We just read Proverbs chapter 1, which is a chapter that talk a lot about the importance of knowledge, learning, wisdom understanding. The title of my sermon this morning is, "How to learn." How to learn, you see our knowledge and understanding is extremely important to God, God wants us to be wise and to increase learning, to gain knowledge. Unfortunately foolishness, stupidity is epidemic today in our society. There's a dumbing down that's happening today. The famous verse in the Bible says, "My people is destroyed for lack of knowledge." He talks about people rejecting knowledge or hating instruction, hating knowledge, not wanting to learn, but we as God's people should seek to increase learning and to gain knowledge and wisdom.
There are some people who it seems almost think that stupidity is next to godliness, even amongst Christians. Where they think, "Well I'm just a simpleton and I'm just going to stay that way." But hold on a second, that's not what the Bible teaches. The Bible says we should be constantly learning and growing and gaining knowledge. Sometimes there's an anti-intellectual strain amongst God's people and it is not biblical. Look at verse 1 of Proverbs chapter 1, "The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel; To know wisdom and instruction," that's the purpose of The Book of Proverbs. "To perceive the words of understanding; To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; To give subtlety to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion."
Watch this in verse 5, "A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels," Why? "To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction." People who think that learning isn't important, it isn't important how much we know, and there are all kinds of little slogans among Christians that seem to downplay the importance of learning the Bible, or learning anything for that matter. They'll say things, "It's not how much you know it's who you know?" No, it's both. It's who you know and then it's how much you know, because you, "study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needed not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
It is a fool that despises wisdom. It's a fool that despises instruction. A wise man will hear and will increase learning. Are you wise today or are you foolish? If you are one who desires to increase your learning you are wise. If you are one that thinks that already know enough, then you are a fool this morning. That's what the Bible teaches. "They don't care how much you know until they know how much you care," that's all great and fine and dandy, we should love people and we should care about people. If we don't have charity, then we're nothing no matter how much we know. I get that, but let's not downplay knowledge and learning to the point of oblivion. No, God wants us to study. God wants us to read his word and learn more.
Go to Proverbs chapter 9. This is all by way of introduction, I want to show you the importance of learning and I want to show you the importance of learning a variety of things, learning in all aspects of our lives. In the process I'm going to show you some things about how to learn, but then after I get through this introduction I'm going to go into great detail and give you a list of ways to learn, how to learn new things.
Look what the Bible says in Proverbs chapter 9 verse 8, "Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning." Now one of the things that we see here first of all is that one of the great obstacles to people learning new things is that they think that they already know everything, they don't want to be corrected on anything. Someone comes to them with teaching and information and they basically don't want to be told that they're wrong about anything. They feel that they already know everything, but the Bible says if you rebuke a wise man he'll love thee. If you, "Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser." If you, "teach a just man, he will increase learning." It says don't even bother trying to correct the scorner because he will hate you for it. Why? Because that type of a foolish person can't be corrected, and that is an obstacle to their learning.
The Bible says in verse 10, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased. If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself: but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it." What the Bible's saying here is that if you walk out of this sermon today and say, "You know what? I'm not really interested in learning anything else. I'm pretty happy with my level of knowledge." They Bible's saying the only person you're really hurting is yourself at that point. It's really no skin off my back, or off anybody else's back. I remember people would say in school, "If you cheat you're only cheating yourself, because you're the one who's not learning. You're the one that's going to get passed through the class and graduate and not have the knowledge that was supposed to be imparted. That's going to be something that you lack for the rest of your life." That's what the Bible's teaching here.
Go to chapter 16 if you would. Proverbs chapter 16. We should not be the type of person that thinks we already know everything or that thinks we already have enough knowledge. If you talk to the smartest people, they're the ones who are learning the most new things and they're the ones who have a humble estimation of their own knowledge, because they realize how much knowledge is out there. Whereas when you talk to people who aren't that smart they tend to think that they know everything. Now when the Bible says we should be ready to be reproved and corrected, we should be ready to be reproved and correct by people who know what they're talking about. This isn't saying, you're not humble if you won't let some buffoon correct you on something that they're wrong about. Obviously we have to use discernment here.
None of us knows everything. All of us should constantly be learning new things. I guarantee you that if you were to go back over a year of my preaching, let's say 2015, you're going to find errors in my preaching because of the fact that I'm a human being and no one's perfect. Thank God I've changed very little since I started the church over 10 years ago. I'm preaching the same stuff and I can point people to my sermons from '06 and '07 and you'll hear all the same doctrines, all the same teachings, but there are some smaller points that I have changed on, where I would look back and say, "You know, I don't quite agree with that anymore because I've learned more since then. I've grown passed that. That was a mistake at that time."
We should always be ready to learn and gain knowledge. Look at Proverbs 16:21. The Bible says, "The wise in heart shall be called prudent: and the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning. Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it: but the instruction of fools is folly. The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips," and just for sake of time I'm going to leave it there in Proverbs. We could literally go through every chapter in The Book of Proverbs and God is just grabbing us in every chapter and shaking us and saying, "You need to learn more. You need to get smarter. You need to gain knowledge and wisdom. Stop being a fool. Stop being simple. Find people who know something and learn it from them. Read, study, learn, grow. Don't be a fool. Don't be a simple type person."
Now next I want to show you the importance of learning in all areas of life, or learning a variety of things. I want to show you a few great men of God in the Bible who had a balance in their education, a balance in their learning. Go if you would to first Samuel chapter 16. We'll see first of all David. David is man in the Bible who was called a man after God's own heart. One of the greatest characters of The Old Testament, a Bible figure that's pretty much universally known. What were some of the things that made him great? I believe that one of the things that made him great is that he was a balanced person.
Now today we live in a society that wants everyone to be specialized. For example you go to a factory and it's an assembly line and one guy just puts on one part all day, that's all he does, one part. Let me ask you this, do you think that guy is going to be very smart if all he does 8 hours a day is put that one part in the same [inaudible 00:09:02]? He's not learning anything, is he? He's not growing, he's not adapting. I'm not against that type of technology, I'm just pointing out the fact that when you get that specialized you're learning less than the guy who builds the whole thing on his own. He's much more intelligent, he's learning more. But we live in this society that wants everything to be very specialized when I believe that [we'll 00:09:24] be a better Christian and a better person if we actually work on growing in all areas of our life, being a man like David.
