Tag: WHAT MAKES YOU THINK YOUR GOD IS THE RIGHT ONE?

WHY MY GOD IS THE ONLY TRUE GOD

There are many “gods” in the world-perhaps millions. Therefore, says a large segment of our population, no-one should dare claim that their God is the only true god. Is that good logic? Does it follow that just because there are millions of gods in the world, they either have to all be right or all be wrong? Cannot one of them actually be the “right” one? And is it true that if there is a “right” one, there’s no way of knowing which one it is? 

I have no wish to go with the flow of societal fashion, multicultural haze, political correctness or unbelief, and I claim without hesitation that my God is the only true God…

There can only be one supreme being, just as there can only be one president of a successful nation without confusion and strife. That one supreme being cannot have conflicting characteristics as if he/she/it were some cosmic schizophrenic. These practical principles narrow us down to a few claimants to the throne. The Biblical God is one of those few who will not share his throne. The Bible is strewn with statements to that effect:

“I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God” (Isaiah 44:6 NIV).

We are faced, then, with a choice: either we accept the claim or we reject it. While faith and the blessing of knowing God come from the Spirit of God, and not from our own effort to reason things out, it makes sense that truth is reasonable, and there are, in my view, many clear evidences to reason our way to a knowledge of who the Creator is.

CREATION IS CONSISTENT WITH THE GOD OF THE BIBLE

The work of men like Hubble and Einstein showed us that the universe is not eternal but had a beginning. Einstein demonstrated mathematically that space and time are inseparable, and that matter and energy are two sides of the same coin. The first verse of the Bible, written long before Einstein or Hubble, describes, in brief, a beginning to the universe which incorporates inseparably time, space and matter:

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth”.

Earth

Biblical creation also explains the creation of man, and of the nature and intelligence of man. I’ve discussed creation and the lack of evidence for evolution before.

A DIVINE MESSAGE

It’s my conviction that the supreme being is perfectly capable and willing to create and preserve a message to his ultimate creation, mankind. The Bible claims to be a supernatural message from our creator to us. If that’s true, it should be meaningful, profound, relative and vital to the human condition. I believe the Bible fulfills all those characteristics. It isn’t the creation of a bunch of idiots, and any forger would have had nothing to gain from its writing. In fact, most commonly the human conveyors of the message of Scripture were persecuted. The depth and richness of Scripture is far beyond any other writing I have encountered. When this is seen along with its claims of divine origin, its clear that it deserves serious consideration.

The actual volume of manuscript evidence is enormous. Why does the manuscript evidence matter? There are many reasons, among which is the fact that the numerous different human authors of Bible books lived over a very long period of human history. They recorded their experiences and inspirations which, when put together, provide one narrative, one story, and one message-an amazing message of hope and love. That narrative has been preserved through all the many attempts over the centuries to destroy it.

Many think that the Bible was written centuries after the fact and is filled with mistakes, contradictions and fabrications. However, the documentary evidence for the New Testament alone far surpasses any other work of its time. We have over 5000 manuscripts, and many are dated within a few years of their authors’ lives. One example, the Rylands Papyri found in Egypt, contains a fragment of John’s gospel, and dates to A.D. 130. From this fragment we can conclude that John’s gospel was completed well before A.D. 130, because not only did the gospel have to be written, it had to be hand copied and make its way down from Greece to Egypt. Since the vast majority of scholars agree that John is the last gospel written, we can affirm its first century date along with the other three with greater assurance.

403px-Johannes_op_Patmos_Jeroen_Bosch

More evidence comes from the Dead Sea Scrolls Cave 7. Jose Callahan discovered a fragment of the Gospel of Mark and dated it to have been written in A.D. 50. He also discovered fragments of Acts and other epistles and dated them to have been written slightly after A.D. 50.

For more information see:

https://bible.org/article/historical-reliability-gospels

There are numerous writings of the Church Fathers quoting sections of Scripture, and the entire New Testament could be constructed from those alone. Millions of man-hours have been spent cross-checking them. Here are a few examples:

Clement of Rome sent a letter to the Corinthian church in A.D. 95. in which he quoted from the Gospels and other portions of the N.T. Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, wrote a letter before his martyrdom in Rome in A.D. 115, quoting all the Gospels and other N.T. letters. Polycarp wrote to the Philippians in A.D. 120 and quoted from the Gospels and N.T. letters. Justin Martyr (A.D. 150) quotes John’s gospel chapter 3. Church fathers of the early second century were familiar with the apostle’s writings and quoted them as inspired Scripture.

