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The Bible and its place in history

If that statement has any truth to it (and we believe that it does), then it would be in our own best interests to pay attention and to rest what we do upon God’s word and in its instruction.

King David wrote: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my way.” (Psalms 119:105)

Indeed, all Christians, all who profess to be faithful, must so believe and so walk. We must believe that the Word of God is all sufficient and all inclusive; that God “has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue” (2 Peter 1:3)

For the Word “…is able to save your soul.” (James 1:21)

The Apostle Paul wrote, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly furnished to every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16 and 17)

The premise that I would like for you to examine behind these statements is a simple one. I suggest that everything that we know of heaven or of hell, of God and Christ, of angels and demons, of Satan and the boundless beyond into which we are headlong rushing, has been learned of directly or indirectly from God’s word. It is the original source for everything we have ever known, and ever will know on these topics and on a good many more. What has been written of these things in other places and by other hands owes to their source the Bible. It is the common thread that binds.

There is nothing that predates the Bible. It has no equal, and nothing supercedes it. It is not some marginal volume; it is the primary source of all such things, and is the wellspring of knowledge, whether these topics are played out in fiction and fancy or through careful exegesis and in fact from any place and time.

Therefore, as stated earlier, we should make every effort to look to the Bible and to study and understand what it is telling us.

“But why?” says the skeptic.

First and foremost, whether you care to acknowledge it or not, the Bible is the very foundation and cornerstone of civilization. In particular, this country’s very existence rests upon our faith, confidence in, respect and reverence for God’s Word. And if that continues to erode at its present rate, the country will continue also to erode in proportion.

Within the last 90 years, it was noted that a full 10% or more of the Christian population in this country were called only Christians, with no denominational affiliation. They considered themselves to be members of the “Lord’s Church” and by their own admission, were strictly seeking to follow the clear pattern of the scriptures in every thing they did. So indicates the census figures and historical writings of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.

As an aside, do you suppose the same things are still true today and that the same numbers would be identified (whether or not you might include the considerable number of digressive groups practicing a wide variety of differing doctrines)?

If you said yes to that, you would be wrong. In reality the comparable number is now less than one percent of the population according to the same type sources. Like Israel of old, these will not continue much longer without a renewed interest in the old paths.

(This set of essays is a compilation based in part upon lessons by J. W. McGarvey and W. G. Bass)

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