Sunday, March 27, 2011

How can I know that the Bible is the Word of God?

The best way to find out if the Bible is the Word of God is by reading it prayerfully and carefully. You cannot honestly judge a book which you have not read. I suggest that you begin reading the New Testament, starting with the Gospel of Matthew and continue reading right on through Revelation.

There have been many who, like yourself, have wondered if the Bible really is God's Word. Some of them even doubted the existence of God. But when they began to read the Bible in earnest, their doubts left. They were convinced that there is a God and that the Bible is His Word. How did they come to that conclusion? Because in reading the Bible they became aware that God was speaking to them personally. The Bible revealed to them the need of Christ as Saviour and God's love in providing that Saviour. They became believers in God and His Son Jesus Christ. This is because the Bible is unlike any other book in the world. As the Bible tells us so clearly, "the Word of God is quick, [living] and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword" (Hebrews 4:12).

Although the personal reading of the Bible is the surest and best way to tell its authorship, its uniqueness also points unmistakably to God as its author. Let us consider some of the facts about the Bible that show it is unique--altogether different from any other book:

It has stood the test of time. In the last half of the 18th century, Voltaire, the French infidel, made the statement that within 100 years the Bible and all Christianity would be completely forgotten. Voltaire died in 1778. The Bible still lives on. How many 2,000 year old books are still being printed today? Since Voltaire died, it has been estimated that over 2,500,000,000 copies have been printed. It is still the world's best seller and is the world's most widely distributed book, having been translated into hundreds of languages. All of this has taken place despite the many efforts of various men to destroy the Bible. As the Bible says, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away" (Matthew 24:35).

It is accurate and reliable. If you were to read science and history books that were thirty to fifty years old you would find that they are outdated. Some of the facts they reported would have to be revised to reflect man's latest discoveries. What about the Bible? Although its references to historical and scientific data have often been challenged and disputed, none of them have needed revision. Instead of revisions, recent findings are continually verifying the truths of the Bible. I will refer to only one example among many which could be cited. For years, critics of the Bible have pointed out the fact that Daniel mentioned a Babylonian king named Belshazzar of whom history had no record. New archaeological findings have revealed the name of Belshazzar on clay tablets along with the names of his secretaries and sisters. We can trust what the Bible says.

Its prophecies have a 100% accuracy record. This becomes even more impressive when we consider that one fourth of the Bible was predictive when it was written. There are hundreds of prophecies made in the Bible which have been accurately fulfilled and there are many more yet to be fulfilled. The prophet Micah predicted about 700 B.C. that the Lord Jesus would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). The fulfillment is recorded in Matthew 2:1. Over one hundred years before Nineveh was destroyed, Nahum wrote that Nineveh would become "empty, and void, and waste" (Nahum 2:10). Today, this would be like predicting that Chicago will become a wasteland. (Remember, in Nahum's day there were no nuclear bombs.) Nineveh, just as it was prophesied, became empty and void and waste. About 600 B.C. Daniel accurately predicted the succession of three great world empires: the Persian (530 B.C.), the Grecian (331 B.C.) and the Roman Empire (about 68 B.C.). See Daniel chapters 2,7,8. Only God can declare the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10).

The unity of the Bible's sixty-six books. The Bible was written by about forty men who were not contemporary, but lived at various times during a period of more than 1,500 years. What makes it even more interesting is the varied occupations of these men. Kings, fishermen, shepherds, noblemen, tax collectors, doctors, lawyers and statesmen were among those whom God used to write the Bible. They wrote about every subject which vitally affects us--creation, sin and its origin, death, life, heaven, hell, Satan, and God.

When you consider all of this diversity you might expect that the result would be a book which would be both contradictory and confusing. But instead, we get a book which has a continuity and unity throughout the sixty-six books that is simply amazing. You can only come to one conclusion from this--the Bible is God's Word.

It alone claims to be the Word of God. From the "And God said" of Genesis 1:3 to the "I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things" of Revelation 22:16, we have God speaking to us in this Book. The men whom God used to write the Scriptures were inspired and controlled by God to write the exact words which He gave them. This means that what we have in the Bible are the very words of God completely free from man's thoughts and reasonings (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20,21).

It is relevant to our needs today. Go into any large bookstore today and you will find hundreds of books, many of them with catchy titles, all claiming to meet some of our needs. Though a great number of these books do fill a need for knowledge and learning, they do not give us the answers to our spiritual needs. Many of them leave a void and emptiness in our hearts. Only the Bible can explain, to the satisfaction of our hearts and consciences, the facts of sin, death, judgment, the love and holiness of God, the atoning work of Christ, and heaven and hell to mention a few. These are the things which meet our deepest needs, both present and future. Many who have questioned the Bible's relevancy for today can testify that when they finally came to read and believe it, they found peace, joy, and satisfaction. The Bible has the answers.


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