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Only the Bible Has the Power to Transform My Life

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Only the Bible Has the Power to Transform My Life

This is the last of our blog series – “Why You Can Trust the Bible.” I hope you’ve enjoyed what I’ve shared and grown in faith as you’ve read the blogs.

At the end of the day, all of us have to answer this one question:

What will be the final authority in my life?

Will you choose the truth of the Word of God or the opinion of the world?

I chose a long time ago to build my life on the truth of God’s Word. And here’s one more reason why I trust in the Word of God:

Only the Bible has the power to transform my life.

There’s a reason the Bible is the most despised, derided, denied, disputed, dissected, debated, outlawed and destroyed book ever!

IT HAS POWER! Romans 1:16 says, “I am not ashamed of the gospel because it IS THE POWER OF GOD…”

One woman shared her story with us:

Lakeview is literally the only family I have. My dad was a drug dealer and my mother died of an overdose. The devil is real and is working hard to destroy people. Yesterday, a guy at work overdosed on heroin and I could barely keep him awake and alive until the ambulance got there. He had that same “death color” my mom had when I found her.

On a positive note – I literally get so excited thinking about coming to church on Sundays that I can’t sleep some Saturdays nights. I wish I could go to church all week and feel the way the I feel while in worship service.

Thanks for everything Pastor Ron. Lakeview has been amazing to me and my family. You have literally saved my life and we haven’t even met.  

With Love and Sincerity,

How many of you know, we didn’t change her. God’s Word did!

Jesus said in John 8:31, “If you hold on to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will SET YOU FREE!” (NIV).

 

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The Bible Has Survived All Attacks of Man

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The Bible Has Survived All Attacks of Man

Mythical books like Homer’s Odyssey are never banded and burned. Why is that? Because they’re never seen as a threat.

And yet over the millenniums man has systematically tried to destroy the Bible. It’s exactly why we found the Dead Sea scrolls. They were hidden away in sealed jars, preserved from those who sought to destroy it forever.

Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away,” (Matthew 24:35 NIV).

When the communist took over China the first thing they did was to try and destroy the Bible. They burned them in city squares. Many of the Chinese believers took their Bibles and carefully buried them in their back yards.

You can trust the Bible because it has survived all attacks of man.

When Castro took over Cuba, the first thing he did was to confiscate the Bibles, shut down the churches, and imprisoned all the pastors. I spoke with a Cuban pastor when I visited Cuba. He told me that the day he was arrested, as he was being brought into the prison with a large group of pastors, it came to him to hide his New Testament Bible under a tree. Every so often he’d go out and dig it up. He had to read it to stay sane! So do we!

In 1750’s the French philosopher Voltaire declared, “Within 100 years the Bible will be forgotten.” When he died, Voltaire’s home was eventually bought and turned into the French Bible Society!

The most popular books in the world over the last 50 years are The Davinci Code (57 million sold), Lord of the Rings (103 millon sold), Harry Potter series (400 million), The Works of Mao Tse-tung (820 million).

Do you have any guess on how many Bibles have been printed and sold? Four billion! Yes, I said 4 billion!

“All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the Word of the Lord endures forever” (1 Peter 1:24-25 NIV).

You can listen to this message here on Lakeview’s podcast.

 

Two More Reasons You Can Trust the Bible

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Two More Reasons You Can Trust the Bible

We are continuing our journey in this blog series, Why You Can Trust the Bible.

 1. The Bible is thematically unified.

This means that from Genesis to Revelation there is ONE thread and ONE theme that runs through it all. And that theme is Jesus.

In a book by a father and his son, “Letters from a Sceptic: A Son Wrestles with His Father’s Questions About Christianity,” Greg and Edward Boyd share, “After more than two centuries of facing the heaviest scientific guns that could be brought to bear, the Bible has survived-and is perhaps better for the siege. There is no other ancient work about which this could be said. And there is an amazing unity to the Bible, Dad, that defies natural explanation. From Genesis to Revelation we find one common unifying theme. It is about God’s loving pursuit of humanity and humanity’s resistance to God. The Bible constitutes a unified song about redemption.”

2. Jesus trusted the Bible

Jesus talked about the story of Noah and flood. He obviously believed it was a real story. He talked about the writings of Moses and the prophets and said all of them all pointed to Him.

He believed the Word of God because Jesus was the Word. He attributed the validity of His words by stating that they were the very words that God spoke to Him. I believe Jesus!

I trust the Bible more than the opinion of any scientist or university professor, more than any Hollywood pretty face or media sceptic. I trust the Bible because Jesus trusted the Bible.

 

The Bible Is Prophetically Precise

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The Bible Is Prophetically Precise

There are over 300 prophecies regarding Jesus written anywhere from 400 to 1500 years before His birth. They all came to pass:

  • The place of his birth was prophesied 750 years before it happened. Micah wrote; “Out of you Bethlehem will come the ruler of Israel, whose coming is from ancient days” (Micha 5:2)
  • His crucifixion was prophesied by His great, great … great grandfather, David in Psalm 22. The detail is staggering.

And the craziest thing is that David wrote this prophesy 300 years before crucifixions even existed!

The Bible is not only historically accurate, but it is also prophetically precise.

The 40 men who wrote the Bible lived in more than a dozen countries on three continents, covering a span of 1600 years. Think about this. Writing independently of each other without the benefit of Facebook, Twitter or emails, they each prophesied about the coming Messiah Jesus Christ – and every prophecy came to pass.

Josh McDowell, in his book, Evidence That Demands a Verdict says the probability of that happening randomly is like taking 10^17 silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas. They’d cover the face of the state two feet deep. Then mark one (just one) of the silver dollars (with a sharpie or something) and stir the silver dollars all over the state. “Blindfold a man and tell him that he can travel as far as he wishes, but he must pick up 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’ve had of writing these eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man, from their day to the present time, providing they wrote them in their own wisdom.”

