Dt 6:6–7 “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. 7“You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.
2. Eph 6:4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
3. Church may assist
4. Parents must not abdicate responsibility
5. Parents should involved in teaching
D. Preachers fulfilling their duty to the word
1. 1 Ti 4:16 Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.
2. 2 Ti 4:1–5 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: 2preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. 3For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 4and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. 5But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.