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How the Bible Can Help You

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You probably have a Bible somewhere in your home. Year after year, the Bible is the world's best-selling book. Yet most people know very little about this amazing book and what it contains. The Bible reveals the mysteries of life. It reveals the future of humanity. And it can help you in many ways—far above your greatest hopes and dreams.


You probably have a Bible somewhere in your home. Year after year, the Bible is the world's best-selling book. Yet most people know very little about this amazing book and what it contains. The Bible reveals the mysteries of life. It reveals the future of humanity. And it can help you in many ways—far above your greatest hopes and dreams.

Billions of people around the world own Bibles. Even as far back as 1950, one reputable magazine reported that "by the end of 1950 (the 500th anniversary of Gutenberg's invention), over two billion Bibles and parts of Bibles will have been printed, with 25 million more being added each year" (Antiquarian Bookman, November 18, 1950). A survey by the Princeton Research Center concluded recently that 93 percent of Americans own a Bible, and 27 percent own four or more. So you probably have a Bible. If you have hidden yours in a closet or a dresser somewhere, I urge you to find it and read it. It can help you in many, many ways. In this article, we will examine just five of the many ways in which the Bible can help you—far beyond your wildest expectations—if you follow its instructions.

A Gallup Poll released in October 2000 revealed that "about six in ten Americans (59 percent) say they read the Bible at least on occasion… Readership of the Bible has declined from the 1980s overall, from 73 percent to 59 percent today. And the percentage of frequent readers, that is, those who read the Bible at least once a week, has decreased slightly over the last decade, from 40 percent in 1990 to 37 percent today" ("Six in Ten Americans Read Bible at Least Occasionally," Gallup News Service, October 20, 2000).

What else did the poll reveal about Bible reading? Gallup reported: "In terms of frequency of readership, 16 percent of Americans say that they read the Bible every day, 21 percent say they read it weekly, 12 percent say they read the Bible monthly, 10 percent say less than monthly and 41 percent say that they rarely or never read the Bible" (ibid.).

How important is the Bible in your life? Do you read it at least once a week? Personally, I try to read the Bible every day. I used to come home tired from work at the office, and would turn on the television set. But I often found that I would waste my time watching too much television. So, now, as soon as I am home, I make it a general habit to sit in a comfortable chair, pick up a Bible and read for about ten minutes before doing anything else. This helps start my evening with a positive perspective—and my wife appreciates my positive attitude as well!

We all need to realize just how important the Bible is to us—personally and nationally! The history of the world teaches us the profound lesson that no great empire or nation will ever endure without strong spiritual character and integrity. The Bible shows us the way to godly living and righteous character. All nations on earth should strive to live by it. George Washington, the first President of the United States, believed in that principle. He said: "It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible" (Halley's Bible Handbook, p. 18).

We can only understand what George Washington meant if we truly understand what the Bible is. What does the Bible say about itself? "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:16–17). Or as the NIV translation puts it, "All Scripture is God-breathed." The English Standard Version translates this verse: "Scripture is breathed out by God."

Our Creator wants us to know the true way to eternal life, and He has revealed that way in your Bible. The Bible offers many benefits for each and every human being.

Benefit 1: The Bible Reveals the Way to Life Beyond Death

Your Bible reveals the way to eternal life and salvation. After you die, will you live again? How do you know? Look at what the Apostle Paul wrote to the young evangelist Timothy: "But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus" (2 Timothy 3:14–15).

Yes, the Holy Scriptures lead us to salvation through faith in Jesus Christ! Notice two important points in this verse. First, Timothy was taught the scriptures in his childhood! If you are a parent, I hope you are teaching your children the Scriptures. Notice also that when Paul wrote this message to Timothy, the New Testament had not been completely written. The Holy Scriptures that Timothy studied as a child were the Old Testament. Paul praised the Old Testament as making Timothy "wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus." The whole Bible—from beginning to end—is inspired by God, and is for Christians today!

