Shock! The Bible says: “There is no God.”
But what does the Bible REALLY say?
Yes, it is true. The sentence “There is no God” appears in the Bible. In fact, the words appear twice. They can be found in Psalms 14:1 and Psalms 53:1.
But (and this is a very big ‘but’), look up these verses and you will find that the complete text reads: ‘The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”’
In other words, it is vital to read Bible verses in context.
When someone quotes a Scripture, the first check as to whether they are using it correctly is to read the immediate context – that is, the words preceding and the words following – and then examine the wider context, asking questions such as: Who was speaking, and to whom, and why? Was God pointing to a truth that would be fulfilled later? And the questions don’t end there. Scripture deals with matters that affect people’s eternal destiny. It is important to handle the Word of God correctly [2 Timothy 2:15].
2 Timothy 2:15
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.×
The devil can, and does, quote Scripture
Matthew 4:5-7 records that the devil tempted Jesus by quoting Scripture. Jesus answered through His knowledge of Scripture, using it correctly and in context. Accurate Bible knowledge was Jesus’ defence.
Then the devil took Him to the holy city and had Him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He will command His angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”
Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”×
It is your protection too.
The devil has no need to deceive non-believers by quoting the Bible. Unbelievers are already deceived. And they don’t trust the Bible, so it is pointless quoting it to them.
No, the devil sets out to deceive believers by attempting to distort the meaning of Scripture. The attacks are subtle. They come in an unexpected way. They come in a way that appeals to pride and self-interest.
The devil sets out to deceive believers by attempting to distort the meaning of Scripture
You have powerful protection when you know the Bible, when you know the whole counsel of God. Sad to say, most Christians do not know the Bible. They have heard many sermons. They know certain Bible passages and the doctrines of their denomination. But, frequently, there are gaps in their knowledge.
Now, by the way, this has been a happy week for me. I gave away fifty dollars. I was so thrilled to give the money away that I went to the trouble of framing the banknote before I presented it.
Starting more than twenty years ago, I began asking Christians whether they had read the Bible from cover to cover, and how many times they had read the Bible cover to cover, and challenging Christians to read the Bible through from cover to cover.
During our years as pastors, and while speaking in different churches, and on the mission field, I have many times offered to pay fifty dollars to anyone who would read the Bible cover to cover.
This week, as I say, I made the first payment to the first person to have taken up the challenge and completed it.
That’s a happy day.
But, it’s also a sad commentary on the state of the church in much of the English-speaking world. Why do so few Christians read the Bible, in a methodical way and in its entirety?
I don’t have an answer to the question. Maybe you can help me?
Over the years, hundreds of people have written to me through this website. Many have questions. Some want to dispute and to debate. It is amazing how many confuse their national interest with God’s interest. It is also amazing how many quote Scripture selectively and out of context.
The next question to ask is: Does it matter? Does it matter whether you have correct doctrines or not? And, if it does matter, what should Christians do to complete their spiritual protection?
Jesus had a public ministry that lasted about three and a half years, from the age of about 30, until His death and resurrection. What did He do, in His humanity, in the years leading up to the life and sacrifice that is recorded in the gospels?
The answer is: He lived a quiet life, barely noticed by anyone. He worked with His hands. And He studied the Scriptures.