OceanSide church of Christ
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WHAT THE BIBLE CANNOT DO
1Pet 1:22-25 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: 23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. 24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: 25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
1. We sing the song: “Give me the bible, holy message shining…”
2. Over 100 million copies of the Bible are given away each year.
3. It is a book which was written over approx. 1600 years covering 40 generations.
4. Approximately 40 authors contributed to its completion.
5. It contains diversity – dealing with controversial subjects such as origin of man and the universe, the nature of God, and the nature of man, sin, and man’s redemption.
6. Yet there is harmony and continuity.
7. It was one of the first major books translated - in whole or in part – and is available in over 2000 languages covering 95% of the world’s population.
8. The bible has given man everything he needs to obtain eternal salvation, and yet there are things the bible can not do.
I. CAN NOT BE DESTROYED.
A. The OT scrolls survived persecution.
1. 750 B.C. – the prophet Jeremiah had a scribe named Baruch write down his inspired words regarding what the Lord purposed to do to Israel for their evil.
a. Jer 36:1-3 And it came to pass in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, that this word came unto Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, (2) Take thee a roll of a book, and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel, and against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spake unto thee, from the days of Josiah, even unto this day. (3) It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the evil which I purpose to do unto them; that they may return every man from his evil way; that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.
b. These words got back to King Jehoiakim who did not like what Jeremiah was preaching regarding Babylon and what would happen to Israel, and so Jeremiah was forced into hiding.
c. Jer 36:21-23 (end of the word?)
d. Jer. 36:27-32.
2. 175 B.C. – Antiochus Epiphanes ruled over Palestine.
a. He was a king who hated the Jews and tried to destroy their OT scriptures.
b. He thought this would destroy the people of God, but the word did not die.
c. Flash forward to the Christian dispensation…
B. The Bible has survived persecution.
1. Many have tried to burn it, ban it, and outlaw it – from the days of the Roman emperors to the present.
2. A.D. 303 – the Roman emperor Diocletian issued an edict to stop Christians from worshiping.
a. He burned their scriptures and sought to destroy their beliefs.
b. He hated the bible so much that he burned one and erected a monument on top of it which read Extincto nomine Christianorum – “Extinct is the name Christian.”
c. 25 years later Roman emperor Constantine called for 50 copies of the Bible to be prepared at the expense of the government.
3. A.D. 1778 – Voltaire, a French atheist, predicted that Christianity would be swept from existence
a. He was quoted as saying, “One hundred years from my day there will not be a bible in the earth except one that is looked upon by an antiquarian curiosity-seeker.”
b. 50 years after his death, the Geneva Bible Society turned his house into a bible printing house using his own printing press.
4. A.D. 1794 – Thomas Paine destroyed the faith of many by writing The Faith of Reason which many consider the atheist’s bible.
a. He boasted, “In five years from now there will not be a bible in America. I’ve gone through the bible with an axe and cut down all of its trees.”
b. Paine died alone, where letters were found in which he pled with God because of his loneliness.
5. 1899 – Robert Ingersoll, a well known agnostic, said, “In fifteen years I will have this book in the morgue.”
a. 15 years later Ingersoll was in the morgue.
b. The bible still lived.
6. Today it is no different.
a. Modernists strive to destroy the bible’s validity in the name of higher criticism.
b. Entertainment attempts to devalue its impact.
c. Yet all have failed to silence it.
d. “Infidels for 1800 years have been refuting and overthrowing this book, and yet it stands today as solid as a rock. Its circulation increases, and it is more loved and cherished and read today than ever before. Infidels, with all their assault make about as much impression on this book as a man with a tack hammer on the pyramids of Egypt.” – H.L. Hastings
e. “No other book has been so chopped, knifed, sifted, scrutinized, and vilified. What book on philosophy or religion or psychology…has been subject to such a mass attack as the Bible? With such venom and skepticism? With such thoroughness? Upon every chapter, line and tenet? And yet, the Bible is still loved by millions, read by millions, and studied by millions.” – Bernard Ramm
C. The bible has survived textual and physical persecution which has made it truly unique.
II. CAN NOT BE DUPLICATED.
A. There was only one church established on Pentecost.
1. Rom 12:5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
2. 1Co 12:12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
3. 1Co 12:20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.
