Can we Trust the Bible?

Dr. Lawton preaching

2 Timothy 3:16, 17:

The age of incredibility, skepticism, disbelief, and doubt is upon us and the vibrations disclose man’s inability to trust God.  At a time when the integrity of President Richard Nixon was in question amid Watergate’s dramatic events, when the veracity of the tapes was seriously under fire, when conflicting statements were given in testimonies concerning the same event, the American citizens were bewildered and burdened with distrust.  Can’t you hear the young people saying, “Don’t trust anybody over thirty.  You can’t trust the establishment.”

Science with its technological achievements taught some to believe only in what can be seen, touched and felt.  Philosophy with its inquiring mind has influenced some people not to trust anything that does not fit in man-made logical patterns of reasoning. Psychology looking at man’s psyche has confused so many people that sin is the in discreet mistakes of man as he stumbles upward, and the tragic repercussion is that man is glassy eyed, pill popping, tranquilizer dizzy, spaced out, and hooked trying in vain to eradicate his sins.  During a time when some black brothers who have been victimized by white racism, in retaliation, they are saying, “The Bible is a white man’s book, written by white men and exalts white identity. Christianity is the cause of slavery, and the Bible is Mr. Charlie’s way of controlling black people.”

In times like these, the question comes from 125th Street in Harlem Can We Trust The Bible?  From Hough in Cleveland, the question comes Can We Trust The Bible?  From the Southside in Chicago, Dallas West in Dallas and Watts in Los Angeles, the question is Can We Trust The Bible?  When so called reverends come with the Bible in one hand and women and money in the other, misusing, misleading and abusing their own people as self-proclaimed prophets of God in times like these, the cry is Can We Trust the Bible?  With so many isms beckoning man’s allegiance and trust; Existentialism says, Trust in me.  Black militantism says, Trust in me.  Radicalism, materialism, denominationalism, live as you please ism, express yourself-ism, atheism, racism are saying, Trust in me.  All of these man-madeisms are not worthy of man’s ultimate trust and allegiance.  Let me sound my trumpet, in times like these, man needs to trust the Bible.

The Bible Is the Greatest Book in the World and It Deserves Our Unlimited Trust

The greatest national asset of America is not in its army, navy, oil wells, fast transportation system, complex communication system, colleges and universities, banks, but in the Bible, God’s inspired word.  This Book is unlike any other book. Robert G. Lee says, “It is supernatural in origin, divine in authorship, infallible in authority, universal in interest, eternal in duration, personal in application, and inspired in totality.”  Call the roll of the outstanding books of the world: The Origin of the Species, Pilgrim’s Progress, Gone With the Wind, Webster’s Dictionary, and Soul On Ice; the Bible is the greatest.  The Bible is that foundation with which dying martyrs have cooled their hot faces and the pillow which saints of all ages have rested their weary heads.

It has broken the chains of slavery, and it has taken the stings out of death and the gloom out of the grave.  This is the greatest book in the world because it is indestructible.  Tyrants cannot consume it, no traditions can choke its vitality, no infidel can destroy it.  You see, the Bible is settled in its source, sure in its promises, invigorating in its contents, safe in its guidance, and sanctifying in its influence.

Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him (Proverbs 30:5).

All scripture is given by the inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works (2 Timothy 3:16, 17).

For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost (2 Peter 1:21).

Outstanding men of every age have trusted in the Bible.  Sir Walter Scott on his deathbed said, “Bring me the Book.”  When asked what book he replied, “There is but one Book” (meaning the Bible).  Abraham Lincoln said, “I am profitably engaged in reading the Bible.  Take all of this book upon reason that you can and the balance by faith and you will live and die a better man.”  

President Woodrow Wilson said, “A man has deprived himself of the best there is in the world who has deprived himself a knowledge of the Bible.”  Andrew Jackson said, “That Book, sirs, is the rock on which the Republic rests.”

