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UCGia Bible Insights Thursday, April 29 2021

Shocked by the Bible, changed by the truth

Jack’s friend, Chuck, was shocked when a minister Jack regularly listened to revealed what the Bible actually said. Chuck was determined to prove them both wrong, but when he began digging into the Bible, he realised they were correct.

by Jerold Aust

Another person who had a similar experience was Joe Kovacs, the executive news editor of WorldNetDaily, who wrote a book entitled, Shocked by the Bible. In his book Mr Kovacs highlighted interesting biblical facts, such as the Bible does not teach Sunday is the biblical Sabbath, and Christmas is not mentioned at all.

The Bereans

The example of the Bereans is recorded in the Bible as a positive example of ‘biblical shock’. The apostle Paul and Silas visited Berea and preached in the synagogue. Though the Bereans had never heard this message before, they approached Paul's teaching with a positive attitude, and proved what he was saying from the Bible. Acts 17:11 tells us, "These Jews were more receptive than those in Thessalonica, for they welcomed the message very eagerly and examined the scriptures every day to see whether these things were so" (New Revised Standard Version).

The Apostle Paul

Paul, formerly known as Saul, experienced an even greater shock when God called him. Although as a rabbinical student he was well versed in the Old Testament scriptures, he aggressively persecuted the early Church (Acts 8:3; 9:1-2), and was even complicit in the execution of Stephen, a faithful deacon who was stoned to death (Acts 7:58; 8:1).

God shocked Paul by blinding him for three days, until Ananias laid hands on him so he could receive his sight again (Acts 9:3-17). From a persecutor of the Church, Paul became a proclaimer of Jesus Christ "a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel" (verse 15).

As his life neared its end, Paul wrote: "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing" (2 Timothy 4:7-8).

Blinded By A Great Deceiver

Sadly, most do nothing even after they are shocked by biblical truths. As Winston Churchill famously said, "Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened." Jesus tells us: "...narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it" (Matthew 7:14).

Have you ever wondered why there are so many differing churches claiming to represent Jesus Christ? The apostle Paul warned, Satan is the "god of this age" who has subtly blinded well-meaning people from the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:4).

After Jesus' 40-day fast, Satan audaciously offered Him authority over all the kingdoms of the earth—but there was, of course, a catch: "And he [Satan] said to Him, 'All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me'" (Matthew 4:9). Jesus refused to worship Satan. A blinded, deceived humanity, however has, in the majority, made a different choice (1 John 5:19; Revelation 12:9).

What About Us?

Jesus holds us responsible to act on the facts of Scripture once we hear and understand them (Acts 17:30; James 4:17). God the Father first of all calls us and opens our minds to His truth (John 6:44). Then we must respond to that calling and change from our old ways. The Bible calls this repentance (Acts 2:37-38).

The next step is to seek baptism from a minister of Christ who teaches the truths of the Bible. Baptism involves total immersion in water symbolizing the death and burial of the old sinful self and the resurrection to a new life in Jesus Christ (Romans 6:3-11). Then the minister places his hands on the head of the newly baptised person and asks God to give the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:17), so that he or she can become begotten as the Father's own children (2 Corinthians 6:18).

Having been raised from the symbolic watery grave of baptism to new life, we must give up the world's way of living and actively live God's way of life. This is what Jack learned after he was challenged by the facts of Scripture that shocked him.