January 21, 2023
It's All True
A while back, my favorite news show did a story about whale watchers who got too close to the whales and almost got swallowed alive! (The footage was amazing.) Laughing in amazement, one of the hosts said, "They almost had a Jonah in the whale moment!"
As they continued laughing, one well-meaning host said, "Can you believe I actually thought that story was true until I was about twelve years old?" As all the other hosts continued playfully mocking her as if she believed in Santa until she was twenty, I shouted at the television: "It is true! It really happened."
The worst part about the story is that the woman who now believes the Bible is only figurative calls herself a Christian. She is not alone. One of the biggest problems progressive Christianity and liberal theology brought into the church is the belief that you can't take the Bible literally. The stories didn't really happen. It's all figurative.
This is a complete lie!
The Bible is the inspired, inerrant Word of God—meant to be read literally and literally obeyed. When we abandon this foundational truth, we leave the message of the Gospel. When we diminish the authority, validity, or literalness of the Bible as God's Word, we water down the truth that saves our souls and determines where we will spend eternity.
The fact is that ALL of the Bible is true. It isn't figurative. It all really happened.
Even the part about Jonah and the whale?
What about Noah and the ark?
Yep. Actually happened.
David and Goliath?
The fact is that the whole Bible—all of it—is true. The men and women were actual people who lived very real lives. Each story, conversation, and event is fact, not fiction. (Unless it explicitly says someone was telling a story.)
Here's the best part: we don't have to accept this premise on faith blindly. Biblical history is corroborated by the secular histories of the nations involved with Israel, and archaeological discoveries continue to support and help interpret the Biblical text. In his book "Evidence that Demands a Verdict," author Josh McDowell said, "In all my archaeological investigation, I have never found one artifact of antiquity that contradicts any statement in the Word of God."
Isn't that amazing? The more we study history and archaeology, the more the Bible proves to be true. All of it. Every word. Even the parts that seem impossible because, with God, all things are possible.
The more that is revealed through history and archaeology, the more we learn that the Word of God is trustworthy, reliable, and completely reliable—no matter what people say.
However, the Bible is more than just factual. It is inspired. This means that the entire Bible—the Old and New Testament- are God's very words. They are literally "God-breathed."
It is also inerrant and infallible, meaning that there are no falsehoods or errors in the entire Bible.
The Bible is timeless, meaning that it applies to all people at all times in history.
These facts are essential beyond the fact that all the characters in the Bible were real and all the stories were historically accurate. It's critical because it reminds us that all of the teachings in the Bible are also meant to be taken literally. It is God's Word to His people about how to receive salvation, have a personal relationship with Him, and how to live our lives as His people.
The entire Bible is inspired, inerrant, infallible, and timeless from beginning to end. Even Jonah and the whale. Because while it seems impossible, it is a real story of God's saving grace toward both the people of Ninevah and His disobedient prophet. It reminds us of His grace and mercy to all who will repent and turn to Him.
It's all true. It's all relevant. And it's meant to be read and obeyed. This is how a legendary man of God approaches God's Word.
Weekly Memory Verse:
The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever. (Psalm 119:160, ESV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.