You can trust the Bible because no one can destroy it.  Diocletian tried to destroy it in the third century.  Hume wielded sharp weapons against it, but the Bible lives.  Voltaire flung his arrows dipped in the fire of atheism at the Book, but it lives.  Thomas Paine tried to drown it in infidel ink, but it lives.  Ingersoll shot tens of thousands of arrows of scorn and ridicule, but the Bible lives.  Hitlerism could not destroy it.  Technology cannot destroy it.  For God’s Word is as indestructible as beauty, goodness and truth. Water cannot drown it.  Fire cannot burn it.  Swords cannot cut it up.  Bombs cannot blow it up.  Prisons cannot imprison it.  No cross can crucify it.  No grave can hold it. The word of God is sure, enduring forever.  My brothers and sisters, you can trust the Bible for light.

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet” (Psalm 119:105).  You can trust the Bible for soul food.  “As new born babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” (1 Peter 2:2).  You can trust the Bible if you want to keep away from sin. “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psalm 119:11).  You can trust the Bible if you want to know how to live in this world (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). You can trust the Bible because it was written by God and not man (2 Peter 1:21).  A colorless God wrote the Bible.  You don’t hear me.  It is not a white man’s book; neither is it a black man’s book; but it is God’s Book.  It deserves your complete trust.  Some people would have you to look down upon the Bible because they say that the King James Bible was dedicated to King James, a white man.  But let me sound my trumpet, the King James Version is a translation and not the original Bible.  The original Bible was not written in English but in Hebrew and Greek.  The average person who speaks against the King James Version ought to be glad to have it because he cannot read Hebrew or Greek.  King James had nothing to do with the translation per se, but fifty-four of the world’s best scholars did the actual translation.  Some of those religious groups that speak against the King James translation have translations of their Bible. Why criticize translations if you use them.  You don’t hear me.

You Can Trust the Bible When It Teaches That Man is a Biological Being and is More Than a Biological Being

Biologically man has heat production metabolism, warm blood, lung respiration and breath.  Man has a large brain and an inquiring mind.  Biologically, man has the creativity of his hands, his memory, dreams, conscience and culture.  But if you think that man is simply flesh and blood, muscles and corpuscles, you have the wrong concept of man.  Biologically, man must eat in order to live, but in the Bible I hear Jesus saying, ”Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).  Biologically, man has desires, cravings, lustful longings, but the Christian man recognizes that he cannot fulfill every desire of the body.  Listen to Paul in 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20, “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?  For ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”  Biologically, men dress up the body, exercise the body in order to keep the body healthy.  But those same men fail to dress up their souls to meet God, fail to exercise their souls for spiritual growth.

You can trust the Bible when it teaches that man has a soul.

And I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul, but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell (Matthew 10:28).

Since man is more than muscles and corpuscles, more than breath, the Bible teaches that he must stand before God one day at the judgment (2 Corinthians 5: 10; Hebrews 9:27).  I am like the old lady who said that I wouldn’t mind dying if dying was all.  Dying is not all because after death comes the judgment.  My brothers and sisters, if I were you, I would get my soul together in order that I can meet my Maker in peace.

You Can Trust the Bible When It Says That There Is One Church That Will Land the Soul in That City Over Yonder Where the Saints Will Never Grow Old.

The identity of the true church does not rest upon philosophical speculations, vague sentiments concerning Christ, but upon the Bible.  Contemporary man asks, Which church is right?  Man says that any church will do.  The church that has soul and swinging music is the church that is right.  Man says that any baptism will do. Somebody says that the church that helps people must be the right church.  Another says if the church stresses black identity, it has to be right.  These answers are not according to the book of God.  Jesus said, “Upon this rock, I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18).  Not John the Baptist’s church, not Jeremiah’s church, not Elijah’s church, not just anybody’s church, but the Master said that I will build my church.

My church refers to the church of Christ.  If you don’t believe it, read Romans 16:16, “Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.” You can trust the Bible when it says that there is one church.  The words, body and church, are used interchangeably in the Bible (Ephesians 1:21 23).  Listen to how the one church idea rings out through the Bible:

For as the body is one, and hath many members and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.  For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:12, 13).

Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular (1 Corinthians 12:27).

There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling (Ephesians 4:4).

