Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
October 13, 1949
NUMBER 23, PAGE 7,8c

What More Do You Want?

Murray W. Wilson

The intelligence of man has always been such as to enable him to know that there is a higher power than man's power, a higher intelligence than man's. The heavens have always declared the glory of God, and the firmament has always spoken to man of God's greatness.

Yet, if the revelations of God in nature were all the knowledge of God we had, we still would know very little of him and of his plan for the saving of the human race. Were it not for the revelation God has given us through the Bible, we would not know of Jesus Christ and his sacrificial death for our sins; neither would we know what to do to be saved from sin. All this knowledge comes to us through the revelation which we call the Bible, not through nature or the natural world.

The Bible is God's revelation for the saving of the race. Since the aged John laid down his pen on the Isle of Patmos, God has not spoken through any person one single word that would add to, change, or substract from his previously written words. The Bible is complete; it is sufficient to direct man in the way of godliness, and to lead him safely to that home of the soul which we call heaven. The word of God has been "once for all delivered to the saints." Jude says, "I was constrained to write unto you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered unto the saints." Paul told the elders of the church at Ephesus, "I shrank not to declare unto you the whole counsel of God." (Acts 20:27) Now if Paul declared the whole counsel of God, then what is left to be declared today that he did not declare? Paul preached it all!

A Voice From The Grave?

Any man who would not believe and obey the things written in the Bible would not believe and obey the truth even though one rose from the grave and preached it to him. Jesus is our authority for that statement. In the story of the rich man and Lazarus he emphasized that very point. In this story we have two characters living under Moses and the prophets. It was required of them that they learn the writings of Moses and the prophets and obey them, for at this time that was the law of God which was binding. Lazarus obeyed God; but the rich man and his brothers did not. When the rich man died, his soul was found in Hades, tormented instead of blessed. Unable to secure relief for himself, he thinks of his brothers still living back in the world, and entreats in their behalf that Lazarus may be sent back to earth to warn them. But Abraham tells him that if his brethren will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither would they be persuaded even though one came from the grave to warn them. Christ was the one who told the story. The truth taught in it is a truth he wanted to impress. That truth is that if a man will not listen to the revelation of God, the revelation he has given through his specially chosen, qualified, and authorized spokesmen, neither would that one be converted even if one rose from the dead to preach to him.

What Would He Preach?

If one came back from the grave today to preach to the world, he could not preach any truth which has not already been revealed in the Bible. The scriptures declare that "the gospel is the power of God unto salvation." (Rom. 1:16) Could a man from the tomb say that anymore emphatically than Paul said it? Again, Jesus said, "Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." (Luke 13:3) Could any man from the grave make that more binding than Jesus made it? Could he throw any more light on repentance than the Bible does. The Bible speaks the truth concerning salvation, the life of holiness, the blessedness of heaven, and the terribleness of hell If one will not believe the Bible on these things, why should he believe one who came from the dead to repeat the same thing the Bible says? Such a messenger could use no stronger arguments than those that are used in the scriptures.

Concerning sin, the Bible tells us that it is terrible in the sight of God and will lead to death. "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Rom. 6:23). James says, "every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin, and sin when it is finished bringeth forth death." (Jas. 1:15).

The Bible teaches that life is short and uncertain. It is as the flower of the field, which blooms in the morning, but when the heat of the noon day sun strikes it, it wilts and dies. Life is described as a vapor that appears but for a moment and then vanishes away. Could a messenger from the grave describe the brevity of life any better than the scriptures do? "It is appointed unto man once to die, and after that cometh the judgment." What voice from the dead could impress on us any greater lesson on the necessity of preparing for the judgment day? Who could make death any more serious, or any more certain, than the divine writer has done? The day of judgment is described in words of terror and dread. John says, "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the fire." (Rev. 20:15) No voice from the grave could add one whit to that awful picture.

Many hindrances stand in the way of the sinner's salvation. Ambitious men dislike God's plan because it enjoins humility and self-abasement; the pleasure-seeker dislikes it because it urges him to self denial; the miser dislikes it because it teaches liberality and generosity; the revengeful man dislikes it because it teaches mercy and forgiveness. Could any man from the grave make these things clearer? What new truth could he reveal concerning man, his motives, his weaknesses, or anything at all to help man to a more godly life?

A Closed Volume

The word of God is a closed volume; it is now complete. There is nothing more to be written- If one is waiting for some new or additional revelation, he waits in vain. What more can one possibly want? The prophets have come and gone—men with voices like thunder, and the flaming torch of truth going before them. The minstrels have been here—men of poetry and visions. The priests have come and gone—men who erected altars and offered sacrifices thereon. And finally Christ, God's only begotten son came. He left the earth, but he sent the Holy Spirit. The Spirit guided the apostles "into all truth." That truth has been written in the Book, and is preserved for us unto this day. What more can one want?

If this cannot satisfy the hunger of the heart, then what can? Bold, indeed, must be that man who can elbow and push his way and force his passage into hell through prophets, priests, psalmists, God's son, apostles, teachers, etc., and then say as he takes the last fatal plunge, "There was not enough given me; I was waiting for some further revelation, and it never came."

The Bible has been completed, and confirmed. It contains all we need. Believe it, let it guide your life and direct your steps. It will lead surely and unerringly to that eternal home of the soul for which all mankind is longing.