Learn why we can trust that the Bible is God’s truth from Mike Gendron at the Defending the Faith Conference shown on television’s Christ in Prophecy.
Last aired on September 19, 2010.
Dr. Reagan:Is the Bible really the Word of God? And if so, what is the evidence? How can we be assured that it was preserved correctly over so many thousands of years? How can we be certain that it is not just man’s search for God and is therefore full of myth, legend, and superstition? And speaking of the age of the Bible, does it have any relevance to us in the modern world in which we live today? Stay tuned.
Dr. Reagan:Greetings in the name of Jesus, our Blessed Hope, and welcome to Christ in Prophecy! Last week we started sharing with you some excerpts from the great presentations that were made at our 2010 Bible conference. The theme of that conference was Defending the Faith. The keynote speaker was Brannon Howse, Founder and President of the Worldview Weekends that are conducted all across this country each year, presenting a biblical viewpoint on societal issues. Brannon kicked off our conference by speaking on, “The Truth of the Christian Worldview.”
This week we are going to share some video segments with you that have been taken from the presentation that was made by Mike Gendron. Mike is the Founder and Director of Proclaiming the Gospel Ministries. He is considered an expert on Christian doctrine, and he is a highly sought after conference speaker. Mike’s topic was, “The Truth of the Bible,” and he did a masterful job of defending the Bible as the revealed Word of God. Here now is Mike Gendron.
Part 2: Mike Gendron Presentation
Mike Gendron: So as we begin let me ask all of you a question. Why should anyone believe the Bible? Are you prepared to give a persuasive answer to a skeptic that asks you that question? You know just 10 years ago it was only the non-Christians that were asking that question. But now we’ve got many professing Christians within the Emerging Church Movement that are asking that question. Why should anyone believe the Bible? And that is because they are denying the authority of God’s Word. They say that truth is subjective, it is relative, anyone’s truth is just as valid as another person’s truth. How would you respond to these misguided comments? We are hearing them more and more, this movement is invading the church of Jesus Christ. Well in the next hour I hope to answer some of those questions for you.
Is there evidence to support that the Bible really is the Word of God? Is the truth of the Bible authoritative and trustworthy? And what truths are we responsible for knowing and also sharing with others. Those are the questions that we would like to answer in the next hour. The Bible is what God says, religion is what man says God says. And I am really tired of people listening to what man says God says. We need to direct people back to the source for truth, the Word of God. So when a person looks out on all the religious books that there are, we ask what religious book is the best authority for truth. The world is picking up many different religious books. I want to share with you what I believe are 10 ways that the Bible stands alone, that the Bible is unique when it comes to all the religious books of the world.
The first is that it is unique in its divine origin. The authors claim that their words were inspired by God. We see that in 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is inspired by God.” And keep in mind that it is the Word of God that is inspired, not the writers. And so when you read the Bible you are reading one voice, it is the voice of God. In fact the authors even claimed that they spoke for God, the phrase, “thus says the Lord” occurs almost 500 times throughout Scripture. With these claims we would expect then that the Bible would meet or exceed the highest standards for accuracy. Does it? That is what we are going to look at this morning. So the second claim the Bible has is that it is unique in its unity and harmony. God commissioned 40 different authors from all walks of life, over a period of 1500 years on three continents to write the 66 books of the Bible. From Genesis to Revelation the writers are united in truth to reveal a complex drama about God’s redemption of man from eternity past to eternity future. Think just how incredible this is. If you went down to a street corner in Plano and asked 40 different people that walked by what is the central theme of the Bible you would get 40 different opinions. But here you have these 40 men separated by 1500 years all agreeing in unity and harmony on what the word of God is. So the third way that the Bible is unique is it popularity and influence.
The Bible is the most circulated book in history. It has been read, and studied and quoted by more people than any other book. No other book has impacted society and culture so impressively or has changed lives so dramatically. Consider two radically changed lives. Spurgeon could never find peace until a country preacher quoted Isaiah 45:22, “Turn to me and be saved all the ends of the earth, for I am God and there is no other.” Consider also Martin Luther who could never find peace until he read the words, “The just shall live by faith,” in Habakkuk 2:4. Countless people have had their lives radically changed as well and I am sure many of you could point to the Scriptures for the reason that your life has been radically changed.
