The Bible's Story - Why It Matters

The Bible’s Story – Why It Matters [TRANSCRIPT]

Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

John 1:1-3 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him not even one thing came into being that has come into being.”

Exodus 24:12 says, “Now the LORD said to Moses, “Come up to Me on the mountain and stay there, and I will give you the stone tablets with the Law and the commandments which I have written for their instruction.”
 
Psa. 139:15 says, “My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in secret, and skillfully formed in the depths of the earth;”

Rev. 20:12 says, “And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds.
15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”

Rev. 21:5 says, “And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.”

1 Cor. 10:11 says, “Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.”

Rom. 15:4 says, “For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”

Have you ever read all the way through the Bible? It really is a challenging adventure to do it. Along the way, you might get a little confused and you’re wondering, “How are all of these books and stories connected?” Well, in the journey of reading the Bible I’m sure that you really want to have it all come together. Well, if that’s you, you’re not alone. They are good questions and deserve to be answered. The answer to those questions is vital and truly at the heart of why Truth Matters.

Welcome back as we begin the start of Season Two of Truth Matters. I’m really excited about this coming year and what I believe God has in store for us. Now, even before the close of last season, I already had a good sense of what we would be looking at with this season. And it’s very much in keeping with the introductory comments that you’ve already just heard. Let me explain.

My father came to faith in Christ late in his life. He’d always been a moral man, but it wasn’t until his mid-sixties when he came to the realization of his real need and he came to true faith in Christ as his Savior and Lord. Now, one of the manifestations of this new faith was that for the first time in his life he truly began reading his Bible.

Now he’d always loved reading books, particularly cowboy novels by authors like Louis L’amour. I recall often seeing him locked into one of those little tiny paperback books. But I remember one evening he asked me a question I’ll never forget after having been reading the Bible.

He said, “Son, you’ve read the Bible haven’t you? Yes, of course you have. What I mean is, I’ve been reading the Bible and I was wondering… is there a…is there a...”

Knowing his love for reading stories I finished his question for him. “Is there a story here?”

“Yes, yes, that’s it. Is there a story here?” I mean he was so excited.

I smiled and happily answered him. I answered him, “Yes Dad, there is a story. And in fact, we meet the main character in the very first sentence. “In the beginning God

There really is a story in the Bible. It’s not merely a collection of random historical accounts or an anthology of moral platitudes. And while there are 66 books with around 40 authors and it’s written over a period of 1,500 years, there is underneath it all, a story.

I can’t tell you all that we’ll look at this season, but I know that in keeping of what I’ve already said, we will take an in depth look at three major topics this year. We will look at the Biblical truths surrounding Beginnings. This will involve the opening book of the Bible in which the foundational aspects of the story of the Bible are laid down.

We will also look at the Endings. We will spend time delving into the Biblical truth known as Eschatology. Now don’t let that word big scare you. It is simply a big word that refers to the final events in the history of the earth and of mankind.

And then in connection with what I just mentioned, we’ll also look at what the Bible has to say about God’s judgment and hell.

As you can tell these are pretty weighty topics. They are in fact truths and subjects that matter beyond what most people give thought to. And therein lies a large problem at a time when truth is disregarded, treated loosely or even scoffed at.

The Bible tells us in Proverbs 12:15, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a person who listens to advice is wise.” God has written down His story to help us know and understand our place in His big story. God has not left us in the dark in matters of eternity or how we fit into the full scope of reality. It would be wise for every one of us to pay attention to what God has said and had written down to help us and to instruct us concerning the Bible in the Biblical revelation.

To help us begin I want to examine this using the framework of a worldview. Now, believe it or not everyone has a worldview. People may not have put much thought into their worldview.  In fact it may, at close examination, real that people’s worldview may prove to be foolish and contradictory.

Now you may ask, “Well, what is a worldview?” Basically, it’s how a person views reality. It’s the framework by which a person makes decisions about life at every level. For many people today, their worldview is shaped by fashion, trends, the media and anything that they take in to inform them in their lives. And like I said earlier, the information that they use can be faulty, misinformed or even downright deceptive. So, it is vital to have the right information to inform us.

