Bethel Dallas Youth message on Sunday 11.4.18
Do you believe in the “Flat Earth” theory? This is a popular theory today that is being passed around declaring the world is not actually round but FLAT! I’m going to ask you to refrain from googling it but if you must see the pictures for a laugh then go ahead. Other than the conspiracy theories around the fake photos from NASA people actually pull evidence from the Bible that the earth is flat.
Sure the Bible says:
Isaiah 11:12 “the four quarters of the earth.”
Isaiah 40:22 “He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.”
Job 26:7 “he suspends the earth over nothing.”
Psalm 75:3 “it is I who hold its pillars firm.”
…but do these verses justify a belief in a flat earth or are they just figurative language of the day?
I hope you can figure that one out!
What we are talking about here is the ability to find the TRUTH. There is a famous movie line that goes “You want answers?” “No, I want the truth!” with a loud reply of “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!” So my question is….how much do you really want to know the truth?
My perspective is: “I don’t care what the truth is, I just want to know the truth.”
The minute you become extremely bias in what you want the truth to be is the minute that you stop seeking truth and starting looking for evidence to back up your opinion.
So…do you want to feel good about your opinions or do you want the truth?
Today, I want to challenge you on how you read the Bible. I want to challenge you to take off the scuffed glasses that we sometimes wear when reading the Bible. You know, the ones that only let you see what you want to see. You either have to ACCEPT the whole Bible as truth or REJECT the whole Bible.
We are searching for truth in a world of grey. How do you take the Bible, that was written so long ago, and apply it to real life questions you have today?
I would encourage you to choose one of those topics and begin reading all the places in the Bible that speak on the issue. While doing this, try not to be looking for one verse to justify your current opinion. Instead, come to the Bible with an open heart to seek truth on the matter. What does God say is true on the subject?
Here are a couple of tools you can use to help dig in to a verse properly. Consider these things:
Genre of the writing: narrative, prophecy, poetry, history, gospel, epistle
Context: historical, social, political, religious, literary
Obvious Meaning: figurative or literal?
Intentionality: Why did the writer say what they said?
Original Language (Etymology): What is the truest form of the word?
God-Centered: The Bible was not given by God to tell us about ancient religious people and how we should all try to be like them. It was given to tell us about the faithful God whom they either served or denied.
When you can read a series of verses and understand the true context of the verse then you are well on your way to knowing God’s truth behind these things we consider grey.
My greatest caution is against ‘cherry-picking’ a verse or two in order to back up what you want to believe. This is an immature and manipulative way to use God’s Holy Word. ACCEPT it all or REJECT it all but please don’t ‘cherry-pick’ the things you like and call yourself a follower of Jesus.
I leave you with this reaffirming statement from Jesus:
Matthew 7:7-8 NKJV
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”