The fourth reason we need to persuade people to read the Bible and uphold it as authoritative and truthful; it’s unique in its reliability of its transmission. A shepherd made the greatest discovery of manuscripts in history in 1948 near the Dead Sea. Complete manuscripts of Isaiah, the Psalms and Deuteronomy copied over 2,000 years ago were found in these caves near the Dead Sea. These ancient manuscripts are essentially the same as our modern copies; this proves that they were transmitted over the years with extra ordinary precision. We have a sovereign God that has superintended the transmission and the copies of His Word down through the centuries. It is always the skeptics that are asking, “Well how can we be sure the Bible has been copied accurately?” Well we have an answer for that.
It is unique in its indestructibility as well; the Bible has withstood intense scrutiny by thousands of skeptics and survived continuous attacks by emperors, kings, and dictators. They all failed in their attempts to silence the Message. God’s Word will stand forever. We know that heaven and earth will pass away, but God’s Word will stand forever. It is now the most translated book ever written; 2,454 languages covering 98% of the world’s population. The more attacks and scrutiny that there are on the Bible, the more resilient it becomes. Many of you are familiar with Josh McDowell, spent 6 years trying to disprove the Bible. He has come away as one of the world’s great apologists.
Did you know that the Bible is also unique in its message of salvation? The Bible proclaims salvation is offered as a free gift of God’s grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. All other religious books declare that man must merit salvation through works, religious rituals, and or law keeping. No other religion offers the Savior. Christianity stands alone. So if anyone wants to work their way to heaven, he can choose from any of the world’s religions, they all preach the fatal lie of a works righteousness salvation.
For over 30 years of my life I had a huge Bible sitting on my coffee table the only thing it ever did was collect dust. You see I was discouraged from ever opening and reading it, the priest would tell me that it was too difficult to understand, I need to come to them for interpretation. Well praise God that He finally opened my eyes to open the Bible and as I read the Word of God, the plan of salvation was so amazing, purely by the grace of God. And isn’t it interesting that Satan knows that the only way God will save sinners is by His pure unmerited grace. And so what has he done with all the religions of the world? Teach work righteousness salvation, such that people must do things to appease a holy and righteous God.
Christianity stands alone, the Bible is unique. It is also unique in its historical and geographical accuracy. Archeologists continue to unearth evidence of ancient people, places and cultures that are all described in the Bible. The descriptions have always proven to be completely reliable and accurate. People, who visit the lands of the Bible, come away having the truths of the Bible affirmed in their heart by what they have experienced. Whenever I go and take a group I promote it as a three-dimensional Bible study. You can go and you can not only read the Word of God, you can see where the Word of God took place and you can see the history, the culture, you can smell the smells and taste the food throughout the history of the land.
The eighth reason the Bible is unique is that it is painfully honest in the accounts of its heroes. The Bible shows that Jacob one of the fathers of God’s chosen people as a deceiver. It shows Moses the law giver as a murderer. It shows David, Israel’s most loved king and spiritual leader as an adulterer, then as a conspirator to have the husband killed. It shows Paul who wrote over half the New Testament as the worst of sinners. And it shows Peter as a betrayer of the Lord Jesus Christ; painfully honest about its accounts of heroes. I think this is another indication that the Bible is inspired. You look at any other books written by authors and all they do is boast in their accomplishments and they hid their shameful and sinful activities.
Part 3: Mike Gendron’s Presentation Continues
Mike Gendron: The Bible is also unique in its scientific accuracy. Scientific references about the physical universe recorded in the Bible thousands of years ago were not discovered until modern times using modern technology. The God who created the Universe and set in motion the laws that govern our world is the same God who inspired the writers of the Bible to record these fascinating mysteries. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Scientist will tell you that you can put everything that is in existence in five different categories; you’ve got time, “in the beginning,” force that is God, action “He created,” space the heavens, and matter the earth. The first verse of the Bible God deals with all five aspects that the scientist say are in the world today. So when we look at the uniqueness and scientific accuracy I would like to share some of the amazing things that the Bible reveals thousands of years before modern science was able to affirm them.
