Last week this column was a call to repentance. This week I hope to address a problem that seems to be rampant among Christians today - not believing the Bible.
Back in 1987, I visited a church in Georgia. The Pastor preached out of several New Testament passages. His main thrust was why these verses did not pertain to us today; that these particular verses were exclusively for Paul's day and age, and therefore, we could ignore them.
Hmm, I wonder who decides that?
When Christians and churches start making statements like - "I know what the Bible says, but..." or, "I don't feel that a loving God would send anyone to hell." or, "Christ's resurrection was in spirit only, it wasn't His actual body." or "We need to reinterpret this doctrine, it is offensive to some people." or "I know the Bible says I shouldn't do this but God understands my circumstances." or "I do not need to tell anyone the gospel, all I need to do is live a good life for them to see God in me." - The authority of the Bible is waning. There is no longer faith in the inerrancy of the Scripture; the Bible is no longer considered infallible.
We all know people we cannot trust; people who we tend not to believe anything that comes out of their mouth. We did not start out disbelieving them, but after several lies and untruths, it happens - we arrive at a point where we do not trust them. When people start doubting the inerrancy of the Scripture, it soon becomes a book that cannot be trusted. For example - if Genesis one is wrong about creation; how can we trust John 3 and the message of salvation? If Jesus only rose from the grave spiritually and not bodily as the gospels claim, then how can we believe what Paul tells us about the fruit of the Spirit?
One doubt raises doubt in every area.
The Bible claims itself to be perfect and absolute truth. Psalm 19:7, "The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple." Psalm 119:142, "Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth."
In other words, without error.
The Bible makes many claims that can only be taken by faith - creation, the flood of Noah, the virgin birth, the deity of Christ, the way of salvation, the moral code, the resurrection of Christ, life after death, heaven, the return of Christ, a future Tribulation Period, hell, judgement, eternal life, even the story of David and Goliath, every miracle it contains, and many more things.
The fact of the matter is either the Bible is absolute truth, or it is a book of lies. Many Christians today will deny parts of the Bible and accept other parts; leading us to a rejection of many major doctrines and a faith not based on the Word of God but feelings.
Truth is absolute. One plus one is, and always will be, two.
Feelings are flexible, and outside factors often modify feelings. Notice the way you feel on a rainy day compared to a day of sunshine. How often does someone go into work with a smile, get chewed out by the boss, and the smile changes to a cringe?
If feelings are the foundation of our beliefs, then our so-called faith will flow with the wind. If truth, is the basis of our beliefs, they are grounded in something substantial.
The Words of the Bible were given to us by the Holy Spirit of God. 2 Peter 1:21, "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."
The Scripture is the only means where people can acquire saving faith, Romans 10:17, "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."
Jesus and the Word are interchangeable. John 1:1-2,14. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."
With Christ and the Word being interchangeable to deny the Word is to deny Christ. If we deny Christ, can we call ourselves Christians? In the words of Jesus Christ - Matthew 10:33, "But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven."
Preacher Johnson is Pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in northern Parke County Indiana. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Webpage: www.preacherspoint.wordprss.com. Mail: 410 S. Jefferson St. Rockville IN 47872.