“I am more and more convinced that one of our great maladies is the lack of biblical literacy. We have a whole generation who claims spirituality but has very little understanding of the Bible.”
During one of my first chapel messages as president of Moody Bible Institute, I gave buttons to our students. While there was nothing particularly special about the buttons themselves, I wanted each student to take one as a reminder. I told them that when you button your shirt, it is very important to get the first button correct. If you mismatch the first button, every other one will be misaligned. Likewise, when we begin our days by listening to the voice of God, that is our first button. By starting the day in God’s Word, we tune our mind and heart to Him.
In 2 Timothy chapter 3, Paul is speaking to Timothy, a young man he had mentored in the faith. Paul is warning Timothy that in the last days, evildoers and impostors will rise in the world and within the church. There will be more spirituality but less understanding of the truth. A massive number of people will be confused about God, truth, spirituality, and the way to salvation. They will have “a form of godliness” but none of its power (v. 5).
The time Paul is referencing is the period between the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem and the Second Coming. Friends, we are living in those last days! As we grow ever closer to Christ’s return, we should not be surprised at the lack of truth swirling around us. And I am more and more convinced that one of our great maladies is the lack of biblical literacy. We have a whole generation who claims spirituality but has very little understanding of the Bible.
The Bible is God’s tremendous gift to the Christian. It is the inerrant, inspired Word of God. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16–17). In Ephesians 6, Paul compares this to putting on armor “so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” (v. 11).
Without a knowledge of God’s Word, we will have no foundation, making us easy prey for the empty philosophies of this world. But when we get that first button right, we will be prepared for whatever God calls us to do.