Summary: We live in a Biblically ignorant society. In many churches the Bible is only given lip service but no serious merit. Knowledge of the Word of God and how it is applied is a matter of eternal life and death.
If you would, please stand as we say together our memory Scripture for this quarter:
“Do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
And our memory refresher Scripture is …
“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom.”
Please open your Bibles to Matthew 22:23-33
Do you know that we now have 31 memory Scriptures each of which we have spent three months memorizing? Thirty-one! That’s amazing.
Two of our memory Scriptures have to do with knowing Scripture and the benefits that come from knowing the Scriptures!
2 Timothy 2:15 (quote)
And 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (quote)
Why did you we choose those Scriptures for memorization?
They were chosen because they help us to understand that the instruction found in the Scriptures is vital to our eternal destiny!
If we don’t know what the Bible teaches we will most likely believe whatever we THINK is right! Right?
If we don’t know what the Bible teaches we may very well find ourselves believing whatever our culture thinks is relevant.
Suppose you were driving for your first time and you came up to a traffic control light and suppose no one had ever told you what the green, amber and red lights mean.
You might have thought, “I’ll just try it on my own. I think I can figure out what I should do. It will be OK!” Well, it might very well NOT be OK. Right?
Many people are just like that with their eternal destiny; just trying to figure it out on their own and that is eternally dangerous.
With that in mind let’s go ahead and read Matthew 22:23-33
Now, the Pharisees and the Saducees were both highly knowledgeable in the Scriptures and they were also highly knowledgeable in 613 laws that the Pharisees had created.
Matthew 22:29-33 NIV
29 Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. 30 At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. 31 But about the resurrection of the dead - have you not read what God said to you, 32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.”
33 When the crowds heard this, they were astonished at His teaching.
OK. So, here is what Jesus said to a group of people who had been studying the Torah their entire lives …
“You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.”
These are Saducees who have devoted themselves to knowing the Law of Moses, the first five books of the Bible. Most of them probably had all five of the books memorized but somehow they had reached the conclusion that there were no such things as angels or spirits and that there was no resurrection of the dead.
So, Jesus quotes to them from their very own Scriptures Exodus 3:6 where it says,
“I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.”
Jesus does not say, “I was …” but “I Am …”
That is a serious error. Why had they made this error when the answer was right there in front of them?
Was it ignorance of the Scriptures? Yes and no.
Was it doubting the power of God? Hmmm….
While the Saducees held fast to the first five books of the Bible, the Torah, they may have given less emphasis to the books of the prophets. Perhaps this is why they did not believe in an unseen spirit realm or the resurrection from the dead.
Whatever the case, Jesus is showing us here that ignorance of the Scriptures can bring some very wrong conclusions with horrible eternal consequences.
Let’s look at another case where ignorance of the Scriptures could lead to an incorrect conclusion.
Now, in this very same text we can see where someone who does not have a grasp on the Bible could possibly get confused …
In Matthew 22:30 it says, “At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.”
Some people take this to mean that we become angels after we die.