by Shawn Brasseaux
There are several reasons why people get angry when we share dispensational Bible study with them. In this Bible study article, I will share with you the reasons that come to my mind.
Friend, you must always remember you are dealing with an extremely personal matter. Regardless of the friendliness and sincerity of denominational Christians, they still have emotional attachments to their particular group’s tenets. Even if they are saved people who understand justification by grace through faith in Christ without works, they have the same emotions that lost people have. A saved person’s “flesh” (sin nature) is just as rotten as a lost person’s “flesh.” If the Christian is not renewing his or her mind daily with sound Bible doctrine, he or she is operating on the same basis the lost person is functioning. There is no Spirit of God working in either life. They are all merely “coasting along” in the energy of their flesh, to burn out soon and find themselves miserably stranded.
If you have had any experience in a denominational system yourself, you know that church tradition is extremely hard to abandon. Some people go their whole lives—perhaps even 100 years—and never give up their religion. Perhaps it is a theological system that family and friends embrace. Thus, in their mind, it is a betrayal of loved ones to listen to right division. A lot of people are in their particular denominations or local churches because of close family ties. Also, there are preachers’ salaries involved. There are egos (pride) associated. People will have to start admitting that they are wrong. They will have to concede that they have been taught wrong. They will have to admit that they have believed wrong. They will have to disclose that they have taught others wrong. As you can imagine, this is quite devastating for lost and saved people alike. Much of their lives have been based on lies, and who wants to admit a faulty foundation?
First Timothy chapter 6 mentions people who do not consent to wholesome words, even to the words of our Lord Jesus Christ. Note their malady, and how we are to deal with them. First Timothy chapter 6: “ If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;  He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,  Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.”
We are to teach others sound Bible doctrine. Tell them how to have their sins forgiven by faith in Christ’s finished crosswork alone (found in Paul’s epistles). After they are saved unto eternal life, tell them about why God saved them from their sins (also found in Paul’s epistles). But, if they “consent not to wholesome words, even the word of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness,” if they refuse to hear us at any point, the Scriptures tell us to “withdraw” from them. That is, leave them in their ignorance (1 Corinthians 14:38—which applies first and foremost to Christians, and, if we are to “withdraw” from rebellious Christians, all the more from lost people!). The Holy Spirit says they are “proud, knowing nothing.” They refuse to admit that they are wrong, and they refuse to admit that they have been teaching wrong. Pride has gotten in the way, and they have pushed the Bible out of the way. You need not waste your time with them. Friend, move on to people who do want to listen to the truth!
If right division were embraced, if Paul’s apostleship to us were accepted as true, the first thing that would go would be water baptism. Every group in Christendom holds to some type of water baptism, so every group would literally fall apart! Tithing (forced giving), Sabbath-day keeping, “healing” services, confession of sins, prayer books, “praise and worship services,” “anointed preaching,” bodies of scholarship, and so on, all of that would have to go as well. They recognize exactly what they would have to abandon and they grow angry because they are too much attached to these practices and ideas (recall our comments in point #1).
In their minds, their particular denomination teaches exactly what God would have them do. They equate loyalty to their church with loyalty to God. “I want to follow Jesus in ‘believer’s baptism.’ I want to follow Him in ‘healing the sick,’ ‘raising the dead,’ and ‘handling snakes!’ I want to ‘love my neighbor as myself.’” On and on they go. They sincerely think that by following the denomination in “obeying” Matthew through John and early Acts, they are following Jesus Christ. When they hear teaching contrary to what they have heard in their local church for years and years, when they hear about “Paul the man” with “words of divine authority,” they see that new information as an infringement upon “God’s instructions” to them. They feel threatened so they erect a wall. Their emotions have been breached (see point #1), their conscience has been pricked, and now they feel they must defend themselves! They blurt, “I follow Jesus. I do not follow Paul, a mere man!” (All the while they are following men leading the denomination. All the while they obey the traditions of men.)
Although they have already erected a wall to “tune you out,” inside, they have reached a crossroads. Having seen dispensational Bible study, having heard the Bible rightly divided, they struggle to “make the break from religion.” For most, the pull toward religion is just too irresistible. There is far too much to lose, so they stay with the denomination they have known for all those years. There is a great desire to retain “the religion Mama and Daddy believed and died with.” (Again, they view you as “maligning their deceased loved ones.”) In fact, they may still have relatives and friends in that church so they do not want to lose fellowship with them. Considering the great losses, they turn a blind eye to God’s Word.
