Monday, March 23, 2015

Hostility Toward God's Word

Authentic Christianity understands that Scripture and the Bible is objective, absolute, external, divine truth.  No person has ever had in himself any idea or any experience that determine divine truth, it comes from God.  No human being has ever been a source for divine truth.  No human being has ever been the one who established divine truth.
“Not an angel,” Galatians 1.  In fact, if anybody, even an angel, comes along with another gospel, he’s cursed.  What someone thinks is true doesn’t make it true.  There is no individual truth.  You don’t have your truth and somebody else has his truth. 
Any faithful, diligent study of this book will yield internal evidence that that claim is absolutely true.  You have sat here long enough under enough preaching and teaching, you have been exposed to verse by verse by verse by verse, examination of the Word of God, and you have seen the test; and the longer you’ve been there listening, the more confidence you have in the Word of God.  It stands every test.
So here’s my question.  Since the Word of God is all this, since the Bible is all this, why is the Bible so intolerable in an age of tolerance?  Since it has no parallel; it has no equal.  Why is it so despised?  Simple answer: hostility toward Scripture resides in the heart of all sinners.  Hostility toward Scripture resides in the heart of all sinners.  Not some sinners, all sinners; all of them.  Now the degree may vary, but the hostility is there.
I was fascinated to see on the news that the pope said it’s okay to spank your children, and now he’s being blasted across the globe for making such an outrageous statement.  And one of the people condemning the pope for that statement said, “Jesus would never do that.”  I would like to find all those people, line them up and say, “The Bible not only suggests spanking, it commands it.”  They hate that.  That’s the least of the things they hate about the Bible.  Hostility toward God’s Word resides in the heart of every sinner. 
Jesus summed it up in that familiar eighth chapter of John when he says, “Why do you not understand what I’m saying?  It’s because you cannot hear My Word.  You’re of your father, the Devil, and you want to do the desires of your father.  He was a murderer from the beginning, doesn’t stand in the truth because there’s no truth in him.  Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he’s a liar and the father of Lies.  But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me.  He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason, you do not hear them, you’re not of God.” 
That is Jesus saying hostility toward His Word resides in the heart of every sinner.  It’s not just that they can’t understand it – that true, 1 Corinthians 2:14 – it’s that they resent it.  There always will be, always has been a fundamental, irreconcilable, incompatibility between the revealed truth of God in Scripture and the world; always, always.
Jesus – and I’ve been quoting this recently – summed it up by saying this:  “The world hates Me because I testified to it that its deeds are evil,” that there’s too much sin and too much judgment in the Bible for the sinner to embrace it.  Why?  “Because men love,” John 3:19, “darkness rather than,” what?  “Light, because their deeds are evil.”
Still, understanding the truth of Scripture, understanding its antipathy to everything in the world, understand that sinners are hostile toward it; that’s natural, that’s the default position of every sinner. 
That’s hard to sell in a post-modern world that doesn’t believe in absolute truth.  What you think is true is not necessarily true.  What is true is true; and Scripture is true.  It is not only true, it is perspicuous, it is clear, clearly true.  The meaning is evident on the face of it.  It’s not puzzles hidden; it’s not mysteries; it’s not conundrums; it’s not hopeless allegories.  Yeah, there are some things hard to understand, but the main message of Scripture is clear and unambiguous.  It is not existential; it doesn’t rise from you.  The Bible isn’t inspired because it hits you in certain ways that make you feel something. 
~John MacArthur, "The Essentials Of Handling God's Word Part 2"

I have to add, sadly, hostility toward the Scripture resides in most professing Christians, too.

Jas 1:19  Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;

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