It is fascinating when one looks at what happens in the ‘Church world’ these days. There is a general denial of many aspects of the Bible. One is that the first eleven chapters of Genesis are myth. For example, the talking serpent and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden, is supposed to be a fairy story.
# Was the tree real?
- Genesis 3 tells us that a crafty serpent asked Eve, the wife of Adam, ‘Did God really say you must not eat from any tree in the garden?’ Eve replied that they could eat from all the trees. Yet they were forbidden by God to eat fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
- The serpent answered her (Satan spoke through the serpent, Revelation 12:9, ‘…the ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan’), ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ Genesis 3:4 He convinced her, she ate from the fruit and Adam did likewise.
# What did it imply to eat the fruit of that tree?
- God, as Creator, reserved the right to decide what is right and wrong for people. When Adam and Eve ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil they in essence declared that they would now decide for themselves what is good or evil. God’s opinion no longer counts.
- Now, the interesting question is whether this event did happen? We can only affirm it if we witness the tendency of man and woman to decide for themselves about what they think is right or wrong, and if they do not take God’s Word into account at all. Of this there are many examples. Marriage is one. God’s desire is one man and one woman. Today the ‘variety’ of marriages seem endless. It is man to man, woman to woman, man or woman to a variety of men and/or women. What about abortion or transgender issues? The majority just decide and drown out those who say God must be known.
These days anything goes. Especially if it is against the Bible. It is testimony to the truth of the Eden encounter between Satan and man. We have all the more reason to believe Scripture is accurate and reliable.
When I was a baby Christian I thought the Bible and church was ‘religion.’ Eternity scared me. Will I have to sit on a cloud, play harp and sing for millions of years? I cannot play a musical instrument or sing. While at school, a teacher innocently gave me a bugle to practise on. I amused my family for about a week with the hoarse honks of the bugle (all the sound I could get out of it). It was a great relief to them when I gave it back.
# Later I discovered that the Bible is not a religious book.
It is a practical book filled with the history of how God gathers a people to be His very own and who will spend eternity with Him on the new earth. We will be busy. I will not sit on a cloud, singing and playing harp eternally.
# Scripture teaches about God’s Kingdom.
- According to Luke 17 there is an ‘intermediate’ stage after we die when God’s people will be in heaven at Abraham’s side. But God’s eternal plan for man is to eventually live with Him in love, peace and happiness on the new earth and heaven, ’’And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God.’” Revelation 21:3
- On this side of the grave, God gathers His people. All 66 books of the Bible explain God’s plan. After Jesus has prepared everything and destroyed the kingdom of Satan, God will come down from heaven and live among us in the age to come.
What an immense relief to realise Scripture is about real things: a real God and a real nation that will live in harmony on the renewed earth. No harp playing on a cloud.
One of the things that regularly tripped me up in my walk with God, was what I call my ‘shivery faith.’ Every time I came across a book that purports to ‘prove’ the Bible is rubbish, or somebody claims this or that should not be in the Bible, or what some ancient civilisation thought about ‘gods,’ or that Paul’s letters are nonsense, I literally shivered. Doubt gripped me – I used to ask myself if I am wasting my time with the Bible and God? But, with time I learned something very interesting.
# Why would an old book get so much attention?
- The Bible is an old book. The first book, Genesis, was written about 1400 BC (before Christ). The last book, Revelation, was written before 100 AD (after Christ) and the other 64 books were written between those dates.
- It struck me as odd: why does such an old book still get so much attention? The Bible is at least 2,000 years old and belongs in a museum. Only historians, linguists and others interested in the distant past should study it.
- Yet the stream of anti-Bible propaganda knows no end, even now in 2019.
# The war against the Word gave me faith.
- The Bible teaches that Satan is the ruler of the world system. 1 He influences people against God and the Bible.
- I understood that the attacks and ‘war’ against the Bible prove that it is true, relevant and important. God is alive and well.
- Now I rejoice, even when people blaspheme God, slander the Bible and curse Christians.2 If the Bible was just a book of fiction, nobody would say a word about it.
I can say, in a sense, that the world with its actions and agenda against the Bible, convinced me that my faith rests on a solid foundation. No longer do I fear or shiver. A strong faith in the immovable Rock, Jesus, and His precious Book, the Bible, has replaced it.
- 1John 5:19b; John 14:30
- Mathew 5:11-12