The Foundation of My Faith – by Todd Strandberg – www.raptureready.com
It is absolutely vital for believers to have a solid understanding of why they are members of the Christian faith. Millions of people think they are part of the body of Christ, but they have no idea what it really means to be saved. I’ve known dozens of people who confessed to be Christians for a time, but who later simply wandered away from the flock. It is like their faith in God came with an expiration date.
We tend to view salvation as being a boundless commodity. Jesus warned that it is a finite resource with a limited time offer: “Because strait [is] the gate, and narrow [is] the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matt. 7:14).
The key reason some people have no grasp of faith is that they never established a meaningful relationship with their Creator. True believers stand firm in both good and bad times because they have a firm foundation for their faith. Carnal Christians will blow away when adversity, comes or even when the Christian experience becomes boring to them.
In June of 2008, I got a first-hand look at the importance of having a good foundation of support. On a Saturday afternoon, severe thunderstorms came roaring through my area with 90 mph gusts. The force of the wind blew down two huge spruce trees in my front yard. After the storm, I was amazed to see that a group of cottonwood trees, which were twice as tall as my spruce trees, had suffered little damage. While surveying the mess, I realized why my spruce trees had fallen and the cottonwoods had remained standing: the trees’ root system. Spruces are big and broad, but they have very shallow roots. Cottonwoods endure the wind because they have deep roots. In fact, I later learned that nurseries warn people not to plant cottonwoods too close to houses because their aggressive root systems can get into sewer lines.
There is a mirror reflection of my tree experience in Luke 6:47 “Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.”
Don’t Lean on Man
I frequently receive emails from people seeking my support for their particular doctrinal views. They want me to validate their beliefs by agreeing with them. It astounds me that some people base their view of truth on a thumbs-up from someone else. The Bible is the only foundation we should use for our faith.
“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success” (Josh. 1:8).
One day, I was sorting through a bunch of old teaching tapes I had collected from as far back as the early ‘80s. I pitched many of these tapes in the trash because I know now the people who authored those tapes held to some grievous doctrinal errors. Hobart E. Freeman is one such case. He believed that all sickness was a lie from the devil, and that it was a sin to go a doctor. Despite Freeman’s claims of being able to rebuke all illness, he came to sad end in 1984, when he died of bronchial pneumonia and congestive heart failure complicated by an ulcerated gangrenous leg. One report said that 19 members of his church also died from needless neglect of medical conditions.
I didn’t learn of Freeman’s death until many years later. I had simply lost interest in his teaching because it was in conflict with the Bible. I have found that anyone preaching some new truth is most likely a false prophet. The best teachers are those who stick closely to the Word of God.
Don’t Even Trust a Fool
The devil uses every trick in the book to deceive us. I was once searching through the YouTube site, looking at videos on evolution. I found a series of videos by someone named Edward Current, who was defending creationism. After listening to some of the messages, I was amazed at how poorly Ed was doing at defending his cause. About a month later, I was reading through the mountain of email I get each day, and I ran across a note that alerted me to the fact that Mr. Current was an atheist pretending to be believer.
Some of the videos produced by this deceiver have been viewed nearly a million times, so I’m sure thousands of people have watched them and concluded that Christianity is a bunch of nonsense. Because even the fool might be working for Satan, we need to confirm everything with the Word of God.
“It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes” ( Psalm 118:8-9).
Everyone has their own reasons for placing their trust in the Bible. Some reasons have such strong basic truth, they should be universally applied to the lives of most Christians. Listed below are the top four reasons I believe the Holy Bible is the supreme authority on all matters.
1 Prophecy Fulfillment
Many books claim to be the inspired writing of God. What makes the Holy Bible stand out from the crowd is that it is the only religious document that contains historically verifiable prophecies that have consistently been fulfilled. The Koran makes no attempt at predicting the future.
I’m at a loss to find a book that can be remotely compared to the Bible. Even the best soothsayer can only claim an accuracy rate of less than 4 percent. The writing of Nostradamus is widely acclaimed for predicting the future, but it’s all based on smoke and mirrors. The success of his book, Les Propheties, rests on the fact that it is nothing but a collection of vague gibberish. For example:
“The year 1999 seven months from the sky will come the great King of Terror. To resuscitate the great king of the Mongols. Before and after Mars reigns by good luck.” (X.72).
Too much good times, too much of royal goodness, Ones made and unmade, quick, sudden, neglectful: Lightly will he believe falsely of his loyal wife, He put to death through his benevolence. (X 44).
Any predictions that have come to pass that can be attributed to Nostradamus were made so after the event occurred. The only connection is the resolve of people’s active imaginations.