4. Eph 4:4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
B. Yet the world has fabricated counterfeit churches, identifying them as denominations.
1. A denomination = part of a whole.
2. It may have some things similar to the one church, but that is only part of it, which means there are flaws contained within its doctrine.
a. There are some churches which take the scriptural stand on instrumental music.
b. There are some churches which teach baptism for the remission of sins or understand how it literally means “to immerse.”
c. There are some churches which teach autonomy.
d. But there is only one church which teaches the entire and unequivocal truth.
C. With the one church comes only one doctrine.
1. The bible is often imitated, but never duplicated.
2. Since there is only one faith, then any doctrine or book contradicting that is counterfeit (they may seem like holy writ, but when compared to the bible they are recipe books for eternal destruction).
3. Gal 1:6-9 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
D. A book that can not be destroyed and stands alone as not being able to be duplicated…
III. CAN NOT BE DENIED.
A. It is a book of prophecy.
1. Peter Stoner in Science Speaks (1969) in considering 8 fulfilled prophecies: ‘we find that the chance that any man might have lived down to the present time and fulfilled all eight prophecies is 1 in 10 to the 17th power." In order to help us comprehend this staggering probability, Stoner illustrates it by supposing that "we take 10 to the 17th power silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas. They will cover all of the state two feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly, all over the state. Blindfold a man and tell him that he can travel as far as he wishes, but he must pick up the “one” silver dollar and say that this is the right one. What chance would he have of getting the right one? Just the same chance that the prophets would have had of writing these eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man." Stoner considers 48 prophecies and says, "we find the chance that any one man fulfilled all 48 prophecies to be 1 in 10 to the 157th power…” (Evidence That Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell).
a. Consider that there were over 300 prophecies of Christ alone.
b. There were over 2000 specific prophecies contained in the OT which have been fulfilled!
c. Only a book God-breathed by a God who is “all-knowing” could contain so much accuracy and power.
2. No other book of religious antiquity provides such explicit prophecies so far in the future and came to pass exactly as they were penned.
B. The Bible surpasses all other writings as far as its historical value
1. According to Cambridge Ancient History, the OT embodies the oldest historical writing.
2. On top of that, it has never been successfully challenged regarding its authenticity.
3. “…in all my archaeological investigation, I have never found one artifact of antiquity that contradicts any statement of the word of God.” – Nelson Glueck
C. It is the only book which deals bluntly with morality and the sins of all, including the heroes.
1. From Adam and Eve – to his chosen seed Israel – to David – to the apostles – to the church – it exposes corruption and honors the righteous.
2. The bible presents it like it was and is unique in its portrayal of its key personalities.
D. It is quoted more than any other book in history.
1. No one can be educated yet ignorant of the Bible, while at the same time one does not need to be a Bible scholar to be educated in it.
2. Perhaps nothing could expound the value of the word of God better than that of the apostle Paul to those in Ephesus:
3. Act 20:24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
1. The bible is different than anything else that has been written.
2. It can not be destroyed as it has withstood the test of time.
3. It can not be duplicated as it has cut down its spurious foes.
4. It can not be denied as it comes from the mind of the one true and living God, and by the work of the Holy Spirit who inspired many writers.
5. Its principal theme is that Jesus Christ is the Savior of mankind who established the church / kingdom – and contains the process in which to be added to it.
6. Why not answer the call of the book that can not be ignored…and make your life right with God by obeying the Gospel
a. Belief in Jesus (John 8:24)
b. Repentance of Sin (Luke 13:3)
c. Confess Christ before men (Mt. 10:32-33)
d. Be Baptized into Christ for the remission of sins (Gal. 3:27; Acts 2:38)