One can be a devoted student of Scripture and yet not understand the people to whom they minister. We must not be cloistered in our hole, failing to interact with others. The Bible student who is not also a student of human nature, misses the other half of the equation.
The ultimate goal of Bible study is two-fold. First, we desire heaven as our own future destination. Secondly, we want to inspire others to take the same path. How do we do the latter if we know nothing of our subjects?
We need to be very attentive to the ways and motivations of human beings. We must study how they think and react to certain ideas. Study the culture and know what turns people’s heads. In so doing, we become better armed when we reach out to people.
There is danger in this method, of course. Nietzsche is credited with saying, “When you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back into you.” If we will learn the culture, we must not let it drag us into its web of deceit.
Some Christians and some preachers have fallen prey to this web. They compromise truth, so the culture beast will be pleased. They rid themselves of everything that the beast dislikes and neuter Scripture of all of its power. Falling victim to Satan manipulations, they are pulling people into hell, rather than leading people to heaven.
God Word was settled before time began (Psalm 119:89). Nothing that has happened since in the shifting sands of culture has any effect on it whatsoever. Accordingly, if we allow people to accept culture’s demands rather than that of Scripture, we have made a wager with the Devil and everyone who accepts it, has Christ’s blood on their hands.
While the danger exists, we can still utilize wisdom and study the people and the culture, gaining a deeper arsenal of tools in our mission. If we talk past our people, we will never penetrate their defenses and give the Gospel room to work. ” Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
However, the Gospel is delivered to men by men (Matthew 28:18-20). If they are aliens to us, we will have a harder time reaching them. Learning the ways of human nature is a powerful tool in the hand of the humble, wise student of God’s Word.