Tim Johnson, editor
December 28, 2008
We Understand the Bible?
Although many live as if they will never have to answer for their deeds, the Bible teaches that all of us will face judgment. As sure as you're breathing, you will be judged. "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad" (2 Corinthians 5:10). Judgment is the very real destiny of every one of us.
We should all be concerned about our standing in judgment, as well as the standing of our fellowmen. In order to help us to prepare, the Bible gives answers to many important questions about the judgment.
When will it be?
Who will be judged? ALL MEN! None will escape it!
By what standard will we be judged?
Will the judgment be fair and just? The judgment will be righteous because both the Judge and His standard of judgment are righteous. (NOTE: This means that there will be no false convictions, favoritism from the Judge, loopholes in the law, appeals to a higher court, etc.)
What will be determined by the judgment?
You say, "Yes, we can understand it, but we cannot understand it alike." I beg to differ with you. I maintain that if we can understand it, we can understand it alike. The problem is not our understanding the Bible alike, but our understanding it.
When you say we cannot understand the Bible "alike," you are saying that God has given us a book that will mean most anything one wants it to and that causes confusion. In 1 Cor. 14:33, we read, "For God is not the author of confusion&ldots;" If God gave us a book to go by that we cannot understand "alike," then God would be the author of confusion.
Again, in John 17:20-21, Jesus prayed, "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word: That they all may be one, as thou, Father, art in me and I in thee, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me." If we cannot understand the Bible "alike", then Christ sinned when he prayed this prayer because he prayed for something that he knew was impossible. Yet, 1 Peter 2:22 says he did no sin.
In 1 Cor. 1:10, we read, "Now I beseech you brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment." If we cannot understand the Bible alike, then it would be impossible to speak the same thing, and to be of the same mind and judgment.
There are many passages that bear out this point, but I believe these few will suffice for you to see that the problem is our understanding the Bible and not our understanding it alike. If we understand it, we will be alike.
Now to the question: CAN WE UNDERSTAND THE BIBLE? The Bible will be a part of that by which we are judged. (See John 12:48; Rev. 22:12). I hardly think God gave us a Book to go by here that we cannot understand and then condemn us into hell because we didn't do what it says.
The Bible itself declares that it can be understood. "The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding to the simple." Psalms 119:130. Also in Eph. 1:4, Paul says, "Whereby when ye read, ye may understand."
You say, well there are some things in the Bible that I don't understand. The fact that you don't understand them does not mean that you cannot understand them. We must continue studying the Bible. Some passages are "hard to be understood," but not impossible (2 Pet. 3:16).
One might also say, well there are some things in Revelation that I don't understand. That's right and you are not by yourself. Some things have not been revealed. In Deut. 29:29, Moses said, "The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and our children forever, that we may do the words of this law."
We can understand how to be saved, how to worship and how to live and all that God intends for us to understand. We can understand the Bible and those "who hunger and thirst after righteousness" will (Matthew 5:6).
-- Huston Gateley
Via The Instructor, Vol. 22, No. 9, September 1985