The word "bible" translates, literally, to "book." So the Bible is "the Book." But is it just a book?
The Holy Scriptures, comprised of the Old Testament and the New Testament, is actually 66 separate "scriptures" (writings) from about 40 authors on several different continents. The manuscripts were written in three different languages over a 1,600-year period.
No editor or publisher planned it, and no mass marketing campaign was needed to make the Bible the most published and most influential book of all time. It has been printed in 2,123 languages and dialects since the printing press was invented 500 years ago.
But this "Book" is far more than a best selling historical anthology or compilation of important teachings of wise men. It is the inspired word of God - presented as an integrated message system to guide mankind back to paradise.
The central figure of "The Book," is Jesus Christ. It foretells, in precise and vivid detail, his arrival and purpose. And it foretells of a horrible period of judgment upon the earth, after which he returns for His chosen ones. All 66 books are totally unified in their message and purpose - identifying Jesus Christ and proclaiming that He is the only way back to God.
Yet Few Christians read and study the Bible as if their lives depend on it. Statistics show that few Christians have read the entire Bible, and few read it daily. Many Christian's only exposure to the Bible is to hear a pastor give his weekly interpretation of what he read in the Bible. The Bible to these Christians is just a great and popular book to be discussed at a weekly meeting called church.
But if the Bible is the inspired word of God directing man's path back to God, it should be read, studied and followed by every person as if it were a matter of life and death - or it truly is.
In John's portion of The Book, Jesus Christ warns His followers that the scriptures themselves do not save, but lead to the one who does:
"And ye have not His word abiding in you: for whom He has sent, Him ye believe not. Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me. And ye will not come to Me, that ye might have life." (John 5:38-40)
In America, the people claim to hold their founding documents in high esteem, yet they do not read them to their children, study them, and live by the truths presented therein. The predictable result is that America is no longer the land of freedom and liberty through limited government, but the land of an increasingly totalitarian government.
And so it is with the Christian churches. They claim to hold their founding book "The Bible" in high esteem, yet they do not read it to their children, study it in depth, and live by the truths presented therein. So the churches have helped to pave the wide path that leads to destruction, and many there be that follow it.
In "The Book," we see that the people of God were blessed when the people obeyed God. The government, in the form of the king, was blessed as well when the political leaders listened and responded to the Word of God that was delivered to them by the priests and the prophets. When an evil king came to power, "The Book" tells us the people languished.
We see that the repetitive pattern of repentance usually followed a great calamity - a war, an earthquake, or some other judgment from God. However, the Bible tells us that God has promised "my spirit will not always strive with a man" (Genesis 6), and there is an inevitable end to His longsuffering. To put it another way, "The Book" ominously warns us that in the end of days, the opportunity to turn back to God will end - and the door will be shut.
The repetitive warnings that are found in "The Book" describing this calamitous time were accompanied by signs that would be seen that would caution the true believers that the time is at hand for the fulfillment of all things. We categorically state that the time is indeed at hand, and the fulfillment of all things is at the door. Read "The Book" now and study it as though your life depends upon it, because it does.
April 8, 2002 -- Doug Hudson
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