Man's Quest For Truth And Certainty

 

31Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:31-32

   

Sometimes we adults are prone to think that  we know a great deal about many things.  Perhaps it is justified, for after all we have been to school, completing college and higher degrees. We have studied extensively, we have read widely,  and traveled world wide…  So we have had many experienced to add to our education. There is some justification for our thinking that we know a great deal. 

 

Sometimes, however, when we come into presence with the mind of a small child, we suddenly realize how little we actually know. "Daddy what makes the thunder?" Right away I remember that an adult once told me that two clouds bump into each other, you heard that when you asked... but you know that answer is not exactly accurately…    but you try your hand:

"Well lightening heats up the air quickly drying it causing  a vacuum. When moist air rushes in to fill the vacuum there is an explosion."   We feel pretty good , but we are inclined to say, "I think that is the way it is..”

 

The book of Job contains several questions specifically asked to make Job aware of his lack of information on may subjects.

Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.  5Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? 6Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; “ Now, how smart do we feel? Smarter than a 5th grader?

 

Many  times we face questions from the young reminding us there are many things we do not know.. The quest for truth, begins when we are born and continues until we die—  There are many things  we believe to be true which may or may not be so. 

 

I am  constantly asked questions that I once knew the answer, but do not now.. Also our eyes and ears often play tricks on us, our memories also. We have had the experience of starting to write a word only to stop and ask, "how is it spelled"? Or write it down, only to question our memories as to whether it is spelled right or not.

 

I enjoyed as a young man conversing with those senior to my own age,  I enjoyed them talking of how things used to be.  I listened with interest to a man who was very old then; spoke of his father telling him   the difficulties of amputating a leg without anesthesia. 

 

Go back read of the time of the revolutionary war, and you will find that the practice for a number of diseases was to bleed the patient. Yet, today we have learned that is exactly backwards. Now we give transfusions to the ill. But isn't that what God told Moses more   than 4000 years ago?

11For the life of the flesh is in the blood:  

 Leviticus 17:11

 

So much of what we think is right today, may or may not be true tomorrow.  Scientific text books that are just a few years old are not usable now.  Computers and better ways of analyzing data are changing both what we know and how we live.

 

Well not only is there uncertainties in these but there are uncertainties in many of our day to day affairs . Think about it !

Here is a young man who has fallen in love with a young lady. - They have gone together for some time now and have come to feel that their love is strong enough for marriage. They set the day, but as the day comes closer, they begin to wonder, "Are we doing the right thing?  Is he or she— the right person for me to spend my life with? "  It was easy to make that decision earlier, but when the time comes to stand before the preacher, questions and doubts arise.

 

But all these issues pale into insignificance when compared to things sacred, and eternal. What is right? What does God expect of me and my life? 

 

Beloved we might buy the wrong house, or get into the wrong job, and still come out pretty well in life. We might not select as wisely as we might have in choosing a mate for life, but with dedication and work, the marriage can work out happily in the end, but when we come down to the real questions of life;  "What does God really require of me?  Is the church really important to eternal life?"  "What must I do to be saved"?  

These are the  important questions, because they bear on where I will spend eternity.

 

How can I know? And the answer is: seek advice — Young people, when you get ready to get married you will have some questions, the wise thing to do is talk to someone you know and who's knowledge you respect, someone who is wiser through years than you. Seek advice, whether buying a house, or seeking a job, counsel with those who have been along the road you pursue and you can arrive at   "a degree of certainty".

 

What should I do when I need information  regarding spiritual issues of life?  The answer is still seek advice  we need help. And where do we find this help? Instinctively we reach beyond man.  These issues are too important to trust the counsel of someone who is in the same process of striving find certainty as myself. Instinctively we look upward to God.

 

We find in God the end of our quest for certainty.  We find in His inspired Word, the Bible the security and certainty that we need.  From our text John 8:31-32

31Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Truth is all that can make us free of Sin.  Truth is all that can lead us to God.

 

I believe  the Bible to be the Word of God, and the only way we can know of a certainty if we are traveling on a safe course that will land us safely in Canaan's land one day is to “seek the advice Of God's Word”.  

 

Computer analysis and scientific studies are changing what we know almost daily. But we read in   Hebrews 13:8-9

8Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. 9Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.

 

Is the Bible the Word of God?  We all have interest in many matters, and issues that demand our attention; I do not wish to lessen their importance, but there has never been anything to  challenge the  consideration  of  men  equal  to  the  question  as to whether or not the Bible is indeed  God's word.

 

Have you ever stopped to think just what depends upon that?

If this book is not the word of God, then it must be ascribed as the work of men. If only the work of men then the greatest imposition and grossest deception upon which I have ever gazed,  Because from beginning to end  it claims to be inspired......

20Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is  of any private interpretation.  21For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of  God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.      2 Peter 1:20-21

 

Hence if this claim be not true, then it must not only be relegated the work of man,  but far   beneath them.

