According to to a 2014 gallup poll, three fourths of all Americans believe in God and 75 percent of them identify with Christianity. The numbers are still rather large but where they drop off is in regards to the Bible. The poll reveals that only 22 percent of Americans believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, meant to be taken literally. Only 22 percent! Startling!
So what bearing do these numbers have upon the Word of God? Does majority opinion determine what is true and what isn’t? Suppose, for a moment, that the whole population of America, except for one lone individual, stopped believing the Bible? Would that prove that the Bible is wrong? Would it prove that the unbelieving masses were correct? How does the Bible address this issue?
Well, in Romans 3, we learn that the Jews received the oracles of God and yet were found to be unbelieving. This passages deals with heart of the issue at hand. Did the Jews’ unbelief nullify God’s faithfulness? Did their faithlessness diminish the Word of God? And of course the answer is an emphatic, “No!” or as Paul would say, “God forbid!”
The reality is that God’s Word is as true today as it was when Paul wrote the book of Romans. Just because some are found to be unfaithful in their handling of God’s Word, does not make His Word is any less true. Truth is not determined by the number of people that believe it. The Bible is not subject to an opinion poll.
The world’s unbelief only validates the truthfulness of God’s Holy Word, that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. But does that mean God does not care when we sin? God hates sin. That is why He sent His Son, because sin was killing man and He was not willing that any should perish. The great Physician came into the World to heal the world of sin.
But what if some say they have no sin? Or that this is sin, but not that? What if they turn to the opinion of men, to judge (discern what is and is not) sin? Does this invalidate the Word of God? Absolutely not!
Romans 3 rightly says, “Let God be true and every man a liar.” We are not to elevate the ideas of men above the Word of God. We are not to speak as though we were God, for when we do so, we are found to be liars.
The author of Revelation 22:18-19 testifies to this by warning those that add to or take away from His Word of some pretty serious consequences, including adding plagues unto himself and “losing his part (place) out of the book of life.”
But that is just the book of Revelation, you might say. Well, Paul, the Apostle of the Gentiles, cautions the Galatians, saying:
But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
Think it was pretty important, since he repeated himself in one verse?!
But that is just the gospel. What about Proverbs 30:5-6, which seems pretty all encompassing, not limited to just the Jews or even the Gentiles.
Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.
So, let’s return to the verse I mentioned earlier but, this time, let’s read all of it:
God forbid: yea, LET GOD BE TRUE, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be JUSTIFIED IN THY SAYINGS, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.
Romans 3:4 (emphasis mine)
If we want to be justified (found to be right) in our sayings, we have to find our truth in God, not men. If we place our faith in man’s ideas over the Word of God, we will not overcome when we are judged by God.
God’s Word is the only Word that matters. The Bible is that Word. The Apostle Paul’s letter to Timothy tells us that the Scriptures are inspired, God-breathed through the Holy Spirit.
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”
Paul further warns against trusting in the traditions, doctrines and philosophies of men in both Colossians 2:8 and Ephesians 4:14. It is clear that from Scripture that God places a great deal of importance upon trusting in His Word and giving it all authority (above everything else!) in your life.
John 14:6 declares that Jesus is THE WAY, THE TRUTH and THE LIFE. This so important to understand. He is the ONLY WAY. There is no other way for salvation. He is the ONLY TRUTH. He isn’t one of many. So what the Bible says, concerning Him, is very important. And, most importantly, He is the ONLY LIFE. You can’t find eternal life anywhere else.
When you add to or take from His Word, you are, in fact, creating in your mind, a different Jesus than The One that is The Way, The Truth and The Life. After all, according to the Apostle John, Jesus is The Word. The Word is alive, not the papers than it is printed upon, but the very words themselves. The words have the power to extend life to the hearer. But, when we change that Word by adding to or taking from, we no longer have “THE WORD”. We just have “a word”, which is no longer “THE WORD.” It becomes stripped of its spiritual truth and becomes nothing more than the empty philosophy of men.
The false ideas of man in no way diminish the truthfulness of God’s Word but they can lead many a soul astray. We would be wise to learn from the noble Bereans of Acts 17 who “received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” They received the Word with eagerness. They hungered for God’s Word. They longed to be fed with Truth. But they didn’t just take Paul at his word. They tested it. They examined the Scriptures to make sure that what they were receiving from Paul was the actual Word of God. They lived out Romans 3:4. They earned the title “noble Bereans” by studying to show themselves approved unto God, workmen that need not be ashamed.” (2 Timothy 2:15)
It is our calling to be faithful stewards of God’s mysteries (1 Corinthians 4:1). We cannot afford to take this calling lightly. Too much hangs in the balance…ETERNITY. We are representing Jesus unto the world (2 Corinthians 5:20). I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be found guilty of presenting a false Jesus.
There is a growing disregard for the Bible today. The Church is letting the ideas of men take precedence over the Word of God. They are reinterpreting the Bible through the philosophies of men. They are reducing the Bible to a mere book of moral principles, a spiritual story book, not intended to be taken literally. In doing so, they strip THE LIFE from its pages and they follow a way that is not THE WAY, according to a truth that is not THE TRUTH. They follow the way that seems right instead of the way that is right and that way only leads to death. (Proverbs 14:12)
You cannot preach the Love of God apart from the Truth of God (Ephesians 4:14) because it is The Truth that sets men free (John 8:32). Suppose a man is running, full speed, toward a cliff, but doesn’t know that it’s there? If you say nothing and think to yourself, “Who am I to judge? I can’t disturb him,” are you really loving that man? Or if you encourage him on his way, telling him that there is no danger ahead, is that love? Would not love not be greater expressed by telling him that he is in mortal danger, that he is about to drop off the edge of a cliff? Letting him fall is not love, neither is withholding the truth of God’s Word. Love and Truth go hand in hand. Yes, God is Love but God is equally Truth. You cannot have one without the other.
Consider the following verse:
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
2 Corinthians 10:5
You cannot exalt your thoughts above God’s and call it love. God wants us to take EVERY thought captive and become obedient to Jesus Christ. Yes, as 1 John 4:8, declares, God is Love. But love, so-called, without truth is not love. To deny truth is to lie and to lie is to hate. By withholding the Truth from your brother you are really hating him, not loving him.
Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was. To this He replied, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” Notice, there is an order there. We are not able to truly love others, unless we first love God. But how can we love the Lord, if we deny His Word? It is by His Word that He is revealed unto us. If we are to truly love others as Jesus Christ loved us, we must first submit ourselves to the authority of His Word and let His Love be revealed through His truth.
I’ll say it again, because it bears repeating: Let God be true and every man a liar.