My ministry calling was reinforced when I met a Jehovah's Witness who told me--when I asked how he was persuaded to join that group--that they were the first people to offer to study the Bible with him. I immediately invited him to my house for Bible study! But, it was too late. After three or four Wednesday evenings he told me that he was going to stay with the foundation of facts that he already had. I only can pray that the Holy Spirit reaches his heart and makes him hungry for Jesus. You see, the cults have indoctrinated their followers so well, that it is hard to reach them with the gospel truth.
My goal in this series is to make it difficult for lies and half-truths to reach you because of the truth that is in you. My hope is that you will become so grounded in the Word of God that nothing can shake you off your foundation. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. (1 Cor 3:11 NKJV)
Why is it so important to be well grounded in the truth of God? Why not leave that responsibility to the pastor and to the missionary? Here are six essential reasons.
Without knowing the truth all we can rely upon are feelings, emotions, or someone's opinion. When you depend on empty humanistic hope your faith lacks substance. This becomes evident at the time of testing or when an attack comes. When the Word of God comes into your heart, faith comes. The Word is what gives our faith substance on which to stand. (Rom. 10:17; Heb. 11:1)
When we know what God has said, and then we go through rough times, we don't panic, we don't give up our faith--it has substance--something real on which we can depend. The knowledge we have of God and His Word equips us with strength to continue through the trials. (Mt. 7:24-27; 1 Pet. 1:3-9; 4:12-17)
By knowing the general themes of the Bible we can use the truth skillfully. A working knowledge of Scripture gives us confidence in using God's Word. (2 Tim. 1:13-2:15)
When you know where you stand spiritually--no one can get you off course. You cannot be intimidated by some erroneous or false teaching. (Mt. 7:15; 2 Pet. 1-2)
Anyone who stumbles along in the Christian faith, is a person who hasn't been consistently feeding on the Word of God. Knowing God and His promises is a growing process. It is a process that strengthens our personal confidence (Rom. 10:11). When you know what God has said about you--you don't care what others may say about you. Jesus said, "If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (Jn. 8:31-32 NKJV)
Many people operate their lives from superstition, fear, or tradition. God's Word has a way of quieting those erroneous voices that would otherwise drain our energy and weaken us. If the voice of some life-long fear, tradition, or religious superstition is louder than God's Word in your heart, then you are apt to allow it to steal the power of the Word, making the word of God of no effect through your tradition.... (Mark 7:13 NKJV)
Hear the word of the LORD, You children of Israel, For the LORD brings a charge against the inhabitants of the land: "There is no truth or mercy Or knowledge of God in the land.  By swearing and lying, Killing and stealing and committing adultery, They break all restraint, With bloodshed upon bloodshed.  Therefore the land will mourn; And everyone who dwells there will waste away With the beasts of the field And the birds of the air; Even the fish of the sea will be taken away.  "Now let no man contend, or rebuke another; For your people are like those who contend with the priest.  Therefore you shall stumble in the day; The prophet also shall stumble with you in the night; And I will destroy your mother.  My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children. (Hosea 4:1-6 NKJV)
"Behold, the days are coming," says the Lord GOD, "That I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine of bread, Nor a thirst for water, But of hearing the words of the LORD.  They shall wander from sea to sea, And from north to east; They shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the LORD, But shall not find it.  "In that day the fair virgins And strong young men Shall faint from thirst. (Amos 8:11-13 NKJV)
Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,  speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,  forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.  For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving;  for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.  If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed. (1 Timothy 4:1-6 NKJV)
A famine of hearing the truth of the Word of God. The teaching of the great doctrines of the Bible is as rare as it is valuable.