Linggo, Marso 1, 2015



IF YOU HAD lived in the olden times when there were no such instruments as telescope, camera, television, and spaceship, would you have believed reports that the earth is round and hangs on nothing?

The prevailing view then was, in fact, contrary to this.  Reactions to such reports would have ranged from mild ones, such as the raising of an eyebrow, to violent ones, such as condemnation or denunciation (Remember Galileo, one of the first scientists to challenge the old universal belief that the sun revolves around the earth?).

Now, discoveries in the age of exploration and the modern era have shattered the then prevailing view—the earth is, indeed, a globe floating in space.

But, did you know that these facts about the earth, as well as other facts about the space and the stars, were already in the Holy Scriptures centuries before the discoveries were made?

The earth is round.  “When the Bible was written it was universally believed that the earth was flat.  It was argued that should one go too far toward the edge he would fall off.  …Finally, Magellan and his men sailed around the earth and thus proved it to be spherical in shape.” (George Dehoff. Why We Believe the Bible. P. 49)

Moreover, modern technology enables anyone to see for himself that the earth is round.  But this fact was already recorded in the Bible about 2,200 years before Magellan’s voyage:

“That He sits over the round earth.” (Is. 40:22, Moffatt Translation)

The earth hangs on nothing.  “The ancient Greeks and Romans were the most advanced peoples of their time, yet they believed that the earth was held in place by poles or by the neck of Atlas.  Others believed that Atlas had the earth on his shoulders.” (Dehoff. Pp. 49-50)

While the “most advanced” people in ancient times held a view that was but a myth, it was inscribed in the Book of Job (between 600 and 400 B.C.) that the earth hangs on nothing:

“He stretches out the north over empty space;
He hangs the earth on nothing.(Job. 26:7, New King James Version)

There’s a void up north.  “Astronomers have discovered that there is a great empty space in the North. … When the telescope is set exactly to the North there is a great empty space.  For this, astronomers have been unable to account.  They did not know until recently that there was such an empty space.” (Dehoff. P. 50)

Even without the aid of telescope, the same can be discovered in the Bible:

He stretches out the north over empty space;
He hangs the earth on nothing.” (Job. 26:7, NKJV)

The stars cannot be counted.  “The ancients believed that there were only a very few stars in the heavens.  In 150 B.C. Hipparchus said that there were less three thousand.  In A.D. 150 Ptolemy said there were more than three thousand. … After the middle ages and the invention of the telescope, men discovered that the stars are innumerable.” (Dehoff. P. 56)

This fact was already written in the Bible between 700 and 600 B.C.:

“I will make the descendants of David my servant and the Levites who minister before me as countless as the stars in the sky and as measureless as the sand on the seashore. (Jer. 33:22, New International Version)

Take note that the preceding facts (and others, for that matter) about the earth, stars, and space cannot be proven under normal conditions.  We can only see the roundness of the earth if we are hundreds of miles away from it or from a photo taken at the same distance, but not on the earth’s surface where it looks flat.  And unless we use a telescope or are light-years away from our galaxy, only a small ratio of the innumerable stars that make up the galaxy is visible to our unaided eyes.

Without the aid of modern instruments, how then could the writer of the Bible have known these facts?  We believe that these were revealed to them by God who made the heavens, the earth, and the stars:

“When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained.” (Ps. 8:3, NKJV)

This strengthens our belief that the Holy Scriptures is written word of God given by inspiration of Him:

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. (II Tim. 3:16, Ibid.)

Whereas man’s knowledge changes as it is proven wrong by new discoveries, the inspired word of God in the Bible endures because it is truth:

“The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.  (Is. 40:8)

“Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. (Jn. 17:17, Ibid.)

A word of caution is in order, however.  The discussion above should not lead anyone to think that every discovery of the physical environment is also revealed in the Bible.  The Bible does not make any such claim.

Far more important than being able to tell facts about the physical earth, the Holy Scriptures is “able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (II Tim. 3:15, Ibid.).  It teaches the truth we ought to know in order to be saved on Judgment Day:

“For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (I Tim. 2:3-4, Ibid.)

“And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.(Heb. 9:27, Ibid.)

This is very important for us to know.  Just as death which God appointed to man is fulfilled, so will the day of Judgment for it is also God who appointed it (II Pt. 3:7; Acts 17:31).

But, the merciful God does not want us to be punished, so He had His words written that we may come to know the truth and be saved.

What does the Bible teach us in order to gain salvation and eternal life?

Recognize the heavenly Father who is the only true God, and His Son Jesus Christ whom He sent to save us:

“Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You.  And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. (Jn. 17:1, 3, NKJV)

“Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. (Acts 5:31, Ibid.)

Enter the flock or the Church of Christ, which Christ has redeemed and will save:

“Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.  I am the door; anyone who comes into the fold though me will be safe.  (Jn. 10:7, 9, Revised English Bible)

“Take heed therefore to yourselves and to all the flock over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you overseers, to feed the church of Christ which he has purchased with his blood.(Acts 20:28, Lamsa Translation)

“For a husband has authority over his wife just as Christ has authority over the church; and Christ is himself the Savior of the church, his body.(Eph. 5:23, Today’s English Version)

Remain in the Church of Christ and in obeying God’s commandments until the end:

“This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus.  Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.”

“Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.”(Rev. 14:12-13, NIV)

“But he who endures to the end shall be saved.(Mt. 24:13, NKJV)*


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