Summary: This message afirms the reliability of the New Testament against the arguments that the Crowds, Disciples and Early Church just made it all up.
IS THE BIBLE RELIABLE?
The preacher stood on the street corner preaching to anyone who would listen. A man approached him who looked like he had lived on the street forever. "Can I help you" asked the preacher. "I think you can" said the bum. "Would you like me to tell you about Jesus?" "No." "Would you like me to pray for you?" "No." "If you don’t want me to tell you about Jesus, and you don’t want me to pray with you, how can I help you?" "You can give me your Bible." "Why would you want my Bible if you have no interest in knowing more about Jesus?" "I noticed that the pages of your Bible are very thin; I can use the pages to wrap a cigarette (or a joint)." Wisdom came suddenly to the preacher, who said, "I’ll give you the Bible, if you will agree to read a page (of the Bible) before you smoke it." The bum agreed, took his new Bible, and left. The preacher thought he had seen the last of the bum, but he could get another Bible. Several months passed, and the preacher was on the street corner once again. A man came up to him dressed in a three piece suit. "You don’t know me, do you?" said the man. "No. I’ve never seen you in my life." "Yes you have. I’m the man you gave a Bible to (about four months ago)." The preacher couldn’t believe his eyes and ears. "What happened? Tell me what happened." "Well, I smoked Matthew, and then I smoked Mark, and then I smoked Luke -- and then John smoked me."
The Christian faith is based upon a single fact; that God has revealed himself to mankind and that His Special Revelation (the Bible) is accurate. We have all learned this truth from an early age:
Jesus loves me this I know, for the BIBLE tells me so…
Suppose that you were on an internet chat site and met someone online. The only thing that you could know about that person is what they revealed to you about themselves. Likewise, we can know a lot about God by just looking at the world around us (General Revelation), but the best way to know who God is and what He is like is to read God’s Special Revelation to us in the Bible. We know that God does not lie, so what He says to us about himself is the truth.
Psa 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. 8 The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes. 9 The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous. 10 They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb.
Today we are continuing in our series on Hot Topics. Last week we asked the question “How can you know that God exists?” The next logical question that is often asked is this, “OK, if God DOES exists than what is He like? There are lots of different religions out there today to choose from and all say they are based on a revelation from God. How can you be so sure that you are right?” In other words, is the Bible reliable?
There are some today that believe that the Bible cannot be trusted. There are 3 common objections that come up, especially when you are talking about the New Testament and the life of Jesus:
1. The CROWDS made it all up –
Some believe that Jesus was just another prophet and a good moral teacher. They believe that He never claimed to be God but that the crowds who saw Him simply misunderstood his message and attributed divinity to him. This was not an uncommon thing in the surrounding Gentile world. Remember this story:
Act 14:8 In Lystra there sat a man crippled in his feet, who was lame from birth and had never walked. 9 He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed 10 and called out, "Stand up on your feet!" At that, the man jumped up and began to walk. 11 When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, "The gods have come down to us in human form!" 12 Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes because he was the chief speaker. 13 The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought bulls and wreaths to the city gates because he and the crowd wanted to offer sacrifices to them.