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The Message of the Bible


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Keywords: Bible, Prophecy, Ezekiel, Biblical Prophecy, Ancient History, Jesus, Judaism, Christianity, Protestantism, Catholicism, Middle East, End Times, Scriptures, Old Testament, New Testament, Religion





The Message of the Bible

What is the Bible? What is its message?

These are two questions that—surprisingly—most people cannot answer accurately.

Pretty much everyone in English-speaking countries has heard of the Bible, but—again surprisingly—even many people who are highly educated, even many people who regularly attend church don't really know even the basics of the Bible.

The Bible is actually a set of more than 65 books written by about 40 main authors in three languages over a period of about 1500 years. (I say "main" authors because some parts are quotes from official government documents such as letters from Babylonian or Persian kings. Various people wrote Psalms.)

One way in which the Bible is unique is that over this 1500 year period it presents a consistent message:

  • There is a single deity ("God") who created everything and keeps it all running.
  • God is a "personal" God. He is alive, He thinks, He has opinions, He makes choices, etc. He is not like "the Force" in Star Wars, which is non-living and impersonal.
  • God gets involved in things that happen on Earth and elsewhere.
  • Every person is actually a "spirit" that lives in a physical human body.
  • Physical death is not the end of human existence. When a person physically dies, the person's spirit continues to live.
  • There is an eternal "afterlife".
  • For various reasons, God:
    • helps people in some situations
    • refuses to get involved in others and
    • deliberately causes difficulties in others.
  • God gave human beings freedom of choice to accept either good or evil.
  • Every person has chosen to do evil. Doing evil is called "sin".
  • If you have ever lied, stolen, had sex with someone you were not married to, fantasized about having sex with someone you were not married to, been jealous of another person, or many other such things, you have done evil and you are a sinner.
  • God rewards good and punishes evil.
  • Because every person has chosen to do evil, God should punish every person for doing evil.
  • Sinning is committing a crime against God. Like any other crime, when God is deciding whether you deserve to be punished, He does not look at the good you have done, He looks at the crime—the sin.

    This is a fancy way of saying that you can't make up for your sins by doing good.

  • Like any other crime, you can't say, "Yes, Judge, I did beat my neighbor with a baseball bat so bad that he wound up in the hospital for a week. But I'm a member of the PTA and I help out at a local homeless shelter. Overall, I'm not a bad person, so you can just forgive me because my good works outweigh me putting my neighbor in the hospital."

  • God has provided a way to escape His punishment for sin.
  • God came to Earth in the form of a human being (named Jesus) and lived among humans for 33 years.
  • Because He was God, Jesus did not sin.
  • Jesus voluntarily took the punishment for peoples' sins (like one person paying another person's criminal fine). He was physically tortured to death.
  • Jesus physically died.
  • Jesus was physically dead three days. (His spirit was still alive and left His body.)
  • God brought Jesus back from the dead in a permanent, physical supernatural form called a resurrected body.
  • God has provided a substitute who took the punishment we deserve—Jesus.
  • To get the benefit of this substitute, a person must do the following:
    • Admit the person has sinned.
    • Repent of the person's sins.

      "Repent" means "to be genuinely sorry for and want to turn away from". Being sorry that you got caught is not repenting. Being sorry you tried something and it didn't work—such as lying on a résumé and you still didn't get the job—is not repenting.

    • The person must accept God and try to live how God said to live.
    • Believe that Jesus died and rose from the dead.

      Although that sounds pretty weird at first, there are a lot of credible people who saw Him die and then saw Him alive. Some of them wrote about it in the books of the Bible called the New Testament.

    Also, Jesus is the only person in history whose life was described in detail before He was born. These descriptions are called Messianic prophecies.

  • You must believe that Jesus took your punishment and God has accepted that as payment for your sins.
  • If you do that:
    • God will immediately forgive all your sins—even future sins.
    • God will start changing the way you think. Over time, you will lose the desire to do evil things you used to enjoy.

    • God will help you in your daily life. He will protect you from certain things that would otherwise harm you. He will send good things your way that He would not otherwise send.
    • When you physically die, God will immediately take you into His presence and provide for you forever.
  •   If you don't do that:
    • God will not help you—you are on your own.
    • After you physically die God will punish you—not for a week or a month or a year, but forever.

      Why forever?

      a) Does "why" really matter? If your car won't start and you need to drive somewhere, does it really matter why it won't start? If you can't get it started, "why" is irrelevant!

      b) You chose to reject God, knowing it would mean punishment. He will simply be honoring your choice.