The Lord declared that the heavens above can be measured and the foundations of the earth searched out below then I will also cast off all the offspring of Israel for all that they have done. This verse not only shows the immeasurable size of the universe but also that God will not cast off the Jewish people. One of the promises of God. Let’s take a look at Jeremiah 33:22 we read that God will make the descendants of David as countless as the stars of the sky and as measureless as the sand on the seashore. Jeremiah wrote this in the 7th Century BC when astronomers believed it was possible to count the stars. Yet today we know that is impossible, there are over 100 billion stars in our galaxy alone. Not to even mention all the other galaxies in the universe.
And Psalm 19:6 we read the sun rises at one end of the heavens and makes it circuit to the other. The psalmist wrote this 3,000 years ago. Today we do know that the sun does indeed move in a circuit that speeds close to 600,000 miles per hour within the Milky Way. Many of you remember the debate Galileo had with the catholic clergy they said that the earth was the center of the solar system. Well Galileo and the biblical record got it right. The God who created the universe and set in motion the laws that govern our world is the same God who inspired the Bible. We read in Isaiah 40:22, “He sits enthroned above the circle or the sphere of the earth, He spreads out the northern skies over empty space, He suspends the earth over nothing.” When Job and Isaiah wrote these verses thousands of years ago it was commonly believed that the earth was a flat disk and rested on the back of atlas. In fact even as early as the 15th century when Columbus set off to discover America many people still thought that the earth was flat, but the Bible told us otherwise even thousands of years ago.
In Ecclesiastes 1:6-7, we read, “The wind blows to the south and turns to the north, round and round it goes, ever returning on its course. All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the streams come from there they return again.” King Solomon’s accurate description of the earth’s jet stream and the water cycle was written 3,000 years ago.
We read in Job 36:27-28, “God draws up the drops of water they distill rain from the midst which the clouds pour down, they drip upon man abundantly.” This accurate description of the earth hydraulic cycle was written 4,000 years ago but not discovered by scientist until the 7th century.
We could consider evidence from other of the sciences other branches of science, biology for example, anthropology and still find that the Bible is completely accurate in all the discoveries by scientist. Science confirms the truths that God revealed thousands of years ago. The Christian faith is not a blind faith it is based on verifiable evidence and we need to be persuasive as we proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Well I ask then how could ancient fishermen, shepherds, kings and paupers consistently and without error describe and record the nature of the Universe in a way that is fully consistent with modern science. Why would they go against the commonly accepted knowledge of their time? The only viable conclusion is their words were inspired by the One who created the universe.
Well the last and maybe the most compelling reason for the Bible being unique is that its Bible prophecy. It is prophetic in the sense that when it was first written over 30% of the Bible actually contained scriptures predicting future events. The Bible contains over 1,800 prophecies that foretell specific details about the Messiah, about Israel, about individual nations, and certain cities.
This past week I was up in Michigan doing another conference and we went down to South Bend home of Notre Dame and we were at a restaurant and a couple of Muslims walked in. And whenever I meet someone for the first time I always want to know two things; are you saved or lost, and are you churched or unchurched? So I engaged them in a conversation as we were waiting on our table and I asked the Muslim, I said, “Have you ever contrasted your Koran with the Bible?” And he said, “No, I never have.” And I said, “Does your religion offer a Savior.” He said, “No.” I said, “Well how are your sins forgiven?” He said, “We just hope that God will forgive us.” I said, “Well let me encourage you of one thing, there is a unique difference between the Bible and the Koran. Did you know that when the Bible was written it contains 1,800 prophecies foretelling the future?” He said, “No, I didn’t know that.” I said, “Yes, it is the only book, the only religious book that dares to do that. Does your Koran do that?” He said, “No.” I said, “Do you know why?” He said, “No, I have never though about that.” I said, “Well the reason no other religious books dare to predict the future is because if they were wrong in one prophecy than the book would be discredited as unreliable. And so this is every reason for you to go to the Bible to read it and believe it because it speaks of a God who knows the end from the beginning. It speaks of a sovereign God.”
