You have heard the saying “familiarity breeds contempt” well is that not what happened to people who have no faith or have lost their faith in the true accounts of the Bible? I have heard in one of the Star Trek films Dr McCoy, saying, “we have heard the myth of the earth being formed in six days, but now we have a device that can create a whole planet and bio system in 24 hours”. This is how people are indoctrinated into thinking that the Bible is nothing special, just a nice literary compendium of mythical stories. In other words some people have heard the Bible accounts so much through their lifetime that it became common and worthless to them and then they want to pass that belief on to others.
It seems to me that people relate to the Bible like they do to their parents. When parents warn their children about issues in life, the children usually say “ah but what do they know”. The same type of thing happens when people ignore the Bible. In the case of the parents the children think that the parents are too old to know what is happening in the real life of today, and in the same way the world think; what can the Bible teach me who lives in the twenty-first century. But that is where they go wrong, because although human technology changes, human nature on the other hand does not. Which means parents have something to teach the younger generation who thinks they know it all and the Bible definitely has everything to teach those who think they have their lives sorted out.
The Bible portrays human nature in its most graphic form, like the preacher said if the Bible was a movie it would have been 18 SVL, yes, sex, violence and cursing is definitely part of the Bible because it tells the story of a sin cursed earth. However God is true to what is written in His Word and the account of what happened to man and what will happen to them should be trusted and believed by everybody for their own good.
One of the problems that we have with unbelief in the Bible is that many people grow up in the Christian tradition and are taught what the Bible say right from the beginning, but somehow the essence that the Bible is actually worth following and that it is true, falls away when they grow up. This means some of them heard the truth but rejected it later for reasons we will look at later.
What I said above is where I got the name for this topic. It seems that some people heard the truth of the Bible so much that they do not believe it to be fact after a while, almost like Santa Claus or the tooth fairy. It seems children grow up believing in the Bible and then discards it when they see no benefit in believing it anymore. So where lies the problem then?
It is said that Charles Darwin, who popularized the theory of evolution, lost his Christian faith in the Bible and God after the death of his daughter. This was a man who went to Cambridge University to become a clergyman. Then there is Ted Turner who is the founder of CNN International who lost his faith after the death of his sister. He apparently said that he saw no need for anybody that innocent to die such a bad death after his sister died of a disease that caused her much pain.
Therefore he had some preconceived idea that if someone are supposed good and supposed innocent in the eyes of people that they should be spared illnesses and so forth by God. That thinking is not Biblical, and I think there are allot more people in the world who believe that way.
Now where could they have gotten such an idea? They must not have understood the Bible properly or was taught wrongly or most probably made up an Christian belief system that suited them rather than asking the Holy Spirit to lead them in the ways of the Word of God.
Therefore to adjust our initial estimation it seems that some people who grew up as Christians and lost their faith was never grounded in the truth of scripture, but was led to believe something about God that was not true and when God did not do what they expected, they gave up on God and His Word in a sense. Therefore the Bible became contemptible or fictional in their eyes.
So, who is at fault? Is God a formula that should work every time you have the right ingredients? Is there justification that if God does not perform to your standards that you have the right to write Him off? No of course not, since when do the creation know better than the creator? Does our limited understanding of earthly life give us the right to be angry with God if something bad happens to us? No. Should we just accept then what happens to us? No. If we have a relationship with God like children have with their father then we can find out by asking Him to reveal to us our part if any in what happens to us.
That does not make you an unbeliever if you ask God to reveal to you why things happened to you. It is a fair question to ask why if you do not know. The best way to find out if you had done something wrong is to find it out from someone who loves you and has your best interest at heart. The disciples of Jesus asked why a man was crippled from birth once and they also asked Jesus why they could not drive out a demon once, and Jesus did not say they did not have the right to know why. How can you correct your mistakes if you do not know why you made them? The simple truth may also be that God already told you why and you did not listen. The fact may also be that God warned you in advance about tragedies that will happen in your life but you were too busy or too disconnected to hear the warnings. The fact is we do not see the whole picture, which God sees all of the time.
