By: Gary L. Hutchens
How many times does God have to say something for it to be true? Just once! How many times does God have to say something for it to be authoritative? Just once! How many times does God have to say something for whatever He said to demand our respect? Just once! How many times does God have to instruct something for it to be binding? Just once!
Somebody said, “God said it, I believe it, that settles it!” That statement is not quite correct. It should say, “God said it, that settles it!” If God said it, that’s the way it is. Whether we believe it or not really has nothing to do with it. Our believing in God has absolutely nothing to do with the reality of God’s existence. People often believe things to be true that are not true, and things to not be true that really are true. Believing, or disbelieving, does not change reality. Much to the chagrin or many, truth is not relative and it’s not determined by popular vote.
People regularly question God’s word on the basis of how many times it says something. Should we partake of the Lord’s Supper on the first day of each week? Absolutely! (Acts 20:7). Is that the only verse that specifically instructs both the day and, by implication, the frequency for partaking of the Supper? How many times does God have to say it? Would it be more correct, more authoritative if He said it again or perhaps ten more times?
Does a person have to be baptized in order to be saved? No question about it! (Mk. 16:15-16; 1 Pet. 3:21). Are those the only two times the Bible specifically states that a person reaches salvation at the point of baptism? How many times does God have to say it to make it so?
Some have recently attempted to cast doubt upon the reliability of Matt. 27:25 which depicts the Jewish mob gathered before Pilate, demanding Jesus’ crucifixion, telling Pilate “His blood be on us and on our children.” Some have said, “Matthew’s is the only account of the crucifixion that includes that statement.” Once again, how many times does something have to appear in God’s word for it to be God’s word? Matthew’s gospel account is God’s word just as are Mark’s, Luke’s and John’s accounts. While they all agree in the big picture of the crucifixion, each one presents details that are not necessarily found in the other three. Read together, they portray the full story of the crucifixion of our Lord. The four accounts complement, or complete one another. They, in no way, cast doubt upon each other.
How many times should parents have to tell their children to brush their teeth before going to bed before the children believe they really are supposed to brush their teeth before going to bed? Does saying it only once each evening leave in doubt whether the parents really expect them to brush their teeth before going to bed? What if the parents don’t repeat the instruction every evening? Does that mean the children don’t always have to do it? Hopefully, you get the point.
If God, through His word, communicates information on some matter, that’s the truth pertaining to whatever He has communicated. If He instructs us to do something, He expects us to obey! If He instructs us to abstain from something, He expects us to obey. How many times God tells us should not matter to us. If He says something once, that should be enough. If we truly respect God and the authority of His word, we will follow its teachings. If we truly love Him, we will obey Him (Jn. 14:15), even if He says it only once...
Gary L. Hutchens