The Bible is the word of God
There is the valid claim that the Bible is the word of God. Those that acknowledge this already may not be bothering to read this section. I want to relatively briefly address those who disbelieve or are unsure of this. I am not going to take the time or space to do an exhaustive exposition of the evidence for this claim, but for those curious, I want point out a few things.
I heard it seriously claimed that the Bible is the word of God when I was in high school. I had grown up believing in God, but not the God of the Bible. I did not have a religious, church-going upbringing. When my older brother became a Christian and started making certain assertions, I doubted especially because I had been taught evolutionism as fact all my years in grade school. That is what the "system" teaches. I could believe in heaven and hell and that God had the power to raise people from the dead, but, as far as I knew, the Bible was just plain wrong as to the Genesis account of creation.
Through my brother's influence, I was directed to knowledgable sources outside the "system" who said the theory of evolution is scientifically refutable. Once I saw enough evidence that this is the case, I changed my mind and disbelieved in evolutionism. Now, the last major piece of the puzzle fell into place and I reached the conclusion that the Bible really is the word of God. But for years, I still believed in the Big Bang Theory. I eventually realized that that theory, too, is scientifically refutable and concluded that the Genesis account is literally all true, through and through.
For those who still believe in the mainstream scientific community's view of origins and natural history, and because of that have trouble really believing the Bible is the word of God and therefore do not take the Bible's main message - the gospel of Jesus Christ - that seriously, I want to say some things. Also, to those who have non-scientific objections to the claim, I want to say a couple things or so.
The claim that the Bible is the word of God is based on compelling, overwhelming evidence. Most of this evidence has to do with the astonishing fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies concerning the Savior to come. But some of this evidence is also due to the fact that the "science" which refutes the Bible is psuedoscience and is itself scientifically refutable. Other evidence includes the historical accuracy of the Bible. There are plenty of sources that one can go to to see this evidence presented. So, I'm only going to do a brief introduction.
First, let's take biological evolutionism. Living things do demonstrate an ability to adapt to changing environmental conditions over generations. Fish swimming in caves where it is always dark lose their eyesight over generations. In the Galapagos Islands, where there is a prolonged dry season, goats adapted to be able to drink seawater. It has been reported that populations of moths change color in response to industrial pollution darkening their surroundings. (But I have read a counterclaim to this.) But these real changes are limited in scope. Apparently, they are due to built-in potential within the creatures' original genetics. They do not lead to changing of one basic kind of creature into another basic kind. Frogs do not change into elephants by this means. Nor do fish change into reptilians, nor birds into dinosaurs, nor apes into men, by this means. Microevolution is demonstrable. But macroevolution is not.
Do you know how creatures are supposedly changed from one basic type to another? It is by mutation of their DNA, such as by cosmic rays zapping their genes or by errors, mismatches, that occur when male and female chromosomes link. Something has to change, to improve, the genes of a creature, from an outside source, putting new, useful information into the DNA. But all such naturally-occurring mutations are at best neutral, conferring no evolutionary advantage to the mutated organisms. At worst, such mutations are fatal. In fact, most such mutations are harmful to the affected offspring. The only way to put new, useful information into a creature's DNA is by intelligent genetic engineering. Nature provides no mechanism for this. This is one of a number of showstoppers for the theory of evolution.
Another showstopper is the problem of life's origin. Supposedly, the first living cell(s) arose out of non-living chemicals. But even a single cell is a vastly complex, well-designed machine with interdependant parts that would be dysfunctional if separated from each other. There is no way for life to have naturally arisen out of a soup of chemicals. There are numerous other fatal flaws in the theory of evolution. A good read on this is a book entitled Evolution: A Theory In Crisis by Dr. Michael Denton. Denton is a molecular biology research scientist and medical physician. He was an atheist and an evolutionist when he wrote the book! He concludes at the end of the book that the theory of evolution has a mystical basis, not a scientific one.