God actually takes no prisoners when it comes to faith in Him, He is no tyrant either, but He demands faith in His existence from His follower and He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek after His will. If you lost your faith in Him you probably never knew Him to begin with. It is possible to have faith in God and not knowing Him. I just want to say that there is no other option for faith in God and having an intimate relationship with Him, your faith in Him must be absolute, and no outside interferences must have any sway in the matter. What is the love of your life? Your wife/husband, your children, your house, your car? What is it, your money? What can Satan touch so that you will be shaken in your faith?
I put it to you; you have a problem if you have such a thing. Do you not know that there is nobody higher or has more worth than God? If you can give up your faith in God because something happened in your life then there is something in your life higher than Jesus Christ/God.
Matthew 6:24 (KJV) “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”
Luke 14:26-27(KJV) “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.”
Matthew 10:37-39 (KJV) “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.”
Here Jesus is surely not playing around, the above quoted words are hard, almost unforgiving, but we must understand how God sees life and faith in Him. It is not a game of chance and religion is not the “opiate of the masses” like Karl Marx supposed to have said. Following God is a life fully given to Him and nothing less.
What would your reaction be if this happened to you?
And there came a messenger unto Job, and said, The oxen were plowing, and the asses feeding beside them: And the Sabeans fell upon them, and took them away; yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The Chaldeans made out three bands, and fell upon the camels, and have carried them away, yea, and slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house: And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshiped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.
Job 1:14-22 (KJV)
Now what about that for tragedy, some would have cursed, some would have committed suicide, Job, no he thought it was time to worship his God first. He did not speak one word against God, and the Bible say “In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly”. Some say Job said what he said in error, well the Bible says otherwise; he sinned not in his speech. In addition it is also clear that all that Job had and was given, was not above His faith in God.
I hope none of us go through what Job went through, but if we do, will we react in the same way? Will we lose our faith in God and His Word? Job was certainly a man of different character wasn’t he? It is no wonder God singled him out as an outstanding man in the presence of Satan if you will read the whole account of Job’s life. Here was a man like the one Jesus was talking about who loved God above all else, although the Bible says that all Job feared happened to him.
Just read the next verses
Job 2:9-10 (KJV) “Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.”
Job did not sin with his lips, what a statement and what a man, the Bible actually say you are perfect if you can bridle your tongue (James 3:2) and this was God’s comment on Job, Job 2:3 (KJV) “And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.”
God knew what He was doing with Job and why, it was not to test him, because God Himself says He did what He did without a cause to do so, God knew Job. He actually proved to Satan that he, Satan, does not have the power to overthrow the faith of a man who is grounded and seated in God and follows God not for gain but for love. Even Job’s wife did not understand why Job did what he did, because she apparently also believed that if you follow God that things should always go well.
Therefore looking at Job, where does the belief come from that if you are a Christian that your life is going to be rosy? The Bible in the Old and New Testament teaches otherwise, not in the sense that the things of Job will necessarily happen to you, but that you will have tribulation. I believe the example of Job is an extreme one, but that is just an opinion, nevertheless if it did happen to other people, it does not mean that God uses that as an benchmark to test Christians.
However Paul says, 2 Corinthians 4:8-10 (KJV) “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.”
2Corinthians 4:17-18 (KJV) “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal”
The Christian life is not easy, but rewarding you will not always be noticed or be the richest, but that is not the aim of being a Christian either. To work the work of God is our aim what will happen as a consequence is not important and if you go through things which is hard and you lose your loved ones or a job or a precious thing it is still of no consequence because it is around Jesus that our life revolves and I quote, Acts 17:28 (KJV) “For in him we live, and move, and have our being;” Whatever life throws at us we deal with by the power of the One in us. The Bible is true and does not promise heaven on this earth; therefore we should stay sober and only focus on Jesus. Do not be tempted to think that the Bible is untrue because of life’s experiences.
Copyright 2007 Richard D Kloosman. All rights reserved
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