How would you answer these questions: “Since the Bible was written over 2,000 years ago, is the Bible relevant to the modern man?” “Are the directives of the Bible applicable to the well-being of modern humanity?”
Many, if not most, of the people in our modern culture would answer, “No, the Bible is no longer, nor has it ever been, relevant to the welfare of any person or society.” Godless thought has widely permeated society with humanistic values. Many people are unconcerned with belief in God. They dismiss any interest in divine revelation for the human good. They accept no relevancy of salvation or eternal hope in Christ. They insist that religion is a dead issue.
Instead of advocating a belief in the God of the Bible and man’s accountability to Him, much current philosophy advocates and promotes the “gods” of human wisdom – fleshly desires, pleasure, and materialism. This godless view of life has left its adherents with an ever-changing values system, no purpose in life, and no hope beyond the grave. The influence of their godless values is witnessed by the downward spiral of human integrity, morality, honesty, justice, and the sanctity of life.
Paul described the similar situation of the Gentile world ofhis time in these words, “For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image of corruptible man…” (Rom. 1:21-23).
Modern man is no different than his ancient ancestors. Clothing styles and hairstyles change, but the needs of the people who wear them never change. All the radio and television talk shows and an innumerable number of books dealing with the moral and ethical questions of our time are testimony to our quest for answers to our deepest questions concerning family, social values, and life after death. But we have not found, nor will we find, the answer to these questions until we humbly turn from ourselves. The answers to life’s most asked and most important questions are found in “God’s instruction manual,” the Bible.
The apostle Peter wrote, “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to glory and virtue,” (2 Peter 1:2-3).
It is reasonable that God, the Creator who can be perceived through the evidence of His creation, would reveal Himself and our purpose through communication. 2 Peter 1:21 reads, “…holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”
Is the Bible the work of God? It declares that it is “inspired,” i.e. “breathed of God” (2 Timothy 3:16). But what is the evidence of its divine origin? Consider the following: What if we were to randomly select 40 people in Warren County and asked them to write about their concept of God? Do you think all the responses would be the same? What if we asked them to go on and write about things like family values, roles within society, sex, divorce, crime and punishment, death and suffering, etc. Would the essays have complementary content, or would their content be contradictory?
When we examine the Bible we see that it is a collection of 66 books, written in three different original languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek), by 40 writers from different backgrounds (including kings, soldiers, shepherds, farmers, fishermen, a doctor, a cup bearer, a tax collector and a tent maker), on three different continents, over a period of 1,600 years. It talks about God and many important subjects, including the ones listed, above. Given the above scenario, one would expect the Bible to be a tangled mess of contradictions, but instead we find the Bible to be a harmonious book, consistent with confirmed historical, geographical, scientific, and spiritual truth – reasonable evidence of its divine origin.
The Bible is relevant to our present-day needs. Without the Bible, we would be left to grope in the confusion of our ignorance and to do, “whatever seems right in our own eyes” (cf. Judges 17:6; 21:25).
We need God and His word of truth so that we can be free from our vain speculations that result in the practice of sin. Jesus said, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32). God’s word alone is, “profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16-17). God’s word will direct us to glory and excellence.
Yes, the Bible IS relevant to modern man! More specifically, the Bible is relevant to you and me! “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But he who heeds counsel is wise” (Proverbs 12:15).
-by Doug Roush
About the Author: Doug Roush is an evangelist at Southside Church of Christ located at 4777 Plano Road in Bowling Green. For more information, call 270-843-4307 or visit www.thesouthsidechurchofchrist.com.