THE FIRST ROUND OF
BIBLE QUIZZES TO ACCOMPANY
ITS VIDEO/AUDIO PROGRAMS
As readers of our e-newsletter already know, we recently added a completely new section to our already-popular Website: Bible Quizzes. When we first posted the new quizzes, there were eleven quizzes available in three different categories (Old Testament, New Testament, and History & Geography). It is a serious understatement to say that the new Bible quizzes are being received with excitement by visitors to our site. And those visitors have been as gracious with their comments as they have been generous. Here, for example, are just three of the many comments we have received thus far:
- "I teach high school Website development in a public-school system. Though I can't bring a Bible into my classroom, I can teach the fundamentals by giving examples from your Website. The quizzes are a perfect example, and while learning how the tests are given, my kids find they enjoy taking the quizzes, too. Thank you for providing this valuable teaching tool."
- "As a mom, I have been trying to find a way to bring our family together for devotional time. Your quiz section has helped me do just that. Our children are 12 and 14, and are in a stage where it is hard to get them still for any time at all. They love going through the online Bible tests. We have been doing one or two at a time. Are you going to be adding more soon?"
- "I am very anxious to use the quizzes in our studies. We appreciate your work and especially enjoy the quiz feature. We will make another contribution very soon. Thank you again, and may God continue to bless your work."
As you may have noticed, the second quote above ended with the question, "Are you going to be adding more soon?" Well, here is the answer to that question. Yes, we certainly are! In fact, we will be adding not only additional quizzes in each of the three categories that are already available, but we also will be adding completely new categories!
And that brings us to the reason for this special announcement. As of today, we are announcing the first series of Bible quizzes that will accompany many of our video and audio programs.
The first program that will have quizzes to accompany it is our new Evangelism Series. Currently, only four of the eight lessons in that series are available online (the other four will follow in the coming weeks). We have just completed preparing one quiz to accompany each of those first four lessons, as follows (clicking on the title will take you directly to that particular quiz on our Website):
While the quizzes for the general categories (like Old Testament, New Testament, and History & Geography) have 25 questions per quiz, the quizzes for the video/audio programs contain only 20 questions. And, while the quizzes for the general categories come in various formats (such as easy, moderate, difficult, and extreme), the quizzes formulated from the video/audio programs are available in only one format. The reason for this, of course, has to do with the fact that the questions for the quizzes on the audio/video programs are formulated directly from the content of those programs—content that does not lend itself to categorization into easy, moderate, difficult, or extreme subdivisions.
We will, of course, be announcing the availability of the new Bible quizzes in this e-newsletter, as well as in our printed (quarterly) newsletter and on the home page of our Website. Watch for future announcements regarding those quizzes. And while you are waiting, by all means, take some of the quizzes yourself! You might be just surprised at how much you will learn. [But be careful. The rumor on the grapevine is that the quizzes are aaddictive!]
TGOC ROLLS OUT
FIRST TWO LESSONS IN ITS
NEW MOTIVATIONAL SERIES
In our previous e-newsletter, we announced the availability of the two additional lessons ("Jesus—The Way, the Truth, and the Life" and "Salvation as Seen in the Book of Acts") in our Evangelism Series of videos. So far, we have now announced (and placed on our Website) four of the eight lessons in that series.
In the coming weeks, we will be announcing the last four lessons in that series. But in the interim, we want to take a break from that series and introduce the first two lessons in our new Motivational Series:
"The Blessed Life "
In his lesson on "The Blessed Life," Ben Bailey opens the discussion by asking a series of questions, including: "Are you living the blessed life? Is your life as happy and joyous as it could be? Does your life have real meaning and purpose?" Ben then proceeds to suggest that if a person is not enjoying "the blessed life," it may be because he or she is not following the biblical standard for such a life. As Ben points out in his introductory remarks, Psalm 1 gives us a pattern for the blessed life, and provides an invaluable set of guidelines that people can follow in order to have real meaning to their lives. The psalmist wrote:
"Excuses, Excuses, Excuses "
In his lesson, Ben uses the statements of the psalmist as the basis for his own comments. First, Ben suggests that we must avoid certain things if we expect to enjoy "the blessed life." For example, Christians must not "walk in the counsel of the ungodly." In other words, as the apostle Paul points out in 1 Corinthians 15:33, "Evil companions corrupt good morals." That being the case, Ben rightly remarks that we do not need to be taking advice from the ungodly regarding the purpose of life. Only God's Word can adequately explain to us our purpose in life. As Isaiah observed in Isaiah 43:7, we were created "for God's glory." Ungodly people do not realize that, and thus cannot offer sound advice on how to actually live "the blessed life." Nor can the ungodly give us sound advice regarding our relationship with our heavenly Father, since as the psalmist also noted, "The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God' " (Psa. 14:1). Ben reminds us that we also must avoid the influence of sinners, and that we cannot participate in the lifestyle of the ungodly. Christ said in Matthew 5:16, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." Christians are to be a light to the world. But to do that successfully, we must "have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness" (Eph. 5:11). James wrote, "Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God" (Jas. 4:4).
