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Your Christian Cowboy Resource

Bible Bootcamp

Part 7

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five

Part Six

Part Seven

Part Eight

By Scott Hilgendorff/Cowboys of the Cross

Most of us have encountered a rodeo judge or secretary who wasn’t familiar with the rule book for a particular association. He might want to make a barrel racer run again instead of using the stopwatch time after a timer malfunction or she might not do the payout right. Either way, unless you know the rules yourself, you may not know anything was wrong and it could cost your a paycheck, or even the win. We’ve even seen how one cowboy knowing the rules can stop another from cheating by not getting on his short-round bull and still going to the pay window.

Not knowing what’s in the Bible can have an even worse effect. We can fall victim to false teaching and false arguments against our faith and instead of rodeo winnings in the balance, it can literally be souls at stake.  In North America, we don't have to meet secretly in a basement somewhere, fearing for our lives if we get caught. We don't have to worry about a militant tribe taking over leadership and coming through our village and slaughtering us for our beliefs.

 But the Bible assures us that we will face persecution and for the first time, particularly in the United States, we're seeing people losing their jobs over being public about their faith and we're seeing a pressure to remove evidence of Christianity from everything from text books to public venues.

We're also seeing churches turning away from teaching the Bible in its entirety in order to offer something more satisfactory to a changing culture that wants us to drop what they feel like are outdated and need to change to fit the culture's changing morals.

The Bible warns us that both will happen.

 2 Timothy 3:12 is just one of several verses that teaches us about persecution. Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,

 2 Timothy 4:3-4 is one of several verses that teaches us about false teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

One common argument that has spread the past few years by non-Christians is to dig up Old Testament verses that we no longer follow today, such as not eating shellfish or wearing mixed fabrics. The argument either attempts to expose us a hypocrites, prove that the Bible contradicts itself or to make a case that we can't argue for a Biblical view of marriage unless we're willing to follow all the long list of rules found in Leviticus. Those rules were known as 'the law' and what had to be followed in order to be made right before God. What they don't understand is that when Jesus came, He fulfilled the 'law' so that we no longer have to follow those rules to be right with God, but instead, could be freed from our sin through a saving faith in Him.

However, I recently had a bull rider who would identify himself as a Christian, come across these arguments and challenge me with them as if they were a new revelation. His situation gives a very real illustration of what is warned about in that second verse above from 2 Timothy. Researching where he got the arguments from, it came from a post that had been shared through social media from a gay man who clearly hated Christians and their beliefs and was attempting to discredit them as countless other have before.

The problem for this cowboy was that he had very little idea of what was actually in the Bible for himself, so the arguments coming from a man who doesn't like the Christian faith and has no real desire to understand it, sounded good to him and worth listening to.

Without his own biblical knowledge of some basic parts of Christian theology, he was easily fooled into believing something that wasn't true about Scripture and misdirected him away from the saving gospel of Jesus Christ.

If we don't know what's in there ourselves, it makes it very hard for us to stand firm in our faith and easy for us to be fooled, not just by those who actually hate us but by false teachers who would have us pursuing wealth and prosperity instead of Jesus himself.

It's essential that we spend time in scripture ourselves, prayerfully asking God, through the Holy Spirit, to help us understand it, so that we can be prepared to face a culture that doesn't like us and wants us to change. It's easier for them to get us to let go of Biblical teaching when we don't even know what that teaching is.

And even more importantly, we need to know what's in the Bible so that we can teach it to others. The Great Commission given to us by Jesus tasks us with sharing the gospel and making disciples of others, teaching them. We're all tasked with this so we all need to know what's in there.

 For better details about what the gospel is and how to share it with scripture references, click here: ARE YOUR ENTRY FEES PAID?

Don’t be fooled: know what’s in the word

Part 7 of our new series encouraging digging deeper into the Bible

Part Nine