In a previous blog in this series, you read Peter’s own claim of reliability based on his own eyewitness account. In that same chapter, he went on to say that the Old Testament carried the same reliability as Peter’s writings.

“So we regard the words of the prophets as confirmed beyond all doubt. You’re doing well by paying attention to their words. First, you must understand this: No prophecy in Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation. No prophecy ever originated from humans. Instead, it was given by the Holy Spirit as humans spoke under God’s direction” (2 Peter 1:19-21).

More than 3/4 of biblical prophecy has already been fulfilled with absolute accuracy. That means 1/4 of the prophecies have not yet happened. I assure you, the prophecies which have not yet been fulfilled with most certainly be fulfilled in God’s time.

The Bible is prophetically precise.

You can listen to this message here on Lakeview’s podcast.

 

Nothing in the Bible Has Ever Proved False

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Nothing in the Bible Has Ever Proved False

We are continuing our blog series, How Can You Trust the Bible? Today let’s look at the third reason historians have declared the Bible to be historically accurate.

In Luke 4, Jesus went to “the synagogue in Nazareth and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, He stood up to read.” That scroll was a copy of a copy of a copy.

Any historical work that existed before the printing press in 1500 A.D. had to be copied by hand. There had to be documented proof that the copy was made accurately, or it could not be trusted and found reliable.

In the Carthage scriptorium, scribes worked all day, hunched over, copying page after page. They had proof pages and proofed every letter in every line. If there was one error they had bury it! No doubt there were hundreds of carefully copied scrolls of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and the prophets used in all the synagogues throughout Israel. They trusted the accuracy of the scribes.

The third reason historians have declared the Bible to be historically accurate is that nothing in the Bible has ever proven to be false.

In my next blogs, I’ll share how the Bible is prophetically precise – another reason you can trust the Bible.

You can listen to this message here in on Lakeview’s podcast.

 

The Bible Is Historically Accurate

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The Bible Is Historically Accurate

In my previous blog, I began to share with you, sources (aside from the Bible) that help me to trust in the reliability of the Bible with you. (If you missed it, go back and read, How Can You Trust the Bible? here.

As I mentioned before, historians must use very exact standards in order to prove the authenticity of any historical document:

  • There must be other eyewitness accounts: (not hearsay)
  • Were there other writers of that era who can authentic this story?

There must be multiple copies of manuscripts.

The original works of antiquity from Greek/Roman philosophers have not survived. So how do we know if the writings we attribute to Homer, as an example, are actually Homer’s writings?  Well, manuscripts – copies of the originals that still exist.

The most trusted work from Greek antiquity is Homer’s Illiad. So how many copies of The Illiad are known to exist in museums today? 1,827. Does that mean when I go online and download a copy of The Illiad I can trust it is accurate? YES. Why? Because 1,827 manuscripts exist today.

How many manuscripts of the Bible are known to exist today? Drum roll please! 66,420!

In 1947, shepherd boys near the Dead Sea found hundreds of jars of scripture from Ezekiel and Jeremiah. When they unrolled them, they were accurate to the texts we have today!

When I go online and download a copy of the Bible, I trust that it is accurate because 66,420 manuscripts still exist!

You can listen to this message here on Lakeview’s podcast.

 

 

How Can You Trust the Bible?

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How Can You Trust the Bible?

Before I went to college, I worked for one year at the Step Truck Factory in Union City, Indiana. I had an atheist friend named Mike, who worked at the factory. Mike and I had lots of honest conversations about God, about life, about meaning and purpose. I’ll never forget one conversation – “How can you trust the Bible? How do you know some old guy didn’t smoke some peyote, sit down under a tree and make the whole thing up?”

And that is exactly the question I hope to answer in my next series of blogs. Here’s what the Bible says about its own reliability and trustworthiness.

“From infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures. They have the power to give you wisdom so that you can be saved through faith in Christ Jesus. Every Scripture passage is inspired by God. All of them are useful for teaching, pointing out errors, correcting people, and training them for a life that has God’s approval” (2 Timothy 3:15-16 GW).

I realize it’s not logical to try to prove the reliability of a book by the book itself, so I’ll share other sources that help me to trust in the reliability of the Bible with you.

First, the Bible is historically accurate.

The Bible is not a history book as such, but it contains many references to historical events, and none of them have ever been disproven or shown to be false. Historians must use very exact standards in order to prove the authenticity of any historical document. What are they?

  • There must be other eyewitness accounts: (not hearsay)
  • Were there other writers of that era who can authentic this story?

Take the Gospels as an example. The gospels were written by men who were eyewitnesses of Jesus life, teachings, and miracles. Two of Jesus closest associates were John and Peter.

John wrote; “From the very first day, we were there, taking it all in—we heard it with our own ears, saw it with our own eyes, verified it with our own hands. The Word of Life appeared right before our eyes; we saw it happen! And now we’re telling you in most sober prose that what we witnessed was … the Life of God Himself, and it took shape before us” (1 John 1:1-2 MSG).

In that same vein, Peter wrote, “We didn’t base our message on clever myths that we made up. Rather, we witnessed his majesty with our own eyes. For example, we were eyewitnesses when (Jesus) received honor and glory from God the Father. God spoke these words to him: ‘This is my Son, whom I love and in whom I delight.’ We heard that voice speak to Him from heaven when we were with (Jesus)” (2 Peter 1:16-18 GW).

And there were many, many other eyewitnesses who themselves recorded the things they both saw and heard (see Acts 1).

You can listen to this message here in it’s entirety on Lakeview’s podcast.

 

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