Now look at the scripture on David. This is when we're introduced to David when he's a very young man. This is before David slays Goliath, he's just a young teenager or a young man, however old he was. Look what the Bible says about him. Starting at verse 16 of chapter 16, "Let our lord now command thy servants," they're talking to King Saul, "which are before thee, to seek out a man, who is a cunning player on an harp: and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit from God is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well. And Saul said unto his servants, Provide me now a man that can play well, and bring him to me." Now they're going to bring him a cunning harp player in order to play music before the king. Look at the description of David when we're first introduced to him in verse 18.
"Then answered one of the servants, and said, Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, that is cunning in playing, and a mighty valiant man, and a man of war, and prudent in matters, and a comely person, and the Lord is with him." Now that's a pretty great resume right there. This isn't just a guy that all he does is music. He eats, breathe and sleeps music. He plays that harp all day long and that's all he does and he's weak and soft and sissy. No, the Bible says not only is he a cunning player of the harp, but he's also a mighty valiant man. That's saying that he has physical strength, and he also has great courage. Then it says he's a man of war, meaning that he's a skilled fighter, it doesn't mean that he's one who goes and seeks war, it just means that he has the ability to fight.
It says then that he is prudent in matters, meaning that he has wisdom, meaning that he has good social skills where he's prudent and he knows what is appropriate and what is not. But aside from this one scripture that gives us all these different facets of David's personality, we also know from The Book of Psalms that he memorized much scriptures and meditated in God's [law 00:11:38]. He knew the Bible very well. We also know that he's a great man of prayer. We also know him as a great leader and a great general and a great organizer of men and leader of God's people, a great ruler and king of the nation of Israel. You see David was a man who did not just seek to specialize in one thing and fail at everything else, he sought to have physical strength, to be able to praise the Lord through music, to pray, to read the Bible, to memorize the Bible. He had all these different skills, and not only that he's a shepherd. He knows how to care for livestock.
It goes on and on with David, that this man was a knowledgeable, intelligent, well studied man in all areas of life. Go if you would to The Book of Daniel, let's see another example. Daniel is another perfect example of someone who understood the importance of knowledge and understanding in a variety of subjects, and the importance of learning. In Daniel chapter 1 there's a scripture that talks about, first of all how Daniel and his 3 fellows, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, where even chosen in the first place to dwell on the king's palace. Look at verse 3, the Bible says, "And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king's seed, and of the princes; Children in whom was no blemish, but well favored, and skillful in all wisdom," not just specializing in one aspect of knowledge but, "skillful in all wisdom and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king's palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans."
This is the type of person that Daniel was, where he understood all these different things. You see it wouldn't really do them any good to have someone who understood science but was not able to stand in the king's palace, meaning that he's so backward and his social skills are so undeveloped that he can't even function in society where he's like, "You know let me explain to you science." He had to be able to carry himself in a way where he could be among the wise men and the Chaldeans and be respected as a fellow. Not only did he have to understand science, but he also had to have the ability in him to stand in the king's [castle 00:14:07]. He also had to be skillful in all manner of wisdom. He also had to have language skills and speaking skills and things like that.
These are the things that he cultivated. Look what God did for him in verse 17. "As for these four children," the Bible says, "God gave them ... " By the way, this is a great sermon for children, even The Book of Proverbs specifically says it's geared toward the young, because when you're young is when you need to start developing habits of learning and growing intellectually and getting smarter, because for some people it's too late. You've heard the saying, "You can't fix stupid," but it's not too late for you young people.
It says in Daniel 1:17, "As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams." Look at verse 20, "And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm. And Daniel continued even unto the first year of king Cyrus." Look at chapter 2. Daniel chapter 2 verse 20, "Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him. I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast now made known unto us the king's matter."
Do you see in the scripture that it's clear that knowledge and wisdom are things that God gives. Don't tell me that the pursuit of knowledge and the pursuit of wisdom is kind of a carnal pursuit, when the Bible says that God gave wisdom unto Daniel and it wasn't just about spiritual things. He gave him wisdom and knowledge in all learning and wisdom. With that we can turn back, we're not going to, we could turn back to Bezalel the son Uri and see where God gave him skill in working with metals and working with brass and woodworking and with textiles and so forth. Again, Bezalel the son Uri was not a man who was a specialist, he was a man who was skillful in all manner of workmanship. That didn't take away from his expertise in metal works, it actually enhanced it, the fact that he was skillful in all manner of wisdom.
God gives wisdom to the wise. God gives knowledge to men of understanding. God is the fountainhead and source of all these things. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, it's the beginning of wisdom, it's the beginning of understanding. The Bible teaches that God will cause us to learn more if we desire and seek after knowledge. If we seek knowledge we'll find it. Now listen to this from James chapter 1, famous verse, you don't have to turn there. "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." God gives to all men who ask wisdom and understanding. Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be open unto you.
Of course Daniel didn't just ask God for wisdom, he also put in the work and study and reading and learning. Go to Daniel chapter 9. I'm starting out the sermon like this because I want to make sure you understand how important this is. I don't want you to just think, "This isn't really that important of a sermon. I'm waiting for the next rah-rah, scream and yell about sin sermon." But here's the thing about that though, it's knowledge that's going to preserve you the Bible says. It's understanding that's going to keep you. It' wisdom that's going to guide you. If you go through life foolish and childish and simple you will be deceived, you will be led astray, that by the cunning craftiness and the sleight of man whereby they lie and wait to deceive you. You must gain the knowledge to be steadfast and unmovable and always abounding in the work of the Lord. You have to have knowledge so that you will be firmly planted and not be tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine and carried about with [divers 00:18:40] and strange doctrines.
Look at Daniel chapter 9 and look at verse number 2, "In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books," now there's a concept. He understood by books, he was a man who read books. The Bible says, "In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes."
He understood by books what? Jeremiah had talked about the fact that they would be captive for 70 years, that they had missed 70 Sabbath of the land for the year, and that there were going to be 70 years accomplished. He actually got books together and figured out when that 70 years would be up. He looked at the events of his day, he looked at the things that had happened in the past and when this king was anointed. He figured it all out by books and he understood the timing of Jeremiah's 70 years that was being prophesied. Then the Bible talks about him praying and fasting and so forth.
What was he praying for in verse 3? We'll jump down to verse 21, "Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding. At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision." The Bible's saying here that when Daniel first started praying, when he first started asking God to help him understand, he was reading books and he was studying and he was learning about The Book of Jeremiah and what the 70 years would mean. Basically he's praying, and the moment that he prayed God sent the answer to the prayer. But there was a little delay in the answer getting there.
