Truth and Consequences

In our modern age, many seriously doubt or openly disbelieve that an all-powerful supernatural God inspired Scripture. Many assume that the Bible is no different than any other humanly authored book. Many also assume that modern scholarship has completely discredited the Bible, and that no evidence exists that proves otherwise. Yet, as we have seen in this booklet, the truth is just the opposite! These widely held beliefs and assumptions are, in reality, fictions that are totally contrary to the facts!

The big question that you face, and the challenge that confronts many others today, is: What exactly will you believe about the Bible? Will you believe the facts discussed in this booklet (which only scratches the surface of this vast subject), or will you accept skeptics' speculations that undermine and discredit the Bible—largely by ignoring the facts?

The God of the Bible can challenge us to "examine all things" and "prove" whether He exists (and whether He inspired the Bible), because there is so much remarkable and irrefutable evidence available! True biblical scholars know that the Bible is unlike any other religious book in the world, and that the most distinctive feature of the Bible is prophecy. Students of prophecy know that the Bible contains hundreds of specific prophecies that have been consistently and accurately fulfilled. No other book on the face of the earth contains such remarkable prophetic material, and human efforts to predict the future simply do not compare to the scope and accuracy of Bible prophecy. All this provides powerful evidence pointing to the Bible's divine origin.

The facts of history demonstrate that the Bible has been preserved and accurately transmitted for thousands of years, in spite of concerted efforts to outlaw, suppress, corrupt, burn and destroy it. The continued existence of the Bible under such adverse and hostile conditions offers strong support that an all-powerful God inspired such biblical statements as "the word of the Lord endures forever" and "My counsel shall stand." The remarkable way that archaeological discoveries continue to confirm Scripture's historical accuracy, and undermine critics' speculative theories, clearly affirms that the Bible is the inspired word of God! The Bible provides real answers to life's big questions, unlike academics, philosophers and theologians who offer mere platitudes. This strongly indicates that the Bible's answers were revealed from a supernatural source.

But why do critics and skeptics—who are often highly educat-ed—ignore the facts and continue to claim that the Bible is only a collection of myths and legends, and is untrustworthy as a source of historical, theological or scientific information? Is it significant that secular-minded scholars have planted doubts about the Bible in the minds of millions of people today? What are the consequences of ignoring evidence that the Bible is the inspired word of God? Scripture provides informative answers and offers sobering warnings.

The Bible reveals the cause of this widespread deception: Satan "deceives the whole world" (Revelation 12:9). We can certainly see this when we consider the incredible misconceptions that so many have acquired about the Bible. Jesus prophesied that one sign of the "end of the age" would be the increasing number of false teachers who "will deceive many" by spreading false teachings (Matthew 24:3-5, 11). The Apostle Peter warned that false teachers would subtly bring in "destructive heresies" that would discredit the truth of God and deceive many people (2 Peter 2:1-3). He also warned that "scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts"—casting doubts on Scripture and ignoring the facts of history (see 2 Peter 3:3-9). This deception will be widespread at the end of the age.

However, the Apostle Paul reveals that scoffers and false teachers will reap serious consequences from the God they are mocking and defying. He wrote: "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all. who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them. so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God. but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools" (Romans 1:18-22). Paul's condemnation of the misguided pagan intellectuals of his day also applies to the misguided scholars and critics of today—who ignore the powerful evidence that points to God as the author and sustainer of the Bible. We need to remember that there is a judgment coming!

The stinging reproofs that the prophet Jeremiah leveled at his contemporaries also apply in our present day. Jeremiah warned that "the prophets become wind, for the word [of God] is not in them. The prophets prophesy falsely... and My people love to have it so. the false pen of the scribe certainly works falsehood. the prophets prophesy lies in My name. I have not sent them. they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart, who try to make My people forget My name by their dreams. and cause My people to err by their lies and by their recklessness. they shall not profit this people at all" (Jeremiah 5:13, 31; 8:8; 14:14; 23:26, 30-32). God said through Jeremiah that because His people "have forsaken My law. and have not obeyed My voice. but they have walked according to the dictates of their own hearts. I will scatter them also among the Gentiles. I will send a sword after them until I have consumed them" (Jeremiah 9:13-16). The Bible clearly reveals that serious consequences will befall those who forsake the laws of God and promote their own theories, or follow those who do.

However, wonderful benefits come to those who prove and believe that the Bible is God's inspired word, and who follow God's biblical instructions. King David wrote: "Blessed are [they]. Who walk in the law of the Lord. Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing causes them to stumble. All Your commandments are truth. The entirety of Your word is truth" (Psalm 119:98, 105, 151, 160, 165). The Bible reveals that God will look favorably on those who develop a deep respect for His word, and are willing to follow its instructions. The prophet Isaiah wrote, "But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word" (Isaiah 66:2).

The Bible reveals that God has not left human beings to flounder without fundamental guidelines, or without important answers to life's big questions. God has inspired and preserved the Bible in a way that no other book has ever been preserved. He has filled Scripture with hundreds of prophecies that accurately predict the future—setting the Bible apart from all other religious books on earth. The discoveries of archaeology and the facts of history continue to confirm the validity of Scripture, even though it was written thousands of years ago. These facts are simply astounding and cannot reasonably be denied!

When you weigh critics' claims about the Bible against the tremendous evidence of the Bible's divine inspiration, you are left with a clear choice. You can choose to believe that critics' theories might have some foundation in fact, while waiting for the next theory to change and assumptions to be revised. Or you can trust the evidence from archaeology, history and fulfilled prophecy, which clearly reveals that the Bible is the inspired word of God—fact, not fiction!

The Living Church of God offers a variety of free publications including a Bible Study Course, booklets and the Tomorrow's World magazine.

The following booklets may help you to better understand God's plans for you and the world. To request your free literature, please refer to the next page for the address nearest you, or order online at www.tomorrowsworld.org.

The Real God: Proofs and Promises

The Ten Commandments

God's Church Through the Ages

Regional Offices

United States: P.O. Box 3810 Charlotte, NC 28227-8010 http://www.tomorrowsworld.org

Phone: (704) 844-1970

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Phone/Fax: (09) 268 8985

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Phone/Fax: 44-1698-263-977

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