So far, our group is small. The common denominator seems to be that most in this group have never studied the Bible and are unfamiliar with even its most basic and important teachings.
That’s why a recurrent message in our sessions is the gospel, and what the Bible says about becoming a heaven-bound Christian—quite a surprise for some of these lovely people.
But why should anyone believe what the Bible has to say about everlasting life, when there are so many translations of it today, and so many wildly varying theories being taught today? As one participant reported some time ago, although he and his contemporaries were raised in “the church,” they were taught that the Bible is nothing more than a collection of myths and fables, and so can be safely ignored.
Clearly, it’s critically important to persuade each member of our group that the Bible is divinely inspired and inerrant--and that we can therefore trust what it says about everlasting life.
Just one question: How?
I’ve given my testimony, but it rests largely on the scientific, historical and prophetic evidence that led me to the Lord. Perhaps it’s not surprising that this audience is less than captivated by what I have to say on these subjects. Irreducible complexity? The fallacious assumptions of radiometric dating? The prophetic fulfillments in Israel’s 1948 restoration? I guess these topics can be enough to make even youngsters nod off, given my less-than-thrilling leadership style.
But there are many other approaches that can be taken. For instance, to demonstrate how the Bible came into being and was preserved over the centuries—a history which in itself confirms its divine origins—we have in the past read from books like the late Ken Connolly’s fabulous The Indestructible Book. And to demonstrate the supernatural depth of God's love, we have examined beloved passages such as the 23rd Psalm using such guides as Phillip Keller's A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23, one of my very favorite books.
At the same time, we’ve often explored specific issues of interest to these folks, such as suffering: How does the Bible explain it? I can’t think of an issue that doesn’t confirm the Lord's inspiration of the text, once that issue is viewed through the lens of the Bible.
In fact, it's been several years since we dove into the subject of suffering. And last week, one of our new members said he'd like to know what the Bible has to say about it. So that's where we'll be heading next time, examining some of the most comforting passages to be found in all of scripture.
I'd appreciate your prayers for these "students," and for nursing-home residents everywhere who are opening up the Word of God at long last, perhaps for the first time in their long lives.