Why We Need the Bible (Now More Than Ever)
In times of crisis people tend to turn to the Bible for answers. But a recent study shows that isn’t happening as much during this crisis. Do we really need the Bible now?
During times of crisis people seem to pay more attention to the news. Some even engage in what’s been called “doomscrolling” (or “doomsurfing”)—being immersed in the bad and depressing newsfeeds. Some are focused on looking for signs that the biblical “last days” have begun, or are beginning.
After the 9/11 attacks, people turned to churches to search for answers, solidarity, comfort and meaning. Bible sales also surged. The percentage of people saying religion was increasing in influence on American life skyrocketed from 39 percent to 71 percent (the highest ever recorded by a Gallup poll).
Yet soon after that, things returned to normal with no lasting change in most people’s lives, religious habits or Bible reading habits.
Are people turning to the Bible through the pandemic?
Interestingly, during the current coronavirus pandemic one report found that many people are not turning to the Bible in search for answers. The poll found:
- A serious drop in Americans “engaging meaningfully with Scripture” (from 28 percent to 22.7 percent) between the months of January and June of this year.
- Those reading the Bible daily dropped from 14 percent to 9 percent.
- Those reading the Bible several times a week dropped from 14 percent to 12 percent.
This is part of a larger trend of disengagement from the Bible that has occurred over the last decade. Ironically, Bible sales have increased during this pandemic.
A famine of the Word?
The prophet Amos prophesied a time when there will be a famine of “hearing the words of the LORD” (Amos 8:11). This will occur for various reasons:
- Complacency (Amos 6:1; Zephaniah 1:12).
The Bible is just as relevant—and necessary—as it ever has been.
- Faith in only the physical, and scorn for the Bible (2 Peter 3:3-4; Jeremiah 17:5).
- Removal of God and biblical values from our societies (Hosea 5:7).
- Biblical illiteracy (Hosea 4:6).
Yet despite these trends, the Bible is just as relevant—and necessary—as it ever has been. Within its pages are the hope, solutions and answers today’s world desperately needs.
Reasons for the Bible’s relevance today
Let’s consider a few of the reasons the Bible is so relevant for today’s world.
- The Bible explains why our world is the way it is.
Our world is increasingly chaotic, and at times it’s hard to make sense of it. The Bible explains why our world is the way it is. The first human beings God created, Adam and Eve, had a choice to either obey or disobey Him. God commanded them to reject the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17). Instead, they listened to the serpent and disobeyed God (Genesis 3:1-7).
As a result, they were removed from the Garden of Eden—cutting themselves off from God and the tree of life (Genesis 3:22). By listening to the serpent, they essentially chose Satan to rule over them. Under the deceptive sway of Satan (John 14:30; 2 Corinthians 4:4), our world has continued to deteriorate.
To learn more, read “Why Does God Allow Suffering?”
- The Bible gives hope of a better world.
The Bible shows that our world will get far worse than it is right now, but thankfully, God will intervene to stop it. Jesus said that if God wouldn’t intervene, “no flesh would be saved” (Mathew 24:21-22). Thankfully, God will intervene by sending His Son to this earth to begin a “restoration of all things” (Acts 3:20-21).
That restoration will include Jesus Christ as the ruler of a worldwide government (Isaiah 9:6), an end of war (Micah 4:3), a change in the nature of wild animals (Isaiah 11:6-8), and the establishment of a worldwide spiritual education system (Isaiah 11:9).
To learn more about this future world, read “What Is the Kingdom of God?”
- The Bible provides an anchor for the soul.
The World Health Organization notes a rise in suicides during times of personal crisis. This life has many storms that can depress us, but the Bible provides hope that serves as an “anchor of the soul” that stabilizes our lives and helps us keep perspective. This hope is based on understanding that God cannot lie and that He will fulfill His promises (Hebrews 6:13-19). Hope motivates us to endure and overcome the obstacles that come our way.
To learn more about hope, read “The Power of Hope.”
- God’s laws lead to true happiness and peace.
The Bible’s book of Proverbs tells us that “happy is he who keeps the law” (Proverbs 29:18). Our Creator has given us laws and principles in His Word that provide the path to living a life that is purposeful and happy. Obeying those laws will strengthen our relationship with God and other people.
This list could go on with many more reasons the Bible is valuable today. Sadly, we are living in a time when our world desperately needs God’s Word—yet, tragically, people are reading it less and less. We urge you to not give in to that trend. Turn to the Bible for hope and guidance during these stressful and confusing times.
If you would like to make the Bible a regular part of your life, but don’t know where to begin, check out the possible approaches and tips in “Where to Start Reading the Bible.”