That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel (Ephesians 3:6).

You can trust the Bible when it says one church.  If you want to be saved, you must be a member of that church.  

Listen to Paul in Ephesians 5:23, “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.” Listen to Acts 2:47, “Praising God, and having favour with all the people.  And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.”  In view of these passages how can any man say that it is not necessary to be a member of the church in order to be saved.  You can trust the Bible when it says that there is one church.

You Can Trust the Bible When It Says that God Has Appointed a Day in Which to Judge the World

“Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained” (Acts 17:31).  You better not trust those lying prophets who talk that talk that man is like Rover, when he dies, he dies all over.  Some brothers are saying that the man has brainwashed black people into believing this doctrine of judgment and rewards in heaven, while the man has his heaven on this earth now.  Come a little closer and let me whisper something to your souls.  Vegetation dies in the winter, but in the spring there is a resurrection of the vegetation.  Job vocalized, “A tree cut down will sprout again” (Job 14:7 9).  

Hear Jesus on the subject:  Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation (John 5:28, 29).

You can trust that, my brother.  Jesus cannot lie.  He never has lied and will never lie. Paul talked about the judgment in these graphic words: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10).  This is an appointment that every man must keep. “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).  God’s word said it and that ought to settle it.  There is no doubt in my mind, man shall be judged by Christ.

The hymnologist wrote for me when he wrote:

Standing on the promises that cannot fail, When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail, By the living Word of God I shall prevail, Standing on the promises of God.

Standing, standing, standing on the promises of God, my Savior, I’m standing on the promises of God.

You can trust the Bible when it says, “It is God that sitteth upon the circles of the earth” (Isaiah 40:22).  When this was written it was believed universally that the earth was flat. It was argued that should one go too far toward the edge he would fall off.  But Magellan and his men sailed around the earth and thus proved it to be spherical in shape in 1519.  God had revealed this idea in the Bible thousands of years before.  Don’t you see that you can trust the Bible?

Matthew Fontaine Maury, the founder of oceanography, was a close student of the Bible.  Before him, there were no sailing lanes and charts of the sea.  One day, when he was ill, his son read to him from Psalm 8.  He read that God put under man “. . . the fowls of the air, the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the sea.”  Read it again, he said.  Upon hearing it the second time, the scientist said, “If the Word of God says there are paths in the sea, they must be there.  I will find them.” Within a few years, he had chartered the principal lanes or paths of the sea.  These are followed by ocean going vessels to this day.  Can’t you see that you can trust the Bible?

The Bible is a unique Book and that is why I can trust it.  It is unique in its continuity and unity.  It was written over 1600 years, during sixty generations, by forty inspired authors from every walk of life.  Moses was a political leader, trained in the University of Egypt.  Peter was a fisherman.  Amos was a herdsman.  Joshua was a military general and Daniel was a prime minister.  Luke was a doctor, Solomon was a king, and Matthew was a tax collector.  The Bible is unique in that it was written in different places.  Moses was in the wilderness, Jeremiah was in a dungeon, Daniel on a hillside and a palace, Paul inside of prison walls, and John on the rocky isle of Patmos.  But when all these books were brought together, there was unity.  There was one central theme in all of them and that is that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.  This can be explained only one way God was behind it all.  

The Bible is unique in its survival.  Bernard Ramm was right when he said, “No other book has been chopped, knived, sifted, scrutinized, and villified. . . . The Bible is still loved by millions, read by millions.”

If you trust the Bible as God’s word, then you ought to become a Christian by obeying the word of God.  Paul expressed it this way, “But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.  Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness” (Romans 6:17, 18).  You have heard God’s word, will you believe it to be true.  Repent of your sins.  Confess the sweetest name ever heard, that Jesus is the Christ the Son of the Living God, and be baptized for the remission of your sins.  The Lord will save your soul and add you to his church.  When you come up out of the dripping water of baptism, you can sing truly: 

On Christ, the solid Rock I stand, All other ground is sinking sand.

I know it was the blood.
I know it was the blood.
One day when I was lost, Christ died upon the cross, And I know it was the blood for me.