What did Christ mean when he told Peter to feed his sheep? (John 21:15-18). Did this assignment apply only to Peter, or are there others charged with the responsibility of feeding God’s sheep? How does this apply in the Church? How are the “sheep,” as they are described in this analogy, to respond to what they are being fed? How might it apply in a broader sense to others not in the Church of God? Do you share in the responsibility to feed God’s sheep? And if so, how?
Influential skeptics, especially in the past two or three centuries, have spun myths about the Bible, how it was written and compiled, and have lied about its historical accuracy. As a result, many have come to doubt the Bible as historically reliable, and hence dismiss it as a serious guide to life. The increasing lawlessness and amoral behavior endemic in today’s world is partly a consequence of how the message of the gospel has been undermined by an unrelenting campaign aimed at discrediting the record of Holy Scripture.
Historical analysis, archaeology, and epigraphy have gone far to lend support to the veracity of the Bible, which is the gospel, the word of God. Unfortunately unknown to multitudes, time and again the myths and assumptions of the Bible’s critics have proven wrong, as reviewed in this message.
The Bible teaches that God has a plan of salvation for mankind. What does that mean, and why is a plan of salvation necessary? What is it that human beings need to be saved from? If there is a “plan of salvation,” what is it? Are there specific steps to be followed on the path to salvation?
In previous articles, parts one and two of a series, I addressed the first seven of the following questions relating to salvation for human beings:
(1) What is “salvation”?; (2) Are “good” people saved even if they don’t know about Christ, or are unbelievers?; (3) Are infants and babies saved, even though they know nothing of Christ and lack the capacity to choose good or evil?; (4) Does the Bible teach “Universal Salvation”?; (5) Who qualifies you for salvation?; (6) Can one, after making a profession of faith in Christ, and receiving the Holy Spirit, be disqualified from salvation?; (7) Are those who do not attain salvation in this age eternally condemned?; (8) What is the path to salvation?
In this article, part three of this series, we conclude the final question: “What is the path to salvation?”
It’s reported on the biblearchaeology.org website that they recently received an e-mail from a person named “Jenny.” In her message Jenny made a number of claims maligning the integrity of Scripture. The gist of her assertions is that the Bible is fiction. Among the specifics she alleged:
There was no mass exodus of erstwhile Israelite slaves from Egypt.
David and Solomon are fictional characters.
The accounts of battles and victories of Israel over her enemies is fiction.
The Biblical writers hijacked Egyptian history and passed it off as their own.
The Associates For Biblical Research, owns the biblearchaeology.org domain. A representative of the organization, in a lengthy response to Jenny’s e-mail, stated in part: “Sadly, most people hold these views because of what they read on the internet or watch on TV. Many have been lied to by their unbelieving college professors and mentors. Some even learn these erroneous views about the Bible in Christian colleges and seminaries! In providing this rather long and detailed response, it is our hope that ‘Jenny’ and others like her will seriously reconsider the authority of the Bible and its author, Yahweh, and the claims of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
I might add that many also learn the views expressed by Jenny in their churches.
In this article, I want to discuss the relationship of the gospel to history, and how the gospel is defended and propagated in part by the study of history, and fields touching on history, such as archaeology, and epigraphy, which is the study and deciphering of ancient inscriptions.
Shortly after John the Baptist was born, his father, Zacharias, who was a priest, prophesied of his mission. Among other things, Zacharias prophesied of John the Baptist, that he would: “…go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways” (Luke 1:76).
“To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, To guide our feet into the way of peace” (Luke 1:79).
Yet, although the world desperately needs peace, the world does not know the way of peace.