What do you know about the Bible? Is it only that Jesus came to die on the Cross to forgive your sins so that you can go to heaven (wherever that is)? Atheists question many things about this basic gospel message. They want to know who Jesus is, what sins are, and why the cross was necessary for God to forgive sins? They question the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection.
If we do not understand the whole Bible from Genesis to Revelation, we cannot answer the questions of skeptics. The ‘gospel’ message is taken mainly from Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Matthew is book number 40 in the Bible (if we count from Genesis). Is it possible to understand what a book is about if you begin in the middle? Of course not, because you don’t know the characters or the plot. That is why people usually read a book from page one. So why not read the Bible from the beginning so that you understand the character of God and His plan for man?
If the Gospels is the only important part of the Bible why did the Holy Spirit, who inspired Scripture, include the Old Testament that is about 75% of the Bible? Does it not say explicitly, All Scripture is God-breathed [inspired] and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness…?1 The word ‘all’ refers actually to the Old Testament, from Genesis to Malachi (39 books). So why read only the New Testament, if ‘all Scripture’ is good?
Jesus Himself said that the Old Testament testifies about Him, These are the Scriptures [Old Testament] that testify about Me.2 If Jesus is important, very important, why is there a general lack of interest in the part of the Bible that testifies about Him?
If you begin with Genesis 1 you will discover that the Bible is about the Kingdom of God. A kingdom implies a country, or a specific geographical area, a king and people who are the subjects of the king. God created that geographical area, In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.3 We understand from Genesis 3 that God’s Kingdom plan will go by a circuitous road which will include Jesus as the main way to success. That is why Jesus spoke about the Kingdom.
After His resurrection Jesus appeared to the disciples over a period of forty days, and spoke about what? His resurrection, tortures, love for man, or whatever? No, He spoke about the Kingdom of God, He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the Kingdom of God.4 Was it only Jesus who spoke about the Kingdom? No, John the Baptist as well as Paul preached about it. Here is a quote from Paul, speaking in Rome, For two years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him [he was a prisoner of the Roman government]. Boldly and without hindrance he preached about the Kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.5 We see that he linked the Kingdom and Jesus. Thus the Kingdom is very important.
To help us to effectively answer the questions of skeptics we need all 66 books of the Bible. We call it the big picture or flood light approach. If we concentrate only on the Gospels and a few other Bible books it is called the search light approach. With the search light approach you cannot understand the complete plan of God. To be able to understand God’s plan for man, we must begin at the beginning (the book of Genesis) and end at the end (the book of Revelation).
- 2 Timothy 3:16
- John 5:39
- Genesis 1:1
- Acts 1:3
- Acts 28:30-31