Please understand, not all of these people are deliberately being dishonest. Unfortunately, some people utterly refuse to embrace the truth. Sometimes, they know good and well that they are teaching wrong, but they keep their traditions. I remember one local Bible teacher was very much aware of Pauline dispensationalism but he did not want to fully embrace it because: (1) he was a Baptist and he wanted to hang on to his water ceremony, and (2) he did not want to upset the Baptist church where all his relatives and friends were. Friends, remember, you cannot make a living in a denomination unless you sign a contract affirming that you agree with their doctrine. You cannot embrace dispensational Bible study and expect your salary (income) and your relationships to remain fully intact. This leads us to point #3.
Remember, all things fall apart in the religious system if dispensational Bible study is embraced and upheld. This is especially concerning “friendships,” “marriages,” and “peers.” You may lose your personal business, your spouse, your “friends,” everything. Many in the Grace Movement—myself included—know this all too well.
People are going to have to start disagreeing with their “alma maters” (the “higher learning” institutions from which they received their education/training and advanced degrees). For example, a man feels indebted to his denominational college or seminary. To embrace dispensational Bible study means he must part with his “academic heritage.” That means disappointing his former professors, jeopardizing his friendships with former classmates, losing his endorsements, losing his reputation as a “champion” in that group or denomination, and so on. He will endure a string of very painful names—“heretic,” “apostate,” “church splitter,” “traitor,” “troublemaker,” “fanatic,” “Paul-worshipper,” “Bible-worshipper,” and much nastier words too vulgar to repeat here!
Note John 9:19-23: “ And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, who ye say was born blind? how then doth he now see?  His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind:  But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself.  These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue.  Therefore said his parents, He is of age; ask him.” Jesus had indeed healed that blind man, but his parents refused to speak about it, fearing excommunication from the synagogue!
And, of course, the capstone of it all is John 12:42-43: “ Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:  For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.”
My dear readers, human nature has not changed one bit in the 2,000 years since John chapters 9 and 12. Often, people are just not willing to give up their “prestigious” positions in their community. This can be with respect to professing Jesus Christ as Saviour, professing to believe the King James Bible, professing to be a Pauline dispensationalist, or professing to be a Bible-believing creationist. They will have to endure the “stigma” of “someone who believes things that very few people believe.” In the first installment of His great commission of His 12 apostles, the Lord Jesus warned, “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake…” (Matthew 10:22). People really do not hate us. They hate Jesus Christ whom we serve. Beloved, let us not give into the temptation of giving up Jesus Christ just so we can have the “praise of men.” Galatians 1:10: “For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.”
Friends, we might as well face it. There are some people on their way to hell and they do not realize it. This is because they have been taught a false Gospel and have false security. There is absolutely no soul salvation is a “sinner’s prayer.” There is absolutely no soul salvation in a water baptism, a church membership, a “tithe,” a visit to a confession booth, a partaking of some “holy meal,” growing up in a “Christian” home, and so on. Following Paul’s epistles, understanding they are to and about you, will automatically divorce you from “Repent and be baptized” (Acts 2:38). It will automatically separate you from “faith without works is dead” (James 2:26). Unfortunately, people will hang on to these verses as part of their “Gospel message.” Rather than admit that their church tradition is wrong, that they have been taught wrong for so long, they will keep these misconstrued verses. It will result in their eternal damnation in hellfire. They would rather just continue in “hopes” of those verses applying to them. This leads us to point #5.
Another reason why people dislike dispensational Bible study is that it removes works as a requirement to please God. Religion is very popular because it allows you to do things in the flesh. You get a sense that you can do things to make God happy with you. It can be a water baptism, a church membership, a series of prescribed prayers, a monetary donation, whatever. Then, you can brag about your “goodness.” Religionists have been so indoctrinated that they believe their Christian life cannot function without the Law. They believe the Law (especially the Ten Commandments) can help them manage their sin. They think it can help them quit bad deeds and help them start doing good deeds.
Oh, how ignorant they are of Galatians 5:18: “But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law!” The Bible says that the Holy Spirit never leads any believer to be under the Law today. Whoever teaches you to place yourself under the Law today, he or she is not led by God’s Spirit, and God’s Spirit is not leading you to place yourself under the Law! These works-religion people do not understand that God’s grace teaches us how to live. Law tells us to live righteously, but never provides us with power to live righteously. On the other hand, grace tells us to live righteously because we have the power in Christ to live righteously. Righteous living is the outward manifestation of the set-apart position we have in Jesus Christ. The sixth chapter of Romans makes that very clear.
