The Conflict of the AgesPrint This Post
“Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, ‘Yea, hath God said….?’” (Genesis 3:1).
Satan’s primary objective is to get us to question God’s Word. For if he is successful there, then he has full access to every other area of our lives.
From the very beginning we learn that the Serpent wants us to question and doubt God’s Word. Why?
Christianity is based upon the foundation of the Divine Inspiration of the Bible. “In the history of the Church, the divine character of Scripture has been the greatest presupposition for the whole of Christian preaching, theology and practice.” (David S. Dockery, Holman Bible Dictionary). Or, to put it in a more poetic strain, “How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord, is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!”
The Bible is the Word of God. Surrender that one great Truth, and Christianity is left like a rudderless ship on a stormy sea – blown about by every wind and wave.
In early church history, a threatening conflict arose concerning the Nature of Christ. In latter years, the center of conflict was over the Nature of Man. Now, and it has been for quite a number of years, the battle is over the Divine Inspiration of the Bible.
WHY? The answer is simple.
When the conflict was over the Nature of Christ, men and women of God went to the Scripture and said, “It is written!” That settled it. When the conflict was over the Nature of man, men and women of God went to the Scripture and said, “It is written!” That settled it. It became apparent that the only way to discredit Christianity was to destroy the Bible. “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3)
And so the battle against the Word of God rages on today – a battle that began in the Garden of Eden when Satan sarcastically asked, “Yea, hath God said?” Given the final authority of Scripture, and its divine power for enlightening those who are lost, it is understandable why Satan would stop at nothing to destroy it. He uses foe and friend alike to undermine biblical authority at all cost.
It is the conflict of the ages.
Charles H. Spurgeon wrote, “At this moment we believe the infallibility of the Holy Scriptures to be the center of the conflict. To discuss the question of what is taught in Scripture is one thing, but to question the Scripture itself is quite another. We can be largely tolerant of all teaching which reverences the Word of God; but for that conceit which calls God Himself before the bar of human criticism, we have no word of denunciation sufficiently expressive. If we were dealing with heathen we could understand it; but from those who call themselves Christians it is not to be endured.” (The Sword and Trowel, July 1887)
In 1874 the Scriptures were under severe attack by critics, and John W. Haley published a defense entitled Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible. In the preface he wrote, “Finally, let it be remembered that the Bible is neither dependent upon nor affected by the success or failure of my book. Whatever may become of the latter, whatever may be the verdict passed upon it by an intelligent public, the Bible will stand. In the ages yet to be, when its present assailants and defenders are moldering in the dust, and when our very names are forgotten, God’s Word will be, as it has been during the centuries past, the guide and solace of millions.”
He was indeed right.
Tomorrow we will look at what makes the Bible such a remarkable Book….