This is the second post about The Truth of the Bible. In order to get the true meaning behind what we’ve been building up to here, it will be beneficial to read the post just before this one – “Part 1: Is the Bible 100% accurate or was most of it made up?” In that post, we argued for the fact that the Bible was not a creation of man or an illusion of a made up deity. A strong attempt was made to develop tangible evidence based on logic, reason, clarity and scientific and archaeological evidence. Once that has been established and taken as fact, one is now ready to read this post. Believing in God is the first step (the first post). Trusting in Him and following Him must be the next step (this post).
If the Bible is 100% accurate, how can I heed and follow its message?
This is a topic that can be debated many times over, so we’re going to avoid that dispute and share our own personal view(s) on this particular subject. People have their theories and they believe based on the results of what they or others have experienced (this is similar to the scientific method). From those theories, conclusions are drawn. What began as an idea (hypothesis) has turned into a theory, which has been converted into tangible evidence of which most people believe to be absolutely true.
The words in the Bible that must be heeded, followed and applied to one’s life must be taken by faith alone. This is totally opposite from the tangible evidence of the scientific method. Hebrews 11:1 * says:
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Many times, people search for the hard evidence as to why they should follow what is written down in scripture. However, others choose to accept – by faith – that the Bible and its message comes from supernatural, godly intervention and is inspired by the Holy Spirit. For centuries, there have been countless debates and arguments from a philosophical point of view by those who disbelieve the Bible’s truth using human logic and worldly wisdom.
We at Cross+Connect+Trinity believe in the deity of God and in His Tri-unity or Trinity of three Persons (God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit). They have divinely created mankind in Their image. Genesis 1:26 says:
“Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…'” (emphasis added)
Notice the words “us” and “our” not “me” or “my“. This points to a Tri-unity God, not a sole existing, one personality. It’s hard for the human mind to wrap around the idea that God is One God but is three persons at the same time. People who don’t believe that the doctrine of the Trinity is true cannot truly heed and follow the Bible.
God eternally exists as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. This was most completely seen in Matthew 3:16-17:
“When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.'” (emphasis added)
In this passage, we see God revealed in three separate persons: Jesus (the Son) being baptized, the Holy Spirit descending like a dove on Jesus and God the Father speaking from heaven.
The truth is that no human mind in its own logic and/or wisdom can fully embrace, understand or comprehend God in His infinite character, for He exalts His Word above His name (Psalm 138:2). God is a Tri-unity, with each Person of the Godhead (Acts 17:29, Romans 1:20, Colassians 1:9) equally, fully and eternally God. Each is necessary and each is distinct and yet all are One. The nature of each Member of the Trinity means that each Person has a specific essence of awareness and consciousness. In this manner, they associate to each other individually — the Father views Himself as “I” while He sees the Son and Holy Spirit as “you”. In the same way, the Son regards himself as “I,” (John 10:30) but the Father and the Holy Spirit as “you” (John 14:26). Each Member of the Trinity is independent from the others but never acts alone. They are one in nature and purpose. The three Persons appear in a logical, causal order. The Father is the unseen, omnipresent Source of all being, revealed in and by God the Son, Jesus Christ, experienced in and by God the Holy Spirit. The Son proceeds from the Father and the Spirit proceeds from the Son.
In reference to God’s creation, the Father is the Thought behind it, the Son is the Word (John 1:14) calling it forth and the Spirit is the Deed making it a reality. We are shown, in faith, God and His great salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ (1 John 5:11). Then we must experience Him by faith through the indwelling presence of His Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
Lets take a look at how some of the first Christians experienced God and heeded and followed Jesus’ words after His resurrection.
The Hallucination Theory
The Hallucination Theory says all of Christ’s post-resurrection appearances were really only supposed appearances – that His followers only had hallucinations. In other words, if one believes this, all of the post-resurrection appearances can be dismissed right? Let’s look at it from another angle. How could so many people have hallucinations – especially 500 at one time (1 Corinthians 15:6)? The appearances happened under different conditions and were spread out over different times. Furthermore, the disciples were reluctant to believe in the resurrection in the first place! They were blinded in their own self doubt that the resurrection even happened. Let’s look at three scriptures in the gospels that show this unbelief.
