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HOW THE BIBLE STOPS CHURCH SPLITS!

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Saturday Evening, July 13, 2019

“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 perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (II Timothy 3:16-17).


My long-time pastor, Dr. Timothy Lin said, “The church of the last days must have the presence of God if she wants to grow, or all efforts will be futile” (Timothy Lin, Ph.D., The Secret of Church Growth, p. 6).

We have had a couple of times when God’s presence was with us. But most of the time He is not present with us at all! Why? Because we did not, as a church, do everything that the Bible commands. Dr. Lin gave two points from Joshua, chapter 1:

1. Do what the Bible says, Joshua 1:7.

2. Meditate on what the Bible says, Joshua 1:8.

“Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves” (James 1:22).

To do what the Bible says we must meditate on the words of the Bible. Dr. Lin said, “Many times, right after reading the Bible, we forget what we just read.” You have to spend a couple of minutes after reading the Bible to meditate on the verse.

“I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings”
     (Psalm 77:12).

“I meditate on all thy works; I muse [meditate] on the work of thy hands” (Psalm 143:5).

“The entrance of thy words giveth light” (Psalm 119:130).

“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psalm 119:11).

Chan read through the Bible once every year. For instance, Chan read these words once a year for over forty years. But he obviously did not meditate on them,

“Of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them” (Acts 20:30).

Chan read I Corinthians 1:10 at least once a year for over 40 years. But he did not meditate on these words.

“Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (I Corinthians 1:10).

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Dr. Lin would have been very upset with Chan for quickly reading these verses, but not meditating on them! Dr. Lin gave 4 conditions required for God’s presence and help:

1. To have God’s presence, we must do what His Word says.

2. To do what His Word says, we must let His Word dwell in us.

3. To let His Word dwell in us, we must meditate on it.

4. To meditate, we must trust His Word.


Dr. Lin said, “If we follow these four steps diligently, our God who is faithful will definitely be with us, as He has promised in the Great Commission, ‘And, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world’” (Matthew 28:20).

“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psalm 119:11).

I went to a very liberal, Bible-rejecting seminary, yet I came through it and am a preacher to this day. Why? Because I trusted Psalm 119:11, and thought about it a lot in meditation.

Another young man went to a fairly good Bible-believing seminary. Yet this young man left the ministry after being ordained! He is very smart. He made A's in his study of Hebrew. But he forgot to meditate on God’s Word!

All church splits are caused by people who refused to meditate on the Bible. The Reformation Study Bible says,

“God is the author of the Bible. It was given to direct the belief and behaviour of His people. The Scripture is the voice of God in the world. [That is why we must] submit our thoughts and moral standards to the Bible” (“The Authority of Scripture” in The Reformation Study Bible).

Read II Timothy 3:16-17 again.

“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 perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (II Timothy 3:16-17).

The great Bible commentator Matthew Henry said of these verses,

The Scripture has various uses, and answers [many questions]. It is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction of all errors in judgment and practice, and for instruction in righteousness. The Scripture is a perfect rule of faith and practice and was designed for...the Christian... O that we may love our Bibles more, and [meditate] on them more than ever! Then shall we find the benefit and advantage [they give], and shall at last attain the happiness therein promised and assured to us. (Matthew Henry’s Commentary, volume 6, Acts to Revelation, Hendrickson Publishers, 1991; note on II Timothy 3:16, 17).

Thy Word have I hid in my heart
   That I might not sin against thee;
That I might not sin, that I might not sin,
   Thy word have I hid in my heart.
(“Thy Word Have I Hid in My Heart” by Ernest O. Sellers, 1869-1952).