“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching,
rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may
be thoroughly equipped for every good work. In the presence of God and of
Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his
appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: preach the Word; be prepared
in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage, with great patience
and careful instruction” (2 Timothy 3:16-4:2).
“Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of
Scripture, to preaching and to teaching” (1 Timothy 4:13).
There was a time when there were very few Bibles, even in cultured
lands. There were no printing presses, and most of the people were illiterate.
If people received the Word, it was through the public reading of Scripture by
people who could read and had the Scriptures. Now in the church today in this country,
we can read, and we each own at least one Bible.
A year ago* at one of our schools of practical Christianity,
we asked the students three questions: “How long have you been a
Christian? How many times have you read the New Testament? How many times have
you read the Old Testament?” When the answers were added, we found out
that the average reading of the New Testament was every 2 ½ years, and the
average reading of the Old Testament was every 7 years.
This last weekend, I was at a men’s conference, and I asked
the same three questions. The total number of years of Christianity was 514.5
years. The total number of times through the New Testament was 36 and through
the Old Testament was 18. In other words, the New Testament was read every 14 years
and the Old every 28 years. This amounts to spending less than 30 seconds a
day in the Bible. This is not very encouraging.
Here is a plan we hope will encourage you to read the
New Testament. Even if you are a very slow reader, you can read the whole Bible
through in 80 hours. If you are a listener instead of a reader, you can listen
to the whole Bible on an audio app. I listen in my car and enjoy it very much.
*Written May 1992.