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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN

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THE TENACIOUS TRUTH

The Bible and the truth it contains have proven to be extremely tough. Several years ago I ran across this anonymous quotation in The New Speaker's Sourcebook (by Eleanor Doan, Zondervan, Grand rapids, Michigan: 1968; pp 364-365): "Truth is tough. It will not break, like a bubble, at a touch; nay, you may kick it about all day, like a football, and it will be round and full at evening." The truth has been kicked from the get-go. History is filled with people who got kicked for telling the truth. At the top of the list, of course, is Jesus, the embodiment of truth (John 14:6). Jesus wasn't just kicked for telling the truth-He was killed on a cross. Six hundred years before Christ, Jeremiah the prophet got kicked for telling God's truth. Those who opposed the truth he preached sought to silence him by lowering him into an old cistern where he sank in the mud, until later rescued by friends (Jeremiah 38). John the Baptist told King Herod it was unlawful for him to have his brother's wife. Herod never disproved the truth John preached-but he did have John's head cut off. Study ACTS and much of the rest of the New Testament and two things become abundantly clear: first, the truth is very often kicked by those who oppose it; and, second, the truth has proven tougher than any of its opponents! In the immortal words of William Cullen Bryant, "Truth, crushed to the earth, shall rise again." God's truth has so far out-lived all those who dared to kick it!

Revelation 11 clearly demonstrates just how tenacious the truth of God really is. Two witnesses are empowered by God to prophesy. Verse 7 states, "When they f inish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them." Those who opposed the witnesses and their testimony for God rejoice and gloat over their demise for three and half days (verses 8-10). But once again the truth proves tougher than those who have kicked it. The two witnesses are brought back to life by the breath of God and ascend to Heaven even as an earthquake kills many of those who opposed the truth. Kick the truth long enough and the truth will eventually kick you.

The Bible and the truth of God it contains are a tough bone to break. It has outlived and outlasted the attacks of atheists, socalled higher-criticism, scientific skeptics, and liberal theologians. Bernard Ramm wrote, "A thousand times over, the death knell of the Bible has been sounded, the funeral procession formed, the inscription cut on the tombstone, and committal read. But somehow, the corpse never stays put." Though men may seek to put it away, the word of God is here to stay. That's the tenacious truth.

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