Bruce Collins, Evangelist

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What and Who can we Believe Today?



1 Timothy 1:15  This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.


What is a faithful saying?  It is a saying that is trustworthy.  It is a communication that is true.  One should be able to depend on a faithful saying.  Who tells the truth today?


It is certain that much of the material being posted on social media sites dealing with the current political campaigns cannot be trusted.  There are sites that are designed to check the facts and rumors that abound but unfortunately we tend to believe those sites when they agree with our opinion and we consider them biased when they don’t agree with us.  Can we depend on promises made by politicians?  The answer is “no” because even if they try to keep their promises, there are checks and balances in the political process that will keep many of the promises from being fulfilled. 


So what can we depend upon?  Some say we can depend on scientific facts. But unfortunately facts have a way of changing over the years.  At one time the earth was the center of the universe and then the sun became the center of universe and now as I understand it, either can be considered the center depending on the purpose of the model being used.   I am told that Cape Canaveral is the “center” for the vehicles that we send into space.  But over my lifetime there have been a lot of scientific “facts” that somehow aren’t facts any more.  An atom was once the smallest particle of matter but then we found out that atoms have parts called electrons and protons and neutrons.  Now the smallest part is called a quark but even that may change according to scientists as they gain more knowledge about what makes up matter.  I remember when the “science” of medicine told my wife to be careful about gaining weight when she was pregnant with our first child.  By the time the second child came along, weight gain that was not exorbitant was considered a good thing.  I paid doctors for both sets of advice.  Now I am not saying that any of these scientific “facts” were designed to intentionally deceive, but obviously some facts are presented without knowing all the facts about the facts.


It is my understanding that there are courses available to teach people how to lie in a believable way.  Most of us didn’t need a course in how to lie, we have likely all done it.  But lying so everyone believes us is an art.  Satan has that art down to a science and he knows just how to deceive us.  Usually it is by questioning the Word of God.  He constantly asks the question, "Has God indeed said?”  (See Genesis 3:1).  I know many people that accept parts of the Bible and reject the rest based on their own experiences and limited understanding.  Now I realize that the Bible has to be read in context, and that the New Testament has to explain the Old Testament.  I also realize that there is symbolic language in the Bible.  The Lord used parables in the New Testament which were allegories explaining spiritual principles.  There is poetic language and allegories in the Old Testament as well.  Sometimes it is difficult to know what is literal and what is allegorical.  However, the verse that I have referenced in this meditation is bedrock truth and is not allegorical.


Did Paul actually write this?  In Paul’s day, some letters were supposedly written by him when in fact he had not written them.  So from time to time he would emphasize that something he was writing was something he had written and it could be depended upon.  This is one of those verses.  Paul told over and over how he had been confronted by the Lord on the Damascus Road in Acts 9.  That encounter changed his thinking and it changed his occupation.  Meeting the Lord changed everything.  Instead of prospering as a religious Pharisee, he became a follower of Christ, the One he had been persecuting.  And now he reminds Timothy who had preached with him and had traveled with him of this dependable saying.  I suspect Timothy had heard this before many times but Paul still reminds him that this is bedrock truth upon which he can depend.  


What are we going to believe? We have many different voices wanting us to believe them today.  Some are outlandish ads about health products.  Some are outlandish ads by would be politicians.  Some are subtle messages enticing us to do things that we know are not right.  But Satan is subtle and tries to convince us that if a lot of people believe things in a certain way and do things in a certain way, then that is the way we should believe and do.  We all have to make choices as to what and who we are going to believe.  I have made my choice.  I m going to believe Paul when he says, “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.”  When I believe Paul, I am really believing in the written inspired word of God which means I am really believing what God has said about His Son.   I am normally a skeptical person when it comes to believing anything, but after years of studying and reading the Bible, I have found that there is nothing more dependable than the Bible properly interpreted.


I believe the message of Paul.  That message has not changed for over 2000 years and it gives every person who believes that faithful saying peace.  Everyone believes something or someone.  I believe Paul. 


Bruce Collins


Meditation for the week of February 21, 2016

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