- "Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. The ungodly are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous" (vss. 1-5).
Second, in continuing with the thoughts presented in Psalm 1, Ben then goes on to point out that, on the positive side, we must accept certain things in order to live the blessed life. One thing that we need to make a part of our lives is a genuine love for the Word of God. The psalmist wrote in Psalm 1:2 of the true follower of God: "His delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night." Nothing will make our lives richer, or give us greater happiness, than a true love for the Word of God. The psalmist went on to say in Psalm 119:97, "Oh how I love Your law; it is my meditation day and night." That should be our attitude, too. Once we have studied and learned God's Word, we then must put it into effect in our daily routines if we expect to enjoy "the blessed life." As Ben points out, if we live the blessed life, then we will reap the benefits of having worked molding such a life. Psalm 1:3 teaches us this principle: "He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper." Who is the "he" of this sentence? It is the person who follows God’s Word in all that he does.
Ben ends his lesson as he began it—by asking a series of questions: "Are you living the blessed life? Does your life have real meaning and happiness? Does it have joy that transcends this world?" Good questions, those. As Ben points out, "the blessed life" is available only to those people who obey God. And what a wonderful blessing it is!
In his lesson on "Excuses," Ben opens by discussing the context of Luke 14, which is a perfect example of people who began to make excuses and who, when called to attend a supper, began to offer excuses as to why they could not attend. And, to quote Ben, "They are some of the sorriest excuses you have ever heard!" He's right. Listen to the excuses that these people made as they tried to figure out a way to "weasel out" of attending the feast to which they had been invited. The first person who was invited said, "I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused" (vs. 18). Another one said, “I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused" (vs. 19). Still another said, "I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come" (vs. 20).
Ben uses this group of excuses to show how pitiful most of our excuses really are when it comes to not wanting to do God's will. As Ben observes, "Who purchases a piece of real estate without first seeing it? How many people do you know who would take oxen out in the dark to test them? And how many young married couples do you know who can stand to turn down a free meal?" Little wonder that Ben felt compelled to say that these were "some of the sorriest excuses" he had ever heard!
Ben then quickly moves on to point out that our excuses for not doing what God has told us to do are never pleasing to Him. Ben recounts the excuses that Moses made when God chose him to go talk to Pharaoh—and how displeased God was with Moses' attitude on that occasion. Ben also brings to our remembrance Saul's excuses in 1 Samuel 15 when he disobeyed God and tried to talk his way out of the predicament in which he found himself (and that ultimately cost him his kingdom).
Ben then turns his attention to Felix and Agrippa in
Acts 24 and Acts 26. Paul preached a three-point sermon to Felix on righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come. The Bible says that as Paul reasoned with Felix about those three points, Felix said, "Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you" (Acts 24:25). In Acts 26, King Agrippa is being taught the Gospel. As Paul brought his sermon to a climax on that occasion, Agrippa responded by saying, "You almost persuade me to become a Christian" (vs. 28). As Ben comments, "The sad thing is that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. Our excuses will never please God. We must not make excuses for not serving God." Oh, how very true!
In his discussion, Ben lists (and discusses) a variety of excuses that people frequently offer for not following and serving God—things like "I just don't have enough time," "I have other things that I have to take care of first" (i.e., worldliness—"the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life," 1 Jn. 2:15-17 ), "It's just too demanding to be a Christian," "God will understand and will save me anyway," "I'll get around to doing it some other time," or "I'm just too sinful; God couldn't possibly save me."
Ben ends his lesson with a poignant appeal as he says,
We invite you to preview each of these new lessons in our new Motivational Series. You will find them available on our Website in video, audio, and written transcript formats
- "You need to obey now what you know now. Listen to the words of 2 Corinthians 6:2, where Paul said, 'Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.' Do not wait until tomorrow. Do not wait until next year. Do not make a New Year's resolution that you will obey the Gospel, yet not do it. You need to obey now what you know now so that you can take advantage of the opportunities that you have. God’s love and mercy is extended to you today. He loves you so much that He sent His Son to this world to die for you. Instead of making excuses, you need to obey the Gospel."