Daily Bible Nugget #422, Jeremiah 29:11

The Nugget:

Jer 29:13  And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

My Comment:

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.


This entry was posted in Apologetics Issues--Agnosticism, Apologetics Issues--Atheism, Bible Historicity and Validity, Daily Bible Nuggets and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Daily Bible Nugget #422, Jeremiah 29:11

  1. W.L. Wade says:

    Hello Bro. Jerome: it has been some time since I spoke with you. How are things with you and your family? I just finished reading your latest post. As always, very encouraging and informative. Thank you.
    What are you reading these days? On my desk, is a copy of The Company of the Preachers, by David Larsen. Very good reading.
    I may have asked you before, but have you heard of F. W. Boreham? Interesting character. I am reading the latest release entitled “Nuggets of Romance”.
    Has the weather gotten could in Michigan yet? It is becoming a little cool here now. But I am sure your winters are very cold there. Why don’t you and your wife sell out and move to Virginia. We are on the border of Va/N.C. We could sure use you down here. I would love to have my people sit under Jerome Smith for awhile. I would love that for myself as well!!
    Hope you and you wife have a good evening and a good day tomorrow!!!!
    Pastor Wade

  2. Jerry says:

    Dear Pastor Wade,

    I have been keeping you in my prayers! I have been worried that I have not heard from you in some time, so I am rejoicing to read your comment here this morning.

    I have been reading a number of things lately. In my Logos 7 software program I obtained a book titled Modern Theology. It is very informative, and I read all 400+ pages. Modern Theology is not the theology I learn from my reading and study of the Bible, I can assure you. I am currently reading a book I purchased for Logos 7 software about hermeneutics. It is over 500 pages long. It is a much better book, and sounder in its doctrine and stance toward the Bible. I have been reading much more. I have been reading J. Gresham Machen’s book, The Origin of Paul’s Religion. It is very good, and provides a quite sound exposition of several important texts in Paul’s letters as the argument is advanced. I recently read a book about Anselm’s theory of the Atonement of Christ, published in 1908, also a title in my Logos 7 software. This work is outstanding, and fully confirms the correctness of my scholar friend Dr. Malcolm Lavender’s findings as presented in his Lavender’s New Testament. I’ve also been reading aloud (to my wife Sue) a wonderful little book by Barbara Bowen, Strange Scriptures that Perplex the Western Mind. I hope you have that one. I bought it when I first visited Bob Jones University back in 1957, I think it was. I visited the Bowen Museum there, and bought the book, and one other, from the author herself!

    I splurged and bought four new study Bibles, one of them recommended by you (the Ryrie Study Bible) in the finest bindings available. As you know, Bibles are not bound as well today as they were in the 1950s and 1960s, when they could be had in fine leather, leather lined. The most interesting of the four Bibles I received is a new NIV Cultural Background Study Bible, I think it is called. It is well done, though some of the front matter should have been proofread more carefully. It is flawed in its Hebrew dictionary’s treatment of the word “nephesh,” for it gives a single meaning that falls far short of the many meanings found in its varied lexical categories like I presented in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge or my new Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury at Genesis 2:7. It also assumes the immersionist interpretation of several passages in Scripture, an assumption not borne out by the evidence. Nevertheless, I highly recommend this particular study Bible because its notes and articles are most informative. The notes are generally more complete at more passages than any other NIV study Bible I have seen or worked with.

    Of late we have had beautiful fall weather here in Michigan. Most of the leaves have now fallen from the maple trees here. I’ll have to sweep the driveway for a fourth time soon. My wife and I often speak of our wish that we could be much closer to where you are.

    I have been enjoying your radio ministry, week by week. You recently spoke on Psalm 119 and I sent you a copy of my Psalm 119 file. Did you get it?

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