You and I need salvation. We need forgiveness of our sins. Why? Because sin brings eternal death. Scripture tells us: "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23). Our sinful life earns us death. But God sent a Savior into the world—Jesus Christ. He paid for our sins by His shed blood. If we follow the Savior's instructions, we can be forgiven of our sins. As Jesus Himself preached: "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel!" (Mark 1:15). And notice what the Apostle Peter said: "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission [forgiveness] of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38).

Some of you who are reading this article have been "sitting on the fence" for a long time. You may have been thinking about committing your life to truly following Christ, but you have been procrastinating. If God is calling you, now is the time to act! If you have questions and would like to counsel with a minister, just call or write to the regional office nearest you, listed on page 30 of this magazine. Your Bible reveals that Jesus Christ, the Messiah, is the Savior of the world (John 4:42; 1 John 4:14). Will you act on that knowledge? As it did for Timothy, the Bible is able to make you wise unto salvation through Christ Jesus. It reveals the way to life beyond death.

Benefit 2: The Bible Explains Life's Real Meaning and Purpose

What is the purpose of life? What is your purpose in life? As we saw above, God promises us eternal life—but what will be our ultimate destiny? Will we just float around on clouds forever? Or does God have a greater purpose and plan for us? Ancient King David wondered about his purpose in life. When he was a shepherd boy, David spent many months, year after year, under the night sky, and he wondered about his place in the universe. David stood in awe of the starry heavens. He also recognized the Source of that universe as the Creator God. David wrote: "When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?" (Psalm 8:3–4).

God is "mindful," as David put it, of human beings. He cares for us! Why? Because He created us! And God created us for a great purpose—to have a personal relationship with Him! That is a profound truth. Think about it! God said: "'Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.' So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them" (Genesis 1:26–27).

God created human beings in His likeness, to have an eternal relationship with Him. That relationship is to be a loving relationship! God created the human family, and He wants you to be a part of His divine Family. Notice what the Apostle Paul wrote: "For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named" (Ephesians 3:14–15). God is the Father of a family, and He wants you to be a part of a creative family, that will experience fulfillment and joy for all eternity.

Most professing Christians have no clear vision of their calling in the Kingdom of God. But notice this clear statement by the Apostle John, about what God will do for us. "And have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth" (Revelation 5:10). When Christ returns as King of kings and Lord of lords, true Christians will serve Him in Tomorrow's World. During the Millennium, they will assist in teaching the rest of the world the way to lasting peace. Then there will be a new heaven and a new earth, and they will reign with Him for eternity! Your Bible can help you understand this magnificent destiny. Your life has a tremendous meaning and purpose, and it is all explained in your Bible!

Benefit 3: The Bible Shows the Way to Harmonious Relationships

Some of us have great difficulty getting along with others. We may have conflicts with a boss, a spouse, family members or friends. Can the Bible help you get along better with others? Yes, it can, if you follow its instructions. Remember the two Great Commandments? Jesus taught: "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself'" (Matthew 22:37–39).

When you apply these great commandments, you can improve your relationships with others. The Ten Commandments give us specific ways to love God, and to love our neighbor. You love your neighbor by honoring your parents, by helping rather than killing, by faithfully loving your spouse, by not committing adultery, and so on. The Christian way of life—the Bible way of life—is totally contrary to the secular, selfish, greedy and egotistical way that is typical of human nature. Notice: "Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others" (Philippians 2:3–4). God teaches us to esteem others better than ourselves—to value and respect others, and to be caring and concerned for their welfare.

The Bible also teaches the importance of forgiveness. True forgiveness will improve your relationships with other people. Do you hold on to grudges? Many people do, and they just will not let go. They will not forgive. But remember what Jesus taught in the model prayer (often called the "Lord's Prayer"): "And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors" (Matthew 6:12).

Do you pray that way? Do you forgive others?

Chapter 13 of 1 Corinthians is often called the "love chapter." If you apply just one of its precepts, you will be on your way to improving relationships. Notice this beautiful passage: "Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails" (1 Corinthians 13:4–8). The very first quality mentioned here is patience. Love suffers long. In other words, love is patient. Are you patient? Applying these biblical principles can help change your life dramatically. It can help you achieve lasting happiness in your relationships!

