Summary: This is the second sermon in a series of messages called, "The Basic Questions of Life."
"Is the Bible True and Reliable?"
We’re currently doing a series of messages on what I call "The Basic Questions of Life." These messages deal with the basic questions most people ask at some point in their lives. Questions such as: Is there a God? Is the Bible reliable and true? How did we get here? Why are we here? And what happens after we leave here?
We answered the first question last week, so let’s move to the second question - "Is the Bible reliable and true?" I’m not asking this question because I think you need to be convinced that the Bible is reliable and true. I ask this question because I believe you need to be reminded and encouraged that the Bible is reliable and true.
We live in a world that is at war with the Word. There are those who despise it and are against everything it stands for. There are those who distort it and twist it to their own destruction. There are those who disregard it and claim that it’s false and unreliable. For instance, this past summer ABC aired a prime time special called "The Search for Jesus" - hosted and produced by Peter Jennings. At the outset of the program Jennings promised to be respectful and fair. But the next two hours was a one sided presentation against the reliability and truthfulness of the Bible. Jennings interviewed a panel of 7 "Bible scholars" who had one thing in common. They are associated with the so called "Jesus Seminar." The Jesus Seminar was organized in 1985 by Robert Funk, professor of Religious Studies at the University of Montana. He met with 30 Professors from several major univerisites and said, in effect, "We don’t beleive the Bible, we don’t beleive in the Biblical Jesus, and we don’t beleive in miracles. We need to organize our efforts in order to debunk the reliaibility of the Bible and promote our beleif that the historical Jesus is far different that the Biblical Jesus." And so the Jesus Seminar was born and today it’s web-site claims that it is made up of 74 "Scholars." But most of them are not "Bible Scholars" in any sense of the word. Take Paul Verhoeven as an example. He’s on the Jesus Seminar and what contributions has he made to the world? Mostly B-movies and R-rated flicks that are filled violence, language, and sex (like Showgirls, etc).
This is who Jennings turns to when he wants to talk about the reliabiliy and truthfulness of the Bible. Asking the Jesus Seminar to talk about the reliability and truthfulness of the Bible is like asking the director of Planned Parenthood to talk about the logic behind the right to life movement, or asking Al Gore to talk about the credentials and qualifications of George W. Bush to be our next president. You’re going to get a biased and negative answer. Jennings did not interview a single conservative Christian scholar. There are thousands of men who could of held there own against Jennings - D.A. Carson, Richard Land, D. James Kennedy, etc. But they weren’t given an opportunity to defend the reliablity and truthfulness of the Bible.
I couldn’t get Carson, Land, or Kennedy, to come speak to you today, so you’re stuck with me. But I do want to share 5 facts which verify the reliability and truthfulness of the Bible.
And somebody says, "Wait a second preacher. Don’t get carried away with the Bible. After all it’s just a book, written by ordinary men." Let’s talk about that. Let’s talk about . . .
I. The Authorship of the Bible.
You have three options when it comes to the authorship of the Bible. Either the Bible was written by good men, bad men, or God Himself. Let’s consider each option.
Was the Bible written by merely good men? No, because the Old Testament alone claims over 2,600 times to be written by God. It’s inconceivable that good men would lie about the same subject 2,600 times.
Was the Bible written by bad men? No, because it’s inconceivable that bad men would write a book that continually lifts men and women to the highest plain of morality and purity, that demands the most exacting standards of righteousness, and pronounces doom upon all sinners.
The only logical alternative is, the Bible was written by God (read and explain 2 Peter 2:20-21). And since the Bible was written by God, it is reliable and true because it’s author - God Himself - is reliable and true.
Somebody says, "O.K. preacher, I see the reasoning behind that but everyone knows the Bible is an ancient book and it’s content has been changed through the centuries." Let’s talk about that. Let’s talk about . . .
II. The Authenticity of the Bible.