Making the Bold Claim of Biblical Truth -- By Loren Bonds, Connect Group Leader
Christianity in our modern world is very much like a new jigsaw puzzle. There’s a piece for Christ on the cross, there’s a piece for Moses parting the Red Sea, there’s a piece for the Creation account, and there’s a thousand other pieces for events described throughout the Bible. To someone who’s never seen the big picture of the Bible, it’s a jumbled mass of fragments that’s very difficult to recognize. The puzzle needs to have its pieces put together if they are to create the picture that we find on the cover of the box. Some people have pieces to other puzzles mixed in that simply won’t fit with the picture the Bible presents; reincarnation is a good example. Your puzzle needs to be put together to confirm all the correct pieces are present and, perhaps most importantly, it needs to be put together to confirm all the pieces fit together to create the picture of reality that God intended for you to see. You cannot read the Bible one verse at a time from a bumper sticker or the occasional Christmas card and expect to come to a full faith in biblical truth; that, after all, is just another puzzle piece. If you are a Christian on the sidelines or not a believer in the Bible at all, then we invite you to join us in a weekly series where we’ll begin to put the pieces of this seemingly complex puzzle together and present the hard evidence of biblical truth.
As an introduction to this study, let’s start with the big picture of the Bible; our metaphoric image on the front of the box. The Bible tells us that God created the world and everything in it and, in that world, He created a Paradise called “Eden”. It says our first parents, Adam and Eve, were created immortal and they were in complete fellowship with God. They could walk with Him, talk with Him, God was a very real and present figure in their lives; until they disobeyed. For that transgression, they were expelled from Paradise, and they traded immortality for mortality; just as God said they would. (Genesis 2:17) Over the millennia, God has called mankind to be reconciled unto Himself and has done so with many covenants. There was a covenant with Noah (Genesis 9:8-17), there was a covenant with Abraham (Genesis 15:1-21), there was a covenant with Moses and Israel (Exodus 20:1-20), and then there was THE covenant… the covenant with David. That covenant said that one-day God would raise up a righteous branch who would rein eternally over His kingdom. (2 Samuel 7:4-17). That covenant was fulfilled by Christ on the cross (Luke 23) and because of what He did, we have been reconciled with God (2 Corinthians 5:11-21). The Apostle John confirms in Revelation 22:4 what Job told us centuries before, “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another.” (Job 19:25-27)
The big picture of the gospel is we end up the same way we began; in Paradise, in the very presence of God, having shed mortality and put on immortality just as it was in the beginning (1 Corinthians 15:53-55). It’s no accident that Genesis and Revelation are the first and last books of the Bible. These are the bookends of the library of world history and they (and every book in between) contain His truth. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to present the entirety of biblical truth in a single article. But over the coming weeks, we’ll figure out how all the pieces fit together such that you will start to recognize for yourself the life-changing truth of scripture. Together we’ll answer the most difficult questions.
- For our atheist and agnostic friends: can we know with absolute certainty that God really exists, or did the world just happen by chance?
- For our Jewish friends: Is Jesus the same Messiah promised in the Tanakh (the Jewish Bible) or is that Messiah still yet to come?
- For our sideline Christian friends: Can we prove beyond reasonable doubt that a crucified Jesus was raised from clinical death and then walked out of the tomb; and if He did, what does that mean to you?
- For our politically correct friends: Why is Jesus the only way and why is there is no other?
These are some very bold truth claims and while the burden of proving such claims is on the church, the burden of taking the time to hear the evidence and giving the case for Christ a fair hearing is squarely on you. There’s an old saying that says, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink” and it’s true; you must make the effort to weigh the evidence. But when you put the pieces of the biblical puzzle together, Jesus tells us, “…whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:13-15) If you’re a non-believer, test the evidence that we will present each week and judge for yourself. We’re willing to walk you through these and other truth claims one by one and lead you to the very edge of the well; are you willing to drink?