Did God Really Say . . . ?

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.—2 Timothy 3:16-17

If you ask some people what they know about the Bible, they may say something like, “Cleanliness is next to godliness,” or, “God helps people who help themselves”—neither of which appears in Scripture. They speak from ignorance. More concerning are those who are familiar with God’s word yet doubt it means what it says.

It began in the garden, when the devil, disguised as a serpent, set out to lead Eve astray. 

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”—Genesis 3:1

For the record, this is what God had commanded Adam and his wife:

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”—Genesis 2:15-17

However, when confronted by the wily serpent, this is how Eve interpreted God’s command:

The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”—Genesis 3:2-3

We see the emergence of two camps: the one that discredits God’s word and the one that embellishes it. Both are sin. We either believe God’s word, or we don’t. We either accept, or we reject it. Just as there is no place in God’s kingdom for those who flat-out reject His truth, there is no place for those who settle for the in-between, as we see in God’s rebuke to the church in Laodicea. 

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of My mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.—Revelation 3:15-17

Can we believe the God who spoke creation into existence is incapable of inspiring Scripture and superintending its transmission and collation? 

Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things.—2 Peter 1:20

If we choose to accept any part of God’s word, we must accept it all—even those inconvenient truths that convict us. By it we will rise or fall. Just ask Eve.