We live in a time when there is a growing opposition to the Word of God. Where the authenticity and truth of the Bible is called inaccurate, no relevant to current times, a collection of legends, or just completely false.
We read from a pastor from Oregon, he has come to a self conclusion that there is no God. He proclaims that he believes that Jesus was probably historical, the amazing life described in the Bible is probably legend. He is proud to say that members of his church can BYOG (or Bring Your Own God). And while he doesn’t believe in the existence of God himself, he still takes offense to being labeled a non-Christian. More and more stories like this are becoming common. In Indiana, we have seen the interest of over 20,000 people (and growing) through social media to a newly created Church of Cannabis.
The scripture that Paul is speaking of is what we call the Old Testament. That everything that was, everything that is, and everything that is to come is connected to scripture and points us to Jesus. It becomes imperative for us to know that the Bible is God-breathed. So that we can teach and train in for a life defined by God. That we can rebuke and correct when things are not matching to God’s standard. It sells us what is right and wrong.
It is dangerous to allow culture to define the right and wrong mindset, because most likely it will conflict with God’s standard. Truth is true throughout time. Culture’s world view will change as time goes on, but we cannot apply that same change to God’s word. Many people confuse truth with their emotional response. That how they feel is right, but many times is found to be in conflict with God’s definition of right.
Paul gives a charge because God and Jesus are the judges of those in the wrong of this world. So this charge is… preach the word! Read and apply the Bible all the time. To use it to correct, rebuke and encourage. Being patient and careful in both study and application. The definition of “great patience” can be described as Biblical tolerance. Biblical tolerance says that we can disagree with someone, but still want to relate with them. The new tolerance of the world says that we must accept someone else without disagreement. This new tolerance stands in opposition with the Biblical tolerance defined by God.
When Biblical truth is lost, Paul describes what will happen. That people will abandon sound doctrine and instead go after their own desires. In addition they will seek out people to put around them to say what they want to hear. They then together begin to define and follow their own myths to fit their desires. Sound familiar? Our culture today is filled with examples like this, and it is heartbreaking to see.
So can we trust the Bible? Can it be upheld as a reliable text?
The book “The Case for Christ” by Lee Strobel is a great resource of someone who has explored the reliability of the Bible. Not to ruin the ending of the book, Strobel defines the mountain of evidence of the accuracy of the Bible. An example is how close the copies of the original gospel messages were to the original writings. Strobel compares other historical documents from Homer and Plato to that of the Bible. What we find is that there are thousands of more documents of the New Testament and the Old Testament than all other documents combined.
We are going to explore over the coming weeks the historical, archaeological, and other subjects that confirm the truth of the Bible.
16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, (ESV)
4:1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. (ESV)
3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. (ESV)