The Bible says that he was a man greatly beloved or the Lord, which is why when he asked God for knowledge and wisdom the answer's dispatched immediately. Gaining knowledge and skill and understanding of the scripture, or of any other subject, is actually a blessing from God. It's a way that God blesses us in our lives. We often talk about how if we sin in our lives bad things are going to happen, God's going to bring chastisement upon us. That if we do right God's going to bless us. We say that path to God's blessing is through the door of obedience. What is one of the ways that God blesses us? One of the big ways is that he'll give us knowledge. He'll give us understanding. He'll give us skill. I believe that people who are right with God and serve God and love God and do things for God, are going to understand the Bible more than the people who are displeasing in the sight of God.
Why? Because he's not going to open things up for them as much. David prayed over and over again, open now mine eyes that I may [behold 00:21:57] wondrous things out of thy law. It's a privilege to learn wisdom and knowledge and understanding that will preserve us and help us in our lives. That's one of the ways that God blesses us in our lives. Those are 2 great examples. Now if you would go to Ephesians chapter 4. Those are 2 great examples of men in the Bible who sought after new knowledge and skills. They sought to learn in all areas of life. I'm going to get into how to learn in a moment but what areas do we need learning in? A lot of people they just write off whole areas and just say, "I'm no good at that. I'm not interested in that. I don't want to learn anything about that."
But in order to be a wise and understanding person you need a basic knowledge in all areas of life. I'm not saying you're going to be an expert on everything but you need that have basic knowledge in all areas of life. Here are some key areas, while you're turning to Ephesians 4, some key areas where you should have some knowledge, where you should have some understanding. Obviously we need to know the Bible, but let's go simpler than that. You should be able to read, and you should be good at reading. Jesus asked the question, "How readest thou?" How are you reading? You should read and you should be good at reading. That should be a basic skill.
How can you read the Bible, how can you preach the Bible, how can you understand the Bible if you're a poor reader? That is a key important skill that we as God people need to have. There are so many people today who will say, "I just don't like reading." I'm not going to ask for a raise of hands of who would say, "I don't like reading," because then I don't want to humiliate you when I say that you're a dumb person if you don't like reading. I'm not saying that lightly, because reading is how you learn. That's how you gain knowledge, that's how you get smarter. People who don't like reading don't read, and people who don't read are not smart. It's that simple.
You say, "I can't believe you said that." But it's the truth. One of the greatest things you can do for your children is to teach them how to read, but not only is reading an important and essential skill but what about basic math skills? That's something that everybody should [have 00:24:25]. How can you go through life without knowing basic math? How can you even be a wife or a mother or run any kind of business or be a pastor of a church or do almost any job without having a basic understanding of math, or just function in your daily life without knowing some basic math?
I believe that everyone should have a basic knowledge of music. You say, "Give us scriptural authority on that?" Okay, how about if I show you the hundreds of places where God commands you to praise the Lord and sing unto the Lord and to play skillfully with a loud noise and to praise him on the trumpet, praise him on the instrument of 10 strings, sing unto the Lord. Look, you should at least know how to sing hymns to the Lord, that's a basic skill that God wants you to have as a Christian.
You know what? Learning how to read, learning math, learning some basic music and singing, this will make you a smarter person in all areas of life, because we have all these different parts of our brain and we need to use everything that God has given us here, not just one little part of our brain that we use, that's the part that makes you good at video games or something, or the part that makes you good at riding a skateboard or something. Look, you need to broaden your understanding a little bit there.
Let's read Ephesians chapter 4, what does the Bible say in Ephesians chapter 4 verse 11? "He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers," watch this, "For the perfecting of the saints." Now when the Bible says, "the perfecting of the saints," that's not talking about a sinless perfection. When we see the word perfect, a lot of time we misunderstand it because in our modern vernacular when we talk about being perfect we would say that something is without error, without fault, without flaw. But in the Bible the word perfect means complete, or entire. There's nothing missing, there's nothing lacking.
The Bible says in the verse that we already looked at earlier, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not ... " That's not the verse I was looking for, it's right before that in James, right? Let me find it here, I don't want to misquote here. He says in verse 2, "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." What does entire mean?
If we said the entire pizza, we're talking about the whole thing. He's saying be complete. If you look every time the word perfect is used in the Bible you'll see it often defined right there in the context as complete, or entire, the whole thing. When the Bible says here, "For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ," the goal is to give you that what you are lacking in your life.
You may be a great Christian in certain areas of your life, but in other areas you might be severely lacking. The reason that you have pastors and teachers to help you with that is to fill in the gaps and to help you with what you're lacking in, not to just keep beefing you up on what you're already good at. A lot of people just want to go to a church that's going to keep patting them on the back for what they already do, instead of challenging them to do something that they're not doing, to perfect them. Think about it, how many Christians do you you think are out there that do a great job of reading their Bible and do a great job of prayer, and they do a great job of praising the Lord, but they never to out soul-winning, they never preach the gospel to anyone. No evangelizing, no soul-winning.
Is that really the perfection that God wants for our Christian life? Absolutely not, that's a major blow. Something is majorly missing in that person's life, or you could have a person that, oh man they fervently and they're praising Lord and they're out soul-winning, they're constantly preaching the gospel. They know the Romans Road like the back of their hand, but you know what? They don't know anything else about the Bible because they, "I don't like reading." Now they're lacking in knowledge. Now they're wide open to be deceived by false doctrine. Now they're making all kinds of mistakes in their lives and doing all kinds of foolish things because they don't know any better. Because they're failing in the area of knowledge.
God wants us to grow and learn things and to be edified and to be perfected. Meaning that we have the whole package in our lives, not just that we read the Bible and go soul-winning, but that we also pray, but that we also sing praises unto the Lord. He wants us to have the whole package. He doesn't want us to become imbalanced. Look at what the Bible says as we continue here. It says in verse 13, "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man." Again it's not saying we're going to become a sinless, it's saying you'll be a perfect man like Gob was a perfect man. Where he fears God and eschews evil, and is upright in his ways. He prays, he knows the word of God, he's intelligent, he loves people, he gives to the poor. He had the whole package, that's what it means when the Bible that Gob was a perfect and an upright man.
It means that he wasn't imbalanced and majorly lacking in some area of his Christian life, he had it all together. Was he sinless? Of course not, "there's not a just man upon the Earth that doeth good, and sinneth not," the Bible says. Everyone is a sinner. He says, "unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up," that's the opposite of being a child. "Grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ."
Today because we have an epidemic of foolishness, an epidemic of not reading the Bible, of not knowing basic learning of this world even, because we have this we have Christians that are easily led astray by false prophets and false teachers. That's why in the last days there's a great falling away and there's a great delusion and mass deception going on, because people are foolish enough to fall for it because they haven't studied, they haven't learned. It's sad today, thank God there's much more wisdom and knowledge amongst God's people, but if you go to the secular colleges today, I go into these colleges and speak and it mind boggling the foolishness in the classroom.
