In the fourth chapter of Hebrews, verse 12, it says: “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
It is the world’s best-seller. Yet this Book, for the past 200 years, has been under increased attack. Many people, even within the church, have come to doubt whether the Bible is authoritative and trustworthy. When you talk about the Bible, someone will allege “Bibliolatry.” In other words, worshiping the Bible and not the Christ of the Bible. No, this is not Bibliolatry; the only knowledge we have of Jesus Christ is in the Bible.
Today there’s a growing movement to do away with the Bible. And if this movement succeeds, anarchy will rule. This generation must face the appalling fact that it’s either the Bible, or back to the jungles, because that’s exactly what will happen.
Now the Bible teaches that God loves. All over the world men hunger to know God. Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, all the religions of the world, arise from man’s searching for God. But God has already revealed Himself, and it’s reasonable for me to suppose that God, an intelligent Being, would somehow reveal Himself to us as a human race. Even our most atheistic scientists are beginning to say that something is behind the universe. There is some sort of order behind the universe and there must be some sort of intelligence. They may not say it’s God, but we call Him God. This Intelligence who orders, and arranges, and creates, and makes us—down in our hearts we hunger to know Him.
Has God revealed Himself?
He has revealed Himself in nature. I look through a telescope and I know there’s a God. I look through a microscope and I know there must be a God.
And He has revealed Himself in His Son, Jesus Christ. But we get our knowledge of Christ out of the Bible. Only one or two other men contemporary with Christ ever mentioned that He ever lived, Josephus being one. Our total knowledge of Christ comes from the Bible.
The Bible was written by more than 40 writers, over a period of 1,500 years, in 66 books. And the great theme from one end of the Bible to the other is redemption—God’s love for the human race and God redeeming man and bringing man back to Himself after man had rebelled against God. That’s what the Bible is all about.
Down through the years it’s been ridiculed, burned, refuted, destroyed, but it lives on. It is the anvil that has worn out many hammers. Most books are born, live a few short years, then go the way of all the earth; they’re forgotten. But not the Bible. The Bible is preserved. It lives on.
The prophetic messages of the Bible are coming true in our day. In 2 Timothy, written almost 2,000 years ago, it says, “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power …” (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
Isn’t that happening? The Bible says in the latter period travel shall increase, knowledge will increase (Daniel 12:4). Look what has happened in the last 75 years in the world. The whole world has become a neighborhood without being a brotherhood. That’s precisely what the Bible said 500 years before Christ.
And Jesus, 2,000 years ago, looking forward, said there would be a day like this. Oh, the Bible is true.
Recent archaeological discoveries have thrown some people for a loss. Several years ago many writers spoke of the sure results, the absolute certainties and the final position of a science (archaeology) that had disproved the Bible, but these phrases are no longer uttered.
Hundreds of old volumes fill your libraries right now, saying that Moses could never have written the first five books of the Bible as is claimed because writing had not even been invented up until that time. But tablets and inscriptions have been found which were written several hundred years before Moses. The Bible was right and scholars wrong.
And then many volumes about John’s Gospel once filled libraries. They stated that he could not have written it; that it was not written until the third or fourth century. Yet scholars of Ryland’s University, Ryland’s Library in Manchester, England, uncovered a fragment from the Gospel of John dating to around 100 A.D., proving that the Gospel of John existed in the first century. The Bible was right and the scholars were wrong. A scientist once said in the New York Times, “Every fact and every science that man has so far discovered adds luster and testimony to the value and integrity of the Bible.”
I had to decide one day and I had to do it by faith. I saw all the evidences, but I couldn’t prove them. I could almost prove them—but I had to take a step of faith. When I did, my life and ministry were changed. There came an authority, and a power, and an assurance and a security.
But let’s see about Jesus—and here was the big convincing thing to me. Jesus constantly quoted the Old Testament, and not once did He ever tell us to doubt. Not one time. Not one time did He throw a doubt on the Bible. He quoted from it authoritatively many times. He said the Scriptures cannot be broken. He said all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled and after His resurrection the Scriptures said, “And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself” (Luke 24:27). He was saying, “The whole Old Testament teaches about Me.”
And then Jesus did something that was fantastic. The two things that are the most difficult for people to believe are that the fish swallowed Jonah and that the flood came in Noah’s day and covered the world. And Jesus deliberately picked out those two stories, confirmed them and underlined them.
You say, “Well, Billy, I don’t understand. I don’t understand all that. I don’t understand how a fish swallowed Jonah.” But I believe that God is God, He could do it. But I believe even more than that. I believe that Jonah could have swallowed the whale if God wanted him to, because God is God.
Now if you wrap God up in a little box and make Him as small as you are, of course it couldn’t be done. If you made God as small as your laboratory in the university, He couldn’t do it. But God is the God who created all of space and if you believe in that kind of God, He can do anything. And if Jesus said He did it, I believe Jesus.
The very heart of this Bible from Genesis to Revelation is the fact that Jesus Christ is God’s Son. Take that by faith, that He was born of the Virgin Mary, and that He died on the cross for a special purpose. It wasn’t just death because He was put to death by the Romans. You and I put Him to death. I helped, with my sins. The Bible says that God took all of our sins and laid them on Him. And it was my sins, your sins, the whole world nailing Him to the cross. But in that cross a great victory came. The Bible tells us that Jesus Christ triumphed over sin and death and the grave and hell and there is hope today—security, peace, assurance—in coming to the cross.
But the first step that you must take is a child-like step. It’s a simple step, so simple that many will rebel at it. It’s so simple that you may reject it. In fact, the Bible says thousands of people stumble over it because it is so simple, because you see, the man with his Ph.D. has to come like a little child exactly the same way.
And that’s hard for a businessman or socialite, or union leader, show person, or journalist to do. We don’t like to humble ourselves and become small and just come with simple childlike faith. But when you do, your life is changed. Believe that and accept Him by faith into your heart.
But you have to be willing to give up your sins. Repentance means that you acknowledge that you have sinned, that you are willing to turn from sin and if you are willing, you come by faith to Christ, and He will give you a new life. And it becomes God’s life because the Bible says that God exists from eternity to eternity.
Eternal life begins at the moment you receive Christ. It’s a new dimension of living. We have a third dimension. We’re talking about a fourth dimension. But I tell you there’s another dimension, it’s the spiritual dimension that thousands in America have not tried. It’s the dimension revealed in this Book—the dimension that Jesus Christ offers free to everyone who will trust Him.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New King James Version.