Why teach the Bible chronologically? What resources do you recommend?
Jesus Christ did it almost 2000 years ago as he walked with two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:27). For the past few decades New Tribes Mission has been doing it amongst unreached tribal groups with tremendous results. In the past few years, a breakthrough evangelistic movie entitled God’s Story was produced and is already translated into many of the world’s languages with more on the way. Mars Hill Productions, also, produced a movie entitled “The Hope” using it. What are we talking about? A chronological approach to teaching the story of what God wants us to learn about Him and us as outlined in His word to us—the Bible!
While it’s certainly not a new concept, Christians all over the world are finally realizing how effective a chronological teaching of the Bible can be. A great entitled The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus, from GoodSeed International (former New Tribes missionary workers), brings this exciting method into an illustrated and simplified presentation anyone can use. You don’t have to be a gifted orator to sit down with a neighbor and read through a book together, and that’s the beauty of this resource.
Unfortunately, most people only hear bits and pieces of the Bible, and never really understand how it all goes together. No wonder so many are confused about what the Bible and the Gospel is about and what it all means. They have simply never had the whole story clearly explained from the beginning, in correct order.
Paul Humphreys of GoodSeed says:
“There is a lot of talk today in ‘church’ circles about how little people know about the Bible… Biblical illiteracy is not a new trend. It has been around a long time. The underlying cause is explained by the Apostle Paul (Romans 1:18-32)… It seems almost impossible to have an accurate concept of God apart from the knowledge of certain foundational biblical stories. The biblically illiterate need to begin with an understanding of who God is, and where they are in relationship to their Creator-Owner—truths set forth in the pages of the Old Testament. They need to know these things before we can expect an accurate response to what Jesus Christ accomplished on the cross.” (Quoted from GoodSeed Gleanings, No. 6, Sept. 2000)
Does this method work? Yes, the results have been wonderful! It has been the difference between night and day for New Tribes Mission. They enthusiastically adopted this method throughout their ministry. The success is spreading to other missions, churches and evangelists, as well.
Churches are using this method in a class designed for all new Christians and not-yet-believers. In small group settings scheduled several times a year, they are showing the “God’s Story: From Creation to Eternity” movie, an 80 minute chronological summary of the Bible from Genesis to Jesus Christ. It can be split into several shorter segments.
In addition, the class reads through The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus. This powerful combination has proven to be effective in leading seekers to a saving knowledge of Christ and in answering a plethora of the questions they had had about God, Jesus, and mankind’s sin.
Evangelists who show the “Jesus” film have found greater success when they first show the “God’s Story.” Why does this work so much better? The apostles Peter and Paul understood this long ago. It is much like the difference in the Bible between evangelizing the Jews and the “Greeks” (the non-Jews). When the apostles shared the Gospel with Jews, they could start with a presentation of the evidence for Jesus being the Messiah. But the story of Christ sounded like foolishness to the “Greeks.” Why? They lacked a foundational understanding of who God is, where the world came from, sin, death, and God’s plan. That is why in Rome, at Mars Hill, Paul started at the beginning when he shared the Gospel.
Author: Paul S. Taylor of Christian Answers
If you are serious about reaching out to those who don’t have a clear picture of the Bible and salvation, we recommend chronological Bible teaching. We, also, present a multimedia, chronological summary of the Bible on-line in various languages—in two different forms: God’s Story and The Hope.
Referenced book and movies
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