The reason he just said, "Yeah," is because he was there with me. He knows what I'm talking about. Literally we're in a college class and the teacher says, "Does anybody know what the word creative means? What it means to be creative?" Silence. He said, "Okay, is there anybody here that would say that you consider yourself a creative person, you're creative?" 2 hands go up. The teacher asked one of the students, "What does that mean when you say that you're creative?" "I know what it means but I just can't really explain it though."
The teacher says, "Why don't you try and explain it?" He said, "Well, I imagine things. I think about this." I'm not exaggerating, this is a real life scenario. I could give example after example of really basic words where he said, "What does this word mean," and nobody in the class knows, nobody understands. He's calling people, putting them on the spot, they don't have a clue. You're preaching to them and sometimes the thought enters you mind, "I don't know if they even understand a word that I'm saying right now."
This is a college class. These students have supposedly gone through the whole elementary, junior high, high school, and they get to this point and they can't even articulate what it means to be creative. That's just one ex- Lots of examples, okay? Go to first Timothy chapter 4. I want to start giving you some tips on how to learn. How to learn. We need to know how to learn, because a lot of people have a lot of really crazy ideas about learning today. People are going to school everyday for 7 hours a day and then they come out of high school in many cases dumb as a brick. Somebody's got some weird ideas about how to learn. Stop and think about that.
How can you go through 12 years of being in school for 7 hours a day and you walk out and you can barely read? There are even some that graduated from high school and they can't even read. It's true. I've known these people, they're called functioning illiterates. They fake their way through, and they can graduate and they can't even read the diploma that they're handed when they graduate from high school. It's out there, look it up. Even the ones who can barely read, there are a lot of other areas where they severely lack knowledge, where they couldn't even do basic math or anything.
I'm not trying to be down on anybody today, if you struggle in math or if you struggle in reading or if you struggle in science, you know what? If you're a wise man you'll say, "Pastor Anderson's rebuking my lack of knowledge and I love him for it." Because the Bible says rebuke a wise man and he'll love you. He'll increase learning, he'll get smarter. "Hey, Pastor Anderson's trying to perfect me right now. He doesn't want me to be lopsided and imbalanced and a cake not turned as [Ephraim 00:34:46] was. He wants me to grow." Isn't that why you come to church? If I came to church and I never was challenged to do something new, or if I was never taught a new doctrine, then what in the world am I even doing in that church? I would ask myself.
I'd rather go somewhere that's going to edify me, that's going to build me up, that's going to help me grow. I'm not trying to hurt any feelings, I love you today. If you can't read, I love you. If you fail at math, I love you. I want to help you. I want to teach you how to learn today, that's why I'm here. I'm not here to insult you, I'm not here to drag you down, I want to help fix the problem. That's all.
Number 1, how do we learn. Number 1, we learn by reading. I know I already talked about that but I'm saying it again. Look at first Timothy chapter 4 verse 13, "Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine." Jesus, 11 times rebuked people for not reading. He said, "Have you not read the Bible? Have you not read the scriptures?" He asked a man, "How readeth thou?" That was important to him, constantly criticizing people for getting false doctrine as a lack of not reading. The best way to learn about any subject is reading. Watch educational DVDs, no. Reading. There's no substitute for it.
Now let me say this about reading. Let's get a little bit more specific. You need to learn how to read through phonics not the see and say method. Here's why I bring this up, there is so much foolishness in the government schools now where they teach people these foolish ways of reading bib- of reading anything, they don't teach them how to read the Bible, period. They teach them this see and say, where you look at words and you learn to recognize the sight words. Yeah there are a few words that defy phonics in the English language that you have to learn as sight words, but they just teach all sight words, sight words, see and say reading. Like it's a Chinese character or something.
We need to teach our children how to read and we need to teach them how to read through phonics. Now, this is why the Bible is the best book to teach anyone how to read. The Bible is the ultimate reader. I'm going to explain to you why after I take a sip of water. Here's why the Bible is the ultimate reading textbook. Go to first Chronicles. First chronicles, and let me ask you something. This is just one example, you know and I know that the Bible, especially The Old Testament, The New Testament only has 2 chapters really that are like this. But you know and I know that The Old Testament is filled with lists of names in certain places, aren't they?
A lot of people they'll shy away from this part of the reading and say, "I'll just skip that. I'll just skip that part of the reading. That's too had." But this is why people are poor readers. You see, the reason that the Bible is the ultimate reading textbook is that it forces you to use phonics because it would impossible to see and say these lists of names, because you've never heard of this names, so how can you see and say them? No, you know what reading the Bible does? It forces you to sound things out. You could listen to somebody read out loud and you can tell whether they learned through phonics and they learned to sound things out, or whether they learned see and say, because the see and say people are constantly guessing and getting a word wrong on almost every line, or they'll substitute house for home, or home for house. They're constantly guessing, constantly mixing things up and not able to read effectively.
If we were to look into first Chronicles for example, and let's say we were to just ... Let's just pick ... Somebody hit me with a random chapter, somewhere between 1 and 9.
8? All right. There we go, let's go with 8. Know we didn't stage that before the sermon. Let's go to chapter 8, okay? Here's a random list of names, you're not going to be able to see and say things, you're going to have to sound these out. You're going to have to actually look at the letters that make up the word and sound them out, right? "Now Benjamin begat Bela his firstborn, Ashbel the second, Aharah the third, Nohah the fourth, and Rapha the fifth. And the sons of Bela were, Addar, and Gera, and Abihud, And Abishua, and Naaman, and Ahoah, And Gera, and Shephuphan, and Huram. And these are the sons of Ehud: these are the heads of the fathers of the inhabitants of Geba, and they removed them to Manahath: And Naaman, and Ahiah, and Gera, he removed them, and begat Uzza, and Ahihud. And Shaharaim begat children in the country of Moab, after he had sent them away; Hushim and Baara were his wives. And he begat of Hodesh his wife, Jobab, and Zibia, and Mesha, and Malcham."
You say, "That's a boring chapter. I don't want to read that, that's not going to profit me. How does that edify me? How is that relevant in the emergent church?" You know what? It makes you know how to read. You know what you ought to do, and listen to me I'm giving you good advice this morning, I'm giving you sound advice. You know what you ought to do instead of skipping this, or speed reading it, blowing through it? You ought to read these names out loud when you get to them. Spend more time on them not less, so that you can learn how to read. If you struggle with reading these are important chapters for you.
