Seeking Biblical Truth – Part 3: Reasons For Importance

Posted: March 19, 2013 in Researching the Bible

While certain beliefs, such as the age of the earth or how many people were spared from the flood, may not be a salvation issue, it is still important to know the facts in our Bibles and what God’s Word says. For example, 2 Peter 3:3-7 reads…

“Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.”

We are living in the last days and I believe this passage defines it for us perfectly. This is a big reason why, though maybe not salvation issues, we need to know what is in our Bibles.

We are told here that in the last days there will be scoffers walking after their own lusts. These scoffers will ask where Jesus is and, if He is real, why hasn’t He returned yet? They will say everything that is on the Earth now is as it has always been. They will deny biblical truths about the heavens, the earth, and the flood without doing any real research of their own, hence the term “willingly ignorant”. They will also deny God’s earthly, prophetic, and eternal judgment.

     The really disturbing fact is not only that we have people like this today, but that we have Christians like this today. There are Christians within the body of Christ who have allowed themselves to deny the very facts found within the Bible. They have become “willingly ignorant” by refusing to believe in things like the flood, Hell, or the soon return of Jesus. They will twist scripture and misinterpret Bible verses to fit their own theories and opinions instead of allowing their theories and opinions to come from the Bible itself.

That is why it is so important to know these seemingly insignificant facts. Just because they may not be a salvation issue does not mean we shouldn’t know the truth. If that were the case, Jesus’ entire ministry, everything Jesus ever said, even the thing Jesus’ followers said, would have only been about how to get saved and nothing else. The plain and simple truth is the reason these facts are so important to know is because God wants us to know the facts and the truth about them.

As if that wouldn’t be enough, there are other reasons why we need to know the truth about these seemingly insignificant biblical details. It is important for witnessing, for teaching, and for our own understanding of what truth is. We are even told in 1 Peter 3:15 to “…be ready to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you…”. Of course God wants us to give the most honest and truthful answer we can.

While we all have different beliefs about different things, some major and some minor, there is not a single one of us that has all the answers and knows every single bit of the truth. We must recognize this so we don’t become arrogant in our thinking about our beliefs. Pride like that makes it easier to fall into twisting the scriptures to fit what we think is truth. From there, it is even easier to start denying the Word of God without realizing we are doing so.

Arrogance, pride, ego, and being closed-minded with our own beliefs are all extremely slippery slopes. We need to learn to be honest with ourselves. We need to show humility to other people, and most importantly, to God. It is important we safeguard our hearts and know in our minds what is biblically right, but also be open-minded to what other people have to say.

What I have found to be true is that, most times but not all, an answer can be found in the Bible for just about any common question. It only depends on where we want to look. An example of this can be found in, what I have heard referred to as, the most confusing verse in the Bible. Describing the exclamation of Jesus at the moment of His death, Matthew 27:46 reads…

“And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, la’ma sabach’thani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

The reason some people find this verse is so perplexing is it sounds like, even if for only a moment, God forsook Jesus. There are many explanations and speculations by a wide variety of pastors and Christian Church leaders to explain this. The most popular explanation teaches that God turned His back on Jesus because, at the time, Jesus was carrying all the sins of the world and God couldn’t face Him. For many, this explanation if difficult to accept since one of the promises of God is to never leave or forsake His children (Hebrews 13:5).

     For a long time, I could not fully explain what was going on in Matthew 27:46. The problem was that, at the time, I was not letting scripture define itself. I was seeking the knowledge of other people instead of seeking the knowledge and wisdom of God. I only had one of three Bible passages needed to fully understand why Jesus said what He did in Matthew 27:46. I had the beginning, but I did not have the middle or the end.

     We read that, after He gave His exclamation in Matthew 27:46, Jesus was given a sponge full of vinegar to drink from. We can use this as a connection point. When we compare Matthew’s account to John’s account, we can find the same story with a bit more information. We read in John 19:29 that Jesus was given the sponge of vinegar. Next, in John 19:30, we read…

“When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.”

Now we have the beginning and end of Jesus’ words for this passage. It started with Jesus saying “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” and ended with Him saying “It is finished”. Now we only need the middle to bring this all together and make sense of it.

