I am in Berlin, Germany today spending time with a couple who are missionaries with Commission To Every Nation (www.CTEN.org). Why missionaries in Germany? After all, this is the birthplace of the Protestant Reformation and there are churches in every town. Germany is also the birthplace of liberal theology and, believe it or not, some of the people they are reaching are seminary students who do not believe the Bible.
Does that sound astounding that you would go to seminary and not believe the Bible? Weirder still is that some seminaries teach that you cannot fully trust the Bible. After all, it has stories about fish eating people, guys rising into the clouds, a person turns into salt, blind people seeing and deaf people hearing – nice little tales but not really meant to be believed.
Satan’s first attack has always been against God’s Word – “Did God really say …?”. That is why cults always have their own versions of the Bible (i.e. JW, Mormons, Biblical Universalists) or their own supplemental material that you have to read to “really understand” the Bible.
If we cannot fully trust God’s Word then we have nothing to stand on, our entire understanding of God is just conjecture. We can know there is a God because of the complexity of nature and the order we see in the universe but is He friendly and involved or angry and distant. The only way we can know Him is that He has chosen to tell us about Himself. Take away the Bible and your guess is as good as mine, which is only as good as anyone else’s. Without the Bible as our authority, throwing young women as sacrifices into volcanoes to please this unknown God is as legitimate as loving your neighbor as yourself.
What a treasure of infinite worth we have in the Bible. A God we can only know if He chooses to reveal Himself to us has, in its pages, pulled back a curtain to allow us to peek into eternity and catch a glimpse of Him. We can know what pleases Him and what displeases Him only because He reveals it to us. We can know how to find peace with Him only because He reveals it to us. Most importantly, we can know what path leads to eternal life and what path leads to death because He has revealed it to us. Take away the Bible and we are all just guessing and when it comes to something as crucial as our eternal destiny, I do not want to be just guessing.
Everybody is betting on something. Muslims are betting that Allah will have mercy. Hindus are betting on their good works. Atheists are betting there is no God. I’ll put my hope in what the Bible says. It has been proven over and over again to be dependable.
2 Peter 1:20-21 (NIV)
Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.