Welcome to The Reasons to Believe podcast, episode #194. My name is Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International.
Our Reasons to Believe Scripture Passage for today is Acts 8:26-40. It reads, “And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet. Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea.”
Our Reasons to Believe quote for today is from John MacArthur. He said, “Scripture, because of its absolute clarity, brings understanding where there is ignorance, order where there is confusion, and light where there is spiritual and moral darkness. It stands in stark contrast to the muddled musings of unredeemed men, who themselves are blind and unable to discern truth or live righteously. God’s Word clearly reveals the blessed, hopeful truth they can never see.”
Today we are continuing the topic of scripture, its inerrancy, infallibility and inspiration using “Our God-breathed Book: The Bible – The Verbally Inspired, Eternal, Inerrant Word of God” by John R. Rice. Our Reasons to Believe powerpoint today comes from Chapter 1: “Inspiration: Holy Ground: Pull Off Your Shoes!” Part 8.
2. The Tremendous Testimony of Dr. B. H. Carroll
In a most remarkable and moving article, “My Infidelity and What Became of It,” by B. H. Carroll, the great Southern Baptist theologian, founder of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, tells how, when he faced this verse of Scripture, it led him to give God an honest trial. Dr. Carroll tells how he heard the challenge by a humble country preacher who insisted that he take God up on this promise to be willing to know the truth. Dr. Carroll says:
I had sworn never to put my foot in another church. My father had died believing me lost. My mother—when does a mother give up a child?—came to me one day and begged, for her sake, that I would attend one more meeting. It was a Methodist camp meeting, held in the fall of 1865. I had not an atom of interest in it. I liked the singing, but the preaching did not touch me.
But one day I shall never forget. It was Sunday at eleven o’clock. The great, wooden shed was crowded. I stood on the outskirts, leaning on my crutches, wearily and somewhat scornfully enduring. The preacher made a failure even for him. There was nothing in his sermon. But when he came down, as I supposed to exhort as usual, he startled me not only by not exhorting, but by asking some questions that seemed meant for me. He said: “You that stand aloof from Christianity and scorn us simple folks, what have you got? Answer honestly before God, have you found anything worth having where you are?”
My heart answered in a moment: “Nothing under the whole heaven; absolutely nothing.” As if he had heard my unspoken answer, he continued: “Is there anything else out there worth trying, that has any promise in it?” Again my heart answered: “Nothing; absolutely nothing. I have been to the jumping-off place on all these roads. They all lead to a bottomless abyss.”
“Well, then,” he continued, “admitting there’s nothing there, if there be a God, mustn’t there be a something somewhere? If so, how do you know it is not here? Are you willing to test it? Have you the fairness and courage to try it? I don’t ask you to read any book, nor study any evidences, nor make any difficult and tedious pilgrimages; that way is too long and time is too short. Are you willing to try it now; to make a practical, experimental test, you to be the judge of the result?”
These cool, calm and pertinent questions hit me with tremendous force, but I didn’t understand the test. He continued: “I base my test on these two Scriptures: ‘If any man willeth to do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God;’ ‘Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord.’”
For the first time I understood the import of these Scriptures. I had never before heard of such a translation for the first, and had never examined the original text. In our version it says: “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God.” But the preacher quoted it: “Whosoever willeth to do the will of God,” showing that the knowledge as to whether the doctrine was of God depended not upon external action and not upon exact conformity with God’s will, but upon the internal disposition—”whosoever willeth (or wishes) to do God’s will.” The old translation seemed to make knowledge impossible; the new, practicable.
In the second Scripture was also new light. “Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord,” which means that true knowledge follows persistence in the prosecution of it; that is, it comes not to temporary and spasmodic investigation.
Lord willing, we will continue “The Tremendous Testimony of Dr. B. H. Carroll” in our next episode.
Now, if you are listening today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, allow me to show you how.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Until next time, my friend, please keep in mind these reasons to believe. God bless!