Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
~ 2 Peter 1:20
There is an odd group of people in the world — one of whom is a notorious atheist professor of religion at a large state university — whose primary goal in life seems to be to discredit the Bible. There are, clearly, some rational issues to be debated between believers and non-believers. They will grasp at any straw, tell any lie, distort any passage in order to make fun of the Bible and ridicule its adherents.
Do not be dismayed by such people. They are the tools of Satan. They are the “lawlessness” that 2 Thessalonians tells us will precede the rise of the Antichrist. “For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work.” (2 Thess. 2:7) 2 Thess. goes on to describe how the wicked will tell lies, and God will actually delude people who do not believe in him, because those who will die will believe the falsehoods and deception.
We don’t have time or space here even to outline why such attacks are incorrect. We hope you will continue following Daily Prayer, where we do treat these matters in depth, from time to time. For example, there are parts of the Bible that are inconsistent or even contradictory. If you are ever confronted by a person spouting off about contradictions, and do not know the answer, what might you say? I'd suggest, “That’s interesting, I’ll have to look into it.” There’s no reason to be defensive.
Anyone who does not think that the end of the world is slowly working its way to fruition should pay attention to these people. They remind me of the Jews, soldiers, and others who stood at the foot of the cross, mocking Christ. The two groups have the same sarcastic delight, and share the same stupidity and short-sightedness.
Do not let yourself be discouraged, troubled, flustered, or even hurt by these people. Simply don't bother with them. They are lost souls and, like the great Tempter himself, they will do or say anything to pull you away from your salvation. You are going to live and they are going to die. Time and time again we witness people full of shouting, mocking bravado, who are silenced only by the defeat that they thought impossible. They will never be convinced and they will never be embarrassed when proven absolutely wrong.
One of the great strengths of our belief is the conviction of the Holy Spirit. We walk in total confidence in Christ. We have been called to it, somehow. I believe in free will and I believe every person can hear they call if they only listen; but even if I am wrong, I know that I have been called by God, for I can see it in my actions. He has changed me. I am part of the proof of His truth.
“Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’” (1 Peter 1:13-16)
Lord Christ, my faith in you is , my love for you is absolute, and my thankfulness for your grace will endure unto all eternity. Amen.
~ Mason Barge
Editor, Daily Prayer