Now, there are many parts to a person’s worldview. But everyone’s worldview has to answer some very important questions in four areas: Origin, Morality, Meaning and Destiny. These four areas involve four big questions.
Origins asks the question, “Where did everything come from?”
Morality asks the question, “How do we determine what is right and what is wrong?”
Meaning asks the question “What is the purpose of life?”
Destiny asks the question “What happens to us after we die?”

These four areas of a worldview intertwine with one another to give individuals and societies the framework for how life is structured and lived out. And how people answer those four questions has present day and eternal consequences. In other words, they matter.

This brings us to examine what God declares and lays out to provide us with a Biblical worldview. You see, God has provided the answers to these questions in His Word. And He has done it in this process of revealing the story He lays out in His Word.

I want to briefly to touch on each of these. And as I said, we will look at them more closely this season.

Origins. God introduces Himself as the answer to the question of origins. In Genesis 1:1 He says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Now, there may be doubt across history and in our culture but God says that He is the origin of everything. The Bible also tells us that God entered His creation to reveal the nature of the story. John 1:1-3 says,
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him not even one thing came into being that has come into being.

In this story, God has made Himself known. The Creator came and revealed Himself. The Creator, Jesus Christ came and provided the answer to man’s greatest problem. We are not left to speculate on the question of origin. We have a Creator.

Morality. Early in the story God declared there are boundaries. And He declared the boundaries of morality. Man of course violated those and there were then and are still consequences from that. But God did not leave mankind without a moral framework. The Bible tells us in the story in Exodus 24:12,
Now the LORD said to Moses, “Come up to Me on the mountain and stay there, and I will give you the stone tablets with the Law and the commandments which I have written for their instruction.”

Here and throughout the Bible, God continued to provide the moral instructions so that mankind could see God moral demands and to trust Him and enter into His story. The record of the Scriptures tells how over and over again mankind has failed God. And yet, it also reveals how He repeatedly reaches out to rescue those who called out to Him. God has provided a moral framework for life.

Meaning. Throughout history mankind has sought to provide meaning to life all on their own. But disconnected to the Creator and disregarding the moral guidance of God, failure was the repeated outcome. Proverbs 14:12 said it clearly, “There is a way which seems right to a person, but its end is the way of death.

What a shame when God, the Creator provides the answer to the question of meaning. Psalms 139:15 declares, “My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in secret, and skillfully formed in the depths of the earth;” We are not hidden from the Creator. We are purposefully made.

The Creator made us and He has a place for us in His story. Psalms 8:4-5 says,
What is man that You think of him, and a son of man that You are concerned about him? Yet You have made him a little lower than God, and You crown him with glory and majesty!

There is a purpose and a meaning for us. He made us. We are not meaningless accidents. Psalms 100:3 declares, “Know that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.” Connected to God we have meaning. Without Him we live in meaninglessness.

Destiny. What happens in the end. Is it nothingness? No! God says in the story He has an ending. It all depends whether or not we are connected with the Creator, the Savior.
How does the story end? God does not leave anyone questioning. Spoiler alert! He has revealed the ending. In Revelation 20:12,15 He makes it very plain.
And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds.
15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

How often have I told people that there is a principle in story. You know, I’ve learned this as a writer and even an observer of story, that it’s very important. It says this, “You do not want to be on the wrong side of the hero at the end of the story.” God is the main character. He is the hero. For any and all who chose to oppose Him, it will not end well for them.

And on the opposite side there are those who have paid attention, who’ve looked to the Savior and have trusted in the Living God. The story ends differently for them. That’s where you want to be.

God has given us His Word to reveal Himself and His desired intentions. How much plainer could He be? Revelation 21:5 says, "And He who sits on the throne said, 'Behold, I am making all things new.' And He said, 'Write, for these words are faithful and true.'"
 
There is warning and encouragement in His words to us. He has recorded in His Word what we need to make sense of life at every aspect. 1 Corinthians 10:11 says, “Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.

In the weeks ahead we will examine God’s Word in the areas that I’ve mentioned earlier. And we will see how His revealed story answers the questions of life and helps us more forward even in these troubled times. Romans 15:4 says it,
For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

Knowing where we came from, knowing why we’re here, knowing the way to go, and knowing how everything ends changes our lives day to day regardless what happens. A writer once said, “There are two great days in a person’s life, the day they are born and the day they discover why.

Our Creator knows both of those. “these words are faithful and true.”
Truth Matters.

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