Age of the Earth/Flood of Noah: Creationist scientists point out much evidence for a young earth. Part of this is a critique of the methods by which mainstream scientists say that it is old. This includes noting the unprovable assumptions old-earthers make in radiometric dating.
Radiometric dating attempts to determine the age of rock samples based on the known decay rates of radioactive elements in samples, such as carbon-14. Carbon normally has six neutrons and six protons in its nuclues, for a total of 12 nuclear particles. Carbon-14 is an isotope of carbon that has two extra neutrons. This makes the atom unstable, leading to radioactive decay. A neutron changes into a proton by emitting an electron and a neutrino. The element thus becomes nitrogen-14, which has seven protons and seven neutrons, and is stable. The unstable element that decays - in this case carbon-14 - is called the mother element. The stable atom left after the decay is called the daughter element. If one could know how much mother element was in a rock sample at its formation, then one could tell its age by the ratio of mother to daughter elements at present, because the decay rate of the radioactive element is known. However, we don't know how much mother element was in the rock when it was formed. Old earth scientists just assume there were NO daughter atoms at the formation of the rock. This assumption gives them the old ages they desire. But young earth scientists point out that we don't know the mother/daughter ratio when the rock first came into existence. This problem exists with radiometric dating techniques in general.
Another assumption is that water seepage through the rock over time has not altered the mother/daughter ratio. Young earthers say that this assumption, also, is not viable. There are glaring examples data contradicting old earth assumptions/conclusions. For instance, there is the problem of carbon-14 in deep seafloor sediments. Carbon-14 has a half-life of 5,700 years, meaning it takes that long for half of a sample of it to decay. Scientists say there should be no carbon-14 left in strata that are over 250,000 years old. But plenty of carbon-14 is found in deep seafloor sediments that are officially millions or billions of years old. Besides questioning the assumptions old earthers make, young earthers point out positive evidence for a young earth. A link to a list of these is included shortly.
There is compelling, worldwide evidence for the flood of Noah. This includes sea-creature fossils found at high altitudes. Every ancient culture has a reference to a global flood in its mythology. Evolutionists say this is because all peoples have experienced, in their history, a local flood so large that they assumed it covered the whole world. Evolutionists cannot see the forest for the trees! Every ancient culture says their was a worldwide flood because there was!
Age of cosmos/Big Bang Theory: There are fatal flaws with the Big Bang Theory and evidences for a young cosmos. One of the fatal flaws with the Big Bang, which is acknowledged as a serious problem with the theory by even its proponents, is called the "horizon problem." According to the Big Bang Theory, the parts of the "cosmic egg" went flying off in all directions. As each little region of space moved apart from the other regions, there was no way for heat to be exchanged between the individual regions. Each section was beyond the "horizon" of each other section. This should have led to a heterogenous temperature background across the universe. Instead, scientists have found a very smooth, homogenous background temperature across the cosmos. It's as if the far-flung parts of the universe have exchanged heat with each other and the temperature of it has evened out. This is impossible according to the Big Bang Theory. See Big Bang Busted.
For an introductory list of evidences for a young cosmos and a young earth, see Young Earth Evidence.
One of the big flaws with the Big Bang, even creationists don't seem to bother to point out. This is the fact that, according to the physics of the Big Bang, only the lightest elements could have been formed: hydrogen and helium, with trace amounts of lithium and beryllium. The existence of heavy elements in the universe is not explained by the Big Bang. When stars explode and die, heavier elements are formed. So it was necessary to complicate the Big Bang Theory with the concept that there are more than one generation of stars. The first stars had only the light elements created by the Big Bang. Then, some of them exploded, creating heavier elements. The universe was then "seeded" with these heavy elements and later generations of stars were born with these elements. Scientists often go by the principle of Occam's Razor. Occam's Razor says that if there is more than one explanation for something, the simpler one is probably the true explanation. If you have to keep complicating your theory to attempt to make it fit with the evidence, you probably have a bad theory. The Big Bang gets ever more complicated as scientists discover that simpler versions do not fit the actual evidence. Multiple generations of stars is one complication of the Big Bang that hints that the theory is invalid.
