Monday, June 22, 2009

June 22, 2009

"Jesus said, 'Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.'" Matthew 24:35
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." John 1:1
As Wesleyans, we believe that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God. Here is our official statement: "We believe that the books of the Old and New Testaments constitute the Holy Scriptures. They are the inspired and infallibly written Word of God, fully inerrant in their original manuscripts and superior to all human authority, and have been transmitted to the present without corruption of any essential doctrine. We believe that they contain all things necessary to salvation; so that whatever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man or woman that it should be believed as an article of faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation. Both in the Old and New Testaments life is offered ultimately through Christ, who is the only Mediator between God and humanity. The New Testament teaches Christians how to fulfill the moral principles of the Old Testament, calling for loving obedience to God made possible by the indwelling presence of His Holy Spirit."
How can you confidently embrace this strong statement about the Bible?
In my posts this week I want to share some convincing proofs of the authenticity of the Scriptures.
The First Proof Is Fulfilled Prophecies
Astronomy and mathematics professor, Peter Stoner, was a long time skeptic of the Bible. He set out to prove himself right by conclusively discrediting the Bible. The litmus test of sacred writings is the accuracy of their prophecies. Stoner focused on 48 Old Testament prophecies concerning the coming of the Messiah. Of the 48 he concentrated on 8. Using the principles of mathematical probability, he calculated that the odds of all 8 of those prophecies being fulfilled in one person is 1 in 10 to the 17th power. However, the chances of all 48 being fulfilled in a single person is 1 in 10 to the 157th power!
Since the evidence of these prophecies and their fulfillment are specific and verifiable, Professor Stoner convinced himself that Jesus was Who He said He was and the Old Testament is completely reliable! He was left with no other choice but to become a believer in Christ AND the Bible!
God has always taken His Word very seriously and set a high standard for those who would make a prophecy and claim that it was from God. Prophecies had to be 100% true and happen precisely as predicted. It not, that prophet was adjudged to be a fake and was then stoned.
Compare that lofty standard to the vague and often erroneous prophecies offered by the likes of Jeanne Dixon, Nostradamus and Edgar Cayce, who are often held in high regard by the very people who question the authenticity of Scripture.
Even a modicum of intellectual honesty would demand that those who give credence to Dixon, Nostradamus or Cayce, extend the same serious consideration to the Biblical prophets.
We believe in the absolute veracity of the Scriptures because they originate in the mind of God and reflect His character. These words and prophecies and truths were given to godly men who feared God. They were transmitted by God's Holy Spirit to Spirit-inspired men of God. Many of these godly men who spoke these truths and wrote them down, often did so at great personal sacrifice and suffering. If their intentions were to deceive others, they paid a high price to propagate a deception.
Despite the many attacks on the authenticity of the Bible, no serious claim against the truthfulness of the Scripture has ever been conclusively documented. In fact, there is considerable evidence supporting the claims of the Word. Hundreds of prophecies have already been fulfilled and not one has ever failed to be true.
You can bet your life on the Word of God! (and your eternity)