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October 26, 2021 6:41 am
Why should we believe the Bible? For many generations, people have asked if the Bible is truly the inerrant Word of God. So is the Bible reliable, and can we trust it? Part 1.
World titles in this book is a maybe this is the word of God. So I landed in a scholastic understanding of why I believe the Bible is the word of God and why it is reliable in every area of faith and practice. These moments of hopeless tenets for many generations questions and asked about whether the Bible is truly the inerrant word of God is something we can rely on in all of life's circumstances on today's broadcast data continues our sleuth series in the first part of the message called is the Bible reliable. Thank you again for being here, ready to jump into the message ready go the reliability Scripture three people already on the front row very ready okay here we go there's a lot of stuff your folks itself firehose a go over this material because it is a way to counter many of the arguments in the culture against the Bible.
Let me begin by sharing with you. Newsweek magazine, a national magazine for its first edition in 2015 had a front cover story that read the Bible so misunderstood.
It's a sin and then went on to denigrate the Scripture and people who believe in it as really evil people and folks have asked me over the last couple weeks. What did I think of the article after I read it.
Here's what I wrote. It is an irresponsible post-Christian invective. It's one sided scurrilous scholarship written by someone with no biblical or theological credentials and acumen not asked me what I really thought it was just a responsible folks written by God with an agenda who does not have any theological or biblical credentials was just basically trying to denigrate the Scripture and force people not to believe it. In my opinion. His writing and other vindictive vindictive invectives are far from the truth. Let me share with you a little bit of my personal biblical journey. It may help you understand how I landed to where I am today.
I came to Christ Lake high school early college and in the groups that informed my biblical understanding were more conservative groups like the Fellowship of Christian athletes, campus Crusade for Christ. Those organizations, and I grew in my faith about college went to play in the European professional league for three years came back was at the University of Florida for two years, earning a graduate degree in counseling. When God called me to the ministry. I called my dad and said that God's call me in the ministry.
Where should I go and my dad was a mainline pastor so he said you all go to mainline seminary.
So I went to one. It didn't take me long to feel like a fish out of water.
I was continually receiving liberal diatribes about how the Scripture is unreliable, and particularly they were teaching something called redaction criticism. It's been around for a long time.
It's slowly but surely losing its influence because more more people are proving it to be false, but during my time. In seminary what I was being taught by professors is basically an redaction criticism in the seats and labor. That's the fancy German word which means the community and all the little Christian communities that received the written Scripture. They massaged it. They changed it to meet their own communities context, and therefore one community would believe differently from another community and therefore we can't depend upon the word being actually the word, and that really bothered me for two reasons.
First of all these people in these communities, especially the early church were committed Jews who lived by the 10 Commandments, one of which is thou shalt not bear false witness. So basically I thought to my professors you are saying that those people in these communities massaged the Scriptures, made it into a lie, but why would they do that their honest reputable people.
Why would they do that. The second question that bothered me was the Roman government began to seriously persecute these Christians in these communities.
I thought to myself why would these Christians falsify the story knowing that would probably at least be punished probably die for believing this word and if they massaged it and made it alive. Why would they die for something. They knows a lie. That's not human nature. People die for what they think is truth but is really a lie like driving planes into buildings and believing that gives you immediate entrance and the Paradise. The people who flew those planes believe that was true even though it's a lie, but people who know something is alive, who made up a story art willing to die for it. So those questions never got resolved when I asked them they never got results would begin a pilgrimage for me to preach the word of God because I could not of my own mind. Think how in the world cannot open this book and say maybe this is the word of God and devote my entire life to teaching you something that I wasn't sure was true.
So I landed in a scholastic academic understanding of why I believe the Bible is the word of God and why it is reliable in every area of faith and practice what you're about to hear is that pilgrimage here are the seven steps of why I believe the Bible is the word of God. I've chosen some scriptures from the old and new Testaments. The word of the Lord from the Old Testament.
