The Single Greatest Mistake in Life
There are so many things wrong with our lives that our problems become the very distraction hindering what is most important. With eyes set on the calamities of this fallen world, one’s mind is obstructed from consideration of the world to come. Fixing endless problems in our broken existence only keeps us from mindful contemplation of the end — our end and the end of it all.
The rather unpleasant task of the man of God, who is an appointed herald of God, is to warn people of the wrath of God directed against sinners. Pause for a moment and consider all that I have written for you thus far. I have mentioned a fallen world…what does that even mean? I have noted something of the world to come…where did that idea come from? I have pointed you to the subject of death (“our end”) and the coming destruction of the heavens and the earth (“end of it all”)…and have you yet inquired where these subjects are presented and explained? What about the wrath of God? What is a sinner?
My proposition for you in this short article is that the single greatest mistake in life for any one person and for almost all people is neglect of Bible reading. It is a profound error to be ignorant of God’s revelation to humanity. It is at this point, my dear reader, that skepticism sets in, “God’s revelation to humanity.” How can a Christian make such a bodacious claim about the Bible? Where do Christians come up with such tomfoolery?
Here is the crux of the problem, the skeptic convinces himself that there is no profit for him to take up the Bible and read. In fact, most people successfully navigate their way through 70 or 80 years of Bible avoidance. Is there any explanation as to why people are so averse to the Holy Bible? Yes, but ironically that explanation is in the Bible.
If you hate someone, you do not have any desire to listen to what they have to say. The Bible says that men hate God (Rom 1:30). It gives many reasons for this hostile enmity (too many to list here), but it would require someone to actually read the report provided by the Enemy, which is the Bible, in order for him to know the truth about man’s estrangement from God.
If I were to preach to you, “Judgment Day is coming, when Jesus will judge all people who will be resurrected bodily from the dead on that day,” and if you were to say, “I do not believe that,” then we have the next problem. People avoid the Bible, having heard preachers who told them unpleasant sounding ideas. The unbeliever, outside of Christ, does not believe the Bible’s report about itself. In other words, people do not believe the holy Scripture’s revelation on any given subject because they do not believe the holy Scripture is actually God’s revealed, written Word.
“I don’t like what the Bible says,” therefore, “I do not believe it is the Word of God.” It is wise for Christians to explain the doctrine of Scripture to the skeptic, in order to explain the reasons the skeptic cannot believe the Gospel storyline from Genesis to Revelation.
When I make the claim, “Not reading the Bible is the biggest mistake of your life,” I obviously believe the contents, but I also believe in the power of God to transform people through His employment of the Bible, whether preached or read.
In my own experience and in my opinion, the Word of God preached is the most potent catalyst for the Word of God to be read. “Have you not heard?” leads to, “Is it not written?” as divine provocation. That being stated, it is entirely an act of irresistible grace that compels anyone to search the Scriptures, to taste and see that God is good (Ps 34:8). Stated another way, you will never read the Bible unless God puts it in you to read the Bible. How do I know this fact to be true? The Bible tells me so.
In helping others to not make the biggest mistake of their lives, it is therefore the prerogative of the preacher to “Preach the Word (2 Tim 4:2).” That, too, is attributed to the work of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 2:4). Notice how little the Bible is discussed in the world. On to the scene comes the preacher of the Word, and suddenly people are discussing and debating the contents of the preacher’s message. When the unbelieving, non-reader of the Bible is finally convinced to look into these matters for herself, she is in a good spot.
The Bible teaches that it is the Holy Spirit who implants the Word (Jas 1:21), and together the Spirit and the Word give life to the one whose ears and eyes have been miraculously opened to the spiritual things of God…in truth (Jn 6:63). My emphasis here, “in truth” is because the devil takes advantage of one’s soul being drawn to the invisible realm of the supernatural. The deceived claim, “I am spiritual but not religious.” What they are really saying, is, “I am deceived by demons, but I don’t really want to know the truth from God, found exclusively in His Word.”
The Bible calls itself “the Word of truth” which can only be illumined in one’s mind and heart by the Spirit of truth (2 Cor 4:6). If my witness is true, have you then called upon God in the Spirit (prayed) to give you the knowledge of the truth? In a dark world of lies, the light of truth is the greatest blessing.
So, here is my prescription for you…pray to the God of the Bible, who you have heard something about. Make your request known — to know the truth that would set you free from the domain of darkness (ignorance), which is the dominion of Satan. For you to know the God of the Bible, who is true (Rom 3:4), you must get to know Jesus Christ. It is the Scriptures, the Bible, that reveal His Person and work to us.
Is it time to have the biggest mistake of your life corrected? When God answers your request for His Spirit to open your understanding of your open copy of the Bible, then, you, too, will become a witness to the glorious grace that made you hunger and thirst for the truth of this Book above all other books. Granted that grace, you will join me in warning others, who are still making the biggest mistake of their lives.
Spokane Valley, Washington
May 16, 2022