Mark 16:11-16 (the unbelief of the disciples) says:
“And when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her (Mary Magdalene), they did not believe. After that, He appeared in another form to two of them (disciples) as they walked and went into the country. And they went and told it to the rest, but they did not believe them either. Later He appeared to the eleven (Judas Iscariot had committed suicide) as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” (emphasis added)
Luke 24:11-12 (Peter seeks proof) says:
“And their words seemed to them like idle tales, and they did not believe them. But Peter arose and ran to the tomb; and stooping down, he saw the linen cloths lying by themselves; and he departed, marveling to himself at what had happened.” (emphasis added)
John 20:24-30 (Doubting Thomas) says:
“Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ So he said to them, ‘Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.’ And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, ‘Peace to you!’ Then He said to Thomas, ‘Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.’ And Thomas answered and said to Him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus said to him, ‘Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’ And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book.” (emphasis added)
The hallucination theory is simply not plausible because it contradicts laws and principles which psychiatrists say are “essential to hallucinations”. Psychiatrists have a claim that only certain kinds of people have hallucinations. These are usually high-strung, highly imaginative and very nervous people. In fact, usually only paranoid or schizophrenic individuals have hallucinations. But Christ appeared to many different types of people. His appearances were not restricted to people of any particular psychological make up.
Hallucinations are linked to an individual’s subconscious – to his or her particular past experiences and Jesus’ resurrection was certainly not a part of any past experience because it had never happened before. Hallucinations are usually restricted to when and where they occur. They usually happen in a nostalgic atmosphere or in a place of familiar surroundings, which places the person in a reminiscing mood. They occur in people when there is a spirit of anticipation or hopeful expectation. In the Bible, no such anticipation existed. The disciples were prone to disbelieve even after they were told of the resurrection. However, the disciples eventually came around and believed in Christ’s resurrection and were physically there when He ascended into heaven on the Mount of Olives.
How I heed and follow the Word of God
As a professing believer and disciple of Jesus, I love and adore Him – He is my God. He is my Salvation, Faithful King, Messiah and Savior. In short; this is my testimony. In all of my lifetime, even when I was absent from walking with Jesus in His Truth, He never left me, nor abandoned me. God is the Author and Finisher of my faith (Hebrews 12:2)!
Since God is Sovereign, the Bible is the absolute Truth. God is also the Perfect Gentleman – He is never going to force Himself on anyone. He has given us a free will where we can choose to follow Him or not. He is also the ultimate Source of everything good. I’m sure you have heard people teaching about the truth of the Gospel.
Regardless of whether or not you believe you need to heed and follow the Bible, one
thing is for certain: death will eventually claim everyone. Death is not discriminatory from one person to another. One day, every human will find out the ultimate truth: is there life after death or does one just die and that’s it? How much faith do you have that there is nothing after death? Atheists actually have to have more faith than Christians. They have to believe so strongly that there is no God and there is no eternity. Do you have that much faith? I sure don’t. Wouldn’t you rather err on the safe side and know that if there is an eternity, it is secure in Jesus? Wouldn’t you rather Jesus say to you, “Blessed are you because you have not seen and yet have believed!”?
Those who follow Christ live by faith but God directs His wrath toward ungodliness and unrighteousness. Notice, that God’s anger isn’t against the people who are ungodly and unrighteous but on their actions. Romans 1:16-32 says:
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith.’
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.
“Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
“For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.
“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.” (emphasis added)
It’s up to every individual to believe in the supernatural power of the Bible, it’s truth and accuracy. Some believe that the Bible is 0%, 25%, 99.9% or 100% accurate. Everyone has the responsibility to figure out for themselves whether or not all scripture is true or if all of it is false. There is no middle ground. All one has to do to see if there is a God is to look at creation.
