Jer 29:13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
I read a portion of some research conducted by Pew Research today as posted on the Drudge Report about “Why Americas Nones Left Religion Behind.” I assume that America’s “Nones” has to do with the growing number of people who when asked in a survey about their religious affiliation answer “None.”
That indicates we have a large and growing “mission field” right here in the United States of America.
The survey respondents indicated that one of the major reasons they left their religious belief behind is that when they went to college, they learned more about science, and this convinced them that religion is without scientific basis and no longer worthy of their belief or commitment.
It is just such reports as this one that demonstrate that those in the church need to wake up to reality and learn more about the solid basis that exists for belief in the Bible.
And that is why all Christians must become knowledgeable about the subject of apologetics.
Anyone who is an agnostic or an atheist is misinformed or not informed about the basis for true Christian faith, and the basis for belief in the Bible.
To read the comments below the article about the Pew Research is quite depressing. I don’t feel depressed very often. Almost never. But to read some of the flimsy reasons given by unbelievers is depressing because had they been better informed about the Bible and its Christ they could not have caved in to the anti-theistic nonsense paraded as logic and science in our day.
Let me share just one brief comment of a great many that I just read:
In my opinion folks are getting pretty tired of hearing the big lie about Adam and Eve and the apple story and that snakes don’t talk. And being dammed to hell in the burning lake of fire for just about everything you do wrong in the eyes of the church. Also they are beginning to realize that this earth is way older than 6,000 years. [Gracie Gragg]
Any informed Bible reader knows that whatever fruit it was that Eve chose to eat, it most surely was not an apple. Such an idea does not occur in the Bible. There is no “apple story” there.
But how about the assertion that “snakes don’t talk”?
Answering this issue gets far more complicated. It requires a knowledge base beyond that possessed by most Christians, including their pastors. Of course, one might argue that since God miraculously enabled Balaam’s donkey to talk to him, then it might not be entirely out of the realm of possibility that a “snake” could be enabled to talk too. But this answer is not satisfactory. Unbelievers would argue they do not believe the story about Balaam and his donkey either.
There is a better answer, and it involves understanding the figure of speech employed at Genesis 3:1. It is the figure Hypocatastasis–the one your English teacher in high school or college failed to teach you about (unless you were in my English class, and you were listening). In my experience, English teachers do not know about this figure of speech either. Hypocatastasis is a kind of third degree of emphasis, simile being the first, and metaphor being the second. Satan (2 Corinthians 11:3; Ezekiel 28:13; Revelation 20:2), who made his appearance as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14), is called a serpent by the figure of speech Hypocatastasis just as Herod is called “that fox” by Jesus (Luke 13:32) in another instance of the very emphatic figure of speech Hypocatastasis. For a much fuller discussion see Appendix 19 of the Companion Bible. Just as Herod was certainly not a literal fox, so Satan was not a literal snake, but possessed the character denoted and emphasized by the figure.
Neither is everyone “damned to hell” for just about everything they do. Those who end up in the dreadful lake of fire for all eternity are there because of one thing: unbelief, which includes the idea of disobedience. Unbelief involves failure to believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
For various reasons and excuses, some do not believe in our Lord Jesus Christ. For the most part, it boils down to the fact that they do not really know the truth about Jesus Christ as He is revealed in the Bible. What they think they know is a caricature of Jesus Christ, not the truth about Jesus Christ, a caricature derived and assembled from snippets heard in contemporary culture and other unreliable sources, not what the Bible reveals about Him.
The solution is two-fold, at least. First, Christians need to better communicate the truth of the Gospel to those in their circle of influence who will listen to them. Second, those who are unbelievers really ought to read the New Testament carefully for themselves by doing what I have here called Real Bible Study.
Belief in the Bible does not require anyone to believe in the Young Earth Theory, that the earth is just 6000 years old. This theory is most likely mistaken in its understanding of the Biblical and geological evidence. Though many sincere Bible-believing Christians hold to a belief in the Young Earth Theory, the reaction of the unbeliever quoted above shows that such a probably mistaken view is a deterrent to faith in the Bible and its Christ. Surely such a view is not directly taught by the Bible, and should not be attributed to the Bible.