Encyclopedia, self-help book, or novel?

Too often people look at the Bible like an encyclopedia just filled with facts about God. Do you want to know what God is like? Look it up in the Bible. Do you want to know what Heaven will be like? Look it up in the Bible. Do you want to know about Jesus? Look it up in the Bible. Do you want to know about the future? Look it up in the Bible.

Too often people look at the Bible like a self-help book filled with helpful advice. Do you want to know how to have a happy marriage? The Bible tells you how. Do you want to know how to raise your children? The Bible tells you how. Do you want to know what God wants of you? The Bible tells you. Do you want to know how to get along with others? The Bible tells you how.

Now, I’m not denying that the Bible is filled with facts like an encyclopedia. Nor am I denying that the Bible is a help to us in how we live. But, fundamentally, the Bible isn’t an encyclopedia and it isn’t a self-help book. Fundamentally, the Bible is more like a novel that tells us a story. It tells God’s story.

The Bible tells the story of God creating a perfect world, only to see His creatures rebel against Him and separate themselves from their creator. But, God didn’t leave us to ourselves. No, He sent a Savior to redeem us from our sins. His name is Jesus. And through Jesus, God will restore the creation to what it should be — Jesus reigning in the new heavens and the new earth; those who have trusted in Him, surrounding Him, worshiping Him, in perfect happiness and joy forever in a perfect place.

 

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