Benefit 4: The Bible Teaches How to Find True Success, Fulfillment and Happiness

The Bible often illustrates the contrast between worldly ways and the ways of Jesus Christ. Notice this profound truth, spoken by Jesus Himself: "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly" (John 10:10). For more on this topic, see "Real Abundant Life" on page 4 of this issue.

Jesus came that you might have life more abundantly! You can have abundant life—true success—if you acknowledge your Savior in all your thoughts and actions every day. Through Christ, true success can be yours. As the Apostle Paul wrote: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13). And notice this key to God's blessings: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths" (Proverbs 3:5–6).

God promises to guide us along the path to life and success, every day, if we acknowledge Him. If you are not communicating with God, you are not acknowledging Him. Do you pray daily? Do you pray often each day? Do you follow the Apostle Paul's exhortation: "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God" (Philippians 4:6)? If you do this, God will relieve you of your anxieties, and "the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (v. 7). Acknowledge God in all your ways, and He will direct your paths!

The Bible gives us the true principles that will lead to success. We need to seek true values in life, not carnal, selfish, lustful values. King David was a man after God's own heart (Acts 13:22), and under God's inspiration he wrote many wonderful psalms. Notice this vital principle of success, which God revealed through David: "Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night" (Psalm 1:1–2).

David reveals the inspiring result of meditating on God's law and way of life: "He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper" (v. 3). Sadly, it appears that many Americans do not want to prosper; a Barna research poll in 1992 revealed that 18 percent of American adults think that "the Ten Commandments are not relevant for people living today." Those people are surely missing out on life!

The Bible reveals many other vital and exciting principles for successful living. Read chapters 5–7 of Matthew (often called the "Sermon on the Mount"). Read the Proverbs. As you learn the Bible principles for godly living, you will find true success, fulfillment and happiness.

Benefit 5: The Bible Reveals the Future!

We all want a happy and secure future. But is it possible? Can you have such a future? Years ago, before I became a Christian, I went through a time when I saw no hope for the future. All I could imagine was a world soon blown to pieces by nuclear superpowers.

Frankly, were it not for Jesus Christ's promise to intervene, this is what would happen! But God was merciful to me, and I learned that Jesus Christ will return to this earth and save the world from itself. If you read your Bible, and believe what God says, you can have hope for the future—for your future.

Bible prophecy reveals how God will intervene in world affairs. Bible prophecy also gives us the good news of our ultimate destiny. We have already seen that God's purpose is to prepare us for His Kingdom here on earth! True Christians will reign with Christ for a thousand years as kings and priests. True Christians will be transformed—born into the Kingdom of God—at the resurrection. That can be your future. The Apostle Paul wrote about the resurrection—the glorious event when Christ returns, when true Christians receive immortality and inherit the Kingdom of God: "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed" (1 Corinthians 15:50–52).

If you are a regular reader of Tomorrow's World, you are familiar with the framework of Bible prophecy, and you know that when Paul writes about the "last trumpet" he is writing about the seventh trumpet, mentioned in Revelation 11. That trumpet announces Christ's return to rule all nations: "Then the seventh angel sounded: and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, 'The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!'" (Revelation 11:15).

What a glorious future God promises us! At the resurrection, we will become immortal. As Paul wrote: "For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: 'Death is swallowed up in victory'" (1 Corinthians 15:53–54).

God wants every human being to be in His family for all eternity. That is a glorious future. If God is calling you now, you need to know that future, and prepare for it!

In this article, we have briefly discussed five Bible benefits—five ways the Bible can help you. There are many other ways that the Bible can help you—and you will discover them if you make Bible study a daily part of your life. The Bible is not only a book for today, but it is also the book of the future. As Jesus said in Luke 21:33, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away." Thank God that He has shared with us the truth and purpose of life. You will learn more about that life—and about your future—as you study your Bible.

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