     The book of Psalms, in many ways, can be considered a book of prophecy. There are many psalms telling of God’s words, the last days, and even Jesus Himself. Psalm 22 is a prophetic psalm telling about the Messiah. The entire psalm is important and should be read in entirety but, for our purposes here, I am mainly going to focus on the first and last verses. Psalm 22:1 reads…

“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me and from the words of my roaring?”

The last verse in the chapter, Psalm 22:31, reads…

“They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.”

Now it begins to make sense what Jesus was really saying. Jesus wasn’t in doubt and God did not forsake Him. Jesus was fulfilling prophecy. To confirm this is what was happening, He quoted the words of David in Psalm 22. Jesus began by quoting the first line of the psalm, word for word. He ended by fulfilling the last line of the psalm “…that he hath done this” by saying “It is finished”. This was not a moment of weakness or doubt in Jesus’ life. This was a moment of great strength and a proclamation of fulfilled prophecy.

     Before I began allowing scripture to define scripture, I never would have been able to make that connection on my own. I remember that I would listen to pastors admit they had no idea what it meant, even calling it the “most confusing verse in the Bible”, and it discouraged me from trying to find the answer for myself. I figured if a pastor three times my age with thousands of hours of Bible study couldn’t figure it out, I didn’t have a chance. I was wrong.

I had to allow God to show me instead of relying on my own intellect and study. Getting a hold of that revelation, to let God lead me through my studies, completely transformed how I learn and read the Bible. Since that time, there has been nothing but benefits. The confusion I once had has significantly diminished.

God had to show me the difference between truth and tradition. I had to learn to trade my preconceived notions for His truth. The more time and effort put into it, the easier it is to do but it was not always like that. In the beginning, I found it very difficult to shed some of my traditional beliefs, even if I found out they conflicted with the Bible. I had to learn to let the Bible, and only the Bible, be my guiding light to the truth.

The first time I heard the fruit in the Garden of Eden was not an apple, or at least the Bible doesn’t say it was, it did not seem right. I was sure I knew what the Bible said. When I finally looked it up on my own, I realized I was wrong. Admitting I was wrong was difficult, but I knew I couldn’t keep believing and telling people something if I knew it wasn’t biblically true. We must fight against our own pride and lift the authority of the Word of God above our own ego.

To be a Christian and remain in the will of God, there are many things we must not allow ourselves to become involved in. We must not let any traditional teaching that doesn’t line up with the Bible dictate our beliefs. We must not let our own pride or fear dictate our beliefs. We must not let misinformation of any kind dictate our beliefs. God is the only one who should be allowed to have that kind of control in our lives. Only He can guide us to the truth.

God works in many ways to give us information. He uses His own words recorded in the Bible. He uses people in our lives, such as pastors, teachers, family members, friends, or even strangers. He uses various teachings through media such as television, radio, and books. He even will reveal the truth to us by speaking to our own hearts, guiding our souls, and stirring our spirits. God can be an amazing source of information and a wonderful teacher if we allow Him to do so in our lives. With such an amazingly powerful, lovingly honest, and completely trustworthy God at our disposal, why would we want to rely only on our own understanding to teach us?

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Comments
  1. Carla Johnson says:

    Josh, I really like your blog, and agree with the way you see things. I have recently started a closed group to share end time issues with several of my friends and family who want to learn more and stay informed, but have limited time to do their own research. Many of them have never even heard of some of the topics I have posted. I will be sharing some of your articles and videos in my group, as I feel they are very eye opening, knowledgeable, and interesting. Looking forward to reading more from you! Thank you for this wonderful ministry!

    • Josh Peck says:

      Thank you Carla, you have no idea how much that means to me. It is such a blessing for me to know this information is beneficial to others out there. Thank you so much for your comment. If you, your family, or your friends ever have any questions about anything I put out there, feel free to ask. I check my facebook and email quite often and always do my best to reply in a timely manner. Thank you again Carla. Take care and God bless you!

  2. These are very good blogs! Please keep them coming.

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