Why People Don’t Read The Bible

Below are notes to a sermon preached Sunday morning, Nov. 12, 2000, at Gospel Light Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia. 


By Michael D. O’Neal                  Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church                  Albany, Georgia


Scripture Reading: Matthew 12:1-8

Text: Matthew 12:3

Matthew 12:3 But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him;

Introduction: The first four words Satan spoke to Eve were in the form of a question. As found in Gen. 3:1, they say, “Yea, hath God said?” He was trying to bring doubt into the mind of the first woman about the word of God. In the first four words of the question in our text verse we find these words from our Lord: “Have ye not read … ?”

Listen to me. The main reason people are so ignorant of the Bible is that they don’t READ the Bible.

Two verses later, our Lord asked again:

Matthew 12:5 Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless?

Then in verse 7 He said: “But if ye had known what this meaneth … “ I say to you again, the main reason that people don’t know what the Bible MEANS is that they have not spent reading enough of what it SAYS.

That’s why there is so much confusion and contention about interpretation of the Bible. Most people who argue about it have never even read it ONCE, from cover to cover.

By the way, that’s also one of the reasons so many people call for a new translation. It’s not that the King James Bible is so much harder to understand than other versions. The problem is that people are LAZY. They don’t want to take the time to READ, and they don’t want to take the time to STUDY. The Bible does not need to be reWRITTEN; it needs to be reREAD.

People are not only ignorant of scripture, but they are also WILLINGLY ignorant:

2 Peter 3:5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:

One of the main answers Jesus gave to His critics was the question: “Haven’t you read your Bible?”

Matthew 19:4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,

Matthew 21:16 And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?

Matthew 21:42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?

Matthew 22:31 But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying,

Luke 6:3 And Jesus answering them said, Have ye not read so much as this, what David did, when himself was an hungred, and they which were with him;

Matthew 22:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.



Psalms 12:6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.

A. The content of those words is spiritual, not carnal

B. The comprehension of those words is spiritual, not fleshy

  • 1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.


1 Corinthians 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

A. It teaches that wisdom is to fear God

  • Psalms 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.

B. It teaches that wisdom is to forsake evil

  • Proverbs 8:13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
  • Job 28:28 And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.


“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

Psalms 19:10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.

A. In relation to the value of rest to them

B. In relation to the value of recreation to them

  • TV
  • Internet and computers
  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Books


Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

A. It promotes the Savior

B. It pricks the sinner

C. It produces spirituality

D. It preaches sacrifice

Thank God for the Bible! Let’s love it! Let’s live by it! Let’s learn it!

The Precious Bible

Though the cover is worn
And pages are torn,
And though place bear traces of tears,
Yet more precious than gold
Is the Book, worn and old,
That can shatter and scatter my fears.

When I prayerfully look
In the precious Book
Many pleasures and treasures I see;
Many tokens of love,
From the Father above
Who is nearest and dearest to me.

This Book is my guide,
‘Tis friend by my side,
It will lighten and brighten my way;
And each promise I find,
Soothes and gladdens my mind,
As I read it and heed it today.

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