Summary: When the Bible is no longer our ultimate authority then only weakness can follow. The strength of the past came from Bible educated people.
Did you know that the Mary Magdalene was the mother of
Jesus? And that the New Testament book that records Paul's
conversion is Psalms? And that the last book of the Bible is
evolution? And that the first murderer in the Bible was Pilate? And
that Isaiah was the son of Solomon? These are some of the answers
given to a Bible knowledge test which was given to 357 incoming
freshman at a Christian college. Out of 25 fairly easy questions the
average number correct was 8. 75 who had been Sunday School
teachers got 11 right. All but 22 were members of a church, and
they had been in Sunday School since childhood, and yet they hardly
knew anything about the Bible.
Apparently we are becoming a nation of Bible dusters rather
than Bible diggers. The American people buy Bibles like hot cakes,
but apparently they read them like they read hot cakes also, which is
not at all. We can hardly blame the Supreme Court for the fact that
the Bible is taken out of our schools, for even one atheist woman
with enough conviction to fight as more influence than millions of
Bible dusters who don't know Paul from Adam. Masses of
professing Christians know more about Paul Bunyan, Bugs Bunny,
Lassie, and Yoggie Bear than they know about the Word of God.
With such a weak possession on the value and power of the Bible it
is no wonder that the forces of unbelief can gain such ground.
When the Bible is no longer our ultimate authority then only
weakness can follow. The strength of the past came from Bible
educated people. Theodore Roosevelt said, "Almost every man who
has by his life-work added to the sum of human achievement of
which the race is proud, of which our people are proud; almost
every such man has based his life-work largely upon the teachings of
the Bible." William Gladstone, the great statesman and intellectual
giant of England said, "I have known ninety-five great men of the
world in my time, and of these eighty-seven were followers of the
Bible." Franklin D. Roosevelt said, "Nearly all of the great men of
our country have been well versed in the teachings of the Bible."
Why then are men so foolish to neglect it and reject it? It is
because of the devil's deception that says men do not need God.
Men are deceived into thinking that the Bible is old fashion. People
in earlier times of ignorance needed the Bible, but modern man has
grown beyond that need. God challenges this folly, and He says
through Peter that we are not to look to man's glory, for it is gone in
no time and withers away like a flower, but His Word endures
forever. The Bible is still our absolute authority for two reasons
that Peter gives us in verse 23. It is because the Word is-
I. A LIVING WORD.
It takes life to give life, and the Bible is a living and life giving
power, for as Peter says, they were born again by this Word. All
through history men have been discovering new life through the
Bible. Robert Ingersoll, the skeptic, urged General Lew Wallace to
write a book exposing the falsehood of Christianity. General
Wallace began to study the Bible in order to write such a book, but
he discovered that the Bible did not just lay there, for it was alive,
and it got a hold of his heart and changed his life. He wrote, instead
of his book of criticism, the classic about the beauty and the divinity
of the life of Christ called Ben Hur.
History is filled with amazing examples of the power of the Bible
on the lives of people. A colporteur distributing Bibles in Sicily was
traveling at night when he was held up. The bandit ordered him to
build a fire and burn all his Bibles. He asked if he could read a part
of each one before he threw them in, and his request was granted.
From the first he read the 23rd Psalm, and the bandit said, "That is
a good book, we will save it." The second he read the parable of the
Good Samaritan; the third from the Sermon on the Mount; the
fourth I Cor. 13, and in each case the bandit said, "Save that one."
It turned out that none were burned, and he took them with him,
and the transforming power of the Word worked in the life of this
bandit, and he became a minister of the Gospel.
John said, "This is life eternal, that they might know thee the
only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent." It is through
the Bible that we come to know Christ, and through Him to know