And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word
of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.
(1 Thessalonians 2:13 ESV)
I know, too many questions. But I am concerned that we're looking at Sunday sermons and Bible studies as nothing different than talk radio or some blog or twitter feed we follow. We can tune it out like white noise if we're not interested in the subject—that we can actually disagree with or choose to ignore the clearly spoken Word of God.
The response of the church, in the Bible, is far different than the one I just described. When the Thessalonians heard Paul, Silas and Timothy speak from Scripture, they understood that these weren't the words of men. What they were hearing was the very word of God and it was this message that radically changed their lives. The life changing message prompted them to turn from their worthless idols to the true and living God (1:9); they waited eagerly for the Son (1:10); and they endured immediate and severe persecution with "the joy of the Holy Spirit" (1:6) all becasue they submitted to and received the preaching and teaching of the Bible for their edification and benefit.
May we all do the same and find life and healing for our souls.
If we persist in tuning out, ignoring or disagreeing with the preached message, the Bible will have another effect—it will harden our hearts in contempt and unbelief, and may eventually lead to something that is beyond repair.