Speaking where the bible speaks, and silent where the bible is silent.

Archive for Aug. 23, 2017

Can We Trust The Bible For Absolute Truth?

There are some today who doubt that God flooded the entire earth killing every living soul except Noah and his family. Genesis 6:17 says, “I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die”. That is plain as it gets. God said He would flood the earth and destroy all living things on it.

That, however, is not palatable to some. Perhaps they can’t believe God would actually do it. Perhaps they can’t believe such a feat is possible in the natural world. Perhaps they believe there is not enough “scientific” evidence for it. They want to make the Bible digestible for the masses, so they say, “It was a local flood around the Black Sea.”

These believe they are performing a noble task. More people will accept the Bible if they think the flood was local instead of a cataclysmic  world event. Thus, they think they are being evangelistic, performing God a service by clearing up this difficulty. However, making people believe a lie is not helping people obey God. If people can’t trust the bible for truth, they certainly won’t obey it.

Aside from not taking the Bible at its word, these “thinkers” have produced a lie in the Bible. If Genesis 6:17 was hyperbole to show how awful the sin was and how serious God’s judgment was, then Genesis 9:11 is the same exaggeration. God’s point in Genesis 9 is He will never again do what He did in Noah’s day.

He set the rainbow in the sky as a reminder of His covenant. Every time we see a rainbow we can remember God’s power in the destructive flood and His promise not to do it again. Further, we can remember He has promised to destroy the world with fire (2 Pet 3:8-13). But not if these so-called believers are correct. If they are correct, every time we see a rainbow, we are reminded God lies. If this was about local floods, God lied.

People should cease trying to make the Bible more palatable to the masses. Either accept what it says and live by it or reject it. Don’t say you accept it and then twist it to fit what you think you really can accept. In the end, you will only make God out to be a liar and yourself a fool.

Remember, God cannot and will not lie (Nu 23:19 ff; 1 Sam 15:29; Tit 1:2; Heb 6:18). To even think God can lie is an abomination. As the apostle Paul wrote, “God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That you may be justified in your sayings, and might overcome when you are judged” (Rom 3:4).

The facts are, God did destroy the earth by flood and He does plan to destroy the earth by fire. When God says anything you can bank on it!  Let’s not twist the bible in order to make it more acceptable to a faithless generation. Let’s accept the bible for what it says and live by it.

Preach the Gospel, Don’t Force It

Have you ever wondered why Jesus wasn’t able to convince the Pharisees of his day to accept the truth? After all, if anyone should be persuasive, it ought to be the Son of God. Yet the Pharisees could listen to him speak, watch him do unheard of miracles, and still called him a servant of Beelzebub. The fact is that these people had no love for the truth. “And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thess 2:10-12). The basic point is that if a person is not interested in truth, God is not going to force them. He will allow them to wallow in their self-deception, totally convinced that they are right, while remaining in the wrong.

I don’t know how matters have been approached in the past, but I have always found that it is best to sit down with a Bible. Answer points by turning to the passages and reading them. If a passage is brought up, turn to them and read them. It is often amazing how often seeing the actual words straightens out misconceptions. By going to the passage it is easier to spot when something is being taken out of context.

Unfortunately, there will still be times when you read a passage and the person will not under any circumstance accept what the passage obviously states. It is at that time you must decide whether it is worth additional effort or not. However, if a passage is clear and the person is contradicting it, I have generally found that additional talk will not alter the situation. “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces” (Matt 7:6). You can’t make a person accept the truth. You can only show them the truth and let them decide for themselves.

The apostles of Jesus Christ were commissioned to preach the gospel into all the world (Mk 16:15,16). No where in that commission was it ever revealed to force all who heard the gospel to obey it. No! We plant and water, but God gives the increase (1 Cor 3:6). Thus, preach it, teach it, read it, study it, prove it, and contend for it, but never force anyone to obey it. Jesus didn’t, the apostles didn’t, and neither should we.

 

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