Now imagine that the jury has been dismissed to deliberate on their verdict. As you wait, you learn that the jury only listened to the prosecutor's opening argument--they listened only long enough to hear the crime of which you were wrongly charged--and paid no attention to the rest of the trial. Their minds were made up before your defense attorney could utter his first argument.
But they didn't listen to all of the evidence! How can the jury know the truth if all they heard was one weak argument? How can they make an informed decision when they made no effort to listen to the evidence presented?
Simply put, they cannot. Sadly, the truth will take a backseat to the each juror's opinions, preferences, and preconceptions.
Now imagine the public's reaction if something like this actually happened today, and people discovered the jury's lack of diligence. The news media would no doubt have a field day with this story. People would be furious, and public outcry against the irresponsible jury would be enormous while, at the same time, public support for the wronged defendant would be solidified.
Suffice it to say, most people would not tolerate this sort of behavior within our legal system.
However, many people have no problem behaving this way when it comes to the Bible. They will read a few passages here and there, or perhaps they will listen to someone else talk about the Bible, and then they make up their mind without considering all that the Bible has to say on a subject. Some people actually decide what they think the Bible should say without ever opening their Bible to learn what it does say! Other people will listen to so-called religious leaders and never check to make sure that what they are being taught is actually the truth. In doing so, they are no different than the irresponsible jury I mentioned earlier who failed to consider all of the evidence.
Friends, we ought not to treat the Bible this way. The Bible--which is the inspired Word of God--is the truth (John 17:17), and it alone is able to make men free (John 8:32). If we truly desire to please God, we must consider the entirety of His word because the entirety of His word is truth (Psalm 119:160). We must be like the Bereans who were commended in Acts 17:11 for the way they "received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily" to make sure that which they were taught was the truth.
Dear listeners, I hope you are not like the irresponsible jury, for a day is coming on which each of us will be on trial. We will stand before a Being who knows everything that we have said and done, and we will receive a verdict on our soul's eternal home based upon whether or not we have lived according to God's word (II Corinthians 5:10). Are you ready for that day?