Is the Bible true? Obviously, yes! "Obviously," you say? That is what I said. Of course, if you already have your mind made up, even the obvious is absurd. But I believe that if you have an open, honest, attitude toward the matter, and are willing to know the truth, I can prove to you by everything reasonable and right that this wonderful old Book we call the Bible, is indeed the Word of God. And while we are on the subject, if you have any serious doubts about his existence, you will have to admit that if I can prove to you that the Bible is God's Book, then obviously God exists.
There are many reasons why I believe the Bible to be true. Here are seven of them:
1. I believe the Bible is the Word of God because of its presumption. The dictionary defines presumption as a strong probability; the assumption of the credibility of certain facts from circumstantial evidence.
The sincere seeker for truth will soon realize that it is an honest assumption to begin by presuming the Bible to be the Word of God. You must begin somewhere. A man either starts by assuming that it is true or it is not true. In a court of law in America, a man is presumed innocent until proven guilty, not vice versa. I believe we can pay the same honor to this best of books. Man has always questioned: "Did I come from somewhere? Did someone create me? Is there a higher power? If there is, did he ever speak to man? If so, what did he say? Did someone write it down? Is this book we call the Bible a record of those words? If not, who has them? Why don't they share them with me?" Entirely too many questions go unanswered, when we do not begin by presuming the Bible to be the Word of God.
Darwin said, "I regret that I tossed out the possibility of evolution as a theory and gullible men gobbled it up as a fact." Voltaire on his deathbed said, "I am abandoned by God and man. I shall go to hell." Huxley said, "So, it is true, so it is true!" And died.
But what a difference in the death of the men who believed and loved the Bible. D. L. Moody said, "This is my coronation day; don't try to call me back." Charles Spurgeon, when facing death, said, "Can this be death? Why it is better than living." Dr. Amos Squire, for many years associated with Sing Sing prison said, "Ninety-seven percent of the men who come here have no faith in the Bible and no Sunday School or Bible training." Roger Babson, well-known statistician said, "I have never known a civic club that was not begun by Bible-believing people or the sons of Bible-believing parents. I have made this statement before over 400 civic clubs and have yet to be corrected." Zachary Taylor said, "It is the foundation of our Government." Dwight D. Eisenhower said, "I owe my success to the Word of God." Dr. Warner von Braun, eminent atomic scientist, said, "I believe in Divine Creation; the Divinity of Jesus Christ and the Word of God." Graham Blaine, Jr., said, "America's greatest problem is the problem of guilt, most of which are unconfessed sins. Most people do not need psychiatrists nearly as much as they need the blood of Jesus Christ." The Bible says of itself, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall never pass away." Two thousand times, the Bible says, "Thus saith the Lord." I cannot believe that something fabricated on 2,000 lies would not have been totally discredited by intelligent men years ago. The Bible says of itself that it is to be taught; appealed to; read; received; published; sought; searched; loved; longed for; and rejoiced in. It says that the Scriptures are inspired of God; approved of Christ; breathed by the Holy Spirit. That they are the Word of God; the book of law; the Holy Book; powerful; pure; perfect; true; timely; instructive; and comforting. I believe it is reasonable to begin by presuming the Bible to be the Word of God.
The first time that Satan approached man directly, it was at the point of the veracity of the Word of God. He did not say that God's words were not true, he merely raised the question. If he can penetrate your mind by raising a question, he will go a long way toward his goal of deceiving you.
2. I believe the Bible is the Word of God because of its protection. It has been cussed and discussed, analyzed and ridiculed by its friends and praised by its enemies for years. Yet it towers above every other book.
It is obvious that someone, somewhere, is protecting the Bible.
In 1907, a British colporteur was traveling through Bohemia and came upon a village where missionaries had never been. He discovered that there were no locks on the doors, for there was no crime; and no jails, for there were no thieves. The entire community had been Christianized. Inquiring as to what missionaries had converted the town, he was told this story:
Several years ago in a neighboring village, a group of men were burning hundreds of Bibles in a bonfire. A charred piece of the Bible, had floated on the breeze into this community. A blacksmith and his son finding the fragments could make out only the words, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall never pass away." They were so impressed that they went to other villages and gathered enough pieces to put together a Bible. They did not preach it nor did they teach it, but for years they just passed it around. People read it, believed its truth, accepted its Christ, and practiced its precepts. The Holy Spirit had done his work with his Word. Someone, something, somewhere is protecting the message of the Bible.