Well you are all familiar with the, I AM of the burning bush. I asked the question; why did God gives us prophecy? He gives us the answer in Isaiah 43:8-11, the answer is, “So, that you may know and believe me and understand that I AM He. Before me no God was formed nor will there be one after me, I even I AM the Lord and apart from me there is no Savior.” As prophecy is being fulfilled it is clear evidence that the Bible was inspired by a sovereign God who controls all things. He is indeed the God of wonders who knows the end from the beginning and we should pay close attention to what He has revealed.
The Bible’s promises are everlasting; we know that we trust a God who can not lie and can not break His promises. The Bible’s doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its claims are true and its prophecies are sure. When we look at the truth of the Bible we know it reveals not only the mind of God but the nature of man, the only way of salvation, it reveals the judgment of sinners and the blessing of every believer.
Well there are life changing consequences for exchanging the truth of God for a lie. In Romans 1:24-25 we read, “Those that exchange the truth of God for a lie are given over by God to the impure lusts of their hearts.” Those who suppress the truth of God in unrighteousness are under God’s wrath.
If you are enjoying the graphics in the slides I want to just publically thank my dear and precious wife Jane she’s the one who goes out and finds all these wonderful graphics.
Well bottom line, the Bible is the true test of true faith. Scripture is the standard by which all truth claims must be tested because it is divinely inspired, divinely authoritative, and also reliable. The Bible is absolute truth for all people, for all time and eternity. Will you encourage others to believe it? Will you encourage other to read it? Do you have persuasive reasons now to convince people that the Bible is set apart as the most unique holy book in existence? It truly is the voice of God, He inspired His Word to those who penned it and it is indeed a supernatural book.
Are you convinced that God’s Bible, His Word, the Bible is supernatural? I believe that it is a supernatural book because it’s miraculous in several different ways. It’s miraculous in its origin; we have seen that it is divinely inspired. It’s miraculous in its power in converting the soul. It’s miraculous in its influence, transforming lives. It’s miraculous in its message. As we read the Bible we see God intervening throughout human history, many miracles are recorded. It is also miraculous in its preservation. The accuracy of its copies handed down from generation to generation. It’s miraculous in its prophecy and that it foretells the future with precise detail and accuracy. It is also miraculous in its indestructibility in spite of numerous attempts to destroy it.
I hope that you all agree that we need the truth of the Bible in these days of great deception. We need the truth of the Bible because you know what the Church is lacking more than anything? Discernment; you see when the Word of God is not being preached from pulpits people aren’t getting the truth, and when they don’t get the truth they can’t discern with what is false. We need to get back to the Bible and encourage others to do the same. Don’t let anyone tell you that the Bible is not authoritative. Don’t let anyone tell you that the truth that you find in the Bible is not objective; we have seen that it is we have been entrusted with it. We must contend earnestly for the faith, we must defend the honor and the glory of our Great God and Savior.
And we must protect the Gospel for the sake of the elect. So many people want to compromise it now and give a wider view of God’s mercy. No we need to proclaim it just as it is revealed in the Bible. We need to build our faith on nothing less than Christ and His Word.
Dr. Reagan:You have been watching Mike Gendron speaking on the, Truth of the Bible, and you have seen only about one-half of his entire presentation. In a moment we’ll tell you how you can get the complete presentation together with five others that were presented at our 2010 annual Bible Conference.
Next week the Lord willing, we’re going to provide you with excerpts from another of the five presentations that were made at our Bible conference. It will be one entitled, The Truth of Creation, and the speaker will be Jobe Martin, Founder and Director of Biblical Discipleship Ministries, a ministry that specializes in teaching the truth about the creation of our universe. Jobe is a wonderful speaker with a great sense of humor, as evidenced by the title of his autobiographical book, The Evolution of a Creationist. I think you will be fascinated and encouraged as you listen to him refute the nonsensical claims of evolutionists.
I hope you can be back with us next week. Until then, this is Dave Reagan speaking for Lamb & Lion Ministries’ saying, “Look up be watchful, for our Redemption is drawing near.”
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