Although there are topics that the Bible addresses not at all and others that are broached sparingly, there are many others that we often assume (erroneously, as it turns out) to be given short shrift in the Word of God—sometimes because we have heard as much all our lives but always because we have not examined Scripture sufficiently on a particular topic ourselves. In many instances, an earnest perusal of the Word will yield a rich vein of truth where we had thought, before we began mining, that there was little or no information to be discovered. Three examples from personal experience will serve to illustrate the point.
1. “The Bible says very little about heaven.” All my life, I have heard that statement and have probably been guilty of saying the same thing myself. Admittedly, if by that statement, someone means to suggest that the Bible says little about what the experience of heaven will be like for the believer, it is true. Nevertheless, the Bible has quite a lot otherwise to say about heaven. More than half (thirty-six of sixty-six) books make one or more significant references to heaven (sometimes many or lengthy ones). Our adult Sunday School class spent the better part of a year studying the subject without exhausting the topic. Once we decided to examine the Word rather than believing a cliché, we discovered a gold mine of information.
2. Jesus Christ had to be a man rather than a woman. Although I have long been aware of the “gender-neutral” so-called translations of the Bible that have sprouted over the years, the issue of the essential maleness of Christ has never been in my sights. The Scripture stated the fact that the incarnate Christ was a man and because I had never bumped heads with anyone requiring me to defend that position, I had given it little thought. But it has been an issue in liberal churches and is becoming one in some evangelical ones as well. It was a blessing, then, to read a book by Bruce Ware on the humanity of Christ entitled The Man Christ Jesus, in which he lists twelve biblical reasons, as he put it, “why our Savior could not have been a woman and must have been a man.” I still have had no occasion to defend what seems so self-evident (nor am I looking for one); nevertheless, it is wonderful to realize how absolutely foundationless is the argument that it was necessary only that Christ become a human being, not specifically a man, in order to be the Sin-Bearer. Anyone propounding that position will find himself drowning under the deluge of biblical evidence that refutes such foolishness. To take such a stance manifests abject ignorance of the Bible and/or obstreperous rebellion.
3. “Was the Lord the death angel?” The question came from my four-year-old granddaughter when she and her mother were reading in the book of Exodus. Once again, “death angel,” or “angel of death” is a term long bandied about. But it is extra-biblical: I can find no instance where either term is used in our English translations of the Word of God. The Bible does not say that “a death angel” or “the death angel” slew the first born in the houses where the blood had not been applied to the doorposts and lintel. Rather, on nine occasions, those deaths throughout Egypt are attributed directly to the Lord Himself (Ex. 11:4; 12:29; 13:15; Num. 8:17; 33:4; Psa. 78:51; 105:36; 135:8; 136:10).
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