Elder Keith Ellis
I wish things were different in the world. Also, I wish there were no problems with God's children applying themselves to studying His word. I know that the day is coming in which we will not have to concern ourselves with evil men and seducers, and we will know God even as we are known.
But until that time, I perceive that there will be a continual struggle for the heirs of heaven to be on guard against the false doctrines of the day.
We have discussed some fundamental things which will help you, if you consider them carefully and prayerfully, and above all if you apply them in your everyday Bible study.
If you have not understood anything that I hoped to teach in this writing, I hope you understand that you MUST lay a solid foundation in God's word apart from denominational beliefs, traditions, popular trends, preconceived ideas, personal agendas, or anything else that opposes the word of God. If you do this, it will not be easy. You will find that the truth of God runs against the grain of the world. You may find you will have to forsake all for Jesus and for the cause of the truth. You can be certain to face persecution and tribulation for walking in the "strait" and narrow. There will be times the only friend you will have is Jesus Himself. You will find that one moment of the freedom you will experience in the truth of God far outweighs all the pressure the world will place on you (see Matthew 5:3-12). Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
Study is an individual responsibility. It is not up to your pastor to do your study. Buckle down, press in and trust God. May your journey be filled with joy in the revelation of Jesus Christ to your spirit.
Be as the most noble Bereans and search the scripture for yourselves to see if I have spoken the truth.
Once God has opened to you the richness of the truth, then do not become selfish with it. Do not be like the ostrich which buries its head in the sand. Be active in sharing God's word with others in your world of influence. If you do this you can expect God to expand His blessings towards you in a wonderful way. It is by giving our lives in service to others that we find the life that Jesus came to give us in the here and now. Be a hearer and a DOER of God's word (see James 1:22).
If you perceive I have spoken the truth, then give God ALL the glory. If I have erred, then may God be merciful to me.
Remember to ask your Pastor any questions you may have.