Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Today’s Topic: What is at the Center?
Today’s Text: 2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
I don’t do this often, but truth and busyness have come together this morning to make it possible and necessary. On Sunday one of my dear friends from years of church ministry went to be with Jesus. Then less than twenty-four hours later a more recent friend did the same. Two graduations resulting in two celebrations of eternal life this week. I needed the reminder I got this morning from Ron Hutchcraft that Truth is still the immovable center around which all life revolves.Here’s what he said:
When I visited the Gulf Coast of Florida, I got to see a couple of glorious earth turns. The sky was ablaze with color and the sun disappeared on the horizon. You say, “Excuse me, Ron, that’s a sunset.” Hey, wait a minute. Are you from the 14th century or something? The sun doesn’t set; it doesn’t move! The earth moves! As it makes its revolution, your point on earth turns away from the sun every 24 hours. So that would be an earth turn, right? And we say the sun sets. Well, the earth is turning and you can see how mankind got it wrong for so many centuries. I mean, it looks as if the sun is revolving around the earth. It revolutionized a lot of thinking when people finally understood what was revolving around what.
I’m Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about “Putting the Planets Where They Belong.”
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from 2 Timothy 3:16 . It says this: “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” Verse 17: “so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Now, what this is really saying is the Bible [can be compared to] the sun; God’s unchanging, unmoving truth. Everything else has to revolve around what God’s Word says. God’s Word on any subject is the final word.
If you read this passage, it’s written in the context of a time when Paul is predicting that moral values will be in total confusion, when wrong’s going to seem right, when what’s right will seem wrong. Doesn’t that sound familiar? It’s a time when imposters and false ideas will be deceiving many people. And so God’s instructions to Timothy are, “You continue in what you’ve learned and become convinced of what you’ve learned from infancy – the Holy Scriptures.”
In other words, you’ve got to stay where you are. Don’t let anything make you compromise on what God’s Word says. It’s unsettling to see that some research indicates that only about a fourth of America’s Christians are sure there’s absolute truth. We’re shaky on this authority issue; especially when it comes to areas that cramp our style or require us to change or go against what our group or our culture says is true today. We sometimes try to make our idea the sun, and then we try to make the Bible a planet that revolves around it. We put more weight on what is politically correct or culturally correct than what is biblically correct.
In academic circles, for example, there’s this subtle temptation to submit the Bible to whatever your discipline is; whether that’s the current trend in sociology, or literature, or the arts, or science. Well, you’ve got to submit your discipline to the Bible. God’s Word is the final word of origin of the universe and the origin of man. And any explanation that says God did anything other than instantly creating a fully developed adult is wrong. God’s Word is the final word on divorce, on re-marriage, on sexuality, whether it’s hetero or homosexuality. Or what it means to be a woman; what it means to be a man. It’s the final word on justice, on wealth, on sex, on the value of an unborn life.
No mental contortions can neutralize God’s authoritative Word on the subject. You do no one a favor by trying to make God’s Word more acceptable by diluting what it says. We stand on this book, and I hope every day as we’re together this book becomes more practical and more living in your life.
The planets in our world are in chaos as human wisdoms are confusing; they’re colliding. But God gave us this brilliant sun; one settled, unmoving, always true authority to keep the planets in the orbits they belong in – the Word of Almighty God, the Bible. People came out of the dark ages when they realized that the sun did not revolve around them.
We come out of the darkness when we realize and we never compromise the final centrality of the Bible in our personal universe, and when we put the planets of all those other ideas where they belong – in orbit around the sun of the Word of God.
May God’s Truth always be the center around which our lives revolve.