Why do people have so many different ideas about the Bible? One person reads it and says it means one thing, and another interprets it differently. One man believes it is the inspired Word of God, and another believes it is a book of tall tales. If the Bible is clear, why do people have different interpretations of it?
How can an intelligent person read the Bible and misunderstand it? He is very smart in other fields, but he has the wrong ideas about even the most basic teaching of the Bible. He is very educated and knowledgeable, but he does not know the truth.
How can people in false religions read the Bible and not believe it? How can preachers in these groups study the Scriptures and teach doctrines that are contrary to it?
Consider the wonders of the creation. The world is a continual display of the power and wisdom of God. Everywhere we turn the hand of God is in everything we see: the sun, moon, and stars; the birds, butterflies, and grasshoppers; elephants, tigers, and snakes; fish, frogs, and whales; flowers, trees, and grass; human eyes, hands and ears. The power of God is “clearly seen” in nature (Rom. 1:20).
Nature is a book people study. Some examine it closely while others hardly notice it, but the creation is there for all to see. In surprising ways, different people interpret nature differently.
A man can spend most of his life close to nature or some part of it and not recognize the God who made it. A medical student analyzes the human body in great detail. The closer he examines it, the more in awe of the Creator he should be. But a number of doctors do not even believe in God. How could a person spend his life studying the human body and not see God in its remarkable design? A farmer studies and depends on nature to make a living. He watches seeds grow into crops and cattle as they give birth to their young. The sunshine, the rain, and the seasons of the year are very important to him. You would expect a farmer to be spiritually minded and close to God because of all this. Some are, but others are not. How can a man study the works of God every day and not see God in them?
A bumper sticker read, “I give Darwin two opposable thumbs up.” The human hand is one of the most amazing feats of engineering in the universe. How different our world would be without it! How different the world would be without an opposable thumb on each hand! Who could think this is an accident? Yet the person who wrote this slogan and the one driving the vehicle mocked this astounding evidence of God’s design.
If people misread the book we call nature, why is it surprising when they misread the book we call the Bible? If they twist the facts of creation, it is not strange that they twist the words of the Bible.
The problem is not with either the works or the Word of God. Both nature and the Bible are clear. The problem is with man’s heart. If a person is honest, he will see the invisible God in nature and he will understand His will in the Bible. If his heart is not honest, he will see what he wants to see.
“If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself” (John 7:17).