Isaiah 55, 10 and 11 real quickly. In the Old Testament God spoke through Moses and the kings and the prophets, and he basically said them. Here's my word and they basically said when they broke thus saith the word and God instructed them to write down his words and that's how we have a compilation of the Old Testament over time, particularly from the prophet Isaiah. He writes for as the rain and the snow come down from the heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth making it bring forth and sprout giving seed it to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth.
It shall not return to be empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose and shall succeed in the things for which I sent word goes out, it cannot return void and Jesus answering the devil and his temptation experience.
He answered the devil with the temptation. It is what folks it's written there was a written word when Jesus lived, that he believed then and he obeyed man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.
He was quoting Deuteronomy 83 from the Old Testament. He believed the Old Testament was authoritative even used it to refute the evil one with those temptations. John 1717.
As Jesus prayed to the father for all of us today.
Here's what he desires in prayer. Read it with me. Would you sanctify them in the truth.
Your that big Jesus wants all of us to be sanctified be holy be different to be conformed to his image not conformed to the images of this world and the way that were sanctified, how by the word of God were sanctified by reading, studying and obeying the word of God. Second Timothy chapter 3 verse 16 as Paul is instructing his mentee Timothy Estes planting a church all Scripture is breathed out by God that don't miss that in Genesis 27 when God took the dust of the earth, informed the corpse of Adam. It was lifeless.
It was dead until he breathed in the Holy Spirit and made the corpse alive. Only then did Adam become a living human being. Similarly, there are written words but it's only when God breathes in his word to the word that it becomes alive and it's profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness. Paul is basically saying the Timothy two things about the word of God. Believe it and live it so dear friends, here's my pilgrimage, the seven reasons I believe the Bible is the word of God and again these are academic reasons. I hope you'll go and listen to this message again and again and have ways to refute skeptics who say this book is not the word of God and for those of you who are skeptics here today might you hear there are reasons we who follow Jesus believe this book is the word and they are reasonable reasons and hopefully I'll challenge you.
Perhaps to believe this book is true. First of all, the Bible's unity. The Bible's unity.
There are 66 books in the Bible. 39. In the Old Testament 27 in the new.
It was written over a period of 1600 years.
It was written by more than 40 authors. Those authors came from different backgrounds, which include kings, diplomats, fig farmers, prophets fisherman their poor their wealthy their middle-class all different kinds of people writing this book. There were three original languages in which the book was written in Aramaic, Hebrew and Greek. The Bible was written on three continents. Yet with all of that diversity.
There's one central message. If you read the Old Testament and then in the new.
It's about the coming of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins to restore us to a relationship with the God father on high. Now, what are the odds of that happening by happenstance their off-the-wall so I concluded.
In looking at the unity the Bible. It must be true.
Secondly, I look at archaeology. I don't have time to go in all the archaeological digs that have been discovered over the last centuries, but let me simply say this in all of the Bible's writings and all the 66 books that talk about places, people, situations, there is not one piece of evidence especially over the last several hundred years monarchial biology has become a science. There is not one piece of archaeological evidence that has disproved any fact written in the Scripture none that impressed me when I read it.
Thirdly, I look at prophecy or the whole idea of predictability or probability. Hugh Ross is an astrophysicist and he was an atheist, and he began the pilgrimage to try to look at if the Bible could be true, and he looked at the creation account where there are 14 specific scientific statements that are made, there in Genesis 1 and two and the order of each one of those statements and after studying each one in depth from a scientific perspective. He saw that not one of the 14 was inconsistent with science. Moreover, the order of creation outlined in the Bible is the exact order that science has concluded the world came into being. When he looked at that. He said the chances of that happening are one in about 6 billion. Moreover, he studied the Bible and how it says the earth is a sphere. Those who believe in flat earth theory long ago should read the Scripture more clearly how there is the laws of gravity outlined in the Scripture how the star clusters in the sky that are moved by gravity that are naked to the eye are consistent with what astronomers have found the day in specificity. Then he looked at Isaiah 45 verse one and other places in the Bible to talk about people by name and what they did years before they were ever even born. Example for those of you who don't know, biblical history, the Israelites disobeyed God and suffered his anger and his wrath.