 

 But I have always thought, if the Bible is not the word of God then.....men ought to be able to write a book that would bring more comfort to those sorrowing¾ more peace to the distraught, and point us to brighter prospects and greater hope than they have  done hitherto.

 

In our deepest needs of comfort we turn to the great passages of God’s words.   In John chapter 11 death is pictured for us as “Sleep”  Jesus saith, “Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up.  John 11:11  1 Cor. 15:51 “we shall not all sleep but we shall all be changed.”

 

But with all the advantages of the 20th century, we have not written a book to bring more joy and comfort to those in need. We still turn to God’s word, and indeed we should.

 

Briefly in time allotted I want to give you several reasons why I believe the Bible to be  “The Inspired Word of God”. 

 

Trustworthy for men to read, believe and fashion their lives accordingly.   In the Bible there are prophecies and statements made proven by time  that could not have been accurately stated without Divine Inspiration.  Statements of which we had not the foggiest idea of,  there are things revealed in the Holy Writings, of which there was the densest ignorance and the greatest of skepticism imaginable. 

 

 Job who lived 1500 years BC and enlarging on his conception of Jehovah said: “He stretches out the north over empty space;  He hangs the earth on nothing” . (Job 26:7)

 

Well that a very simple statement "He stretches out the north over empty place.....”  Who said it?... Job did.  World scientists made fun of old Job for 3,000 years, speaking of which he could know absolutely nothing. But modern science with the invention of the large telescopes have proven the very same. When turning the best and biggest lens toward the north found it as Job said.  Job was not an astronomer.   Well how did Job know that?   “Holy men of old spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit”

 

Well the other part of it. "He hangeth the earth on  nothing."  So simple that  we marvel at it.  Until the days of Columbus, everybody thought the earth was flat. Columbus’ mother a fine woman no doubt, but died  thinking the earth was flat, and possibly ridiculing and rebuking her son for thinking otherwise.  By sailing  the oceans Columbus proved that it was indeed circular, and hence Jehovah " hangeth the earth on  nothing."

Here it is today, rotating on its axis at a rate of a thousand miles an hour, turning in its annual revolution around the sun at about 18 miles a second.

 

One of the greatest difficulties of writers is to maintain correct geographical accounts.  When Encyclopedia Britannica first appeared, though written by the experts, it contained so many errors in regard to places in America, the writers of another rival encyclopedia issued a pamphlet exposing the errors in it. 

 

When Tacitus wrote his Description of Germany, it had so many geographical errors that many doubted its authenticity . Let it be said that in the Bible not a single contradiction along this line can be found.  When the writers speak of some location it is with complete accuracy. “They went down to Jericho, yet it is some 20 miles to the north. Again up to Jerusalem traveling south  ¾ And down to Antioch etc”

 

Such accuracy in these matters can only be accounted for on the ground that those who wrote were guided by a higher power.  Hear the apostle Peter  again as he gives us his assurance regarding this volume the Bible. 

19And we have the word of prophecy made more sure; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in your hearts: 20knowing this first, that no prophecy of scripture is of private interpretation. 21For no prophecy ever came by the will of man: but men spake from God, being moved by the Holy Spirit.” 2 Peter 1:19-21

 

 

Thus the Bible is truth, Its statements are reliable and it promises are dependable.

 

Concerning marriage we read: Matt 19:4-6

4And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, 5And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? 6Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder..  

 

Here is the truth regarding creation at the beginning. God made them male and female. We didn’t evolve into what we are presently, we were created thus.  Jesus tells us of marriage the oldest institution in the world and speaks of the importance and permanence of it.

 

It is in God's Word that instruction is given for a successful marriage:

“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body…. 25Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; “  Ephesians  5:22;23;25

 

On and on it goes giving instructions about how to be married and instructions about how to work for an employer, and how to be treat people as an employer.  Then, In Ephesians 6:1 a word to the children that they may enjoy life to the fullest....

1Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. 2Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) 3That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. 4And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

 

Whatever your search may be, the Bible has the guiding principles that will give us the stable foundation upon which to build our lives.  This is no doubt what Jesus had in mind as closed  the Sermon on the Mount with these words

Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.” Matthew 7:24-27

 

Isn’t it wonderful to know that down where the real issues of life are, that we have a Certainty that cannot be doubted, and grows not old with time?

8Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. 9Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.

 

Jesus Christ is the same, His ideas and attitudes don’t change, therefore “9Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established    His word remains forever.....

 

Would it not be terrible to live in this world and have no idea what is required to get to heaven?  It is wonderful to know that God guides us in our efforts to reach heaven.   Please read the following conversion to Christ (Acts 8:35-38)    

 

This example is God's pattern for one to become a Christian, recorded in God's book of Certainty, and Truth..... If you are not a Christian why not launch out by faith, accept the Bible as your guide, obey its commands, live by it principles,   and rest in its promises…

 

If you need help in your studies, and examination of how to become a Christian, please contact:

Ron Cope Minister churches of Christ

email:  RonCope@chestnutmtchurchofchrist.com

phone:  (678)617-9658