Summary: You can trust the Word, because it is eternal. The Bible speaks of the eternal nature of the Word of God.
This New Sermon Series is "Why should we trust the Word?" Why Trust the Bible? This question has been asked by many over the centuries. Obviously, many ask this question today. Let me tell you of one person who had real doubts about the Word, and had asked this very question.
Billy Graham had a crisis of faith in 1949, right before his Los Angeles Crusade. By all outward appearance, Billy’s career seemed be on the upswing. This crisis of faith started the year before when his companion and close friend, Charles Templeton encourage Billy to enroll at Princeton theological Seminary with him. Templeton was considered the better preacher and evangelist of the two, but both lacked formal seminary training, Billy had only bachelor’s degree from Wheaton Bible College. But Princeton was a very liberal Seminary, so Billy declined.
Princeton’s liberal theological education clearly had an profound impact on Templeton. He said to Graham, “Billy, you’re 50 years out of date. People no longer accept the Bible as being inspired the way you do. Your faith is too simple.” In his autobiography, “Just as I Am,” Billy wrote: “I had no doubt concerning the deity of Jesus Christ or the validity of the Gospel, but was the Bible completely true? With the Los Angeles Campaign galloping toward me, I had to have an answer. If I could not trust the Bible, I could not go on… I would have to leave pulpit evangelism.”
His heart heavy, he went for a walk. The moon was out and the shadows were long in the San Bernardino Mountains surrounding the retreat center where he was staying. Dropping to his knees there in the woods, he opened the Bible at random on a tree stump in front of him. “O God!” he prayed “There are many things in this Book I do not understand … There are some areas in it that do not seem to correlate with modern science.” He paused, then continued: “Father, I am going to accept this as Thy Word—by faith! I’m going to allow faith to go beyond my intellectual questions and doubts, and I will believe this to be Your inspired Word.” When he stood up from his knees that August night, his eyes stung with tears. “I sensed the presence and power of God as I had not sensed it in months. Not all my questions were answered, but … I knew a spiritual battle in my soul had been fought and won.”
And the rest is history. Mere months after his breakthrough in the mountains, Graham's Los Angeles crusade made him a household name in America and launched an extraordinary evangelistic career.
But for the rest of the story: As for Templeton, he finished his graduate work at Princeton, then became an evangelist for the National Council of Churches. Princeton's dean even considered him "the most gifted and talented young man in American today for preaching mission work." But it wasn't long before Templeton admitted that he no longer believed in any sort of meaningful Christianity. He left the NCC and ultimately moved to Toronto where he became a prominent media personality, writing newspaper columns and providing television commentary.
For much of his life he remained friends with Graham, but Templeton never returned to the faith of his youth. Just two years before his death in 2001, he published a critique of Christianity titled Farewell to God: My Reasons for Rejecting the Christian Faith.
In this sermon series we will examine the biblical reasons to believe the Bible. Like Billy Graham, we may not have all answers, but we can be assured that God’s word is inspired and true. Over the course of the next 5 weeks, we will see that we can trust the Bible because: The Word is inspired; The Word is living and powerful; The Word is Truth; The Word is the Solid Rock; and lastly we will see that The Word is Jesus. Today we begin with: The Word is Eternal.
Matthew 5:17–20 (NKJV) 17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. 19 Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.
The Bible speaks of the eternal nature of the Word of God. Jesus says plainly His word will endure: