The following is the monologue from a radio show I hosted on February 25, 2017. The show is entitled, “A Visit to the Pastor’s Study.”
Thank you for joining us today. I’m Pastor Jon Shishko, guest-hosting for Pastor Bill Shishko, on today’s Visit to the Pastor’s Study. And on today’s show, we’ll discuss the all-important question, “Should We Trust the Bible?” Or, to ask the question the way a New Yorker would, “Why Should I trust the Bible?”
Before diving into an answer, let’s consider a thought experiment. Imagine you’re staring down the barrel of a loaded gun – a gun ready to fire. How long would it take to stop thinking about it? Of course, initially, that loaded gun is all you would think about. But, after a while, do you think your mind would drift? The loaded gun is there – but time passes. And it seems you don’t have to stare directly at it. How long before you start thinking about something else? An hour? A day? A week? Is it possible that the shock of staring death in the face would wear off? Could you become so pre-occupied with other things that you completely stopped thinking about your own immanent death?
Now, to take the experiment one step further – wouldn’t it be foolish to ignore that loaded gun for weeks and years on end – if there was a way to be saved from it? We all face immanent death. We don’t know when or how it will happen, but we’ve been to funerals and we know ours is coming. And with this morbid but realistic frame of mind — with, as it were, one eye on the loaded gun, let’s use the other eye to look at our question today: “Should we trust the Bible?”
As I think about the Bible, I see three massive reasons to trust the Bible as the Word of God. First, The Bible Knows Me. Second, the Bible is More than a Self-Help Book. And Third, the Bible is History.
The Bible Knows Me. As I read the Bible, I’m constantly impressed with how it knows me, it knows my most private thoughts, and it knows my greatest needs. It understands the way I think, the errors I’m prone to, the mistakes I make, the things I shouldn’t do but do anyway and the things I don’t do but should. It summarizes me and everyone else when it says, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Rom 3:23 ESV). It explains my situation and everyone else’s. It explains why we all face immanent death. For, “The wages of sin is death,” and “all have sinned.” But, the Bible doesn’t stop with this reality check. That’s only its starting point. “The wages of sin is death” is only half of the verse. The whole verse proclaims, “The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord,” (Rom 6:23). You see, the Bible knows me, my thoughts, and my greatest need: salvation from my sin & my immanent death.
And, the Bible is More than a Self-Help Book. I’m always fascinated by Self-Help books. Whether it’s Dale Carnegies Classic, How To Win Friends and Influence People or Tim Ferriss’ brand new New York Times Best Selling Tools of Titans – Self-Help Books are, well, helpful. But what fascinates me most about them is their inability to extend beyond this life. They are “Tips, Tricks, Tools, and Tactics” to make money, build relationships, have fun, learn new things – but they never teach how to dodge the bullet currently lodged down the barrel of the loaded gun which is pointing at you and me. In the Bible, St. Peter cuts right to the chase when he says to Jesus, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life,” (Joh 6:68 ESV). Peter is saying, “Jesus, You Offer More Than ALL The Self-Help Books Combined!” You Offer life forever! And Jesus demonstrated just that by raising Lazarus from the dead. Remember what Jesus said? He said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die, (John 11:25-26). Tools and tricks for life are helpful. But they can’t save you from death. Jesus promises that those that believe in Him will live forever – even if they die.
Many, at this point, start thinking – “it’s all just too good to be true.” Isn’t the Bible just a bunch of myths, folklore and fairy tales?” But here is more good news. The story of Jesus doesn’t begin with “Once upon a Time” or “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.” In fact, the Bible, more than any other religious book, is rooted in History. For instance The Gospel of Luke is written by a historian who began by saying he was compiling “a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who …were eyewitnesses,” (Luke 1:1-4 ESV). He’s saying, “This story about Jesus – as fantastic as it is – as wonderful as it is – even as unbelievable as it may at points seem – it’s history. It’s true. I got the facts the same way all history is gathered and written – from multiple eye witnesses. The Gospel of Luke is Eye-Witness News!
And now, God invites you into this History. If you’re his, you belong to his story, History. You’re saved from sin and death itself. If you know Jesus Christ – then you know the way the truth and the life – the resurrection and the life – if you know Him, you will live, forever, even if you die. That’s what the Bible says. Do you believe it? Do you trust the Bible? Or are you ignoring the loaded gun?
Listen to the entire show here: