2 Peter 1:16-21; 2 Peter 3:15-18

By: George Zeller

Don’t be deceived! Just because a person uses the Bible does not mean that he knows the God of the Bible. The Bible is often misused and abused. In Matthew 4:5-6 even the devil quoted from the Scriptures. If Satan can use the Scriptures, cannot his followers do the same? People have used the Bible to prove almost anything and to justify almost any action. Even an atheist could say, “The Bible clearly says that ‘There is no God’ (Psalm 14:1).” But in context the verse is actually condemning the atheist as a fool. How should we read the Bible? Should we make the Bible say what we want it to say or should we allow the Bible say exactly what it says? Unfortunately, most people first decide what they want to believe and then go to the Bible to try to find support for their position.

A Sunday School teacher once gave a bizarre example of a person justifying wickedness from Scripture: “Suppose a person wants to rob a bank, take the money and go on a lavish vacation. Can he find Scripture to support this crime? Indeed he can because the Bible says ‘All things are lawful for me’ (1 Cor. 10:23) and ‘I can do all things’ (Phil. 4:13). Students, this is just an extreme example of how unbelieving people can go to the Bible to find support for their actions, even actions that are totally contrary to the will and Word of God.”

The folly of this example is obvious, but Scripture is most often misused in much more subtle and devious ways. Peter warned us that there would be those who would wrest (twist, distort) the Scriptures to their own destruction (2 Peter 3:16). May we immerse our minds in God’s truth and allow the Bible to mold our thinking (2 Peter 3:18).

George W. Zeller has served on the staff of the Middletown Bible Church for more than 40 years. He is a graduate of Grace Theological Seminary where he studied under Dr. John Whitcomb. He has written numerous Sunday School lessons, Bible study materials, doctrinal booklets, and various papers on a wide range of Biblical topics. These studies are accessible at www.middletownbiblechurch.org.

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