Imagine this scene with me for a moment: For many years you passed by the entrance to a serene pathway lined with cobblestone. It was appealing to the eye, but there was a sign posted by God that read, “WARNING: DO NOT ENTER- HOT COALS!” so you went on by, although curious where it went.
One day, as you were walking by, a man was standing at the opening. He seemed like a wise man, in fact he had credentials and boasted of being a scholar and teacher. But today he tells you the sign is wrong. The path is all cobblestone- it is okay to enter. So, after many years of passing by without entering, you decide to go in, because the man says God is wrong.
At first it is everything you thought it would be. The forest floor is beaming with colorful flowers, and you have never seen trees or grass this vividly green or bright. But after a little while the cobblestone disappears, and the only way out is over hot coals, the light is dimmed by a shroud of darkness.
Does this story remind you of anything? It highly resembles the story of how the world became broken in the first place. When Adam and Eve were in the garden and were naked and not ashamed (Genesis 2:25, ESV). God blessed them with a peaceful paradise and only one rule- not to eat the fruit of one tree. They probably passed by it many times without stopping to eat it, but one day there was a serpent near the base of the tree, and he told Eve God was wrong– the fruit is so sweet- you can eat it. (My words) You know how that turned out. That is why the world is broken today- because of sin and rebellion against God; we are all born into sin. But God’s Word is still truth, and He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8, ESV). His authority still stands. We cannot ignore the warning signs just because culture and society tell us it is okay.
When we turn away from God’s truth and authority we might get a little way down the road, but eventually we are going to get burnt. We cannot ignore God’s warning signs because of what the world tells us. The world is broken. People are not the problem. Sin is. Once we identify the problem, we realize there is only one solution- Jesus Christ. Jesus tells us in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through Me.” Jesus is still the only way to the Father; when we genuinely repent, believe, and accept Christ with our heart, we secure our eternal salvation.
Even in the OT God’s authority speaks and there is only one way for anyone to present sacrifices and approach the temple. When two of Aaron’s sons come in drunk and burn incense on the alter, they are immediately killed by the fire. Aaron could not say anything because he knew they were in the wrong (Leviticus 10:2, ESV). They went against God’s authority and made a mockery of the temple.
In essence that is what we are doing when we go against the Bible and God’s authoritative Word. When we defile the temple of God (which is our bodies) and make a mockery of His Word, there are consequences. We cannot pick and choose the portions that we keep or obey. Tearing out the pages is not an option, and neither is redaction.
Are we going to take man’s word over God’s just because it sounds better to the world, which is broken?