I'm not saying to just live in chapters for months on end, you might lose your mind, but I'm saying read the whole book of the Bible. I'm not saying to dwell on that one chapter. I'm saying read whole books of the Bible, and when you come to these chapters, why don't you just glorify God and thank Him for giving you the ultimate reading textbook? Thank you God for teaching me phonics. Thank you God for giving me this chapter. I've been reading silent in my head, but now I'm going to read out loud, and I'm going to sound out every letter, and I'm going to learn how to get better at reading.
You know what, there are adults who learn how to read, even if they didn't know how to read as a kid. Remember the commercial when we kids, "Hooked on Phonics worked for me?" All right, God bless you I see that hand. That's my generation. You know what? One of the greatest things that my mother did for me outside of winning me to Jesus Christ was teaching me how to read. I didn't learn how to read from school, my mother taught me to read. She taught me to read when I was very young, and I thank God for that because it helped me in so many areas of life.
[inaudible 00:41:41] All scripture's profitable, how could this crazy list of names be profitable? It is profitable for doctrine, but not only that, it's profitable to get you some smarts. It's all profitable. There's nothing extra in this book that's worthless, it's all for us. It's all for our benefit. God was smart when he put those lists of names in, they even have an underlying significance that maybe you hadn't even thought of, of teaching you how to read, it's true. This is why children ... You know what? Decide that you're going to raise your children in church. Decide that you're never going to quit the church, or that you're going to go to some Bible [blabbing 00:42:20] Baptist church with your children, because even if it's not for your own sake, do it for their sake. Because children who grew up in church, you know what they grow up with? They grow up with reading the Bible. They grow up with sounding out the names.
They grow up also singing the hymns. Remember we talked a little bit about music earlier. It's been proven in so many studies, it's not even funny, that studying music makes you a smarter person in all areas of life, period. It enhances your learning. Has anybody ever heard of anything like that? Put up your hand if you've heard something like that. Yeah of course. Children who grow up in church, they don't just grow up listening to pop songs on the radio. Here's the thing about pop songs, they're extremely difficult to sing, because it's these experts musicians that are wowing us with all their vocal acrobatics.
Whereas hymns were written and designed to be easy to perform, did you know that? Most of the rational behind church music is it's easy. Easy to sing, easy to perform and therefor children who grow up with it, they learn how to sing at a really young age. That's why you parents, when it's time to sing, especially when your kids are old enough to be reading, get a songbook in their hand and make sure that they're not going like this during the singing, " ... " Make sure that they're singing along. Make sure that if they're at a reading age that they're reading out of some ... I can't even count how many times I sat in church growing up as a kid and I started to zone out during a song and my dad said, "Open that songbook and be singing." He'd rebuke you and you'd sing. That's why people who grow up in church they know how to sing, at least at a basic level. They know how to read. These are things that God does for us through the church, God willing.
Not only that. Number 1 we learn by reading, and phonics is important with that. Number 2, we learn by going to the original sources. Go to the sources. Now what do I mean by that? Much of education today doesn't go to the source, instead of reading the Bible people read about the Bible. See how that's a step removed from the source? The Bible is the source document, and there are many men who go to seminaries and colleges and universities and study Bible, but they're not studying the Bible, they're studying about the Bible. They read all these theology books and commentaries about the Bible. Getting removed from the source is a bad way to learn anything, but especially the Bible. Do you know how many books about the Bible I read? You know how many commentaries I read? 0, and I love reading.
I have lots of books, I read books every week. This week I read a book called, "How music works," by John Powell. It was about the science and psychology behind music, everything like that. But you know how many theology books I read this week? 0. You know how many I read last week? 0. You know how many I read last year? 0. You know many I have an interest in reading? 0, zilch, none. Why? Because I read the Bible this week, I didn't read about the Bible I read the Bible. All I need is the Holy Spirit and this book and I can learn what I need to know about the Bible. I don't need some dead theologian from 150 years ago to be dug up from his grave, to come tell me what this book means.
I can interpret it through the Holy Spirit and through living, breathing men of God preaching to me. Living, breathing, spirit filled that actually know who they are and where they're coming from. Now, "Matthew Henry [commented 00:46:20] ... " Wasn't Matthew Henry part of some baby baptizing denomination? What in the world would anybody want to do with that stupid book, except use it for a door stop? We need to read the Bible not read about the Bible. It's not just when it comes to spiritual things.
I have a good friend and I'm not down on him at all, he's a very smart guy, he's a very intelligent, educated man. But it's funny, I like to use this illustration because it's so funny. He has a PhD in philosophy. I asked him, "Have you ever read Plato's Republic, which is considered like one of the cornerstone of western [inaudible 00:46:57] Never read it. PhD in philosophy. He even told me, he said, "That's not how it is when you get a degree in philosophy. You don't read the philosophers, you read about the philosophers," he said. He said, "I read about Plato's Republic," but he's not going to the source, so he's getting everything second hand. Then he gives it to his students third hand. Second hand, third hand, fourth hand.
Now I believe that Plato's Republic is a worthless piece of garbage, but I'm making the point that you'd think that who's studying philosophy when that's probably the most famous book of ancient Greek philosophy that he would have read it, or something like that. It's funny, we did an interview yesterday for our movie that we're working on, Babylon USA. We were at this [Emory 00:47:47] University, and we talked to this lady that was an expert on ancient Greek history. It was so refreshing because so many of these experts are not really an expert. When you talk to them they don't know what they're talking about, they're not [inaudible 00:48:02]
It was so refreshing to talk to somebody yesterday who actually was an ex- when they say they're ... and knew the whole subject and could talk about it intelligently and knew all about, and had read ... This lady had read all of Plato's books. Now Plato's books are wicked and they espouse wicked philosophies, I'm not promoting it. But I'm showing you that even in a worldly sense, going to the source makes someone actually know that the book's about, rather than hearing about it secondhand. How does that affect we as Christian is you go straight to the Bible, not read about the Bible.
This goes for all areas of life. I want to actually expand on that with one other point, not only going to the original source. Number 1 reading, number 2 going to the original sources, but number 3 also learning the whole subject. Learning the whole subject, whatever the subject is. For example we shouldn't just read the Bible and focus on one part of the Bible and ignore the other part, like just read The New Testament and ignore The Old Testament, or just read Psalms and Proverbs and the four gospels and that's all we read, over and over again. We need to learn the whole subject if we're really going to know the Bible, right? Would you consider someone knowledgeable about the Bible if there were whole parts of the Bible that were a complete mystery to them and they never looked at, never even thought about? No.