Consider one of the simplest of organisms – the Mycoplasma Genetalium. Scientists took a group of 128 computers running for 9 to 10 hours to create the information on the 25 classifications of molecules that were associated with the cell’s lifecycle. “The depth and breadth of cellular complexity has turned out to be nearly unbelievable and difficult to manage,” one of the scientists stated 2. How can this simple cell exist as a result of evolution? Think about that for a moment. Many modern scientists are baffled and mystified by how life actually began. They can’t point to a specific “missing link” that can prove Darwin’s theory of evolution. The most concern I have is for those who go such great distances to try and prove the Bible wrong or that there are inaccuracies in Scripture. Why would that person go to such great distances to prove their point and theories? If they don’t care what others think, why not just leave it alone?
The Gospel is simply this – Jesus will forgive all your sins, if you come to Him humbly lay down at His feet and say, “You’re the Lord, and I’ll follow you the rest of my life on earth, so that I can have the rest of eternity with You and the Glory of Your Father.”
The gospel message is so simple that a child can follow it. These are the scriptures you can follow in your road to salvation:
- You must first know that God loves you (John 3:16-17)
- He has a wonderful plan for your life (John 10:10)
- We are separated from God because of sins (Romans 3:23)
- The penalty for sin is death (Romans 6:23)
- However, that penalty was paid for by Jesus! (Romans 5:8)
- We must repent of our sin, trust Jesus and be saved from our sins (Romans 10:13, 10:9-10, 1 John 1:9)
If you have followed those scriptures and pray to God to forgive you, you will truly become a Christian! However, it doesn’t end there. After you have given your heart to Christ, you must now continue to follow and pursue Him. It will be helpful to fellowship with other Christians by joining a local church and getting involved in serving or becoming a part of a small group. With this commitment comes water baptism, Bible study, daily prayer and discipleship. After you have transformed from a new Christian to a mature Christian, it will be necessary to lead others to salvation in Jesus.
Summit Church in Centennial, Colorado has a purpose: Reach > Raise > Release. That means to reach those far from God, raise them up in Christ and release them for His mission – that is the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20)!
Finally, I will end with this. One of the greatest messages I’ve ever heard about heeding and following scripture was through Keith Green – a Christian musician and evangelist:
“You know I can’t explain to you, really how He does it. But He proved Himself to me in such a Holy way, such a complete way, that I’d die for that faith and I’d die for that belief – because it is more than a belief. He lives in my heart! And that’s the only proof… it’s the only proof that I can give you because He lives in my heart. Most people that knew me before – didn’t know that I could believe something so strong.
“Most people don’t find out, ‘til it’s too late, that someone has to pay the price. You can pay it yourself (Ha!) or let someone else, but who would be that nice, to pay a debt that isn’t his?
“Well I know someone like that. And He’s your best friend, He really is! He really loves you!!!
“Most people don’t find out until they half dead, that they need another life.
“You say you’ve heard everything, that’s ever been said, about “the way, the truth, the life…
“You say you’ve heard lots of preaching all before…so many times…BUT did you ever open up your door and give Him a chance, to prove Himself, that He’s real or not???
“I hope you find out, before it’s too late. That there’s really nobody else, you know it’s breaking His heart the longer you wait, cause you’ve only been lying to yourself – cause you know no one believes a thing you say, not even YOU!!! You know you’re gonna find out, that He’s the way, no matter which way you choose. But I pray that you find out by His love for YOU!” 1
- Keith Green. (1978). Alter Call [CD]. ORU: Sparrow Records. (1978)
- Madrigal, A. (2012). To Model the Simplest Microbe in the World, You Need 128 Computers. The Atlantic. Retrieved March 31, 2017, from https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/07/to-model-the-simplest-microbe-in-the-world-you-need-128-computers/260198/.
* All scripture in this post has been taken from the New King James Version – NKJV