Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Bible's Proof 3

7. The Bible’s indestructibility proves that it is the Word of God.

Above all other books combined, the Bible has been hated, vilified, ridiculed, criticized, restricted, banned, and destroyed, but it has been to no avail. As one rightly said, “We might as well put our shoulder to the burning wheel of the sun, and try to stop it on its flaming course, as attempt to stop the circulation of the Bible” (Sidney Collett, All about the Bible, p. 63).

In A.D. 303, the Roman Emperor Diocletian issued an edict to stop Christians from worshipping Jesus Christ and to destroy their Scriptures. Every official in the empire was ordered to raze churches to the ground and burn every Bible found in their districts (Stanley Greenslade, Cambridge History of the Bible). Twenty-five years later his successor, Constantine, issued another edict ordering fifty Bibles to be published at government expense (Eusebius).

In 1778, the French infidel Voltaire boasted that in 100 years Christianity would cease to exist, but within 50 years the Geneva Bible Society used his printing press and house to publish Bibles (Geisler and Nix, A General Introduction to the Bible, 1986, pp. 123, 124).

Robert Ingersoll once boasted, “Within 15 years I’ll have the Bible lodged in a morgue.” But Ingersoll is long dead, and the Bible is alive and well.

The communist regimes in Russia and China tried to destroy the Bible and its influence, but they have been completely unsuccessful. There are more churches in Russia today than ever before in its history, and the presses cannot print enough Bibles to satisfy the insatiable demand in communist China.

The liberal skeptics in the 19th century tried to destroy the authority of the Bible by claiming that it is full of myths and that it is historically inaccurate. They claimed that writing didn’t exist in Moses’ day. They doubted the existence of Ur of the Chaldees, of the advanced ancient city-states and religious towers mentioned in Genesis 10-11, of complex legal codes in that era, of camels in Palestine in the days of Abraham, of King David and King Solomon, of the Hittites and the Philistines, of Sargon and Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar, to name a few. They said that the book of Acts was filled with historical inaccuracies.

In all of these cases and hundreds more, the skeptics were proven wrong and the Bible was proven right, as we have documented in this course in the section on archaeology.

In fact, many who have set out to disprove the Bible have been converted, instead. The following are a few examples:

Gilbert West, an English poet who was included in Samuel Johnson’s Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets, while a student at Oxford set out to debunk the Bible’s account of Christ’s resurrection. Instead he proved to his own satisfaction that Christ did rise from the dead and published Observations on the History and Evidences of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

George Lyttelton, an English Statesman, author, and poet who was educated at Oxford, determined to prove that Paul was not converted as the Bible states. Instead, Lyttelton wrote a book providing evidence that Paul’s conversion was real and that it is evidence that Jesus actually rose from the dead. The book was titled Observations on the Conversion and Apostleship of St. Paul.

Frank Morison, a lawyer, journalist, and novelist, set out to write a book to disprove the resurrection of Christ. Instead he was converted and wrote a book in defense of the resurrection entitled Who Moved the Stone?

Simon Greenleaf, Royall Professor of Law at Harvard University and one of the most celebrated legal minds of America, determined to expose the “myth” of the resurrection of Christ once and for all, but his thorough examination forced him to conclude that Jesus did rise from the dead. In 1846 he published An Examination of the Testimony of the Four Evangelists by the Rules of Evidence Administered in the Courts of Justice.

William Ramsay, a renowned archaeologist and New Testament scholar, began his historical research in Asia Minor with the assumption that he would find evidence to disprove the Bible’s historicity. He concluded, though, that the book of Acts was written during the lifetime of the apostles and that it is historically accurate. His discoveries led to his conversion to Christianity.

Josh McDowell was a skeptic when he entered university to pursue a law degree, but he accepted a challenge by some Christians to examine the claim that Jesus Christ is God’s Son. He says, “I decided to write a book that would make an intellectual joke of Christianity.” He traveled throughout the U.S. and Europe to gather evidence to prove his case, but instead he was converted to Christ and wrote a book defending the Bible entitled Evidence That Demands a Verdict. McDowell concluded: “After trying to shatter the historicity and validity of the Scripture, I came to the conclusion that it is historically trustworthy. If one discards the Bible as being unreliable, then one must discard almost all literature of antiquity. ... I believe we can hold the Scriptures in our hands and say, ‘The Bible is trustworthy and historically reliable” (The New Evidence, p. 68).

Dr. Richard Lumsden, professor of parisitology and cell biology, was dean of the graduate school at Tulane University and trained 30 Ph.D.s. When he was challenged by a student about the evidence for evolution, he sought to refute the student by demonstrating evolution’s scientific evidence. Instead, he became convinced that the evidence is lacking. This led to an examination of the Bible, which led to his conversion to Jesus Christ.

“Down through the years, the Bible has been a mighty anvil that has worn out the puny hammers of the scoffers.”

8. The Bible’s universal appeal proves that it is the Word of God.

In spite of the aforementioned attacks, the Bible is the most popular book in the world, by far. Some books have been translated into a few dozen languages, but the Bible in whole or in part has been translated into every major language of the world, plus most minor ones--more than 2,450 so far. Translation work is progressing in another 2,000 languages. Compare this with other religious books. The Hindu scriptures have been translated into 46 languages, and the Muslim Quran into about 40.

9. The Bible’s doctrine of salvation proves it is the Word of God.

The Bible is the only religious Scripture that teaches the doctrine of salvation by grace. Every other one teaches salvation by works. Hinduism says salvation is attained by practicing dharma and working out one’s karma. Islam says salvation is by surrender to Allah and obedience to his commands. Buddhism says salvation is by reaching nirvana through life works and meditation and asceticism. If you visit the Buddhist monastery at Boudha in Kathmandu any time of the day you will find Buddhists walking clockwise, fingering their prayer beads and twirling their prayer wheels. They do this because they are trying to work out their salvation.

The Bible, on the other hand, says that salvation is God’s free gift to sinners. This gift was very costly for the Giver. It was purchased with a great price, which was the atoning sacrifice of God’s Son on the cross. But for the sinner it is free.

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

The Bible says there is nothing that the sinner can offer God in order to atone for his sins. What could we offer? Righteous works? The Bible says our righteousness is as filthy rags before God’s great holiness (Isaiah 64:6). Money? What would the God of creation do with our pathetic currency? A pure heart? The Bible says the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9). How, then, could we purchase our own salvation?

“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away” (Isaiah 64:6).

No, salvation is the free unmerited gift of a loving and deeply compassionate God. As the Christian hymn says, “We owed a debt we could not pay; He paid a debt He did not owe.”

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

used by permission:

Trust Christ now for the forgiveness of your sins and His free gift of eternal salvation by praying this prayer: 

"Jesus, thank you for dying on the cross for my sins, please forgive me and send me your Holy Spirit to guide me. I will follow your Holy Truth. 

Thank you Jesus my Lord and Savior for paying the price for my sins."

This is a three part message. We all know some who have come to false conclusions about God's Holy Word. This teaching is the perfect answer to skeptics. Please forward.

 God Bless you my friends, Bob

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