Biblical Truth #1: God’s Word
God has revealed himself through the inspired writing of the Old and New Testaments, collectively known as the Holy Bible. The authors constructed the Bible with magnificent themes about the personality of God. To read the Bible is to read the story of God loving his creation, despite man’s fall from grace, and his ultimate restoration through Jesus. Through poetry, discourse, and narrative, the Bible invites readers to meditate on its words, so that, through long exposure, the story of the Bible will work its way into the heart of the reader. Evidence for the reliability of the Bible includes, but is not limited to, the following:
Old Testament and Manuscript Evidence
The Old Testament consists of the first 39 books of the Bible and is known as the Tanak. The Tanak was meticulously updated by a group of Jewish scholars who believed that the words given were the words of God. When they re-recorded scrolls they agonized over the exactness of the copy to the original. No change of content was to stand. A game-changing event happened during the 1950’s in which ancient Old Testament scrolls were found near the Dead Sea near Jerusalem (the “Dead Sea Scrolls”). These scrolls have been compared to today’s Bible with 99% plus accuracy. Even over the course of thousands of years, the Old Testament scriptures remain with very minimal change – with such exceptions being limited to spelling or word choice variations, and nothing that altered content or doctrine. This provides solid evidence for the reliability and authenticity of the Old Testament.
New Testament and Manuscript Evidence
The New Testament consists of the remaining 27 books of the Bible. Historians evaluate the textual reliability of ancient literature using two standards: 1) the time period between the original copy and the earliest copy, and 2) how many manuscript copies are available. For example, Homer’s Iliad has roughly 643 copies from around the time it was written. Because of this, we can be assured that the words now translated into English from the Iliad are accurate. For the first four hundred years after the writings of the New Testament were penned, we have roughly 24,600 copies. Any differences between these copies are noted in your Bible today and represent only small and minor changes that do not affect the gospel message of Jesus. This is extraordinary, and no other ancient book from around the world can approach the reliability of the New Testament.
Many archeological finds from the last two centuries have assured us of the Biblical accuracy of scripture. For example, the Babylonian Chronicles record the fall of Jerusalem just as Kings and Chronicles do. A piece of old crumbled plaster recorded the name Balaam as seer of the gods, from the tale in Numbers. In ancient Corinth, archeologists discovered the name of Erastus, one of Paul’s co-laborers mentioned in scripture. Currently, the number of archeological evidence stands at over 25,000 finds that supports people, places and events written in the Bible.
Unity of the Bible Evidence
The Bible contains 66 books written by 40+ authors over a 1,500 year time span, on 3 continents, in 3 languages, and contains hundreds of controversial subjects, yet flows with extraordinary harmony. This provides compelling evidence it’s words were in fact God-breathed and its content is reliable.
Will you go to Heaven when you die? Here’s a quick test:
Q. Have you ever told a lie?
Q. Have you ever stolen anything?
Q. Have you ever used God’s name in vain?
Q. Have you ever lusted over someone?
Q. Have you ever hated someone?
If you have done these things, God sees you as a liar, a thief, a blasphemer, an adulterer-at-heart, and a murderer-at-heart. And this is only 5 of God’s Ten Commandments (a/k/a “God’s Law”). And the Bible warns that on the Day of Judgment, God will punish you in a terrible place called Hell. But, there is “good news”! God is not willing that any should perish. Sinners broke God’s Law, but Jesus paid their fine by shedding His sinless blood on a cross ~2,000 years ago. This means that God can legally dismiss their case (and yours!): “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) Then Jesus rose from the dead, defeating death. Today, repent (turn away from your sins), put your complete trust in Jesus, and confess Jesus as your Lord & Savior… and God will give you eternal life as a free gift.
Contrary to popular belief, being a “good person”, doing “good deeds”, or being “religious” will not get you a ticket to heaven! Many people are hoping God will dismiss their sins because their good deeds outweigh their bad deeds. They further hope that because God is “good” he will let them go unpunished and enter heaven. However, because God is “good” he must by nature punish sinners (i.e., God would not be a good judge if he let criminals go free). The Bible states: “There is no one on earth who is righteous, no one who does what is right and never sins.” (Ecclesiastes 7:20) The Bible also states: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9) And finally, think about this, if your goodness could save you, Jesus would have died in vain (i.e., for no good reason). The Bible states: “I (Jesus) am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father (God) except through me. (John
14:6) Friends, please don’t “roll-the-dice” and gamble your eternal life on the life-threatening lie that being a “good person” will get you to heaven.
Here is a prayer you can use to receive Jesus Christ as your personal Lord & Savior. It is a suggested prayer – the key is that you are speaking from your heart.
“Father, I know that I have broken your laws and my sins have separated me from you. I am truly sorry, and now I want to turn away from my past sinful life toward you. Please forgive me, and help me turn away from sin going forward. I believe that your Son, Jesus Christ, died for my sins, was resurrected from the dead, is alive, and hears my prayer. I invite Jesus into my heart and I confess him as my personal Lord and Savior. Thank You for sending your Holy Spirit to help me obey you, and to do your will for the rest of my life. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”
Congratulations! And welcome to God’s family!
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