Psalm 119:89, “Forever, O LORD, Your Word is settled in heaven”
John 17:17, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth”
2 Peter 1:21 says, “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit”
Through the media we are constantly bombarded by the opinions, ideas, views and beliefs of various individuals, from the man on the street to leaders of nations. As public opinion changes, lawmakers and judges create and adjust laws that reflect people’s opinions about morality and impact how people interact with each other. To what extent are people’s opinions the primary authority in determining morality and how society should function? What if their viewpoints and plans disagree with the clear teachings of God, our Creator, revealed in the Bible?
There are many books written on the subject of arts and music, business, children, cooking, health, fitness, religion, sports, travel and the list is endless, which are exclusively based on the author’s opinion, and all that is written isn’t entirely true. However, there is one book we can trust completely. We know God’s Word is true because it comes from God, our Creator and Sustainer of life. In a day when so many things are based on the opinions of man, God’s Eternal Word is based on truth, as recorded in the Scriptures, and inspired by the Holy Spirit! We also know God’s inspired Word is true because of fulfilled prophecies contained within the Scriptures. A few examples are:
(1) The Lord Jesus was born in the city of Bethlehem (Micah 5:2) of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14) at the time specified (Daniel 9:25).
(2) Infants in Bethlehem were massacred as prophesied (Jeremiah 31:15).
(3) Isaiah foretold Christ’s ministry in Galilee (Isaiah 9:1-2).
(4) Zechariah predicted His triumphal entry into Jerusalem on a colt (Zechariah 9:9) and His betrayal for 30 pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12-13).
(5) David had never seen a Roman crucifixion, yet in Psalm 22, under divine inspiration, he penned a graphic portrayal of Jesus’ death.
(6) Isaiah 53 gives a detailed picture of our Lord’s rejection, mistreatment, death, and burial.
We can confidently share the gospel message with anyone, knowing that it is Truth. Psalm 119:160 puts it this way, “The entirety of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.” God’s Word is very powerful and will turn people’s heart toward God while at other times bring them into conflict with people who deny God’s truth and existence altogether. Since these predictions have all been fulfilled, let us also accept with confidence what the Bible (God’s Inspired Word) says about the future. Remember, we have a book of prophecy that is right, all of the time!
There are individuals who would tell you the Bible is grossly outdated, and should be rewritten to be of any value today because it is an Old Book! Some time ago, I read about a businessman from Texas who donated $1.5 million to Oregon State University. The man was an alumnus of the school and gave the money to further the work of Marcus Borg, a professor who asserts that most of the words attributed to Jesus in the Gospels were not spoken by our Lord at all.
Although it’s tragic so much money was being devoted to such a cause; however, we need not be overly alarmed because the Bible has been attacked throughout the ages and will continue to be. Besides, John 10:35 tell us, The Scripture cannot be broken” and Psalm 119:89 emphasizes this fact when it says, “Forever, O LORD, Your Word is settled in heaven.” Many powerful people have dedicated their life and enormous resources in wiping out our faith without any success. The teachings of Scripture, including the priceless words of Jesus Christ are:
(4) Has meaning and purpose.
God’s Word is eternal and gives much needed guidance to all people in all centuries including the present one. God’s precious Word doesn’t need to be rewritten. There are no other books on the shelves of stores today that speak of earthly things and human experiences, describing with clarity and authority areas of heaven and earth, things seen and unseen; revealing facts about God, angels, men, time and eternity, life and death; of sin and salvation, of heaven and hell. Thus, the Bible is the only book for life’s big questions:
(1) Who am I?
(2) Why am I here?
(3) Is there a God?
(4) Does life have any meaning or purpose?
In our world there is far less truth and more corruption and error than ever before. Thus, truth is essential to all our inter-actions in government, the classroom, the workplace, our neighborhoods and the home to name only a few. Truth telling builds trust, and truth is at the heart of who God is (Psalm 31:5), and it is how he wants us to interact with others. As (believers in Christ) we must proclaim the truth to a lost and dying world, which is found only in the teachings of God’s inspired Word that clearly gives us God’s thinking about moral principles and the standard of truth, which is so lacking in our world today.
In John 18:38 Pilate asked Jesus, “What is truth?” It was the closest Pilate would come to life’s greatest discovery. Jesus had just told him that He had come into the world to bear witness to the truth. This prompted Pilate to ask, “What is truth?” The shrewd Roman politician had asked the right question of the right Person, and his answer was standing before him. However, instead of falling to his knees in repentance, confession, and faith, he could only pass on the answer by concluding, “I find no fault in Him.”
My beloved, eventually, everyone will find themselves in Pilate’s position, where they must decide about the unusual Man who claims what no other can claim, that He is the truth. Throughout history, many religious leaders have come and gone, but not one has claimed to be the truth and then proved it by rising from the dead. Millions of people down through the centuries have found Jesus’ life, His words, and His resurrection to be convincing evidence of His credibility, and have concluded that knowing the truth must begin with a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, God’s spotless lamb.