It is supposedly impossible for the universe to be a mere 6,000 biblical years old and yet be billions of light years across. But evolutionists and Big Bang theorists believe the impossible has happened. Over and over. As just mentioned, they believe in the "impossible" evening out of the temperature across the cosmos. They believe in the impossible creation of life from non-living chemicals. They believe in the impossible macroevolution by accidental mutation. So, for young-universe scientists to believe in a vast, young universe puts them in league with their old universe fellows!
The evidence for the claim that the Bible is the word of God includes the historical accuracy of the Bible. For example, the city of Ur, mentioned in the Bible, was thought to be imaginary. Then archeologists found it. This kind of thing keeps happening. The pattern is that discrepancies between the Bible and standard knowledge of history keep getting cleared up in the Bible's favor. I am not going into detail on this but a lot of info about it can be found.
The core of the evidence for the divine inspiration of the Bible is fulfillment of ancient prophecies in the Bible. Christ's coming fulfilled hundreds of Old Testament prophecies. I am not going to go into detail on this either; one is invited to research this on their own. But I do want to say one thing:
I'm assuming you have some basic familiarity with the Bible. How many people, mentioned in the Bible, that you know of, are claimed to have died for the sins of others? If you have a basic knowledge of the Bible and are honest, of course you would just say "one." That is correct; He is Jesus Christ.
The last phrase of Isaiah 53:6 states: "The Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all." This is in no uncertain terms a reference to Christ. But when was this verse written? Isaiah was written in the 8th century BC, 700 years before Christ!
The above and many other prophecies of Jesus Christ are to be found to have been written hundreds or thousands of years before Christ was born. This is in itself compelling evidence that the Bible is the word of God.
Once you realize that the Bible is the word of God, it is important to know that the main message of the Bible is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And to know the Gospel.
"Gospel" means "good news." But before you get the good news, you need to get the bad news. The bad news: though God created a perfect universe and a holy pair of humans meant to live forever, something went wrong. Adam and Eve disobeyed a command of God, thus rebelling against Him. The moment they did this, they spiritually (though not yet physically) died. They became sinners. They were then separated from God and under His wrath. As part of His response to this, God put a curse on nature. That's when people and animals and plants came to have a limited life span, doomed to die. The curse affected the laws of nature, including the very laws of physics themselves. That is when, for instance, the second law of thermodynamics came about: that everything moves from order toward disorder - this is known as entropy. (Quite the opposite of the Big Bang/Evolutionist view.) All actions generate heat; heat is matter turned into energy. The universe began dissipating as matter slowly turned into heat, an unrecoverable form of energy. That is when stars began to explode and galaxies began to collide. That is when the earth's ecosystem began to slowly die; quite possibly, any existing ecosystems on other worlds were destroyed quickly after that.
All the descendants of Adam and Eve - including us - inherited spiritually evil, sinful natures from them. Human nature may seem basically good to you, but God's word says the opposite: humans are fundamentally evil. It may seem like man is good with a tendency to do some evil, to be less than perfect. But the Bible says man is evil with a veneer of goodness. This veneer of goodness makes life bearable to most people, most of the time, enabling history to continue: for God has a plan of history to be worked out. This evil nature of ours, called sin, separates us from God and places us under His wrath. It makes the default destination for those who die after the age of accountability to be hell. Many people think man is basically good and the typical person is headed for heaven. The Bible says no: man is basically sinful and the typical person is headed for hell.
Now, here is the good news. Because man is a helpless sinner, unable to save himself, God promised and delivered a Savior. Even when God talked to Adam and Eve and the serpent in the Garden of Eden, He indicated the coming of a savior. This savior - the Jewish Messiah - is promised repeatedly throughout the Old Testament. This savior was born about 2,000 years ago in Israel; His name is Jesus Christ. Jesus was/is no ordinary human: He is God who became a man and walked among us. God is a triune God: three Persons, one God. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Jesus is God the Son. He was executed on a cross, and as He was dying on the cross, He was essentially also in hell: separated from God the Father and bearing the sins of all people who, throughout history, would be saved.
