Summary: This sermon gives further evidence for why we as Christians are safe when we put our confidence in the Bible
March 28, 2004 2 Peter 1:21ff
“Can I trust the Bible?” (pt. 2)
NOTE: unless otherwise indicated, all quotes are from the “Tough Questions” series by Judson Poling and Garry Poole published by Zondervan
Last week, before anyone else got here, Mike and I were setting up the equipment. I came a little more casual than normal last week – no tie, no sportcoat and shirt collar unbuttoned. Mike came in with tie and double-breasted coat. He looked more like a preacher than I did, so I suggested that he preach that day instead of me. I told him that the message was on the Bible, and I even told him what he could say: “The Bible is true. We all believe it. Let’s go eat.” Short, simple and to the point. And some of you may have felt like that might have been more appropriate. Why do we need to hear a message on the truthfulness of the Bible? Why? Because everything hangs on it. Because many people who claim to be Christians don’t believe that everything in the Bible is true. Because the religions of the world are constantly challenging the truthfulness of the Bible. Because if we really believed that the Bible is true, then we would be living according to it. Because if we really believed the Bible is true, then we would be telling other people its message. So it is obvious to me that, no matter how loudly we proclaim our belief in the Bible, we still have a long way to go before we put our complete trust in the things recorded there. That is my purpose once again today – to build up your faith and confidence in the Bible as the only true word of God.
So far, we have looked at two of four reasons that we can believe the Bible is accurate and true.
1. The Bible is an accurate transmission of God’s words.
2. The Bible is an accurate historical record of God’s world.
Even if those two statements are true – and I believe with all my heart that they are – they do not prove that the Bible is from God. Webster’s dictionary has been accurately transmitted from the original authors to the book that sits on my shelf and the history book that your kids learn from in school could be proven to be accurate in what it records. What makes the Bible God’s book? Two things.
3. The Bible only contains accurate prophecy of God’s will.
We live in world of self-proclaimed prophets. You see their predictions at the grocery checkout every year. You read general prophecies in your fortune cookie or in the newspaper horoscope. You listen to analysts and stock brokers to help you make financial decisions. You decide what you are going to wear based on the weatherman’s prophecies. So what’s the difference between these predictions of the future and Biblical prophecy?
“Bible predictions came true centuries later.
”Bible prophecies were very specific, unlike those who say something like, ‘Good fortune is coming your way.’ [like a fortune cookie]
“The Bible writers exalt God with accurate teaching about Him, whereas psychics tend to exalt themselves and make money off the gullible public.” – p. 38 (leader guide) NOTE: Paul obviously wasn’t in it for the money. He collected money for others, but never for himself. He gave up that right in order to advance the cause of the Gospel. (2 Cor. 11:9)
Bible prophets had to have a 100% accuracy rate.
(Deu 18:21-22 NIV) You may say to yourselves, "How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD?" If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.
What if you placed that kind of standard on today’s physics? The fact is that none of them would stand that kind of test. Let’s look at just a few of the Bible’s prophecies.
“Imagine taking a trip to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and visiting the State House where the Constitutional Convention took place in 1787. During the tour, your guide points to a document dating back to the year 1820. The piece of parchment tells of a man named George W. Bush from Austin, Texas, who would be President of the United States within the next 200 years.
“QUESTION - how could someone even know that a man named George W. Bush would be born in the United States? And how could someone know more than a century before Mr. Bush ever was born that he would be President of the United States? Furthermore, how could someone in 1820 know that a man from Texas (named George W. Bush) would be President of the United States when Texas wasn’t even part of the Union yet?