There a great verse I love in Romans 12:2. In the King James it says,
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…
But in the Phillips translation, I love this, the Phillips translation says,
Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould…
In a lot of ways we have let secular people tell Christians how they should think and react [to different
issues]. We don’t take those things back and say,
‘What does the Bible say about these issues.’
So, we’ve let our thinking be shaped by what we hear in the news, what we read in the newspaper,
what our neighbors tell us, sometimes what we hear out of the pulpit which is not biblical a lot of times.
There’s a lot of stuff going on shaping the way Christians think. And that’s why we’re not seeing the
behavioral fruits. The earth is groaning for us to manifest ourselves as the Son of God.
We’re not living this [Word of God] stuff out, and that goes back to our thinking. I have a good friend
that teaches a Sunday school class and he asked the class how many times they have read through
the Scripture. He said if you consider reading through the Bible once every the year, [then] let’s figure
out in our adult lives… So they went around and gathered up [that] there were 365 adult years in that
class. They had read through the Bible 7 times out of 365 years, and 4 of them was from the guy teaching
the class. Out of all the other people, only 3 times had the Bible been read through cover to cover.
And here they are in church, going to Sunday school, but they haven’t been in the Book. They have
NOT shaped their thinking according to what the Book says. And that’s really where we are. Just ask
how many Christians have read through this thing from cover to cover – even once! How many know
the context? How many know what Jesus said? How many know that 26 times in the book of Matthew
it says, ‘This was done to fulfill the prophecy of whatever.’
You know, if you don’t go back and read those prophecies, you don’t know what the New Testament
is about. In the book of Hebrews more than 200 hundred times it quotes the Old Testament. You can’t
understand the book of Hebrews if you don’t understand the Old Testament. You’ve got to read the
WHOLE thing. Otherwise, you don’t even get the New Testament message. And that’s where we
have to get – WE HAVE TO GET IN THIS BOOK!
There’s a great quote that comes from Booker T. Washington which says,
‘No man can read the Bible and be lazy. The Bible increases your desires and
therefore your capacity to achieve.’
The more you read the Bible, the more you say,
‘I need to do that. I need to be like that. I need to think like that.’
The more you get into It, the more It will shape your thinking and the more It shapes your thinking,
the more it will shape the culture around you.
Let me see if this is an accurate summary of that:
A lot of people have accepted Jesus as Lord and Saviour that are not yet disciples of His. What He did,
what He says, what the Book says has no affect on their life day-to-day. They DON’T know what it says!
And if somebody comes along and says,
‘Now, you don’t need to be doing that. We’ve always done it this way.’
We’ve got all these reasons for it. You saying that reminded me of the Great Commission.
In Matthew 28:18-20 I think most Christians know this, they’ve heard it:
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying,
All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching
them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always,
even unto the end of the world.
Now, we take that and have turned that into an evangelism mandate. We go tell everybody about Jesus.
That’s okay, but that’s not what He said. He said,
‘You teach them everything that I have taught you.’
The Great Commission is a discipleship commission; it’s not an evangelism commission. He says,
‘You teach them everything I’ve taught you.’
Making disciples of all men. You need a relationship with Jesus Christ, you need to be saved but
you need to live biblically once you get saved.
Kenneth Copeland, KCM; David Barton, WallBuilders