Small Group Tools
Contemporary Comments 2017
Texts: Proverbs 22:1-23:35; Exodus 22:21-27; Proverbs 24:1-34; Ephesians 5:20; Ezekiel 33:8
The American Bible Society and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship recently commissioned Bara Research Group to study Millennials (people ages 18-30) and how they relate to the Bible.1 Results showed both encouraging and disappointing news: 65 percent of those interviewed believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God, 35 percent say that they read the Bible at least once a month, yet sadly, 32 percent say that they never read it.
Andrew Hood, spokesman for the ABS says, “The research has shown that in general Millennials are decreasing their personal use of the Bible. So what we’re finding is that Millennials are leading the charge in skepticism and indifference towards the Bible.” People in this age bracket believe that rather than being the inspired word of God, the Bible is simply another book about principles and teachings.
What is causing this disinterested trend among Millenials? Blogger Eddie Foster suggests that, “The Bible describes certain behaviors and attitudes as right or wrong, no matter what society says. This is probably the most prevalent reason people don’t like the Bible. The Bible states that ‘there is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death’ (Proverbs 14:12; 16:25). Human beings will go to great lengths to defend their own decisions and behavior.”2
Hood’s suggestion? We need to help change their perception by “helping them understand that the Bible is where they can really encounter God’s story of why they were created and what their purpose is in this world.”
Our Sabbath school lesson this week talks about the importance of not only hearing the truth, but also our responsibility once we've heard it. We can’t know the truth unless we are willing to open God’s word, the Bible, and read it. So the 32 percent of Millenials who have never read a Bible won’t know truth—unless someone shows them.
Think about it: we who know our Bibles have a wonderful opportunity! A purpose for being on this planet! We can help change lives here, and prepare them for eternity. Jesus said, “ ‘And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free’ ” (John 8:32, NLT). We are prisoners until we discover the truth. Then we are set free! What free person wouldn’t jump at the chance to help someone in bondage?
We teach people the truth by living it ourselves, through our actions. And when the time is right, we can then “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15). Then we can take the opportunities that arise and show them the truths in God’s word. Truths that can set them free.
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