The Bible says in Titus 2:11-14: “ For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,  Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;  Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;  Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”
It is so sad, ever so sad to say it, but some people have been taught absolute nonsense in the name of “dispensational Bible study.” I have met some people who have given dispensational Bible study an extremely name. They almost made me abandon it years ago. Not having a good grasp of dispensational Bible study themselves, especially the book of Acts, they have confused and perverted others. All in the name of “dispensational Bible study,” they give more ammunition so our critics can use it against us. This is also why some people dislike right division. All they have to do is hear the word “dispensationalism” and “right division” and they shut down and start with emotional objections. They need to be taught true dispensational Bible study. It may be that they have never heard a clear dispensational Bible presentation in the first place. They need us to tell them, so, brethren, let us be gentle and loving as we do it.
7. “I AM COMFORTABLE JUST BEING SAVED UNTO ETERNAL LIFE!”
Unfortunately, some Christians are content with simply being saved. “I am on my way to heaven. I have trusted that Jesus died for my sins. All I need to know from the Bible, I know. Now, please, leave me alone!” In other words, they never get beyond a Gospel message. Spiritual growth requires great study and much effort. “Brother, there is just too much thinking at your grace church. Looking for books in the Bible and flipping pages is just so exhausting.” That is, they would rather attend church where the denomination/preacher interprets the Bible for them. Other than showing up, sitting in the pew, and shouting an occasional “Amen!,” such minimal effort is all they think God requires of them. As long as they can sing, dance, tap their feet, and clap their hands, they need not bother turning Bible pages and reading Bible verses!
While we rejoice that these people have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, that they are safe and secure in Christ, there is much more to Christian living than having the assurance of salvation unto eternal life. A Christian not mastering the Bible, not going beyond the Gospel in his or her comprehension, he or she is like a “vegetable,” someone who, although living, has severe spiritual brain damage and cannot function properly (if at all). Which Christian life do you prefer? Someone who knows the Gospel (less than one percent of the Bible), or someone who is quite familiar with the Bible? God’s will is not simply for you to be saved unto eternal life, my friend. First Timothy 2:4 also says Father God wants you to come unto the knowledge of the truth. You only do this by study His Word, His way!
Think about it another way. How much value would you place in a medical doctor who knew nothing more than how to take your temperature? What would you think of a carpenter who knew nothing more than how to saw and nail two pieces of wood together? What would you think of a mechanic who knew nothing more than how to change motor oil? I am being facetious, of course, but these “professionals” would be anything but. They are ridiculous. How much more a Christian who boasts knowing a handful of verses, when their Bible has thousands upon thousands of verses? Instead of knowing all the counsel of God, able to tell others, they themselves must be taught.
As we mentioned earlier, they do not want to learn and grow because that we requires study and effort. By you mentioning dispensational Bible study, you are challenging them to study the Bible on their own. This they dare not do. They are comfortable exactly where they are in their Christian experience and understanding of the Bible. They feel intimidated and will not dare to venture beyond their “box.” Their denomination has taught them all they care to know about the Bible. Oh, friends, dear brethren, may we never, ever, EVER become apathetic!
In closing, I leave you with one of our archived devotionals.
HARD AND STUBBORN, SOFT AND PLIABLE
“He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy” (Proverbs 29:1 KJV).
Yea, the more you share the Bible with someone who refuses to hear it, the harder he or she will get inside and the more resistant he or she will become.
Second Timothy chapter 3, verses 16 and 17, say: “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.” The Bible is useful for “doctrine” (teaching), “reproof” (telling you what you are doing wrong), “correction” (telling you how to think so you can fix your behavior), and “instruction in righteousness” (telling you how to have a lifestyle that pleases God).
When the Word of God is shared with others, it challenges them. It exposes their ignorance (lack of understanding). It tells them what they are doing wrong. It tells them how to think so they can fix their behavior. It tells them how to have a lifestyle that is pleasing in God’s sight. Of course, the flesh, prideful self, does not like this. Every time the Bible is read or preached, every person’s flesh stiffens up in the audience. After all, Hebrews 4:12: “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
Do you ever wonder how people can become so antagonistic toward the Bible? They can hear God’s words for the 1000th time, and still not make the choice of faith. Why? Proverbs 29:1 explains. Every time they heard God’s Word, they did not receive it. Light rejected is darkness. Spiritual reproof rejected becomes hardness. They become increasingly calloused. Recall how Moses stood before Pharaoh, with Pharaoh’s heart repeatedly rejecting God’s Word. May we not be Pharaoh! Once we hear God’s Word to us, Paul’s epistles of Romans through Philemon, may we believe it, before we too are hardened!