3. I believe the Bible is the Word of God, because of its perfection. The Bible is not really a book, it is a library of sixty-six different books. These books were written by approximately forty authors who lived a total of sixteen hundred years apart in different parts of the country, and spoke different languages. Many of them didn't even know the others existed. Yet, there is one plan of salvation; one God; one theology; one source of redemption taught on its pages. It was written by fishermen, kings, merchants, tax collectors, rabbis, men from all walks of life. How can you explain the unity, the perfection of the finished product.
If you were to go around the world and choose sixty-six books at random in different languages on different subjects written sixteen centuries apart, what chance would you have of making one perfect book out of them?
The central theme of the Bible is Jesus Christ. It begins with Jesus Christ as the bud in Genesis that produces the flower, the finished fruit in Revelation, the coming, ruling King of kings. The Old Testament conceals Christ, the New Testament reveals Christ. The Old Testament veils Christ, the New Testament unveils Christ. The Old Testament is Christ concealed, the New Testament is Christ revealed. The Old Testament contains Christ, the New Testament explains Christ. It is, indeed, "The Jesus Book."
Suppose that from the major stone quarries of America all kinds of rocks and stones came together in one place. There was no plan, no blueprint, no order, they just showed up. Then when they were put together, there stood before your eyes the most perfect and beautiful edifice the world had ever seen. Every pole, arch, vault, doorway, buttress, precisely in place. Not a stone left out; not one too few. How could you explain the unity of the finished product? Even the most worldly skeptic would have to admit that there was one central architect who planned it all. How can you explain the finished product of the world's most beautiful and per-fect book, unless there is someone who could live for sixteen hundred years, and there is no one unless there be a God and unless this Bible is his Book. How do you explain the perfection and balance of this world? This earth that is turning 23½ degrees on its axis. If a degree less, it could drop into obscurity, a degree more, and it could spin into oblivion. This earth that is so perfectly related to the moon that it gives us the seasons and makes life possible on the earth. This earth, ninety-three million miles from the sun, if a hundred miles closer would burn, or a hundred miles further would freeze us all to death. How does one explain the balance and order of the universe? The very best that science has come up with is that it just happened. These certain gases formed one day, they say, and then when everything was just right, "Boom,', out jumped this perfect world. That makes as much sense to me as saying that there was an explosion in a printing plant, and out jumped a complete unabridged dictionary.
The perfection of the Bible proves for me that its author lived sixteen hundred years and beyond and I know even more important than that, that by faith he lives within my heart.
4. I believe the Bible is the Word of God because of its prophecy. History is a record of events after they happen. Almost anyone can write history. But none but God could write prophecy. Prophecy is a record of events before they happen. How do you explain the fact that on page after page, the Bible predicts what will happen, when it will happen, and then it comes to pass? The Bible is replete with literally hundreds of prophecies. The Bible prophesied the manner of destruction almost to the time of day, the destruction of city after city in early civilization. The prophecies found in this book say to the intelligent mind that somebody who knew the end from the beginning must have been at its source.
The Bible said Jesus would be born of a virgin—he was. That he would come out of Bethlehem—he did. He would work in his father's carpenter shop—he did. That he would work miracles, die on the cross, and rise the third day—All of these, he did. The Bible said one day hot and cold would come from the same hole in the wall.—Today electricity for stoves or refrigerators and hot and cold running water do come from the same hole in the wall. The Bible said horseless chariots would run four abreast on great highways of stone—Have you been on the freeways lately?
5. I believe the Bible is the Word of God because of its perfection. The Bible is not a book of science, it is a book of religion. It is not a Book about how go the heavens, it is a book about how to go to heaven. However, when it does deal in scientific issues it is always correct.
Science and the Bible are not in contradiction. Any time you find a supposed discrepancy between science and the Scriptures, one of two things is true. It is not really science or it is not really Scripture, you just think its Scripture. The Bible says in the last days many psuedo-scientists, falsely so-called, will arise and deceive men. There is much going by the name of science today that is not really science at all. For example: No real scientist will ever claim a theory to be a fact. The theory of evolution is an unproved theory, as are many other theories called fact by so many so-called scientists. Further, any real scientist is just as interested in proving his theory wrong as he is in proving it right.
Then too, often times, we credit the Bible with saying things that it does not really say at all. The Bible, for example, does not say that the earth is 6,000 years old. The Bible speaks of creative days. But translated, the Hebrew word "day," "Yom" has many meanings and doesn't necessarily mean a twenty-four hour period. In Genesis 1:1, God created the earth, but 1:2 says it fell; it was, literally it became, without form and void. Something happened. It lay empty and impotent for endless millenniums of years.
