No More Bibles

What if there were no more Bibles?  What if there was never a written account of the ministry of Jesus, or Paul, or Peter, or John?  How would we learn and communicate the gospel?

I regularly receive emails or promotional materials about sending Bibles to China, to our troops overseas, to Africa, etc. Now I suspect in some instances these Bibles are for believers who do not have them and need/want them. I suspect in other instances these Bibles are for mass distribution to unbelievers in hopes that they become believers. Now that’s not a bad thing, but is it a biblical thing?  (Universalism is not a sound biblical principle. However, the Evangelical approach to “evangelism” is often couched in the concept of universalism {all will be saved}. That is not what we hear from Christ.)

What stimulated my thinking on this subject is my study in Luke. In chapter 10 we find these words:

Luk 10:21

 

In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.

Luk 10:22

 

All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”

Luk 10:23

 

Then turning to the disciples he said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see!

Luk 10:24

 

For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.”

The key phrases are “to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him” and “see what you see and did not see it, and to hear what your hear and did not hear it.”  Both give strong indication toward God’s sovereignty and revealing His message/plan of salvation to whom He will and no one else. That does not preclude “free will” but it certainly gives a strong indication that those who will accept the Gospel are chosen, if you please.

Paul goes a step further and talks about those who are “saved” are done so as a result of preaching (telling). Not Bible distribution, or tracts, or stickers on bathroom stalls, but through the preaching of the Word. (Romans 10:14-17)

Now I am not advocating that we stop with Bible production or adding another off-the-wall translation. I am simply asking, “What might Jesus have envisioned?”  Would there be evangelism if it were not for the written Word?  Could telling the story of the Incarnate WORD find sufficiency to bring those “whom the Son chooses” to a saving knowledge of Himself and conformity to the ethical behavior outlined in the Sermon on the Mount? If we did not know the “Roman Road”, could we still effectively tell people of the love of God and the good news of the Kingdom?

We own 13 Bibles of various translations. That is a measure of books owned and by no means a measure of how much we “own” the Biblical message. If someone confiscated all the Bibles, would we strive to hide one away, or hide its message in our heart?

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Filed under Bible, Discipleship, Gospel of Luke, scripture

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