History from a Biblical Perspective
(está traducido en español)
(The viewpoints expressed are those of this website and are not necessarily held by TPS, NSA, or any other affiliate school.)
[More verses to understand World History.]
"First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, "Where is this 'coming' he has promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation." But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the Day of Judgment and destruction of ungodly men." (2 Pet. 3:3-7)
History from an inerrant (II Tim 3:16) Biblical perspective holds true the fact of creation, Adam and Eve (Mat. 19:4-5), the global flood (Mat. 24:37-39), the account of Jonah (Mat. 12:39-41), and a coming judgment (John 12:48) and destruction of the earth. History pivots on the redeeming act of the resurrected Christ (Acts 2:23-24). "But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead " (1 Cor. 15:12-20).
The history courses on this site agree with a literal six day creation, culminating in the creation of Adam and Eve who brought sin and death into the world through disobedience (Rom. 5:12). God destroyed the earth with a global flood (2 Pet. 2:5). God confused the world's only language at the tower of Babel thus scattering people groups (Gen. 11:7) to develop the far away river valley civilizations of Africa, the Middle East and Asia. "He made from one, every nation of mankind to live on the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times, and the boundaries of their habitation, that they should seek God..." (Acts 17:26). God chose one nation through the lineage of Abraham to be his witness to the nations (Gen. 17:3-8). God raised up nations (e.g. Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, Germans, and Arab nations) as His instruments to punish Israel´s disobedience and allow for His ultimate good to be realized. History from a Biblical perspective trusts in a merciful and just Creator who establishes authorities (Rom. 13:1) as He rules over the nations (Ps. 22:28, 47:8). "For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him" (Col. 1:16). He commands us to know history and inspires prophets to reveal His good pleasure to sinful man. "Remember this, and show yourselves men; Recall to mind, O you transgressors. Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, 'My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,'" (Isa 46:8-10).
His pleasure was to send Christ in the "fullness of time" (Gal. 4:4) so that individuals in all nations may, through faith (Ep 2:8), experience peace with God through his death, burial, and resurrection. Christ left His Holy Spirit to convict the world of sin (Jn. 16:8) and comfort (Jn.14:26) His believers while He prepares a place for them in Heaven (Jn 14:2 ; I Thes. 4:16). Jesus is the only way to God (Jn.14:6). All other ways (religions) are false. The Roman Catholic Church compromised Biblical Christianity by holding oral traditions and rituals of man above scriptural authority (e.g., Mary is not a mediator- I Tim 2:5). The Protestant Reformation sought to correct these Biblical deviations.
History hinges on Christ's resurrection and asks two basic questions:
1. How did God prepare the world for Christ to be born in the "fullness of time"?
2. How is God preparing the world for Christ's return to take believers into Heaven?
The answers to these questions may be approximated through the careful study of history from a Biblical perspective. Ecclesiastes 3:11 states, "He [God] has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end." Still, the contemplation of history, from our finite perspective, allows us to sense the broad sweep of God, as nations rise and fall. God is in control and intervenes within the mystical balance of human free will and His providential limits. Although prophecies of the end times lead to differing eschatologies, God has predetermined a linear path toward a New Heaven and New Earth.
Are the evils of history God's fault? Has history been predestined or does man exercise free will? "Calvinism verses Armenianism" attempts to outline the different points of each approach along with potential weaknesses with links to further reading by experts in both camps. Soteriology, or the doctrine of how salvation is provided, can affect a Christian’s attitude toward non-Christians. A Biblical approach to Islam touches on this issue.
Given the Genesis record, there is no such thing as "prehistroic times" since what was from the beginning has been recorded. Christians "know that in all things God works for the good of those that love Him and who have been called according to His purpose" (Rom. 8:28). Even to the point of death, for "though He slay me, yet I will hope in Him" (Job 13:15). History provides hope - if in Biblical perspective. To know history brings not only understanding of current events and cultures, but also confidence of future events which God has declared beforehand. This is the only true 'pre-history' of which God says, "I declared the former things long ago.. before they took place I proclaimed them to you. Lest you should say, 'My idol has done them'" (Isaiah 48:3,5). Even so, millions of people bet their life that God's declaration of a future judgment won't come to pass. These "changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator" (Rom. 1:25). Others, "knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them" (Rom.1:32).
This understanding raises compassion to spread the good news of Jesus into the "uttermost parts of the world" (Acts1:8). Like Paul who strove to become “all things to all men” (1 Cor. 9:22), knowledge of history is a tool to win souls and glorify God. Another reason to learn history is to know that “God is not mocked: whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap” (Gal. 6:7-8). History reveals mankind’s fallen condition and provides “examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did” (1 Cor. 10:6). Knowing that “no temptation has seized you except what is common to man,” encourages a Christian to look for God’s faithfulness to provide a way of escape (1 Cor. 10:13).
Jesus said, "...I came into the world to testify to the truth. Everyone
on the side of truth listens to me.
'What is truth?' Pilate asked" (Jn 18:37-38). As with Pilate, there persists a popular philosophical belief in historical relativism, i.e, cultural bias that merely produces subjective truth in the interpretation of history. In this belief judges of today deny the literal exclusive claim of Jesus, "I am the way, the truth, and the life" (Jn 14:6). Indeed, the Christian religion is exclusive, as Isaiah speaks for God, "I am the first, and I am the last; and besides me there is no other God" (Is.44:6).
Contrary to secular revisionist history which glorifies the gradual progression of humanism, historical truth can be brought to light in Biblical perspective. Since the human condition has been consistent since the fall of Adam, then secular claims of epistemic relativism based on an assumed evolution of homo sapiens is naive as it disregards the validity of communication over time. Proper inductive investigation of historical evidence can render knowable conclusions which closely approximate historical fact. "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form..." (Col 2:8-9).
Don't be blown about by inaccurate interpretations of historical evidence. "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear" (1 Peter 3:15). Are you prepared to answer the scoffers of these last days? How is your understanding of religious worldviews that oppose Biblical Christianity?
".with meekness and fear." is an important distinction of instruction. Christians have the ministry of being ambassadors who implore others to "Be reconciled to God" (2 Cor. 5:18-20). This ministry of reconciliation carries the message of what God did through Christ to bring us Peace with our Creator. Contributors to this website are instructed to "clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him" (Col 3.12-17).