The Un-bliss of Ignorance

2 Timothy 4:1–2

DURING MY PASTORING DAYS in New England, I heard of a teacher who quizzed a group of high school students on the Bible. The quiz preceded a Bible-as-literature course he planned to teach at the Newton (Massachusetts) High School, generally considered one of the best public schools in the nation. Among the most astounding findings he got from the students:

Sodom and Gomorrah were lovers.

Jezebel was Ahab’s donkey.

The four horsemen appeared on the Acropolis.

The New Testament Gospels were written by Matthew, Mark, Luther, and John.

Eve was created from an apple.

Jesus was baptized by Moses.

The answer that took the cake was given by a fellow who was in the top 5 percent of the graduating class, academically. The question: What was Golgotha? The answer: Golgotha was the name of the giant who slew the apostle David. I laughed so hard I nearly fell from my chair!

In a land filled with churches and chapels, temples and tabernacles, there is only an insignificant handful of well-informed students of the Book of books. God’s people have never genuinely learned to search the Scriptures for themselves, let alone develop a foundational knowledge of the Bible.

It’d be so easy to push the blame around, pointing fingers at any number of people, trends, or educational institutions—even the church where you worship and serve Christ. But in the final analysis, ignorance is a personal choice—your choice. And mine, too. I love how the seasoned apostle Paul stated it for his young apprentice, Timothy: “Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching” (2 Timothy 4:1–2).

The responsibility belongs to each of us to be students of God’s Word so that we can be ready to supply the world with the hope of Christ.

I urge you: turn off that TV and mute your cell phone. Then open your Bible—every day—and search the Scriptures for yourself. You, and everyone you serve and lead, will be so glad you did.

Has God worked in your life in a significant way through Chuck Swindoll and the ministry of Insight for Living? Whatever your story, we’d love for you to tell it to us! Psalm 9:11 tells us to “declare among the peoples His deeds” so others can be encouraged. Submit your story.

Devotional content taken from Good Morning, Lord . . . Can We Talk? by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 2018. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved. The full devotional can be purchased at

Posted in Bible, Theology and tagged .

Accuracy, clarity, and practicality all describe the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll. Chuck is the chairman of the board at Insight for Living and the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. Chuck also serves as the senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where he is able to do what he loves most—teach the Bible to willing hearts. His focus on practical Bible application has been heard on the Insight for Living radio broadcast since 1979.