Is the Bible outdated?
I’m basing what I am about to say on Ussher’s timeline (which you can find a good illustration for online). This may not be perfect, but it is at least close and sufficient for the purposes of this message.
There were about 1,656 years between the Creation in Genesis and the flood in Noah’s time. If you think that the Bible is old and outdated, consider that there have been about 1,930 years since the last books of the Bible, in terms of chronology, were written. When the flood hit in Noah’s time there had only been 270 some less years that had passed from the Creation until the flood than the years which have passed since the latest books of the Bible were written until today.
Another thing that is obvious by reading through the Bible, and looking through a decent timeline of Bible events is that God tends to wait long, sometimes incredibly long, amounts of time before He drastically reveals Himself to mankind. And it’s obvious also that such appearances are reminders and reinforcements of truths which the people affected should have known already by the words which God had already spoken and by the great things which He has already done.
God judged Sodom and Gomorrah approximately 450 years after the flood. Do you think that the people in Sodom and Gomorrah weren’t calling the stories of the flood old tales? Of course they were! And do you think they were not calling the ways of men whom God deemed righteous, such as Noah, outdated, backwards, regressive, etc. Of course they were saying such things! And do you think that enemies of God in the times of Moses, David, Jeremiah, etc weren’t saying such things about the previous judgments which God had executed; and about the ways of those whom God deemed righteous in previous generations? We see even multitudes of examples (in the relatively short period that it was a political nation) of how Israel often provoked God and received His judgment due to deceiving themselves that the warnings and threats of God’s Law didn’t really apply to them anymore; and thinking that they could depart from the words He had spoken without horrible consequences to themselves. Things like this have always happened!
And it is madness to think that this has also not been happening over the past 2,000 years in deceitful dealing regarding God’s full revelation of Himself in Jesus Christ. We are living in a very wicked, perilous time where such thoughts are reigning in society and even prevailing throughout the professing Christian churches! You want to claim the Bible is outdated and you don’t really need to heed everything in it, that you don’t really need to listen carefully to God’s instructions there, that you don’t really have to live by every word of God? You think that hell is old-fashioned, and God isn’t taking note of and recording everything still, with the certainty of bringing every work into judgment and rendering to every man according to His deeds? There is a long list of groups and individuals in the Bible itself who said such things which got horribly reproved, put in their place, and proven to be fools. Whether they had lived one hundred years or one thousand years since the Lord had made a notable grand scale example of others, it doesn’t really matter. They knew better than they were living; and they were fools to think that God wasn’t watching, or to think that God had changed, or to think that God had abandoned His throne, or to think that he test was over, or to think whatever they thought which justified and secured them in their deceit, lust, and any manner of sin.
Proverbs 15:3: “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.”
Still? Of course. But how can that be? Since you’ve never seen Judgment Day? You’ve seen His Creation, His law is written on your heart, and you know enough Bible truth to increase your accountability greatly too, even if you only know of the biggest events and a few of the ten commandments. Anyone who is faithfully walking before God according to the light they have is living in light of Judgment Day, has their heart set on following the truth that they know, and is earnestly seeking to know God more, seeking more light to better walk in His ways. Those who are not doing that are suppressing the knowledge of Him that they do have, they suppress light they have been exposed to, and hence they are living in iniquity (lawlessness). They are thus under God’s wrath and candidates for His imminent judgment
Job 34:21-22: “For his eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings. There is no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves.”
Psalm 50:21-23: “These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes. Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver. Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.”
Many destroyed by the flood said they loved God. Cain and King Saul offered sacrifices to God, but they were unacceptable sacrifices because they didn’t really die to themselves in order to actually follow His instructions. Earlier in Psalm 50 it says in verses 16 and 17 “But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth? Seeing thou hatest instruction, and casteth my words behind thee.” Forgetting God then is speaking of suppressing His light and refusing to wholeheartedly follow His Word. And you will surely do that if you consider the Bible outdated, backwards, etc. And even if you say it’s not outdated, backwards, etc then you are no better than those who say such things when you oppose its counsel and refuse to walk in all of its light.
Matthew 24:35-51: “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; And shall begin to smite his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
They ate and drank with the drunken, and smote their fellow servants, and overall lived contrary to the master’s instructions, because they chose to live in a way that was more pleasurable and congruent to their fleshly tendencies than the way of doing the things the master had appointed (i.e. living according to the master’s rules). In this notable delay, they did not consider that they would be brought into account for everything that happened while He was away (in terms of His tangible presence being away). Would He not know what was actually happening? Was His delay any sign that He didn’t know what was happening, any sign that his mind had changed, any sign that his authority was diminished, or any sign that accountability to him in any way going to be evaded, or any sign that being faithful wasn’t to Him wasn’t really worth it, or any sign that hedonism and any manner of disobedience was not going to end with deep mourning and the bitterest regret? Certainly not so with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!
The people in Noah’s time found out the hard way. They should have known. They were certainly warned through Noah’s preaching. Yet those stories of Creation, and of Adam and Eve being kicked out of the Garden for their transgression (over 1,600 years ago to them), and all those other stories of God’s intervention in the world seemed like distant, ancient fairytales of a backwards time. It had even been (in the final years before the flood) about 600 years since Enoch being caught up into heaven had happened (or they would have said, had supposedly happened). It was easy for them to believe that they had progressed beyond heeding such allegedly backwards stories and instructions- especially when their love of sin, and the obsession with the pleasures and cares of life, made such a belief seem especially convenient and easy to retain. So they found out the obvious the hard way and went to hell in a sudden judgment, which they were not expecting and which they were unaware of beforehand. The same suppression of light which caused them to live in the pleasures of sin securely enough to continue in sin also caused them to be shocked at the judgment for doing so when it finally happened. And that can be said of every other judgment of God recorded within the Bible, and every other judgment of God which has otherwise happened or ever will happen- most notably of Christ’s second coming that will mark the end of this age. Proceed in sin at your own risk then and don’t strive rather with your whole heart to properly understand and walk in the whole counsel of God laid out in the Bible. Multitudes have taken the same risk and it didn’t end up well for them, even though there were others before them who took the very same risk and it didn’t end up well for them either. It’s a big club- and there is room for more.
Psalm 94:7-11: “Yet they say, The Lord shall not see, neither shall the God of Jacob regard it. Understand, ye brutish among the people: and ye fools, when will ye be wise? He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? he that formed the eye, shall he not see? He that chastiseth the heathen, shall not he correct? he that teacheth man knowledge, shall not he know? The Lord knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity.”
Jeremiah 10:10: “But the Lord is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation.”
Psalm 119:142: “Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth.”
Psalm 92:5-9: “O Lord, how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep. A brutish man knoweth not; neither doth a fool understand this. When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity (i.e. lawlessness) do flourish; it is that they shall be destroyed for ever: But thou, Lord, art most high for evermore. For, lo, thine enemies, O Lord, for, lo, thine enemies shall perish; all the workers of iniquity (i.e. lawlessness) shall be scattered.”
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