He took them into the Babylonian captivity in 586 BC Jeremiah the prophet said you're going to stay there for 70 years. For those of you who love Jeremiah 2911 had plastered on your coffee cups. God bless you. We just realized that Jeremiah 2911.
My plans for you are good for future and hope will written with a promise you're going to be in captivity for 70 years so therefore plant your roots deep get involved in the city be a blessing to the city serve people there and then in my perfect timing. I'll bring you back because I have for you great plans for the future and I hope will in 586 BC. Looking ahead 70 years. The Babylonian nation was the power of the day, but 70 years later they were overthrown by the Persian nation and the king of Persia was a man by the name of Cyrus in Isaiah 45, 170 years before Cyrus ever came on the scene. Isaiah writes a prophecy that at the end of that 70 year captivity a Persian king by the name of Cyrus will come to the throne he will speak on behalf of all you Jews in captivity he will restore for you all the treasures that were taken by the Babylonians that are held by them you will come back you will rebuild the walls. You rebuild the temple, thus saith the Lord. Now liberal scholarship believes that Isaiah or at least a part of it must've been written way after the captivity to specify Cyrus by name.
There's just one problem with the Dead Sea Scrolls that were recently within the past several decades discovered were so many of the Old Testament was written around the time of Jesus. It proves it. And therefore, the conclusion must be that Isaiah was the one who actually wrote those words 70 years before Cyrus came to the throne. Now water. The probability factors of the Scripture mentioning a man by name and all that he did 70 years before he actually came to the throne. It's about one and 1 trillion. Moreover, there 48 prophecies about Jesus Christ and the Old Testament.
Looking forward to him coming in the New Testament in each one of those prophecies in some detail or another in specificity talks about Jesus. For example, Micah 52 that he will be born in Bethlehem.
Isaiah 53 that he'll be beaten and scorched almost beyond recognition.
This is to be buried in a rich man's grave, which is what happened with Joseph Varma, Fayette, and on and on 48 prophecies specifically fulfilled in the life of Jesus in the New Testament. What is the probability factor of that happening. It is 1/10 to 157 zeros 1/10 to 157 zeros. I look at that and I said to myself this must be the word of God. God breathed written by God, not stenographic leaf through writers who were listening to God and his writing on his every word, but as God became man in Jesus Christ and God became a human being totally got into the human the God work through human vessels to write down what they were experiencing and hearing from God as his word and also looked at the comparisons to other sacred text.
Dr. Hugh Ross did the same thing and here's what he discovered is a PhD astrophysicist.
He looked at the Hindu sacred text seeing if they were scientifically verifiable. But then in reading those texts.
He saw that Hinduism believes in history as a cyclical, eternal reality means goes on and on and on and is from where reincarnation comes from where karma comes that you reincarnated to new life. Just get what you deserve, but he was a scientist and he realized most every reputable scientist today believes in the big that they recognize it's hard to argue and understand something this world coming out of nothing and that there was a beginning as a Big Bang, of course, we believe as Christians it's a big God because the Big Bang but what was concluded that I concluded was that history can't be eternal and cyclical. If there is a beginning, there must be what folks, there's got been in so history must be linear and it was begun with the Big Bang or Genesis 11 in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, and there is a history that we believe as Christians will be consummated when Jesus Christ returns listening to moments of Dana joins me in the studio and insightful conversation about this morning's moment of hope will be right. What do you do when you begin drinking at ages 10 to 12 work in your life go when you started abusing drugs at ages 13 to 15. You want to be part of the fabric of society, yet you mostly stop maturing the day your addiction took over your life at the tender age of 12.
Attorney Marciano presidency Europe Charlotte rescue mission, and we have served people who have stood at the intersection of homelessness and addiction for well over 80 years. What is it that they really need beyond building a foundation of long-term sobriety in their life. How does one obtain the life skills they never learned the desperately need to thrive in society. They should've learned them growing up, but now there were an adult. What do they do and where did they go tell you where they come community matters.
Café is more than just good food and house roasted coffee. It's an extension program Charlotte rescue mission that is transforming lives.
