Answer sceptics with the big picture.

All 66 books of the Bible are necessary to answer sceptics.

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.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).

References

  1. 2 Timothy 3:16
  2. John 5:39
  3. Genesis 1:1
  4. Acts 1:3
  5. Acts 28:30-31

My big questions

My big questionFor a large part of my life I wondered: What is life about? What am I doing here? Is there really a God? Is the Bible true? As I researched and studied I discovered that Scripture makes perfect logical sense (the Holy Spirit answered all my questions). When it comes to science, the Bible does not need to hide its head in the sand, because its facts are scientific.

I discovered that I was not the only one musing about life. Three questions have always intrigued humanity:

  • Where do I come from?
  • Why am I here?
  • What happens after death?

Through the ages many philosophers and other wise and clever people proposed answers. Each person had his individual opinion, but in every case it is difficult or impossible to verify. In our time there are two main books that give answers to these questions.

  • The Bible or the Word of God (it consists of 66 books written by about 40 writers between 1,400 BC and 70 AD).  Those who embrace the answers this book gives are known as followers of Jesus Christ.
  • ‘On the Origin of Species by means of Natural Selection or, the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life,’ by Charles Darwin (written in 1859). Those who embrace the answers this book gives are known as evolutionists or even atheists (apposing the answers in the Bible).

Why is the issue important? 

It is vital to know the answers to these questions because they have massive implications. The Bible tells us about an age to come. Evolution denies it. Which is one true? If there is life after death, it will be for very long (never ending).

  • The Bible tells us that there is an invisible God who has a wonderful plan for man. His plan begins with the creation of the universe and our unique planet with life on it. He created the first two human beings to live on the planet, fill it with offspring and rule over it. This present creation is only a probation period where man chooses his eternal destination. There is life after death, with two different locations, one good and one bad. We are exhorted to go for the good one and the directions are given in Scripture.
  • Evolution teaches the complete opposite: The universe, our planet and all life on it (including people) evolved by chance without plan or purpose. Life forms exist to reproduce and die. There is nothing after death, so you can do what you like and live as you please (within the boundaries of your country’s laws).

Methodology

We want to take a comprehensive look at the two alternatives, compare them and test if their answers satisfy us. To do that we will use forensics (like a detective) to gather the data and then come to a conclusion. It is true that forensic researchers are not without a bias. We all have it, unless we are dead. The Bible believer has a bias, as well as the evolutionist and atheist.

So we need a third party in this forensic process. There is one in the form of operational science. We discuss it later, but please don’t make the mistake of thinking that evolution is science. The Bible stands on its own and evolution should also. We will take note of what modern science has revealed about creation, astronomy, geology and biology.

Why 6days?

Darwin, 'Why six days?We live in a society filled with the ‘science’ of evolution. Charles Darwin, the ‘father’ of evolution, sent the message into the world that there is no Creator, because everything just evolved naturally. 

It would be interesting to know how many books, lectures, time, money, scientific experiments and research is done to disprove Genesis 1:1, ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.’ These words display the authority of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. The creation establishes Him as the Owner, the One who commanded and it was created.

The first chapter in the Bible is all about the six days of creation. It is a very contentious issue in the Church today. Why does creation in 6 days cause so much debate? It is because:

  1. It is the foundation of the Bible. If the first verse in the Bible (6 day creation by God) is not true, why should we trust the rest of the Bible?
  2. The message of the Bible is that God is establishing His eternal Kingdom. He is able to do that because the universe belongs to Him. The creation of the heavens and the earth gave Him the right of ownership.
  3. Without the account of creation in six days, we would have no reason to believe in miracles. If God is not the Creator, there is no way to explain miracles. If He is, miracles are commonplace in His kingdom. God’s power displayed in creation is the basis of all the other miracles, whether by Him or Jesus (who is the Creator, John 1:3).
  4. Because of creation, God has the right to make decrees or laws, like ‘the wages of sin is death’, or ‘forgiveness is only through blood.’ That is why atheists and unbelievers are so adamant that God has no right to make laws (according to them He is not the Creator).
  5. To get rid of God, you have to get rid of Israel. It is mostly in that geographical area that God revealed Himself in history.
  6. To get rid of the Creator you have to explain how the genetic code evolved without an intelligent programmer. That can never be done, therefore atheism is a mind exercise: they have to believe God doesn’t exist, but there is no evidence that He doesn’t.
  7. In Revelation 21:1 we read about ‘a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.’  If God did not create the present heavens and earth, how will He be the Creator of the new heaven and earth? If God did not create in Genesis 1, then Revelation 21 will remain a myth, a dream and a pie in the sky.
  8. The devil knows the importance of creation. He devotes lots of his time to debunk it, especially through evolution, and lately through the heightened efforts of atheists and unbelievers.  The war against the Word of God is raging in our contemporary society with a hostility that is almost unbelievable, considering the ‘civilised’ world we live in.

The Bible stands or falls with creation in six days. Genesis 1 displays the wisdom, intelligence, and omnipotence of the most holy God. The character of the Bible depends on Genesis 1. People, places, times and history all came and come from Genesis 1.

We will discuss what the Bible and science teaches us about this contested issue.