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Is it necessary to believe that the Bible is literally true in order to find God?
Thank you for your question, it is great to have the opportunity to address such an important issue. The Bible is one of the foundations of the Christian faith, and therefore our response and attitude to it is vitally important as we seek to know God.
The straightforward answer to your question is that it is not in fact necessary to believe that the Bible is literally true to find God. However it is also true that a belief that the Bible is not literally true causes us to run into major problems later on, as we will find out in this answer.
When we consider what it means for a human being to come into a relationship with God, it is actually not so much a case of us finding God, as it is of Him finding us, and God is able to reveal Himself to anybody at anytime. There are numerous accounts of God showing Himself to people who have never even seen a Bible, let alone been able to decide if they think it is literally true. The way God reveals Himself to us is through His Son the Lord Jesus Christ, and it's as we trust in Him and give ourselves to follow Him that we are born of God and brought into His family.
However, here's where the problem lies. If we don't believe the Bible is literally true, but rather contains truth that we have to somehow extract out of it ourselves, what you are actually saying is that we can decide ourselves what the Bible means, which bits are actually truth, and which bits are not so true.
By doubting the reliability of the Bible you are giving yourself free reign to decide what is true, and what isn't, which bits can be taken literally, and which are figurative and can be interpreted as we see best. Now, if I were to tell you that the majority of what I said in the above paragraph comes from the Bible, and if we don't believe the Bible is literally true then we really have no idea if my answer to your question is correct. Not believing that the Bible is literally true leaves us in a spiritual darkness where we must take our best guess at what is truth and what isn't. I don't know about you, but that doesn't seem a highly attractive proposal to me, so let me suggest a better way.
What if the God of the Bible really was all-powerful, as the Bible says He is, and what if He could so move men who trusted Him that they would write down exactly what He wanted them to for His people to read? What if He decided to oversee the preservation of these words down through the centuries so that men and women could hold in their hands a book that was historically reliable, was consistent in message from cover to cover, and had been copied and distributed so widely and rapidly that we could be certain that the contents really were what the original writers recorded?
Well let me tell you friend, I believe in a God who can do just that, and that the Bible is exactly that book. All the evidence points to the fact that as we study the Bible we are studying the very words of God, and as Paul tells Timothy the Scriptures are:
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 2:16-17)
So when we ask ourselves the big questions of how we can know God we find all the answers are there for us, recorded in the Bible. When the Bible tells us that Jesus Christ died on a Roman cross bearing the punishment for our sins, the Bible means just that. When it tells us that by faith in Christ we can be forgiven of all our sin and come into the family of God it is telling us the truth, and when God's Word proclaims that Jesus is risen from the dead and is reigning right now at the right hand of God - it is giving you a solid foundation that you can build your life upon in every part.
Some people look at the book of Genesis and ask the question, 'how could God make the world in only six days?' My friend, I believe in a God who could make the world in six seconds, and my advice to you is that you put your trust in Him today!
Here are some more Bible Verses for your further consideration:
- Matthew 7:24-29
- Psalm 119
- 2 Peter 1:19-21
I hope this answer helps you to find peace with God through Jesus Christ. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: Watch the video
I encourage you to attend a local Bible believing church and speak to the leader about your question. If you want to find a local church, our Church Finder may help you: Find a Church
Please feel free to submit a question to us or to read our answer database: Ask a Question
*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise
*If anything in this answer affects you directly, then please feel free to call our confidential prayer line in the UK on 0845 4567729, where trained Christian volunteers will take your call and pray both for you and with you. If you are outside of the UK then you may submit your request for prayer on line at www.ucb.co.uk/prayerline
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