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Someone Cares Series
Is the Bible God's Word?
The Bible says that "all Scripture is given by inspiration of God," for "prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit" (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21). The claim of the Bible is that it is the word of the living God, written by human penmen, to the inhabitants of earth. How can we know that this claim of the Bible is true?
1.What element is essential in order for us to believe the Bible?
"Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him" (Hebrews 11:3, 6).
In the creation of the earth God was not indebted to pre-existing matter. He spoke and it was. He commanded and it stood fast. All things both material or spiritual stood up before the Lord at His voice and were created for His own purpose. The heavens and all the host of them, the earth and all things therein, came into existence by the breath of His mouth. Many people reject the Bible because of their belief in evolution, but evolution itself can be believed only on the basis of faith in someone's interpretation of selected evidence.
2. What is faith?
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1).
God gives sufficient evidence upon which to honestly base our faith. But faith is founded upon evidence of things which are not seen with natural sight. We cannot see the wind but we see evidences of the wind. Abraham's unquestioning obedience is one of the most striking evidences of faith to be found in all the Bible. Relying on the divine promise without the least outward assurance of its fulfillment, he abandoned home and kindred and native land and went forth, he knew not whither, to follow where God should lead. It is through the exercise of the faculty of faith that we are enabled to receive and practice the Word of God.
3.What is one evidence that God has given us on which we can base our faith?
"For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else. I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth: I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain: I the LORD speak righteousness, I declare things that are right. Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save" (Isaiah 45:18-20).
The duty to worship God is based upon the fact that He is the Creator and that to Him all other beings owe their existence. And wherever, in the Bible, His claim to reverence and worship above the gods of the heathen is presented, there is cited the evidence of His creative power. He has foretold current happenings from ancient times and all that God has seen fit to make known we are to accept upon the authority of His Word.
4. What knowledge does God alone have?
"Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure" (Isaiah 46:9-10).
The Lord would not hide from us what is to come. As Jesus said in John 14:29, "And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe." It is to strengthen our faith in Him that He reveals the future. We will be able to say to one another, "He told us this would come and what we must do to meet it."
5. What conditions did the Bible predict would prevail in society today?
"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God" (2 Timothy 3:1-4).
Today we see a spirit of rebellion and defiance which the apostle declares to be one of the signs of the last days. Times will indeed be perilous. The state of the world will be as in the days of Noah and we may look for wickedness to increase. Even in the Christian faith, there will be those who will depart from the faith and give heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils (1 Timothy 4:1).
6. What international conditions does the Bible picture for the last days?
"And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places"(Matthew 24:6, 7).
Prophecy is fast fulfilling. The Lord is at the door. There is soon to open before us a period of overwhelming interest, scenes not yet even dreamed of. Everything in our world is in agitation. Before our eyes is fulfilling the Saviour's prophecy of events to precede His coming. All that prophecy has foretold as coming to pass, until the present time, has been traced on pages of history and we may be assured that all which is yet to come will be fulfilled in its order.
7. In the midst of calamities, violence and threats of war, for what will many people be seeking and predicting?
"For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape." (1 Thessalonians 5:2, 3).
The advent of Christ will surprise the false teachers. They will be saying "peace and safety." Like the priests and teachers before the fall of Jerusalem, they look for the church to enjoy earthly prosperity and glory. Upon all who make this world their home, the day of God will come as a snare, as a prowling thief.
8. What religious conditions will prevail in the last days?
"Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men" (2 Peter 3:3-7).
Looking down through the ages to the close of time, Peter was inspired to outline conditions that would exist in the world just prior to the second coming -- scoffing at the idea of the Lord's return, they were not prepared for His coming for they were living to please self. Not willing to accept the story of creation and the flood, they claim that all things will continue to evolve in a uniform way and cannot be changed.
9. While the moral conditions of society are deteriorating, while efforts to reduce international tensions are preoccupying us, while evolution is replacing belief in creation, what will suddenly happen to earth?
"But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness" (2 Peter 3:10-13).
Since the flood, God has used both the water and the fire that are concealed in the earth to destroy wicked cities. God in His wrath will send lightning from heaven that will unite with the fire in the earth. God's people in claiming His promise look forward to a new heaven and a new earth, created out of the ashes of the old.
10. How can we be preserved from the coming destruction?
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).
So great was His love for the world that He covenanted to give His only begotten Son. He stepped down from the throne of the universe that He might bring light to the benighted and life to the perishing. In taking our nature the Saviour has bound Himself to humanity by a tie that is never to be broken. God gave His only-begotten Son that the path of life might be made sure for us and our children. Nothing reaches so fully down to the deepest motives of conduct as a sense of the pardoning love of Christ.
11. From whom do we receive the gift of faith, which we must have in order to believe and be saved?
"For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith". (Romans 12:3)
Faith earns nothing for us: it is the gift of God which we may receive and cherish by making Christ our personal Saviour. Faith is trusting God--believing that He loves us and knows best what is for our good. In place of our ignorance, it accepts His wisdom; in place of our weakness, His strength; in place of our sinfulness, His righteousness. Our lives are already His; faith acknowledges His ownership and accepts its blessings.
12. Through what process does God develop faith?
"How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:14, 17).
The light of truth has to be flashed upon the pathway of those who have not heard of the Saviour and how can they believe on the Lord unless the Word of God is preached to them. It is only as we hear the Word of God and learn of Christ that we gain a sense of His power and majesty and stretch forth our hands to Him and by faith say "I believe."
13. How only can we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ?
"No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me" (John 6:44, 45).
We are drawn by the Father through His Holy Word. We learn of the Father's great love for all mankind through a study of the Scriptures. To hear is not enough; we must do or live what we read and hear and practice it in our daily lives. We must receive the impression made upon our minds to follow God's way.
14. What invitation does God give to each one of us?
"O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him" (Psalm 34:8).
"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light" (Matthew 11:28-30).
Although we are unworthy, through Jesus we may obtain all spiritual blessings. How shall we know for ourselves God's goodness and His love? The psalmist does not tell us to hear and know, read and know or believe and know but taste and see that the Lord is good. We are not to rely upon the word of another but experience the power of God in our lives. He invites us to come with our burdens and trust Him to give us rest from our cares.
To be understood, the Bible must be studied from a higher standpoint than mere human logic. There must also be the element of conviction from God and an exercise of faith. In His Word, God has given abundant evidence upon which to base our faith in Him. We have looked at one evidence -- He can foretell the future. The greatest evidence is the abiding presence of Christ within one's life. God is fair. He says, "taste and see" for yourself (Psalm 34:8). You do not have to rely on another's faith. His promise is that "you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart" (Jeremiah 29:13). Will you give God a chance to demonstrate His goodness in your life?
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Page created: 7/23/98 Updated: 11/14/2006
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