In order for someone to know The Book of Matthew well, wouldn't you say they'd have to read the whole Bible to fully understand Matthew, or should they just read Matthew 200 times and nothing else? Who's going to understand Matthew more? The guy who read the whole Bible, right? Because you've got to learn the whole subject. Here's an example of this, when it comes to going soul-winning in Spanish. I want to win souls in Spanish and I know a lot of people here they win souls in Spanish, or they would like to win souls in Spanish. When I first got to the church here and started the church, over 10 years ago, I did not know how to speak Spanish well enough to give someone the gospel, not even close. I'd studies Spanish in the past but I didn't really know it that well, but going soul-winning and I noticed how many people didn't speak English.
I thought, "You know I really wish I could give these people the gospel, there's so many of them." I started getting serious about learning Spanish and getting better at Spanish and I got to the place ... Probably after I'd been here about 2 years I got to a place where I was able to win people to the Lord in Spanish. Ever since then I would say that about 50% of the souls that are won when I go soul-winning is Spanish, about half, fully half. Those people wouldn't be getting saved if I hadn't have studied Spanish and learned it. But here's what I've noticed a trend amongst people who want to learn Spanish to go soul-winning. Here's what they say, "Just give me a script. Give me a Spanish script so I can learn the script." But here's the thing about that, you're not going to be ever an effective soul-winner in Spanish just by learning a script. You have to learn the whole subject in order to understand, it's not just some knowledge of learning one aspect. No, you have to understand the whole subject.
You need to learn how to speak Spanish, actually learn the whole language. Learn the verbs and the nouns and the adjectives and the conversational Spanish. Not just walk up, "[Spanish 00:51:29]." You have to actually be able to communicate and interact and go back and forth and learn the whole subject. That's just one example but there are so many examples. It's like these armchair mathematicians and armchair scientists that want to tell us that the Earth is flat. They want to learn like one math formula, and it's wrong, it's the wrong formula. My son, Solomon, disproved it yesterday. Because my son Solomon actually knows the whole subject. He's studying, what math are you in son?
What's that supposed to mean? That's what your book's called or something?
It's like pre-calculus or something that he's in, or whatever. Anyway, he's learning the whole subject, so basically they came at him with the flat-earthers' gospel which is, the distance squared times 8 inches is the curvature of the Earth. He disproved it. He applied it to the whole Earth and it was ridiculously wrong, ridiculously off. Then he actually did the math to derive what a proper formula for the curvature of the Earth would be using trigonometry [inaudible 00:52:56] Here's the thing, it was a much more complicated formula. If you actually look up the real formulas on calculating the curvature of the Earth that actually work, they actually involve more complicated math than just D squared times 8 inches, per mile. The distance in miles squared times 8.
But see here's the thing, these people they don't study the whole subject. They're not learning geometry, trigonometry, math. They're not going, "Okay, I'm going to get to the bottom of this," so then they went to the library and got an algebra 1 book off the shelf, an algebra 2 book off the shelf, a trigonometry book off the shelf, analytic geometry off the shelf, and said, "I'm going to go through these 4 books. I'm going to brush on my math. I'm going to work through all of this, and I'm going to figure out the curvature of the Earth." No, that's not what they did. No, they went on YouTube, how not to learn math. They Google it. There's all kinds of junk out there are all kinds of false [inaudible 00:53:57]
But if you learn the whole subject, like my son Solomon, he could just look at that formula and say, "That is a flawed formula." He proved the formula and it was found to be false, ridiculously false. They come at you with all these calculations about the Earth spin and, "Well since it takes precisely 24 hours to spin well ... " No it doesn't, it takes 23 hours and 56 minutes. Learn the whole subject, or don't talk about it. What I'm saying is that we need to go to the sources, we need to read books and we need to learn the whole subject. Now, not only that fourthly, this is how to learn today.
Fourthly we need to consider the source. Consider the source. Number 1 we need to learn by reading. Number 2 we need to go to original sources. Number 3 we need to learn ... What do I mean by that, "going to original sources?" Let's say you wanted to learn about world war 2 or something. You could just read some book by some guy who says, "Here's everything that happened in world war 2," or you could go to actual sources like people who've actually documented different diaries of people who actually lived there. People say, "If I wanted to learn what Hitler believed, I'm going to read this book about Hitler." Why don't you read the book that Hitler wrote if you wanted to see what Hitler believed.
"I want to learn about communism," why don't you read the source if you want to learn about that? Go to the source, The Communist Manifesto. Going to the actual sources, but no one goes to sources. For example I can't even count how many people I've heard talk about Martin Luther and the Protestant [reformation 00:55:44] and Lutheranism and the 95 theses, and he posted that 95 theses. I always ask [inaudible 00:55:50], "Have you ever read the 95 theses? No?" It's only 95 lines long. How long would it take? But people talk about it, preach about it, have opinions about it. When I heard about it the first thing I said was, "I'd like to read that." Then you read it and then you realize that it's something completely different than what everybody's told you it was your whole life, when you actually read it.
Read the Magna Carta, it's nothing like what they tell you it is in a history book. I'm talking about going to read the declaration of independence, read the constitution. Aren't these original source documents? Magna Carta, constitution, declaration of independence, you're actually going to the ... The Bible itself, read the Bible. Going back into different sources instead of just taking someone's word for it, getting it secondhand, third-hand.
Number 3, you learn the whole subject before you consider yourself learned in that area. Number 4, you consider the source. The Bible says in first Thessalonians 5:21, "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." You test things, you don't just believe every word that you read. Also Proverbs 1:5 says, "A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels," not any counsels, wise counsels. "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly," consider the source.
I've got to hurry because I'm almost out of time and there's a few things that I want to get to. Number 5, you learn by memorizing. Memorizing, this is something where they don't do it in school anymore because it's so outdated and [outmodish 00:57:32] and archaic That rot memorization, what a waste of time. No, it makes you smarter. No, you're using your brain. What does the Bible say? Go to Psalm 119. Psalm 119 and look at verse 97 of Psalm 119. I am a strong believer in memorization. I don't care what you're learning. I don't care if it's science, history, math. Whatever the case, memorization is good for your brain and that is the way that you learn things. Look what David said in Psalm 119 verse 97. This is in addition of the famous verse where he said, "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee."
It says in verse 97, "O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day. Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts. I have refrained my foot from every evil way, that I might keep thy word. I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me. How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way."
