From the Preacher’s Pen…
Five times the inspired writers of the New Testament warn Christians of the difference between the truth of God and His word and the fake, myths, fables or made up stories of others. (cf. 1 Timothy 1:4; 4:7; 2 Timothy 4:4; Titus 1:14 and 2 Peter 1:16).
Yet, today we still find that people often equate human nonsense with the word of God. There is no comparison! Consider this brief reminder of the veracity of God’s truth:
Isn’t it fascinating what people will think of to discount and disobey God’s Word? Does anyone remember the time leading up to the year 2000? There were all kinds of articles about predictions and prophecies of the coming millennium disasters (oops! I guess they were wrong about that one!).
In going through some old clippings that I’d saved, I found one about a religious writer and his declaration that he alone had finally figured out when and how “the end” would come. It seems that before the year 1999 ended the world would be destroyed by a nuclear war and that would precipitate the Lord’s Second Coming. Hmmm, unless I’ve forgotten how to read a calendar, that “prophet” seemed to have missed his prediction.
The problem is that such people claim to get their information from God’s Word or from some special revelation direct from God. Pardon me, but the real God is just not that stupid! And people who make such claims bring ridicule on God and His word and upon all who believe in God and harm the work of the Lord and His church.
God’s take on this subject? “Wise men store up knowledge, But with the mouth of the foolish, ruin is at hand.” (Proverbs 10:14)
Another popular headline claim that is still being made has to do with some great discovery from the Dead Sea Scrolls. Here, too, the claim was made about disaster predictions for our day and time.
What the Dead Sea Scrolls really do contain are copies of every Old Testament book but Esther and other religious writings, commentaries and community documents of a group of religious people who lived in New Testament times. While there are some similarities between these people’s beliefs and the teachings of the New Testament, there are no real surprises. These religious people are concerned with many issues that are also discussed by other Jewish writers of the time as well as New Testament writers. That people concerned with the things of God would be interested in such matters should come as no surprise to us.
What is significant about the Dead Sea Scrolls is the fact that they verify the reliability of the OT portion of our Bibles! There are copies of OT books that are centuries older than any previously known copy and there are no doctrinal changes, indeed few technical literary differences that exist. In fact, the majority of differences are older vs newer spellings of the names of people and places!
But how can we be certain? Have a read! The entire OT Bible text as preserved in the Dead Sea Scrolls is available. You can not only read it but also compare all the differences with other Dead Sea Scrolls manuscripts, a whole variety of other ancient OT manuscripts that have been preserved and the OT text as it appears in our modern Bible translations.
What you will find is that God’s Word has been most carefully preserved through the centuries and we may have great confidence that what we read is actually what was originally written by the direction of the Holy Spirit.
The popular, outrageous and silly claims of those who discount and disobey God’s Word should not bother God’s people. “For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day. Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you.” (2 Timothy 1:12-14)
Our faith is firmly grounded in factual reality and not in myths or made up stories of man! Let’s keep the faith, this week and always!
— Lester P. Bagley