Bible - Is it true? Can we trust it?
Purpose: Showcasing the absolute truth of the Bible.
1. There is a great push in today’s world for tolerance. Tolerance used to mean, "Everyone has a right to an opinion."
· Some people like the Red Sox, some like the Yankees.
· Some people like Mexican food, some like Italian.
· Some people are Democrats, some are Republican.
· Some people
2. But tolerance today means something completely different. What used to mean, "Everyone has a right to their opinion," now means "Everyone’s opinion is right."
3. There are no absolutes, the world tells us. What is wrong in one situation (killing your 8-year-old daughter), is OK in another situation (killing your 8-month-old fetus). The absolute of "You will not kill," isn’t absolute anymore. It’s obsolete.
4. The Bible, for many, is outdated. The ideas taught in the Bible were for a historical, unenlightened, long-dead people. Bible stories, from Noah to Jesus, are accepted (even by some Christians) as Christian myth.
5. What do we do when modern society and Biblical teaching conflict?
· What happens when the Bible says 2+2=4 and the society says, "Well maybe that’s true for you, but I believe that 2+2=5?
· Basic logic says that when two statements contradict each other, only one of them is true.
· I say, "The Boston Red Sox won the 2004 World Series," while Dana would argue, "The New York Yankees won the 2004 World Series." Those statements contradict each other. Only one of them can be true.
· What happens when the Bible and the world contradict?
6. Exodus 2:11-12 - An old seventeenth-century Puritan named William Bridge talked about pitting modern culture with the Scripture. He said, “For a godly man, it should be as it was with Moses. When a godly man sees the Bible and secular data apparently at odds, well, he does as Moses did when he saw an Egyptian fighting an Israelite: he kills the Egyptian. He discounts the secular testimony, knowing God’s Word to be true.”
· Why didn’t Moses turn into a detective? Where in the Scripture does he interview the two men and find out what happened, why they were fighting? Why didn’t he interview witnesses?
· He didn’t do any of those things. He saw two sides at odds and he knew, intrinsically that the Hebrew was in the right and the Egyptian was in the wrong.
· Now, obviously, this passage from Exodus isn’t talking about the absolute truthfulness of the Scripture. But it gives us a model on how to act. When the Word and the world are at odds, the Word should be believed. All the time. Absolutely.
7. The inspiration of the Scripture: II Peter 1:20-21, II Tim. 3:14-17
· The Bible you have today is what God intended you to have. Nazarenes believe in the "plenary (or full) inspiration of the Scriptures." God didn’t come over Peter, put him into a trance, and write the words for him. But neither are they entirely Peter’s words. The words on the page are the words God intended for you to have.
8. Last week we talked about how the Bible is the light in a dark world, and a map in a vast and strange place. We know that the Bible is God’s gift to his children to be read, understood and obeyed. The world doesn’t like obedience. The world doesn’t like absolute truth.
9. What will you believe? What will you pattern your life after? The world, that changes its opinion minute by minute. Or the Word that is true yesterday, today and forever?
10. Trust your bubbles illustration
· When you take up SCUBA, one of the things that they will teach you is that your bubbles are always right. When you’re deep underwater you’re surrounded by an aura of light. It’s very difficult to tell which way is up The water diffuses the light and since you have a sense of weightlessness in the water it’s easy to get disoriented and lose your sense of direction. You don’t know which is up. You may feel so strongly that your perception of up is correct hat you will ignore your air bubbles and go the way that you think is up. And so, the SCUBA diver is taught to always trust and follow his bubbles. No matter what you think or feel, your bubbles are always correct. They always go up! So always follow your bubbles. Always! (SCUBA illustration borrowed from Larry Brincefield sermon)