Now let me ask you this, how could God's word be his meditation all day, according to verse 97, if he did not have it memorized? Because he said he hid the word in his heart, that he might meditate therein day and night. He loved God's word, he's meditating on it day and night. That's why he understood more than the ancients, that's why he understood more than his teachers, because of the fact that he had memorized and meditated upon God's word. But then [inaudible 00:59:25] One more thing on the learning by memorization. When I was in school this was normal in Christian school where I went, we memorized the periodic table of elements, we memorized all the helping verbs, we memorized the list of prepositions, we memorized the date, person and what they invented, every major scientific discovery of the last 400 years. Our test, we were given a blank piece of paper, write it down. Write it down, I mean literally.
There were kids who failed and got a D and said it wasn't fair, and the teacher said, "Same test again in 2 weeks. If you get an A on it you'll have a C because right now you've just got an F. Do it perfect next time so you can get a C in the class." There was no mercy. Why? Because they don't want kids coming out of there being as dumb as a brick, because they fool around and never buckle down and actually do some hard work of memorizing something and learning something.
There are so many things you can memorize. You can memorize of course scripture, that's the best thing to be memorizing, memorizing scripture. You can memorize lists in the Bible, facts about the Bible. Memorizing all kinds of things is a good exercise for your brain. Part of the way that I learned how to preach was I memorized preaching of other preachers, and would recite it and practice it and preach, to learn how to preach. I memorize poetry to recite poetry with feeling in order to learn how to be a public speaker. Memorizing scripture, memorizing scientific li- Whatever, whatever the case is it makes you smarter, I don't care what anybody says.
Number 6, you learn by doing. Learn by doing, okay? That is touched upon also in that scripture we just looked at in Psalm 1:19, where he talks about understanding more because of the fact that he's a doer of the work. James 1 verse 22, last place we'll turn. James 1:22 says this, "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed."
The Bible says there's the forgetful here, and then there's the doer of the work. If you're a doer you'll actually retain what you've learned. Speaking of memorizing things, one of the first things my wife did when she got saved was memorize the books of the Bible. Why? Because my wife is a smart person. She memorized Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth. I remember she had just gotten save, knew nothing about the Bible, she memorized the list of the books of the Bible the first week. We went to church the next service and the pastor said, "Turn in your Bibles to first Chronicles chapter 8." She just looked like this for a second, I could see the wheels turning. She was like, and then just turn to [it 01:02:47].
Why? Because she's learning, and she learned fast. By the way, she liked reading so she read the Bible the first year she was saved, I don't know, 2, 3 times. Cover to cover. First year of salvation. Why? Because she's learning, she's growing, she's memorizing things, she's getting smarter. You learn by doing, also. You can't just read about math, you have to do the exercises. You have to practice it and use it. You can't just learn about science, you'd have to put it into practice. You can't just learn about the Bible, you have to do the works that you learn about in the Bible.
Now, you say, "Pastor Anderson you're preaching too long, the sermon is supposed to be over." You know what? You're learning, okay? You're here to learn. Maybe that's why Christians don't know the Bible, because the average sermon today in America is 20 minutes. It's true. 20 minutes [sermonette 01:03:47], and by the way nobody's learning how to sing either because they're sitting there silently, listening to some performance singer. This is important teaching that we need to learn this morning and I'm going to take the time to teach it to you, and I hope that you'll actually put this stuff into practice and spend the rest of your life learning new things.
You learn by doing. Now one of the reasons why people today are so bad at math and so bad at reading is because they don't do it. Here's my policy, I don't use calculators. I don't use a calculator, unless I'm doing some specialized calculation that would be very difficult to do by hand. You know obviously I'm not trying to calculate square roots and logarithms on my own. But what I'm saying is if you're grabbing a calculator to do basic math you're going to dumber and dumber. If you do math every day you're going to get smarter and smarter. Guess what, you're going to get better at math. Why? Because you learned by doing.
I love the technology, I love the smartphones, I love the calculators, I love the computers. Honestly I love it all, but be careful that it doesn't make you dumb, where you just rely on machines so much that you become completely ignorant. To the point where I've seen people where you'll say to them, "100 minus 12," and they're grabbing a calculator. It's ridiculous. It's like, "What in the world?" I mean just the most basic, or even the multiplication tables up to 12 and they're grabbing a calculator. They're grabbing a calculator for 9 times 8. Here's the thing, I'm not trying to hurt your feelings if that's you. I'm not trying to make you feel bad. I'm just pointing out to you that if you want to get better at math start doing math by hand, or in your head. Either by hand or in your head, that's how you do it.
Any time I'm around people and they pull out a calculator I'm usually like, "Put that away. Let's do this ourselves." Because we want to grow. We want to get smarter. We don't want to get sedentary in our brains. Does everybody understand what I'm saying? In fact, I mean, we've got a GPS unit, we don't even have to pay any attention to maps or how to navigate. We've got a calculator. Now look, if you're bad at math, why don't you work the math on your own first so that you can get smarter. Then if you want to check your answer with a calculator, then check it with a calculator. But if you're using a calculator to do basic math, then you are going to be less smart tomorrow than you were today. Is that really how God wants you to live your life?
Is that how you want to live your life? You don't know what God has in store for you. You don't know what opportunities, and you know what? There's always a prepared place for a prepared person. If you don't know basic skills, you're missing out on opportunities that God has for you in your life, where he could use you to Pastor a church someday but he might look down and say, "This guy can't pastor a church because he can't read." How is this guy going to preach when he can't read well? How is this guy going to run a church when he can't do basic math? How is he going to count the offering? How is he going to run the budget? How is going to know how to spend the money? How is he going to run things? He can't be a leader, because he fails at math. This guy can't preach or teach because he doesn't know the Bible well enough. All right I'm ready to go Pastor a church. How many times have you read the Bible cover to cover? 4? You're not ready to pastor a church.
The point is we need to learn in all areas of life that we might be prepared to serve God in any way that he has for us, and that we might excel in knowledge in all areas. The last point I want to make is this. Lastly this on how to learn, work on your weaknesses. Don't be a specialist. Don't be a specialist, work on your weaknesses. If we think of specialists, what's the industry that we would think of first when you talk about specialists? What? [inaudible 01:08:01] Yeah, like a doctor, right? Because, "Oh he needs to get specialized."
But here's the thing about a specialist doctor, he doesn't just say, "I'm an hear, nose, throat doctor and that's all I want to learn about." See, an hear, nose, throat doctor can actually treat any manner of illness because in order to become an hear, nose, throat doctor first he studied all medicine. "Oh, you're hear, nose and throat. Yeah, we won't tell you anything about the heart, the lung." No, he has to know the whole subject, doesn't he? He has to learn from books. He has to learn by doing. He's not just a specialist. He might have a specialty but he could see anybody.
