Who or What do you believe in? Is the Bible trustworthy?
These are Very Important Questions Which are Worth Our Time to Consider. If We are Honest They Cannot be Either Proven or Disproven, However There are Potentially Severe Consequences to How You Answer.
“16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
— 2 Tim 3:16-17
Do you, can you, believe the above statement?
Particularly when it comes to all of the incredible claims made in the scriptures. How do they make you feel when you consider their stunning implications? And finally has the bible ever been proven false or incorrect?
It makes some amazing claims, having been written down by men over the centuries…66 books written by 39 authors over the course of more than 1500 years. Some of the more incredible topics include:
The account of creation
People living up to 950+ years old
A man named Enoch who was taken alive up to Heaven
A world-wide flood where only 8 were saved
Animals coming two by two, a boat to carry them all
The tower of Babel
The physical destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah
A burning bush that is not burned up
The 10 plagues of Egypt
The parting of the red sea, Israel crossing on dry ground and the drowning of the Egyptian army
The story of The Children of Israel, Moses Fasting 80 days, Moses writing the bible, receiving the commandments, God speaking audibly to the people from the cloud on the mountain top, bread from heaven, Israel being led by a fire at night and a cloud by day, miraculous meat, water from a rock, the ground opening up and swallowing people, people having to look at a snake on a pole and being healed of a plague, the wars of Joshua and Caleb, walls of Jericho falling with a shout, miraculous victories over their enemies.
The account of Samson’s strength, Gideon’s victory, David and Goliath, Jonah and the great fish, the prophet Elijah calling fire from heaven down on his enemies, his confrontation of the prophets of Baal, Elisha and the widow, unending oil, and ax head that floated, a donkey who speaks, prophecies of Ezekiel, Jeremiah, predicting the destruction of Jerusalem, Isaiah naming a ruler by name who would issue the decree to rebuild the temple 150 years later, Isaiah prophesying about the coming messiah in Isa 53, David prophesying about him in psalm 22, Shadrach Meshach and Abed Nego and the fiery furnace of Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel in the lions den of Darius, Daniel prophesying about a savior to come and the end of the world,
A virgin becomes pregnant with a child from supernatural origins
That baby’s birth announced by angels to lowly shepherds
Jesus Christ’s claims, to be One with God, to have existed before Abraham Was, to have even declared Himself using the same name as the entity which spoke to Moses from the boring bush, “I Am”.
The life and miracles of Jesus Christ which include such things as the blind literally seeing, the deaf literally hearing, the dead literally raised to life.
Then the death burial and bodily resurrection of the three days dead Jesus Christ.
The resurrection from their graves of “many godly people who had died”
The ascension of Jesus Christ, and His being seen by over 500 witnesses
The conversion of Saul
The acts of the apostles including Phillip being spiritually translated to another location, Peter and John healing the beggar, Paul bitten by a snake and surviving, Peter’s imprisonment…
The establishment of The Church of Jesus Christ and it’s growth over the centuries
The yet to be accomplished “Return of Jesus Christ”
The final judgment of the living and the dead
The final judgment of the angels and Satan
The finality of eternal place of torment or Hell
The everlasting life with God and a new heaven and earth.
Many people have genuine concerns about believing that any or even all of these things that the ancient scrolls claimed happened ever truly happened. “It’s fine for Sunday school, but seriously?”
Let’s consider what the implications of this “realism” might be.
The Creation account.
Many in recent history have struggled with this story. After all we have scientific evidence that proves that the earth and universe is billions of years old.
Ok let’s set the science aside for a moment. What would it mean to deny the specific claim that the writer is making when he claims that God simply said this or that and it came to be?
How would it make you feel about God? Why could it be important to accept this initial claim or deny the claim? Could it have further impact on the claims of God throughout the bible? Would it increase your faith to know that while there may be a God who worked in creation to some degree, it didn’t happen the way the bible claims. What would you say then, is that God now a liar, being a little deceptive, or did he just let men make stuff up for some reason? To make Him look more powerful? Or maybe He really didn’t care much bout how men wrote down what happened. How would this realization impact your faith in who and what God claims to be?
If a shadow of doubt could be cast over the claims and concept of miraculous power proceeding from a God who supernaturally “speaks” things into full maturity, to perhaps appear as if they’ve been there for millions, if not billions of years, then faith in Him and His saving work might be reduced?
We can distill things down to maybe three macro options, God created the world in 6 literal days as it seems to say within the creation account, or option 2, which might be accepted as a major origin claim nowadays, a big bang of matter and energy burst forth and set everything into perfect relationship completely separate from any sort of god or intelligent agency, or, option 3, maybe God somehow used the process of time, chance, and natural selection, to “create” the earth and universe.
Just think about those three options…what would the “superpowers” of the God in Option 1 be like? And what would the powers of the second option be like? And finally what would the powers of the third option be?
Now I want to state that in the above options only one squares with the biblical account. The others are mixed with scientific theories of our day in order to be acceptable. The entire point is that if the actual account of Genesis was something other than what was claimed wouldn’t that cast doubt on potentially the rest of the claimed miracles, or even the various claims made about who and what God is? Could it not call into question the very point of a relationship to God, His need to redeem mankind, and our relationship to Him?
What could we trust in (belief-wise) FOR SURE?
If God created the world over millennia, then death had to have already been in effect for centuries, if not millions of years, as a natural process? If death was a natural occurrence that existed far before the account of Adam and Eve and the fall of mankind, then what is the “curse” that Jesus was sent to save us and redeem us from? If there really wasn’t any curse, then what is “sin”, and why should we continue to be bound by archaic and patriarchal rules of social interaction having been handed down since ancient times?
And if this beginning was actually allegory, or even an outright lie, then what is the true meaning of life? What were you “created” for? What is your purpose in life? These are tremendously important questions.
Without having a framework that can be counted on and that is solidly founded on something we may as well do as we each think best for our own selves, since truly there is not a legitimate personal God with whom we must give an account someday…
And worse, If we act like Christians and claim to know and love Jesus Christ, who accepted these claims, yet continue to stubbornly refuse to accept these claims and rather prefer another explanation of origins, then could the following be said of us and our day as is mentioned within the epistle of second Timothy?
“3 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 6 For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, 7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
— 2 Timothy 3:1-7