The rescue Mission provides free Christian residential high-quality substance abuse recovery programs to members of our community know and after men and women graduated from Charlotte rescue missions hundred and 20 day rebound men's and denseness women's residential programs.
They have the option to enroll in the life skills program that community matters Café during the six-month program. Students learn a variety of critical skills in a restaurant setting that help them get and keep long-term employment community matters Café is located directly opposite the path of practice fields at the corner of Cedar and W. 1st St., Charlotte, rescue mission is grateful for the financial partnership of moments of hope church.
It is important life changing ministry listening to moments of help. I'm James Easton and Whitney as our pastor David Shadrach stated thanks so much for joining us today hi Jen, great to be with you as well in this morning's moment of hope. You gave us great hope and encouragement, and he reminded us that God's love is based on our performance. Boy, Janet, there's something that I could tell every listener out there.
Personally, one on one. It would be this one because our culture is performance-based in its understanding of love as long as you perform well I'll love you me think about your jobs. For example, if you perform well you get raises your lifted up to higher positions. It's all based on performance and God's love isn't it so counterintuitive to what our culture teaches its radically different.
God does not base his love for us on our performance.
Romans 58 says that while we were still yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Tell everyone. Just think about that. Let those words permeate your soul while we were still in wanton rebellion against Almighty God, wanting life on her own terms, shaking our puny fists at him yelling against him with every ounce of our energy. Jesus still came for us.
He still pursued us while in that awful position of rebellion. Christ came and died for us.
His love for us isn't based on our performance and then when we finally yield to him so much more. We need to understand that non-performance-based love that he has called us to live out with other people for square themes 13 427. The only definition of love that's in the Bible, its patient and kind, not jealous, not selfish, not rude, it doesn't store up the memory of past wrongs it forgives. It moves on with life's hurts. Trusting Jesus with everything that's the kind of love that we are then to have toward other people because it's the love that Jesus has shown toward us and think about what that means for our marriages. We love our spouse, unconditionally parenting, you know, I know this week my wife Marilyn has been on the show with me talking about a book she wrote about a woman of valor and she has emphasized the importance of valor in the Christian life will she's the one that lived out with our kids. I love you no matter what. Tonight we had a song that she came up with with our youngest daughter Bethany were you would like this. I love you when you're happy. I love you when you're sad. I love you when you're feeling good or when you're feeling bad.
I love you I love you I really really love you no matter what you say or do. I really really love you and she'd mess up and merely start singing a song to her or she would mess up and I would start singing a song or what. One day I was walking in the kitchen with a glass of milk and I had some butter on my fingers and I let the glass slip out. It crashed to the floor. Not only did the glass break the milks built everywhere I went.
Oh man, I just cried out but how can I been so stupid.
Bethany was like six years old comes into the kitchen and goes.
I love you when you're happy. I love you when you're sad. I love you when you're feeling good when you're feeling better she got it understood the power of unconditional love and I just wanted to say again Jen all her listeners.
You are not loved by your performance. If you mess up your still loved by the one in the universe who died on the cross now. Love one another with that same kind of non-performance-based love, teach it to your kids, live it out.
It's freeing when you do so online that we are truly in an upside down world and the kingdom's right side napping on the first of the last and the last shall be first, and this is a really good reminder of his kingdom coming. Thank you and I just hope everybody grabs it today because when you do your never the same. God loves you not based on your performance, but simply who you are in Christ came to die for us and send again thank you so much David and everyone if you'd like to receive from me a written daily moment of hope, please go to moments of hope, church.org, you can subscribe there every day to receive in your inbox at 7 AM. A written moment of hope for me and then moments is helping make senior pastor of moments of hope church we would love to have you join us for worship this Sunday morning. Sweeney prominent day school located at 5800 Sardis Rd. in South Thailand at 10 AM. You can find more information on our website. Moments of hope church.org again conjuring a Sunday morning at 10 and Providence day school located at 5800 Sardis Rd. in South Thailand where J is moments of hope church.org dated any entire moments of hope church*James Easton asking you to pray for spiritual awakening and heart-wrenching