The Bible makes clear predictions, and there has never been a case when one of its prophecies has not come to pass. The Good Book has been so successful at foretelling the future, I believe people who scoff at it are making a "Sucker’s Bet." They fail to realize that 87 percent of end-time prophecy is already in an advanced state of fulfillment.
The accurate prediction of the rebirth of Israel is Bible prophecy’s most stunning achievement. The Word of God also said that China would rise to be a world power; Europe would form a single government; the world would someday have a globally integrated financial market; and that there would be a diplomatic struggle (which we’re seeing today) over who should control Jerusalem.
There is no need for blind faith in what God has said in His Holy Word. I trust in the Bible because it has proven itself through prophecy.
2 God’s Deliverance of the Jewish People
About 150 years ago, the King of Sweden was having personal doubts about the Bible’s divine nature. He called for Count Von Zinzendorf, who was the bishop of the Moravian Church, to provide evidence that the Bible is inspired by God. When the Count arrived, the King told him he had set aside 10 hours to be enlightened on this matter. Zinzendorf said that much time would not be necessary because all he needed to do was to say two words. The King, skeptical, asked, “What words might those be?” Count Von Zinzendorf replied, "The Jews."
One of the greatest miracles of God is the preservation of the children of Israel. No other group of people has ever been completely annihilated as a nation and then later reborn. The rebirth of Israel in 1948 is the key indication that we are in the end times.
"Therefore behold the days are coming, says the Lord, that they shall no longer say ‘As the Lord lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt’, but ‘As the Lord lives who brought up and lead the descendants of the house of Israel from the north country and from all the countries where I have driven them’ (Jer. 16:14-15).
The regathering of Israel is a remarkable task alone, but what makes one have to admit that the hand of God was involved is how the Jews managed to overcome unbelievable persecution. Each of the following nations and tribes has failed in its attempt to destroy the Jews:
The whole Muslim world
Of course, God is not finished preserving the Jewish people. During the tribulation, Satan will inspire several genocidal attacks against Israel. Anyone reading this article near the end of the tribulation will be able to add a few more names to this list of defeated foes.
3 Testimony of Jesus Christ
The Bible verse, John 3:16, is regarded as the one everyone in the Western world knows: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Being familiar with this passage doesn’t make one a believer. Jesus may be a savior, but is he your Savior?
What causes people to fail to connect with Jesus is a failure to realize the importance of making him Lord of our lives. You can’t get a firmer foundation than realizing Jesus is your only hope for eternal life. "For other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ" (1 Cor. 3:11).
Testimony of Jesus in the Gospel is proof enough of His deity, but the Bible has an added bonus. The Old Testament prophets foretold the coming of the Messiah in great detail. They listed several prophecies that Jesus fulfilled.
He would be a descendant of Abraham (Gen. 12:3; Gen. 22:18).
His tribe would be Judah (Gen. 49:10).
He would be an ancestor of David (2 Sam. 7:12 and 13).
He would be born in the city of Bethlehem (Mic. 5:2).
He would enter Jerusalem on a donkey (Zech. 9:9).
The Lord would lay on Him the iniquity of us all (Isa. 53:5-6).
He would remain silent before his accusers (Isa. 53:7).
He would be considered a criminal and executed with criminals (Isa. 53:12).
He would bear the sin of many (Isa. 53:12).
He would be killed (Isa. 53:8).
His hands and feet would be pierced (Ps. 22:16).
His clothing would be divided up and gambled over (Ps. 22:18).
He would be buried in the tomb of a wealthy man (Isa. 53:9).
His body would not see corruption (Ps. 16:10).
He would rise from the dead (Isa. 53:9-12).
He would ascend into heaven (Ps. 110:1).
4# The Work of the Holy Spirit
My last foundation of faith is the greatest one of all, but it is probably the least understood by most Christians. The Bible tells us that one of the missions of the Holy Spirit is to reveal the nature of God to those who seek knowledge. I know Jesus is Lord because the Holy Spirit revealed this truth to me.
“Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit” (1 Jn. 4:13).
In Matthew 16:16-18, Simon Peter said to Jesus, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jonah: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father who is in heaven. And I also say unto thee that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it."
It is the function of the Holy Spirit to reveal and confirm that we are a part of the family of God, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together " (Rom. 8:14-17).
Many people make the error of just assuming that the Holy Spirit is directing them. If you have any doubt about your foundation of faith, seek the Lord’s guidance and He will eventually bring you an assurance of salvation and understanding.
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes; fear the Lord, and depart from evil” (Prov. 3:5-7).