The Dead Sea Scrolls prove the accuracy of the transmission of the Bible. In these scrolls discovered at Qumran in 1947, we have Old Testament manuscripts which date to 150 BC, about a thousand years earlier than Old Testament manuscripts previously known. They include a complete scroll of Isaiah. The significance is that when the two sets of manuscripts are compared, it’s clear that they are essentially the same, with very few changes. The 5 percent of variation consists chiefly of obvious slips of the pen and variations in spelling. This indicates the incredible accuracy of the Old Testament manuscripts’ transmission to us. God is able to preserve His message (1).

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Dr. Gary R Habermas, a New Testament historian, received his Ph D from Michigan State University and his DD from Emmanuel College, Oxford. In his book “The Historical Jesus”, Habermas discusses the creed quoted below as found in 1st Corinthians, and writes:

“That this confession is an early Christian, pre-Pauline creed is recognized by virtually all critical scholars across a wide theological spectrum” (3).

This is the gospel that Paul preached in the first century:

“Now brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve.  After that he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time….Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also…” (1 Corinthians 15: 1 – 8).

THE GOSPEL MESSAGE

The gospel of Jesus Christ speaks of a God who loves his creation. In other religions of the world man must prove himself to God and meet some very high standards in order to be accepted. But the gospel of Jesus is all about God reaching out to mankind with willing acceptance and a fervent desire to overlook our failures. Christ paid for our sins: we cannot pay for our own sins. The philosophies of the world such as Buddhism do not attempt to even describe or explain creation or a creator.

ARCHAEOLOGY

The Bible is supported richly by archaeological evidence. Below are just a few of the many finds made in recent decades, followed by a link to information on some of the latest finds.

THE POOL OF SILOAM, where Jesus healed the blind man (John 9:1–11) and which critics had said never existed, was found in 2004 (4).

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THE TEL DAN INSCRIPTION. The existence of King David, from Samuel in the OT, was mocked by secular scholars until The Tel Dan inscription, or “House of David” inscription, was discovered in 1993 at the site of Tel Dan in northern Israel. Few modern Biblical archaeology discoveries have caused as much excitement as the Tel Dan inscription—writing on a ninth-century B.C. stone slab (or stela) that furnished the first historical evidence of King David from the Bible. The inscription makes reference to a military victory and corresponds to the biblical account in 2 Chronicles 22.

 

THE WESTERN WALL

THE PILATE INSCRIPTION

A stone tablet was found in the theater of Caesarea on the Mediterranean coast and bears an inscription mentioning the name of Pontius Pilate the procurator of Judea, and also the Tiberium, which was an edifice built in honor of the Emperor Tiberius by Pilate. There has been much written to discredit the biblical narrative in regard to the existence of Pilate; this tablet clearly says that it was from “Pontius Pilate, Prefect of Judea” and verifies that he was a person that lived during the time of Jesus, exactly as written in the biblical narrative.

http://www.bible-history.com/archaeology/news/

SCIENCE

Militant atheists and anti-Christian groups are on a mission to convince you and your children that science and faith do not mix. They omit to tell you that many of the great scientists of the past, such as Isaac Newton, were believers and attributed the wonders of creation and the orderliness of the universe to a Designer. Some scientists and scientifically trained people today are believers. Faith and true science do mix: faith and unbelief obviously do not. There are many scientists today who are convinced that the God of the Bible created all things. For example, see https://www.icr.org/homepage/

 

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HISTORY

Secular history sources tell us that the first notable civilization was in Mesopotamia, and then came Egypt, Greece and Rome. Biblical accounts agree. Not only so, but the secular time-frame for the rise of civilized society agrees with the Bible.

“Our knowledge of prehistory derives from surviving objects…” (which don’t have dates on). “History, by contrast, is based on documents” (a telling admission). “These various interconnections mean that history, civilization and writing all begin at the same time. That time is about 3100 BC.”

“In about 3200 BC the two earliest civilizations develop….” (9).

Stela_of_Iddi-Sin,_King_of_Simurrum__It_dates_back_to_the_Old-Babylonian_Perdiod__From_Qarachatan_Village,_Sulaymaniyah_Governorate,_Iraqi_Kurdistan__The

That’s interesting, because the Bible agrees, and in fact said it first. The timing perfectly fits Biblical accounts and genealogies.

The Bible has become a significant source book for secular archaeology, helping to identify such ancient figures as Sargon (Isaiah 20:1); Sennacherib (Isaiah 37:37); Horam of Gazer (Joshua 10:33); Hazar (Joshua 15:27); and the nation of the Hittites (Genesis 15:20). The biblical record, unlike other “scriptures,” is historically set, opening itself up for testing and verification.

The names of over 40 different kings of various countries mentioned in the Bible have all been found in contemporary documents and inscriptions outside of the Old Testament, and are always consistent with the times and places associated with them in the Bible. Nothing exists in ancient literature that has been even remotely as well-confirmed in accuracy as has the Bible (10).

