6 May 2000

"For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven"-Psalm 119:89 What is your opinion of the Bible? Do you question its authenticity? Do you read it with a skeptical eye? Do you wonder if some of the passages have been tainted through the ages or if they are really supposed to be in there? Do you feel that some of the statements are archaic, that they do not meet the needs of our present day? Have you been led to believe that some of the writers were prejudice concerning race, religion or gender? I am sure that these questions, and many more, plague God's people as they read the greatest Book that has ever been written. We must not allow Satan to plant seeds of doubt in our minds. Let us approach God's word with confidence and trust knowing that God has spoken to us through His word; He has not changed His mind; He is not going to change His mind; what is written is written for our good; the matter is settled in God's mind and it should be in ours as well, "For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven." ONE AUTHOR Though the Bible has many writers, it has but one author: the Holy Ghost. That is why we find such continuity from beginning to end. It comes from the mind of one person: God. As Solomon wrote, "The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd" Ecc. 12:11. In his book, "Evidence That Demands a Verdict", Josh McDowell observes, "It was written over a 1,500 year span. It was written over 40 generations. It was written by 40 different people" Some of those include Moses, a young prince brought up in Pharaoh's court; Peter, a fisherman; Amos, a herdsman; Joshua, a military leader; Nehemiah, a cupbearer; Daniel, a prime minister; Luke, a doctor; Solomon, a king; Matthew, a tax collector; and Paul, a Jewish rabbi. It was written in different places. Moses wrote in the wilderness; Jeremiah wrote in a dungeon; Paul wrote from within prison; Luke wrote during his travels with Paul; John wrote on the isolated isle of Patmos. The Bible was written at different times: war, peace, prosperity and famine. It was written by people in the heights of joy and in the valley of affliction and sorrow. The scriptures were written on three different continents: Asia, Africa and Europe. It was written in three languages: Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. It covers a host of different topics which include hundreds of controversial subjects." But in the midst of it all, we find harmony throughout and one simple subject: Christ's redemption of His people. Surely, only one perfect Author could accomplish such a divine task. We may read it with the eye of faith! INSPIRED The Bible is an inspired book. That means that it is God breathed. Men wrote not according to their own prejudices; convictions; or personal whims. They wrote as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost"-2 Peter 1:21. In other words, God wrote through them to His people. What is written is not man's opinion, it is God's declaration. Every word should be viewed as such. I find it contemporary for every facet of life: for the father; the husband; the mother; the wife; the worker; the boss; the child; the workplace; the home; the family and the world in general. Only an inspired author could approach life with wisdom that would span the centuries and remain accurate and relevant.
DIVINELY PRESERVED God has preserved His word throughout the centuries. For almost two-thousand years, infidels have attempted to refute and overthrow this Book. Yet, today it stands as solid firm as it ever did. Bernard Ramm said: "A thousand times over, the death knell of the Bible has been sounded, the funeral procession formed, the inscription cut on the tombstone, and committal read. But somehow the corpse never stays put." Many monsters have tried to take it out of Christian homes; ban it; burn it; and outlaw it from use. But today, it remains the most purchased, most read Book that has ever been printed. Sidney Collett in , "All About the Bible", says, "Voltaire, the noted French infidel who died in 1778, said that in one hundred years from his time, Christianity would be swept from existence and passed into history. But what has happened? Fifty years after his death, the Geneva Bible Society used his press and house to produce stacks of Bibles." When men fight against the Bible, they fight against God! Whether man tries to physically destroy it or just live in contempt of its truths, God will defend and preserve His word because it is forever settled in heaven. Come and worship with us at Harmony Primitive Baptist Church, in Donaldson, where God is sovereign, and salvation is by His abundant and amazing grace. Visit our web page at www.primitivebaptist.org/donaldson/ Singing begins at 10:30 each Sunday morning followed by preaching at 11:00. By His mercy and grace, Neil Phelan, Jr., Pastor