Summary: We may not understand everything in God’s Word, but we must stand on it.
INTRO.- ILL.- Years ago NEWSWEEK had an article entitled, “No Allusions in the Classroom.” The article told about 26 people in the college classroom, ranging in age from 18 to 54. All of these people had completed at least one-quarter of their college work. They were given 86 questions to answer, which centered on simple facts about the world.
Here is what some of those people said in answer to those questions.
- Ralph Nader was a baseball player.
- Christ was born in the 16th century.
- J. Edgar Hoover was a 19th century president.
- Sid Caesar was an early Roman emperor.
- Dwight D. Eisenhower was a president in the 17th century.
If you think this is bad, listen to this.
ILL.- A group of high school juniors and seniors in one of our better schools in the nation who were headed for college were given a quiz about the Bible. Here are the results of that quiz.
- Sodom and Gomorrah were lovers.
- The N.T. was written by Matthew, Mark, Luther, and John.
- Eve was created from an apple.
- Jesus was baptized by Moses.
- Golgotha was the name of the giant who slew the apostle David.
Ignorance abounds and Biblical ignorance is even worse!
ILL.- Someone once asked, “What’s the difference between ignorance and apathy?” A man replied, “I don’t know and I don’t care.” And that’s about how it is when it comes to many people in regard to the Word of God. “I don’t know anything about the Bible and I don’t care.” How sad!
Brothers and sisters, because there is so much Biblical ignorance in America and in the world, there is also much ignorance about the true and living God and the Savior, Jesus Christ and about everything in regard to God!
ILL.- For example, on Tuesday night, Dec. 20th, Barbara Walters had a TV special entitled, "Heaven: Where Is It ? How Do We Get There?" Did you happen to see it? Walters interviewed many different people in different faiths about heaven. Listen to what some of these people said.
Catholic - Cardinal Theodore McCerrick of the Roman Catholic Church of Washington DC says the purpose of life "is to come to the end of your life at peace with the lord so that you may find an eternal happiness in heaven...This life is not what we’re made for. We’re made for heaven. We’re made for the future."
Jewish - "The purpose of life is to live a decent life... and that you do it for its own sake, not for getting a reward," says Rabbi Neil Gilman from the New York Jewish Theological Seminary. "There is a tremendous emphasis in our tradition about what you do with yourself in your lifetime here on earth."
Baptist - Reverend Calvin Butts, Pastor of New York’s famed Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, who says he has seen heaven, tells Walters that heaven is "eternal joy and happiness because you are at one with God."
Buddhist - Walters traveled to the Himalayan Mountains to visit the mystical home of a reincarnated Buddha, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who says the purpose of life is to be happy, and that you can accomplish that by "warm heartedness."
He says heaven "is best place to further develop the spiritual practice... for Buddhist the final goal is not just to reach there, but to become Buddha. [It’s] not the end," and he tells Walters that you can come back as an animal: "If someone do very bad, badly... kill or steal... could be born in an animal body." Walters also talks to longtime follower Richard Gere, who says, "I don’t think necessarily heaven and hell happen in some other life. I think it’s right now."
Evangelical - The promise of heaven plays a central role in the lives of the National Association of Evangelicals President Pastor Ted Haggard’s followers, believing if you are not a born again Christian, you have no assurance of going to heaven. "Jesus Christ guarantees eternal life to anybody that’ll follow him... The purpose of life is to glorify God and go to heaven... ’cause heaven is our home."
Muslim - Islamic scholar Feisal Abdul Rauf says there is sex in heaven: "The real life is the next life... and based upon how we live this life, it determines where we shall be in the next. We are told we will be in comfortable homes, reclining on silk couches... so we’re given the delights of sex, the delights of wine, the delights of food with all of their positive things without their negative aspects."
Terrorists and Heaven - Jihad Jarrar, of Islamic Jihad, who is incarcerated in an Israeli prison for a failed suicide bombing, tells Walters that only Muslims will go to heaven and "the reason I chose a martyrdom operation" was to spend an eternity in paradise. He says he was taught that "everything good is in the garden in paradise," and that "the lord promised the martyr who lost his life and lost the world on earth, that he promised him these 72 women in paradise as honor, as respect for him."