By Reuben Archer Torrey
THE STUDY OF THE BIBLE FOR PRACTICAL USEFULNESS IN DEALING WITH MEN.
The seventh and last method of study is the Study of the Bible for Practical Usefulness in Dealing with Men.
To study the Bible in this way, make as complete a classification as possible of all the classes of men that one will meet. Write the names of the various classes at the head of separate sheets of paper or cards. Then begin the Bible and read it through slowly, and when you come to a passage that seems likely to prove useful in deal ing with any class write it down upon its appropriate sheet. Go through the Bible in this way. It would be well to have a special Bible for this purpose, and have different colored inks, or different letters or symbols, to represent the different classes, and underscore the texts with the proper colored ink, or mark it with the appropriate symbol. The results of the labors of others in this line can be found in a number of books, such as Munhall's Furnishing for Workers, Alexander Paterson's Bible Manual for Christian Workers, Drury's Hand-Book for Workers, and the Author's Vest Pocket Companion for Christian Workers and his book "How to Bring Men to Christ." But the best book is the one you get up yourself. The books mentioned will give you suggestions how to do it. As a suggestion for beginning in the work we give a list of classes of men, to which you can add for yourself.
The careless and indifferent.
Those who wish to be saved but do not know how.
Those who know how to be saved but have difficulties
"I am too great a sinner." "My heart is too hard." "I must become better before I become a Christian." "I am afraid I can't hold out." "I am too weak." "I have tried before and failed." "I can not give up my evil ways." "I will be persecuted if I become a Christian." "It will hurt my business." "There is too much to give up." "The Christian life is too hard." "I am afraid of ridicule." "I will lose my friends." "I have no feeling." "I have been seeking Christ, but can not find Him." "I have sinned away the day of grace." "God won't receive me." "I have committed the unpardonable sin." "It is too late." "Christians are so inconsistent." "God seems to me unjust and cruel." "There are so many things in the Bible which I can't understand." "There is some one I can't forgive."
Those who are cherishing false hopes.
The Hope of being saved by a righteous life. The Hope that "God is too good to damn anyone." The Hope of being saved by "trying to be a Christian." The Hope of being saved, because "I feel saved," or "I feel I am going to heaven." The Hope of being saved by a profession of religion, or church membership, or a faith, that does not save from sin.
Those who lack assurance.
Those who wish to put off the decision.
The results of this work will be of incalculable value. In the first place, you will get a new view of how perfectly the Bible is adapted to every man's need. In the second place, familiar passages of the Bible will get a new meaning as you see their relation to the needs of men. The Bible will become a very living book. In the third place, in seeking food for others you will be fed yourself. And in the fourth place, you will get a vast amount of material to use in sermons, Bible-readings, prayer meeting talks and personal work. You will acquire a rare working knowledge of the Bible.