It's like we were on the airplane yesterday, coming back from the soul-winning marathon and they said, "We need a doctor, we need a nurse. Anybody who's medically trained." The doctor who got up to help, I guess it was a diabetic shock that was happening, or a diabetic coma. I'm not sure what was happening, but I think that's what was happening. He didn't walk up and say, "I'm hear, nose and throat." Go back and sit down. "I'm a podiatrist," no because even the podiatrist knows the basics of how administer first aid, because he knows the whole subject, because you have to.
Don't be a specialist, work on your weaknesses. Often Pastors become way too specialized. I've known pastors where every sermon is political, every sermon is about freedom and liberty and the United States. You can tell them, "Preach on this Bible story", and they'll spin it like this is all about liberty, this is an anti-government story. No matter what story it is. You're like, "Wow, how did you pull that out?" There are other pastor that just all they preach on is family issues all the time. It's just marriage and child rearing in the home. It's just family, family, family. But they're not preaching on the soul-winning, the Bible prophecy. There's a lot they're skipping. Other pastors just talk about finances all the time. Other pastors talk about creationism, they keep beating that evolution, big bang, creation, you know, that thing.
Bible prophecy, all they preach is Bible prophecy. It's out there. Where King James only, King James only. That's all they talk about. There are some that all they preach is the gospel every Sunday morning. Who's ever been to a church where every Sunday morning the sermon was about being saved? Don't you want to reach up and grab the pastor and be like, "We're saved. I'm saved. Everyone here is saved, teach us something different." But he's like every Sunday morning, "Are you born again? Are you born again?" You're like, "Yes." There are people they're just anti-homo. Anti-homo, that's all they are, or just anti-Muslim. Anti-Muslim, that's all they talk about. Everything's against the Muslims, or everything's the Jews, it's all against the Jews. Just anti-Jew or just anti-abortion, that's all we're going to do we're going to protest the abortion clinic every week.
Look, I like all of it. I love liberty, I love the family, I love Biblical creation, Bible prophecy, the King James, salvation. I'm as anti-homo, anti-Muslim and anti-Jewish as the next guy. I'm anti-abortion. But wait a minute, is that just all I am? Is that just who I am? Is that all I'm going to talk about? Every week, wouldn't that get a little boring? Coming to church it's like, "All right, sermon number 37 on why the Jews are not God's chosen people." "All right, I found a whole new scripture ripping on the homos." No, go to church to learn all the counsel of God, to learn the whole subject. You go and you read the whole Bible, and then you be a doer of the work.
Don't get so specialized, learn everything. You know what? When I'm training guys to be a pastor I tell them, "You need to learn every subject." I said, "I want you to know something about music." I sent a guy out to start a church that didn't know how to sing at all. Couldn't sing, couldn't carry a tune in a bucket. I literally hired him singing lessons. I called this person and said, "Can you fix him? Is there hope doc?" Because he's over 30 years old and he can't sing. He's like, "Yeah. Oh yeah, I can fix him." You be the judge whether he's fixed, I don't know.
The point is why did I do that? Because I cared about trying to give people a well rounded training, and not to just send the guy out who knows, "I'm the pastor, I know nothing about music," or pastors have a Spanish ministry and they know nothing about Spanish. Then they have the wrong Bible version, they don't even know it, 1960 version. Hello. Know nothing about music and then all the weird music comes in. Know nothing about this, that. Know nothing about the finances. No. If you want to be sent out to pastor a church out of this church, you should expect to learn all aspects of our churches ministry, every aspect of the church's program. Every aspect you should know at least on a basic level. Better yet on an intermediate level.
Again the heart of the sermon is this, not trying to hurt anybody's feelings or anything like that. The heart of the sermon is this, God wants us to grow and be smart and gain knowledge. We're living in perilous times and there's so much deception out there, so many lies. How are you going to navigate and figure out what the truth is? You've got to grow in knowledge and understanding and wisdom. The way that you do that is not by watching TV, it's not by listening to the radio. I'm learning so much about politics by watching TV and listening to the radio. You'd probably learn a lot more about politics, honestly, just by shutting off Sean Hannity, shutting off the Fox News, shut off the CNN and the MSNBC and all this junk.
Why don't you go to some original sources? Why don't you say, "Here's a starting point, why don't I actually read the bill of rights?" That will take 2 minutes. "Why don't I actually read the constitution?" There's stuff in there that will shock you. It'll take you 20 minutes to read. Why don't you shut off your stupid political talk show and put down your political newspaper even, and why don't you get out the declaration of independence, read it, constitution, read it. You could get some good political books written by wise political thinkers. How about The Law by Frederic Bastiat? I've got Gregory's approval here. Why don't you read that book? I read that book in one afternoon. You'll learn more from reading that one book than you will learn in a year of these stupid talk radio blowhards.
Why don't you pick up boo- You want to learn about the Soviet Union? Why don't you get the eye witness accounts from Alexander [Solzhenitsyn 01:15:19] in The Gulag Archipelago? But that's a big long thick book, with black ink and white pages and no pictures in it. Actually it does have a couple pictures of him in his concentration camp outfit with his head shaved and everything. I'm saying, you can go to original eye witness sources. You can go to original documents. You can actually read intelligent books. Look, thank God for the library. We have a great library in Tempe, it's an amazing library. We're got the Phoenix library. It's all free. You walk in and you can walk out with all these books and learn about these things, or you can continue to rot your brain on the TV, movies and radio and be a fool, and then wonder why you keep getting dumber instead of getting smarter.
People think that education ends when you get out of school, but we need to keep on learning for the rest of our lives. We need to teach our children to be lifelong learners. I believe in this. I think I showed you adequate scripture. If you don't think I showed you adequate scripture, then you go home and read the whole Book of Proverbs and then come back and tell me that I'm wrong.
Let's bow our heads and have a word of prayer. Father we thank you so much for your word Lord and we thank you for loving us and for giving us the Bible Lord so that we could have all this knowledge and wisdom and understanding. You save us from so many headaches in our lives when we learn the right way to do things based on your word. Lord help us to keep growing Lord. I know Lord that there are whole books in the Bible that I feel like I don't really have a great handle on, I need to really dig down and study more. Lord that you help me to keep learning. God I pray that you help me to learn a lot in my Bible reading this week new things, Lord, that I haven't seen yet. I pray that we would raise up a generation of Christians who are smart enough to see through the false teaching. That are smart enough to be godly and effective servant of yours, to do great works for you and great exploits and win many people unto Christ. In Jesus name we pray these things. Amen.