The Bible is not in contradiction with science as to the order of the creation of life on this earth. Animals existed on the earth before human life, and when God created Adam and Eve he brought the animals, which already existed, to them to be named. But man was the instant creation of Almighty God.
The Bible said, "The life of the flesh is in the blood" (Lev. 17:11). They used to drain blood and men would die. Now, they give blood transfusions. Scientists were wrong—the Bible was right.
The Bible says, "He hangeth the earth upon nothing" (Job 26:7). For years, the scientist laughed and said the earth had foundation, but now science has admitted its error. Science was wrong—the Bible was right. They know the earth does hang on nothing.
The Bible says, He sitteth upon the circle of the earth. They said that the earth was flat, but now they know the earth is round. He does sit upon the circle of the earth. Science was wrong—the Bible was right.
The Bible says there is an empty spot in the Northern sky. Scientists scoffed at this. Now, they know it is true. There is an empty spot in the northern sky.
The Bible says the morning stars all sing together. Scientists said, "No." Now they know the heavenly bodies literally give off phonetic vibrations. The morning stars do sing together. Science was wrong; the Bible was right.
The Bible says there were highways in the seas. The scientists did not believe it, but now they know that you can get on the current in the sea and go against the winds. Science was wrong—the Bible was right. There are highways in the sea.
It is one thing for Moses to know the ten steps in creation, but remember, he knew their order. Who told him? Did he guess? What chance did he have of getting them in the right order. You put ten pennies in your pocket, number them 1 to 10, and pull out one. You have one chance in ten of getting number one. Put it back and start again. You have one chance in 100 of getting 1 and then 2. Put them back and start again. You have one chance in 10,000 of getting number 1, 2 and then 3. Start again. You have one chance in billions of getting number 1, 2, 3, all the way to 10 in order. Moses must have really been some kind of guesser!! Or did God tell him?
6. I believe the Bible is the Word of God because of its power. When people read the Bible and believe it and do what it says, they find there a supernatural power to put away bad habits, love their neighbors, change their personality, and find peace of mind.
People have found peace and power in reading of Psalm 23, the prologue to the Gospel of John, the Sermon on the Mount that is unequaled in literature.
Recently, I asked a friend who had just returned from preaching in the Orient, to tell me of his greatest thrill. "Was it," I said, "seeing some great sporting event or a great industrial complex?" "John," he said, "it was going places where they not only had never heard the gospel, but had never heard of the gospel and seeing them immediately accept Jesus Christ as their Savior."
A psychologist said to me recently: "We have the answer to everything, but the solution to nothing. We can always find the problem. We can seldom solve it. We can take them apart, but we can't put them back together again."
I know a man named Jesus Christ who can take you apart and put you back together again. There is a supernatural power in the Bible and in its message.
7. I believe the Bible is the Word of God because of its presentation. Because of the message it presents. Charles Darwin created a great deal of controversy with his book The Origin of the Species. Frankly, I am little concerned with the origin of the species. But I am greatly interested in the destiny of the species. What am I here for? Where am I going to go? How am I supposed to get there? If there is no God, no hereafter, no judgment, I haven't missed much after all. I am very happy in this life, but if you do not believe it, and I am right and you are wrong, you have missed everything!!! If you make a mistake, be sure you make it on the right side.
The Bible is the world's only authoritative message as to the origin and destiny of man. Its simple, clear-cut message is this: A loving God gives man the privilege of enjoying the blessings and benefits of voluntarily choosing to serve and honor him.
But the self-willed man chooses not to do so. This loving God went a step further and presented redemption for man, by sending his Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins. And all who receive him may live in peace and in fellowship with God.
In 1963, the famous Mona Lisa was brought to America for display. A reporter asked one of the marines guarding the famed portrait, "What was the one most consistent comment made by Americans who viewed the Mona Lisa?" Do you know what we said the most often? "So, that is the famous Mona Lisa I have heard so much about. That thing—ha!! I don't see what is so hot about that."
Remember this. The Mona Lisa has withstood the test of time. When you view the Mona Lisa, it is not on trial, you are. Your aesthetic values, your appreciation, you are on trial.
When you view the word of God, its not on trial—you are. It has stood the test of the ages. It will be the Book of Books when the writings of men have passed into the obscurity of literary limbo.
The Bible is a mirror, reflecting the glories of God, the sinfulness of man, and the Jesus Christ to meet that need. Don't throw stones. Accept your need. Receive Jesus, live and die by the Word of God.
When Sir Walter Scott lay dying, he cried, "Bring me the Book." His nephew said, "Which book sir?" And Scott replied, "Young man, there is but one book, the Bible."
—Power of Positive Preaching to the Saved, The