Nearly every home has at least one Bible found within. It is said to be the most read book ever to be written. The word Bible comes from the Greek word “biblos” which means “The Book”. However, when one considers the Bible, it is actually a book made up of sixty-six books. It is divided into two major divisions, the Old Testament and the New Testament. One can further divide it into categories of books such as history, law, prophecy and such. It was written by some forty different authors spanning some fifteen hundred years of time. Yet, there is certainly a sense in which it is all one book. There is a thread that runs throughout the entire book. In short we could say that the theme of the Old Testament is that Christ is coming. The theme of the four gospel accounts is that Christ has come, and the theme of the remainder of the Bible is that Christ is coming again. Let us consider these three divisions briefly.
The Old Testament develops the idea that a savior would come to deliver God’s people. Immediately following the introduction of sin into this world (Gen. 3:6), God provides a somewhat veiled suggestion of that coming savior when He tells the serpent, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Gen. 3:15). Obviously, God is speaking of a specific seed of woman, for He uses the word “his” when referring to the heel of the seed. It becomes quite a bit clearer when we get to the time of Abraham and the prophecy is a bit more specific. He first tells Abraham that it will be through his descendents that all families of the earth shall be blessed (Gen. 12:1-2), but later tells him, “And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed” (Gen. 22:18). Many centuries later, the apostle Paul makes an argument based upon the use of the singular word “seed” as opposed to the plural word “seeds” when he writes, “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ” (Gal. 3:16). Much time can be spent and many references could be cited of the multitude of times throughout the Old Testament where Christ and various bits of information concerning Him are made. When Jesus was on earth, often he made reference to the fact that one could read and learn of Him by looking to the Old Testament scriptures. For instance He told the Jews that “they are they which testify of me” (John 5:39). When Philip joined himself to the chariot of the Ethiopian treasurer and found the man to be reading from what is today Isaiah, chapter fifty-three, the scriptures say that he “began at the same scripture and preached unto him Jesus” (Acts 8:35).
The four gospel accounts were for the very purpose of showing both those of the time and those of us today who will read them, that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. As the apostle John neared the close of the gospel account bearing his name, he wrote, “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. From the beginning of the gospel accounts, salvation through Jesus Christ was the theme. Both Matthew and Luke’s accounts began with the virgin birth of Christ, fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah (Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:18; Luke 1:26-31). Matthew records, “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21). Almost immediately people began to recognize Jesus for who He was. Upon meeting Jesus, Andrew “findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ” (John 1:41). It was proven once and for all that the Christ had come, when He arose from the grave on the third day. Paul wrote, “And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” (Rom. 1:4).
As the four gospels conclude, they usher in the last segment of our theme, Christ is coming again. The gospel accounts end with Jesus ascending into heaven. While the apostles stood and watched His ascension, “two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:10-11). From this point on, the New Testament is pointing man toward the day when the Lord will come again. To the Thessalonians Paul wrote, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God…” (I Thess. 4:16). He will return as the judge of man (Acts 17:31). Paul wrote, “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (II Thess. 1:7-8). This last portion of the “The Book” is urging man to be ready for the time when the Lord comes again.
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