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Skeptics, Scripture and divine revelation

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Why do you suppose the Bible is the best-selling book of all time? With over 5 billion copies sold and distributed, no other book has changed so many lives and brought so much peace, comfort, joy and hope to people all around the world.

This includes former skeptics who came to learn the truth about God’s love, as well as 100 notable converts from atheism to Christianity who also discovered what they had previously failed to see. Divine revelation brings people into the light.

The Bible explains that our heart has been hardened by our sin and a new heart is necessary in order to love God (Ezekiel 36:26, Romans 2:29, Hebrews 8:10). Can you even imagine what a new heart would do for you? 

Perhaps you think: “I don’t want a new heart. I am fine without God. I don’t need Jesus. I don’t need to be saved. I am fine just the way I am ... thank you very much!”

In your current condition, you may want nothing to do with Christ or Christianity. This aversion to Jesus, after all, is man’s default position. Man’s sinful nature resists the Lord and disregards Holy Scripture. This resistance and spiritual blindness within man’s soul is the biggest reason many skeptics never even become curious about God, let alone come to faith in Christ (2 Corinthians 4:4).

Man's natural response to Jesus is revealed in God’s Word. “There is no one who understands, no one who seeks God” (Romans 3:11). This explains why many people do not want Christianity to be true. 

When someone becomes curious about God, there is a tried-and-true way to advance beyond natural curiosity to divine revelation. Some skeptics have actively, humbly and sincerely engaged with the Word of God, and you can too if you have an open mind.

The Bible contains 66 books written by 40 authors over a period of 1,500 years, and “all Scripture is God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16). You see, the breath of God produced the divine revelation that we have in Scripture.  

The Apostle Peter wrote, “Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:20,21).

If you have not yet placed your faith in Christ and in the words of Scripture, I encourage you to engage with this God-breathed book. After all, God’s Word claims to be “living and active” (Hebrews 4:12). Those who come under its powerful influence are in the best position to be changed into “a new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17) and welcomed into God’s family of believers.

What religion has given rise to so many hospitals, orphanages, homeless shelters and global humanitarian efforts? Why does so much love and compassion flow in the hearts of those who accept the free gift of eternal life from the Messiah?

With this in mind, I invite you to begin to immerse yourself in Scripture, even if you are not yet convinced that it is a true revelation from God.  Adopt the rational and logical perspective that if it is truly alive, then the best way to be influenced by this living book is to saturate your heart and mind with its message. I suggest you begin with the Gospel of John

Millions of believers who embrace the promises in Scripture experience tremendous peace. The Bible claims to have the ability to change hearts and give people a love for God. It also informs us that man has an immortal soul and that only two destinations exist after death (Daniel 12:2, Matthew 7:13,14).

It is impossible to argue rationally against 1 out of 100 quadrillion (That’s 17 zeros!) Those are the odds of getting just 8 prophecies fulfilled in one man, let alone the 300 or so biblical prophecies fulfilled by a Jewish carpenter from Nazareth named Jesus Christ (See my 2013 CP op-ed titled, “The Mathematical Proof for Christianity Is Irrefutable.”)

But intellectual and rational evidence alone can only take you so far. In order to have a living faith in the living Lord, it will be necessary for your heart to be changed by the Holy Spirit. He continues to bring unbelievers to repentance and faith in Christ every day (John 3:6-8, 1 Cor. 12:3). The Holy Spirit works through the Gospel message (John 3:16) and through the only book that is “living and active” (Heb. 4:12). Scripture is able to make you “wise for salvation” (2 Timothy 3:16). No other book in the world can produce this supernatural result!

Do you have a fervent desire to receive divine revelation, or do worldly appetites and attractions have too strong of a grip upon your heart and mind? Scripture reveals that “the godlessness and wickedness of men suppress the truth by their wickedness” (Romans 1:18).

C.S. Lewis wrote: “It would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

Do you strongly desire to know the truth about God and eternity before it is too late for you to do anything about it, or are you simply oblivious to the whole thing and awash with spiritual apathy? God will not force you to take him at His Word, but He has reserved everlasting benefits for those who do. The choice is yours. 

C.S. Lewis summed it up beautifully: “There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.”

Dan Delzell is the pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Papillion, Nebraska. 

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