Chapter 2: Where Do We Go From Here?
There is a controversy raging today across America and around the world. Where is the Word of God?
Answers to that question come in all shapes and sizes. Some say that we do not have the Word of God anywhere in this world. Others say that it is found in the Bible but is only that portion that "speaks" to the individual. Some say it lies hidden, locked up in the ancient languages in which it was originally written. Some say we have every word wrapped up in one volume. Still others say that our English translations are reliable but faulty at best. Where is the Word of God?
This is an age of change and confusion. The world without Christ is lost in a turmoil of fear and indecision. Yet to this world, we Christians who have trusted Christ as our personal Saviour, are taking, and have been taking for many centuries, a message of hope, Jesus Christ.
We make many claims for this Saviour of all mankind. We claim that He was all man, and yet He was every bit God. We claim that He was begotten by God through a virgin. We claim that he lived among men for over thirty years but never once committed a sin. We all know of His death on the cross. It is we Christians, however, who claim that His death was not a symbolic gesture of a rebel dying for a "cause," but instead we say that it was part of a masterful plan by God Himself through which He could make us acceptable in His presence. We claim that the blood shed by Jesus Christ on that terrible, old, wooden cross was God's own blood, and that it made the divine and complete atonement for the sins of all the world. But our seemingly outlandish claims do not stop at the cross. We claim still further that this same Jesus Christ was removed dead from that cross and then buried, only to raise Himself from that grave three days and three nights later. Then we claim that this supposed "dead" man walked this earth for an additional forty days. This visit was climaxed, we say, when He, in plain view of His disciples, rose bodily into Heaven to be seated at the right hand of God.
We bold sounding Christians don't stop there, for on top of all this, we claim that Jesus Christ has not left this world without a hope. We say that He is calling out a people to Himself in this generation. We claim that through faith in His atonement, by simply "calling upon the name of the Lord," we shall be saved. Not to be stopped yet, we go on to say that we can predict future world events including what we call the rapture of the believers. Still later we say that this same Jesus Christ will return bodily to Jerusalem to set up His kingdom and reign one thousand years.
"Wild claims! Outrageous! Unfounded superstitions!" shout our critics. Our critics are quick to attempt to disqualify our claims -- to disprove them -- for these claims are completely contrary to the humanistic philosophy through which mankind is attempting to "bring in the kingdom." Our critics continue, "If the claims of these peculiar people -- these Christians -- are correct, then there is no excuse for not accepting them and repudiating the misguided philosophies of all the humanists, the politicians, and the socio-religious community. They can't be right! There is too much to lose." So they seek to discredit our claims.
We Have Proof!
Wild claims? Seemingly. Outrageous? No more than some of the theories put forth by scientific "freethinkers" of our day. Unfounded superstitions? Never! And this is where the battle has raged for centuries and will continue to rage. If all we had to back up our claims was our multiplied words expressing nothing more than our opinions, then we are no better than our "scientific" adversaries. No, these are not vain words or trumped up theories. We have a Book! Oh, what a Book! Every claim that we make is contained in it. We open it and let the arguments of our critics do battle against it with spears made of rubber on horses with feeble legs. They are repulsed; defeated; humiliated. They regroup and send in artillery, mortars, and missiles only to find that the Word of God is better fortified than a concrete bunker. Then suddenly it cuts them to ribbons, and they retreat wounded, grumbling, and fear-bound. What was it about this Book that so aptly handled them and remains unharmed? Its words! For this is not a novel. This is not a fiction thriller. This is not a "science" book which must be rewritten every few years to "keep up with the changing times." No, this is God's Book, the Bible. This is God's Book, filled with God's words. Immortal, indestructible, infallible, immovable and unchanging. What a marvelous Book! What power! What an awful enemy to the silly theories of mankind.
The Bible. It stands tall, towering high above its enemies. And it is ours!
I shall never forget the day I trusted Jesus Christ as my own personal Saviour. I was twenty years of age. I was wild, rebellious and unhappy. I was lost and on my way to Hell. I knelt at an altar where a great man of God took the Bible and leafed through it, showing me the truths of salvation. Just before he led me in prayer, he, in his wisdom, played a trick on me, a trick that God used to set the course for my life. He looked over at me and asked, "Do you believe that Jesus Christ paid for all your sins?"
I replied, "Yes."
"Do you believe that He will save you if you ask Him to?" "Yes."
Then the trick! "How do you know it?"
"Because you told me!" I replied somewhat impatiently and a little put out. I had come to get saved, and I felt like I was getting the run around. I saw no need at all for that last question.
What! No? What was going on here? I had come to get saved, and now I was being made to look like a fool. I had been intentionally set up just so that I would give the wrong answer! I was angry! I was embarrassed! If his telling me how to be saved wasn't how I knew it, then how was I supposed to know? I looked him dead in the eye and blurted out my response almost demandingly, "Then, why?"
His next action took me completely off guard, but it plainly answered my question. He held that open Bible up in front of me with one hand, tapped its open pages, and said with grave finality, "Because this Book says so!"
I was shocked! I remember looking at that precious open Bible, and while trying to fathom this great truth that had just been expounded before me, I said to myself, "You mean that Book has that much power?" I knew the answer was yes. Then I humbly bowed my head and my heart and put my faith and trust in Jesus Christ, accepting His payment as my own. But I have never forgotten the lesson taught to me so powerfully on the day of my salvation.
The Bible. What a powerful Book! It needs no man's approval to assert its authority. The Bible. The Book that no man can conquer. The Bible. That faithful message from God. Never changing; never weakening. Standing defiantly as perfect, as authoritative, in a world that claims nothing can be perfect and that rebels at the thought of any authority, especially that of a book. The Bible. It is God's Book.