It is interesting that the best statement about Scripture, its origin and reliability, comes to us from an unsophisticated Galilean fisherman by the name of Peter. One would think that perhaps it might have been Levi, the professional tax gatherer, or Paul, the erudite scholar of Judaism, but that is not the case. In three short verses (2 Peter 1:19-21) Peter tells us that the prophetic message is divine in origin, was brought to us by men “carried along by the Holy Spirit,” and therefore “completely reliable.”
The doctrine of inspiration is crucial because if the Bible is a mixture of truth and error then there is no solid basis for the Christian faith. For example, if the account of the resurrection had its origin in the imaginations of a small group that needed some sort of supernatural reason for their faith, then there remains no solid historical reason for the rise of the Christian faith. People don’t sacrifice their lives to support an event that they themselves made up.
History indicates that when people begin to lose confidence in the reliability of scripture they see no reason to attend church and hear it read and/or explained. In America, those denominations that no longer trust completely in the written record, begin to lose membership and sacrifice outreach. It is those churches that continue to believe without reservation to the inspiration and reliability of scripture that flourish. Check the stats in our major denominations. Genuine Christianity calls for an active faith in Christ. There is no placed for indifference. This very day, Christian converts around the world are being put to the test. If they choose not to deny their faith in Christ and accept some alternative, the consequence is incredibly severe.
In one of his letters Paul writes of two things that will take place before the return of Christ – the “man of lawlessness” (the antichrist) will be revealed, and there will be a wide-spread apostasy (Greek is apostasia), that is, “a falling away from the faith.” Such a basic conflict is taking place in our world today and some believe it is the specific fulfillment of 2 Thess. 2:1-4. If that is so, we may expect a major split in Christianity between those who maintain the complete trustworthiness of scripture and those who don’t. It’s bound to happen because God gave us an accurate account of it in his sacred Word.