The Only Guide To Heaven
It is man's highest duty to become acquainted with the teachings of the Scriptures. He should study the Bible diligently, weighing every thought, -- comparing Scripture with Scripture, prayerfully, with Divine help; every one should be able to answer himself to God for his faith, and to "give to every man that asketh a reason for the hope that is within us."
"Knowledge, the wings whereby we fly to Heaven." -- Henry VI.
Study the Bible in order to know Christ. He is the Great Central Figure. Patriarchs, prophets, and apostles, were only bearers of His messages to mankind. The world is full of doctrines in opposition one with the other, but there can be only one right way; "many false prophets are gone out into the world teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." "To the law and the testimonies, if they speak not according to this word it is because there is no truth in them." "Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is no other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved." -- Acts 4:12. Then how important it is to know Christ and the teachings of His Word, -- "For the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life."
The future welfare of every man depends entirely upon his understanding and following the teachings of the Scriptures. There is no other word under heaven whereby men may be saved. The apostle's warning was, -- "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the traditions of men, after the rudiments of this world, and not after Christ." -- Col.2:8.
Forsaking the Bible
The tendency today is to get away from the Bible into by-paths that are broader and more attractive than the "straight and narrow way which leadeth unto life." Some of these detours are labeled. -- "Modernism," "New Thought," "Higher Education," "Christian Science." Their name is legion, but they are "the commandments of men," doctrines that are "soothing to the ears," that require little, if any, sacrifice and self denial; a philosophy falsely so called, which will not stand the test in the day of judgment, on account of not bearing the stamp, -- "Thus saith the Lord."
"Study as though you were going to live forever; live as though you were going to die tomorrow."
Approach the study of the Bible with an honest, sincere desire to know the truth of God, -- not for the purpose of finding fault, or to criticize, or to try to justify a pet theory. "Thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do, according to all that is written therein." -- Josh.1:8, Psalms1:2. "Comparing spiritual things with spiritual." -- 1.Cor.2:13. "Here a little, there a little." One text often clears the understanding of another. Let the Scripture interpret itself, and, -- according to the context and analogy.
Read Your Own Bible
So many leave the Bible to be interpreted by the church, or preacher, or, -- are confined to the doctrine of a creed laid down by the various denominations when they first originated, years ago.
New light is continually shining on the Scriptures, "more and more unto the perfect day"; this will continue through eternity. We should search and seek, and form our own opinions. Of all the people, very few could quote much of the Bible. The modern taste for reading does not include the Holy Scriptures or doctrinal subjects, but rather fiction, novels, detective stories, gossip, scandals, and murders. This kind of reading does not improve the mind, or increase our knowledge of history, science, poetry, astronomy, nature, the Scriptures, -- the "worth while" of literature, which increases our stock of knowledge.
"Knowledge is power." -- Bacon.
"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." -- Hosea 4:6,
"Wie men lay up knowledge." -- Prov.10:14.
"An investment in knowledge pays the best dividend." -- Benj. Franklin.
God has filled earth, sky and history, with proof of His Word; has buried in the earth for centuries, so many wonderful proofs that the Bible is the infallible word of God, that only those who refuse to read and study, and who are determined not to accept evidence, can remain unconvinced.
Study the Scriptures to learn of Christ's second coming, and to know of the prophecies, and signs given which show His coming near, "even at the door." All through the New Testament are scattered multiple prophecies, giving many different signs of the imminent coming of Christ. This is one of the greatest events of prophecy, toward which all events tend, to which all prophecies point, to which the true church for ages hoped.
"He which testifieth these things saith, surely I come quickly." -- Rev.22:20. "The Word of the Lord endureth forever." -- 1.Peter 1:25.
"The stars that in their courses roll,
Have much instruction given;
But Thy good word informs my soul
How I may climb to heaven."
Isaac Watts in "Excellency of the Bible."
Usually those who know least of the Bible and its teachings, are its most severe critics. Chaucer, speaking in "Canterbury Tales," -- says, "His study was but little on the Bible." The Poet Pope tells us that "a little learning is a dangerous thing; its shallow draughts intoxicates the brain; drinking deeply, sobers us again."
Little knowledge makes bigots and egotists. The youth with little knowledge often feels that he knows more than his father, -- but after years of study, he begins to comprehend something of the extent of the fields of knowledge, and realizes his ignorance.
David says, -- "Blessed is the man who meditates in God's law day and night," -- and, of himself he says, "I will meditate also of all Thy works, and talk of Thy doings." -- Psalms 77:12.
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