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Have you ever walked in on someone midway through telling a story? Certain details that are pertinent to understanding the point of the story are missed. Paul Harvey made a career telling “the rest of the story” to his radio listeners. In 1976, Harvey provided hearers with forgotten insights or little known facts on a variety of topics with one key element, usually the name of an individual, kept to the end of the broadcast. He always concluded with the words, “And now you know the rest of the story.” Most Christians read the Bible in a similar way, spending time in the New Testament at the expense of the Old Testament. By only reading a quarter of the book, we miss the “rest of the story.” We can’t truly appreciate the New Testament without an understanding of the Old Testament.
Our preoccupation with part of the Bible—and our neglect of the other part—is brought to light in our gospel presentations. The history of the nation of Israel is all but removed from our evangelistic conversations. By doing this, we eliminate three-fourths of our modern Bibles. I have been guilty in years past of this oversight as well.
Time - Presentations - Creation - Genesis - Fall
At one time, my gospel presentations started with creation in Genesis 1, moved to the fall in Genesis 3, and made a beeline to the New Testament with the birth of Christ. But what about the punishment for sins running rampant among mankind in Noah’s day in Genesis 7, the expulsion of the nations for building a tower in Babylon to be like God, the call of and covenant with Abraham to make him the father of the nation of Israel (this is God’s response to Adam’s sin), the messiah-like figure Moses whom God used to liberate the people from the bondage of Egypt,...
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To despair is to turn your back on God, you can never despair.