Christ's crucifixion occurred on a Friday. After He had finished paying for the sins of all saved and to-be-saved people, He died on the cross. He was buried. On Sunday, He came back from the dead. He was able to raise Himself from the dead because He is God. In His resurrection body, He was able to appear and disappear at will. He appeared to hundreds of people, but only those who had already believed on Him and become His disciples. Then, while a group of His disciples watched, He ascended into the sky and was received up into a cloud. After that, He ascended to God the Father.
In order for us to be saved from God's wrath, we have to give our lives to the Lord Jesus Christ, surrendering to His Lordship over our lives, submitting to the process He puts each of His followers through of moving toward perfection their whole life. Those who thus submit to Him are born again. They are given a new, spiritually perfect nature which wants to obey God. They, from the point of rebirth, on, then have two natures: one sinful, inherited from Adam and Eve, and one holy, inherited from Jesus Christ. The rest of their natural lives, disciples of Christ have a war going on within themselves between these two natures, and a war with the devil.
When a born again believer dies, he or she does not go to hell, like the unbeliever does. Instead, he or she goes to heaven, to spend eternity there with God, His angels, and other believers. When a person switches from being an object of God's wrath to an object of His grace - His umerited favor, His love, His salvation - he or she is given everything, including the earth and the universe: in the life to come, in the world to come.
Your response to the Gospel
To become a born again believer/follower/disciple of Christ, you must give your life to Him. You have to first realize that you are, by your very nature, a sinner, incapable of doing what God considers good. You need to know that if you give your life to Christ, He is going to put you on, what on one hand, is a hard path, and on the other hand, is a blessed and easy path. This is the path to perfection. After you are His, not only will you not be a perfect person yet, but you will never reach perfection by the end of your life. But you will be moving toward perfection. Jesus warned people to "count the cost" before becoming his disciples. It is not an easy path in the sense that you, a person sinful by nature, are going to moved to ever higher levels of goodness as you live your Christian life. It is an easy path in that God, through his Holy Spirit, will provide you with the strength to walk the Christian walk, to live the Christian life of ever-increasing holiness.
Warning: there are people who think they belong to Jesus, but don't. You have to completely sincerely, from the bottom of your heart, give your life to Him. You have to realize you are a sinner who needs to be rebuilt from scratch, as to your inward person, by Jesus. Then you have to completely surrender to Him, to let Him recreate you.
I have a favorite Bible tract, available from Crossway.org. It is entitled "In Search of Truth" and is lifted from a book by Josh McDowell, called The Resurrection Factor. The last part of it reads as follows:
"Finally, on December 19, 1959, at 8:30 p.m., I became a Christian.
"I prayed [three] things that night to establish a relationship with the resurrected, living Christ, who has since transformed my life. First, I said, 'Lord Jesus, thank you for dying on the cross for me.' Second, I said, 'I confess there are things in my life that are not pleasing to you. I ask you to forgive and cleanse me.' (The Bible says, 'Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow,' Isaiah 1:18.) Third, I said, 'Right now, in the best way I know how, I open the door of my heart and life, and I trust you as my Savior and Lord. Thank you for coming into my life by faith.'
"After I prayed, nothing happened. There was no bolt of lightning. I even said to myself, 'Oh, no! What did I get sucked into now?' I felt I had gone off the deep end. And some of my friends agreed. But I can tell you now that in the months following, I found I had not gone off the deep end. For one thing, I had finally found mental peace. I had also found control of my temper. And old hatreds were gradually turning to love.
"You can laugh at Christianity; you can mock and ridicule it. But it changes lives. Christianity cannot be forced on anyone. All I can do is tell you what I have learned. Beyond that, it's your decision.
"Christ was raised from the dead. He lives. He has the infinite capacity to enter your life, forgive you, and change you from the inside out."
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