I am honored to lead the Resources Division at LifeWay and serve with a team of leaders who are passionate to serve the Church in Her mission of making disciples. Each Wednesday I share the heart behind one the resources our team has developed and give an opportunity for you to register to win a free copy of the resource. This week’s resource is a summer Bible study package from Explore the Bible.
The summer blockbuster movie season is on us. This is when Hollywood serves up explosive, action-packed adventures where the fate of humanity hangs in the balance. Last summer marked the 60th anniversary of one of the most famous disaster-movie franchises: Godzilla. However you feel about these movies, I was surprised to learn that its creator, Ishiro Honda, conceived the giant fire-breathing monster, not for popcorn entertainment, but to be a tangible metaphor for nuclear weapons and the horrible destruction at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The film and its subsequent sequels symbolized the Japanese people’s fear over an uncertain and potentially calamitous future.
Isn’t that’s how human beings cope with fear and uncertainty? We use our imaginations to fill in the gaps. This can be one of the Enemy’s great tools against humanity: our sinful nature makes it so easy to fill in our uncertainty with fear, not hope.
Christians are not immune to this either, even when it comes to the Bible. The very mention of the Book of Revelation is enough to fill many Christians with confusion and dread. In a way, I understand; the book contains images that are hard to process. It might be easy to look at Revelation and think, is this really how the story ends? Is this really what the Bible teaches?
These kinds of questions are one of the driving motivators of Explore the Bible, one of LifeWay’s ongoing Bible studies. This book-by-book curriculum was designed to help adults, students, and kids understand the Word of God in the proper context. It works great in small groups or Sunday School classes. For adults – the studies come in 13-week studies (released every three months) if your group meets every week or six session studies if your group meets less frequently.
As D. A. Carson said, “A text without a context is a pretext for a proof text.” We’ve all heard Christians and non-Christians, alike, use a single verse from the Bible to justify a belief or personal agenda. This sort of reading of the Bible is dangerous as it can be all to easy to mis-represent the truths of Scripture and lead people, and oneself, astray.
Explore the Bible examines passages of Scripture, not only for what the passage says, but also for how the larger biblical and historical context informs the passage. By considering the whole wisdom of Scripture, readers are equipped to better understand an individual passage and then apply it to their daily lives.
This summer, Explore the Bible is tackling Revelation and the end times, but through the key contextual lens of the writer’s early Books of 1, 2, and 3 John. Across all of John’s writing, we see a clear truth: that Christ lives in us and that Christ is coming for us. With this knowledge, we can approach Revelation with a fresh optimism and see, ultimately, that it is not a book of fear, but a book of great hope.
I am giving away several copies of Explore the Bible’s summer study, 1, 2, 3 John; Revelation, including:
- one adult personal study guide
- one adult leader guide
- one commentary
To enter for a chance to win, fill out the form below or click here and enter before 12:01 a.m. CST, Thursday May 7th.