God’s truth cannot be refuted, never grows old, never has to be retracted and never fails, and as the psalmist stated, “It is settled in heaven.” Have you found the answer to life’s most important question: “What is truth?” Consider Jesus’ statement in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” The words of our Lord are the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. So, believe them, obey them and above all live by them.
Fine writing has enduring value when it speaks to the heart issues people have always shared. Issues like relationships, love, and surviving in this world. However, the Bible, God’s breathed Word stands above all the rest not only because it speaks clearly and accurately about the human condition, but also because it was inspired by the One who created us. When it talks about marriage, it’s right on target. When it talks about how to treat others, it’s more helpful than today’s advice columns you’ll find in the newspaper. But more importantly, when it talks about the purpose of life, it’s the only source of truth.
The apostle Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 2:16, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God” and 2 Peter 1:21 states, “Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” That my friend makes the Bible the most valuable and desirable of all books. Proverbs 2:6 tell us, “The LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” We live in an age of technology that makes available to us information via the Internet where a person can browse through thousands of libraries day or night. However, a mere accumulation of facts, though, doesn’t necessarily add up to insight and understanding. Therefore, not all the learning of philosophers and educators, or the achievements of scientists cannot give us:
(1) The truth about God, or
(2) Of His will, mercy, grace and love,
(3) The truth of His Son Jesus Christ, and
(4) The truth of salvation from the bondage of sin.
For that knowledge, we need the Bible and always will. So, don’t waste your time merely acquiring facts. It’s far better to study the truth that God has given us in His Word. Yes, the Bible may be an old book; however, it’s still the best book and will always continue to be, because it’s a gift to us from our Creator and Author … God. Hebrews 4:12 puts it this way, “The Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thought and intents of the heart”
The Bible is unlike any other book. Even a casual reader of the Bible soon discovers he/she is reading a most unusual book. Although covering thousands of years of human history and written by more than forty human authors, the Bible, God’s Eternal Word, is not simply a collection of writings, but one book, with amazing continuity. Its unusual character is due to the fact it is indeed the Word of God even though written by human authors, it is a message from God to man rather than a message from man to man. In Biblical prophecy the entire plan for the world, for Israel, and for the church is unfolded and closing in that which is eternal. On every subject presented, its statement is final, accurate, and timeless.
In every era of history there has always been a spirit of the age that challenges the acceptance of the Bible, God’s breathed, eternal and inspired Word. The desire of human tendency is to remove or alter those portions that seem old-fashioned and outdated for the times in which we live. Whether it’s the doctrine of hell or God’s view on sexual behavior, many feel pressured to reject part of the Bible because some truths will always be offensive in every day and age.
The book of Jeremiah records for us centuries ago, regarding a Jewish king, who was handed a scroll with a message from God. As the document was read aloud, the king took offense (as many do today), and with a small knife he cut out a portion of the scroll and threw it into the fire. Eventually the entire text was thrown into the flames, yet the king and his servants who had heard the words of the Lord “were not afraid” (Jeremiah 36:24). However, in the end, the king lost his kingdom because of his disobedience.
The point is, when we selectively alter the Bible to suit our own fancy, or when we neglect its teachings, we show that we do not fear God, our Creator. Rather than submit to what He says, we exalt our own limited reason and fallible conscience above the inspired text. Thus, when you’re tempted to overlook or ignore altogether a portion of the Word of God, remember, “All Scripture is given by the inspiration of God (God-breathed), and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work”.
Thomas Mann an internationally acclaimed novelist wrote a whole series of books on Joseph, the person who is the focus of Genesis, chapter 37 through 50. Thus from his writings, we know that he had more than a superficial acquaintance with the Bible. Yet, his biographer records that on Christmas in 1940, Mann read aloud from the Bible for the “general amusement” of his family. At one point he said, “This book is a harmless diversion, exactly what I need.” One can only wonder why the family was amused and what Mann meant by calling God’s Holy Word “a harmless diversion.” While the Bible does contain humor, its message speaks about matters that are deeply serious and of eternal importance.
My beloved, because it is the “Word of God” and therefore the “Word of Truth”, the Bible is to be read with reverence. Its timeless teachings should elicit a response of heart felt gratitude and obedience from its reader, but certainly not amusement. It was given by God’s inspiration and is His revelation to man. On its pages we find everything we need to know so as to live for the Lord Jesus Christ, our Redeemer and Savior. The apostle Paul declared that it “is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”.
When we read God’s Word, we must not get sidetracked by interesting statistics, or unusual facts, or as “harmless diversion” as Mann stated. We should read the Scriptures as a precious and priceless source of light, truth and hope. So, let’s carefully and most prayerfully study the contents of the Bible to discover what God is saying to us about Himself and His plan for our lives. God has given us His Inspired Word to draw us to Himself. Through a relationship with Him, He provides the truth we so desperately need to live in a broken world and is the only life preserver that keeps the soul from sinking in a sea of trouble.
In a changing world you can trust God’s unchanging Word because His Word is timeless and speaks to every generation