Which do you prefer, the “Open Book Test” or the test where the teacher unfairly and in oppressing fashion requires you to answer questions without access to the material? Do not answer to quickly! There is a time limit on both tests. And additionally, consider that you haven’t sat through every lecture, you haven’t taken any notes, and you haven’t studied the material or even read and familiarized yourself with the text. Now I’ll ask another question; will it matter if it is “Open Book” or not? The truth is you will fail such a test regardless!
The fact is we are all being tested and tried in this life (James 1.12; 1 Peter 1.7). And our lives will be graded in the Day of Judgment (John 12.48; Acts 10.42; 2 Timothy 4.1; 1 Peter 4.5). We are being tested right now! The problem and tragedy is that so many are failing the test! And there is no need to…it is an “Open Book Test.” Consider carefully the following points:
The textbook (The Bible) is inspired, inerrant and available. It isn’t out of print, out of stock or outdated! “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3.16-17). But how many folks are studying the text, searching it daily and committing it to memory (Acts 17.11; 2 Timothy 2.15)? The “Open Book Test” doesn’t do me a bit of good if I do not know where to find the answers. The Word of
God is meant to be: studied, searched, memorized, analyzed, scrutinized, and internalized.
There are lectures given every week. In the average lifetime (78 years) a person
attending every Bible Class and Worship Service will hear at least 16,224 lessons from the textbook. This does not include Gospel Meeting, special seminars, Ladies Bible Classes, devotionals, lectureships and other various public assemblies. In contrast, the person who attends only once per week will hear only 4,056. How much are you going to miss if you do not attend all the “lectures?”
Personal Study Time. The standard recommendation for a college student is two hours of personal study for every one-hour of classroom time. For the Christian who attends all four Sunday services and Wednesday evening Bible Class that would mean ten hours per week of personal study time. That may include private studies with others, daily personal devotionals, daily Bible readings, family devotional time, and daily prayer time. The problem is many Christians, even those who attend every service, go home, set their Bibles down in that preselected
place, and do not pick it up again till they walk out the door to the next “class.”
Application! This is real world stuff we are talking about and eternity hangs in the balance. It has been said that, “He who learns but does not think, is lost.” And, “He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger.” John said, “Bring forth fruits meet for repentance” (Matthew 3.8). The work is being put in for the hope that we will change our lives for the better and for eternity.
There is a time limit on the test! “For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you” (1 Peter 1.24-25). “For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away” (James 4.14).
Friends, we need to be active in the Biblical education and the advancement of spiritual
growth in our lives. God has not left us without the necessary information or adequate
opportunities for instruction. But as is true with any test, the person responsible for passing or failing is the person taking the test. Not the teacher, not the material, not the pencil in your hand…You!