Teaching For Time Or Eternity

By Norman Midgette

Accepting the responsibility to teach in a Bible Class is a very important and serious matter. One of the gifts Christ gave to the church along with apostles, prophets, evangelists and elders was “teachers” (Eph. 4:11). The gravity with which this duty should be faced is further emphasized in James 3:1. “Be not many of you teachers, my brethren, knowing that we shall receive heavier judgment.”

There are two things that make this work so important. One is the nature of the book you are teaching. It is the only divine book in the world. Some of the words, though written in the book by man, were first written by the finger of God (Ex. 31:18; Dan. 5:5-28). All of it is inspired or “God breathed” (2 Tim. 3:16, 17). Peter said men spoke as they were “borne along by the ‘Holy Spirit'” (2 Pet. 1:21). When you hold in your hand before a class of students the Bible, you are holding the book God has revealed, protected, preserved and made available to us in our own language through His providence and the one, when obeyed, which will save us (Jas. 1:21). It is the last book each of your students will face and at that time the destiny of their souls will be determined by its content (Jn. 12:48). Are you a teacher of this book? If so, teach it with preparation, seriousness, and make sure what you are teaching from it is the Truth. A Bible classroom is no place for an unfaithful person as a teacher nor the place for an unprepared person as a teacher. Being “faithful” and “able” were the two qualities Paul told Timothy to look for in those who would teach others (2 Tim. 2:2).The other factor making teaching the Bible so important is the nature of the ones you are teaching. Their spirits and souls are as eternal as the Book from which you are teaching them. They will live forever and what you are teaching them has to do with doing that in the presence of God. You are not teaching them how to fix a car, teach history in school, punch data into a computer, fly an airplane or even fly into outer space. You are teaching them how to go much farther than that. And when they get there they are not there for a week or two but forever. Each student brings you a soul to instruct and help prepare for eternity. What an opportunity this is and what a responsibility!

A good teacher keeps his or her eye on eternity.

Guardian of Truth XXX: 21, p. 648
November 6, 1986