The Biblical Flood story is corroborated by dozens of ancient flood legends from around the world, as is the record of unbiased geology (11).

I came upon one such account while reading a secular book called “The Chinese Heritage”, which notes that the Chinese recorded a huge flood which covered the land and the mountains. It also states that originally people in that land believed in one supreme God.

NON_BIBLICAL SOURCES

The New Testament is supportable with many ancient secular documents. For info see:

“The Case for Christ” by Lee Strobel;

“The Historical Jesus” by Gary R. Habermas

Examples:

Tacitus, the most important Roman historian of the first century, mentioned Christ as the reingleader of a sect, and “who suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberias”;

Pliny the Younger tortured and killed Christians. He wrote in AD 111 that he killed them for “belonging to that degenerate sect”. He wrote that they chanted to Christ “as if to a god”.

DIVINE DESIGN

The scriptures contain an inexhaustible supply of encoded evidence to authenticate and confirm its divine design, in other words, evidence that Biblical Scripture is indeed “inspired by God” as it claims, and not by the rantings of ancient man attempting to control someone. One example is typology, which demonstrates that many authors over a long period of time were in fact advancing the same message. The deeper you look, the more encoded evidence you can find. For a fascinating glimpse into the many amazing codes found within the Bible, see Chuck Missler’s articles on the subject, based on his books (12).

https://www.blueletterbible.org/study/larkin/dt/28.cfm

PROPHECY

The Bible foretells future events, many of which have been fulfilled, and others which have yet to be fulfilled. For example, the Old Testament contains hundreds of predictions of the Messiah, some concerning his first coming as recorded in the New Testament, and some concerning his return. Luke’s gospel records an incident in which Jesus read part of the scroll of Isaiah, known to have been written long before the life of Jesus, for all to hear in the synagogue at Nazareth, then he said:

“Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:16-21).

Christ’s birth was foretold, in Isaiah 9:6-7, and his death in Isaiah chapter 53.

In our time a fulfillment of New Testament and Old Testament prophesies about Israel and particularly Jerusalem appear to be in the process of fulfillment. Prophesies relating to contention over Jerusalem in days preceding the return of Christ are particularly amazing. The world is intent on dividing Jerusalem-something it would never want for any other nation’s capital: consider Berlin, for example. The division of Jerusalem is the spark of Armageddon. For me, this alone is enough to convince me that my faith is in the living God. For details please see my post:

https://nickyfisher.com/2014/09/17/why-would-a-christian-want-to-support-israel/

HUMAN NATURE

The Bible is right about human nature. You only have to look around at our world, and in the mirror, to see that.

CHANGED LIVES

Millions of lives have been radically changed for the better by the gospel of Jesus Christ. Notable examples from history include the apostle Paul, a persecutor of Christians until his own conversion, at which point he devoted the rest of his life to spreading the gospel, and John Newton, a slave trader until his conversion. He subsequently wrote the famous hymn “Amazing Grace” (13).

Closer to home, my own life was radically changed for the better when I became “born again”. No-one can take away from me the knowledge of my own changed life. I’m not saying that I suddenly became a wonderful person: I’m saying that the things which had me in bondage no longer have a hold on me, and that I found meaning and purpose in my life and in the universe.

NOTES

1: For more info read Josh McDowell’s books “Evidence that Demands a Verdict” (one of the top 40 biggest-sellers of the 20th Century) and his new “God Breathed”.

http://home.earthlink.net/~ronrhodes/Manuscript.html

http://www.icr.org/bible-manuscripts/

2: Lee Strobel “The Case For Christ” (Pub. By Zondervan, © 1998) p. 230.

3: Gary R Habermas “The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ” (College Press Publishing Company, Joplin, Missouri, © 1996 Gary Habermas) p 153.

4: http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-sites-places/biblical-archaeology-sites/the-siloam-pool-where-jesus-healed-the-blind-man/http://www.bibleplaces.com/poolofsiloam.htm

5: http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-artifacts/artifacts-and-the-bible/the-tel-dan-inscription-the-first-historical-evidence-of-the-king-david-bible-story/

6: For more info read  “The Popular Handbook of Archaeology and the Bible” by Geisler & Holden, and Logos Bible Software.

“The Stones Cry Out” by Dr. Randall Price

http://www.gotquestions.org/biblical-archaeology.html#ixzz3cPqQK5QD

7: https://answersingenesis.org/answers/books/taking-back-astronomy/the-universe-confirms-the-bible/

8: http://www.icr.org

http://www.answersingenesis.org

9: http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories.asp?historyid=ab25

10: http://www.icr.org/bible-history

11: https://answersingenesis.org/the-flood/flood-legends/flood-legends/

12: http://www.khouse.org/articles_cat/2015/technical/biblecodes/

13: http://www.anointedlinks.com/amazing_grace.html

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