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Question #33

Where does the Bible say the earth is tilted on its axis?

Where is the verse in the Old Testament that says the earth is tilted on its axis? I am Christian but cannot find this in any of my references. Thanks.

The Answer:

While there is no specific statement in Scripture that the earth is tilted on its axis, there are a number of marvelous statements about the earth that were contrary to the “science” of the time that it was written. For example, when the Old Testament was written it was universally believed that the earth as flat. Yet Isaiah described God as sitting “upon the circle of the earth.” (Isaiah 40:22.) The common belief when the Bible was written was that the earth sat upon the back of Atlas or other similar means of support. Yet the Book of Job said that “He . . . hangeth the earth upon nothing” (Job 26:7). Many other examples could be cited.

The passage that you may be thinking of is Luke 17:34-36 and context. Some think that this passage applies to the Second Coming and that the reason some are taken and others are left is because it is day in some areas of the earth and night in others when the Lord returns, a condition that can exist only if the earth turns upon its axis. Some urge that this passage is another amazing scientific disclosure in Scripture. While it is true that day and night can exist in separate parts of the earth at the same time only if the earth turns upon its axis, it is not necessarily true that this is what the passage is describing. There is some debate as to whether this discussion applies to the Second Coming or to the destruction of Jerusalem. Matthew and Mark use similar language in describing the destruction of Jerusalem. See, e.g., Matthew 24. Even if Luke uses the same language to apply to the Second Coming, it may be saying no more than what the Scripture says elsewhere – The Day of the Lord will follow the night of darkness. The Bible has enough remarkable scientific statements that, though contrary to the common thought of the time of its writing were later proved to be true by modern scientific discoveries, nothing is to be gained by stretching statements of questionable application.

God's Plan of Salvation

You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)

You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)

You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)

You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)

Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)