The Master’s Class, Summit Church
GROW IN GRACE AND KNOWLEDGE (2 Peter 3:13-18)

GROW IN GRACE AND KNOWLEDGE (2 Peter 3:13-18)

February 19, 2017

In this final lesson of our study of the book of 2 Peter, Peter will complete his exhortation to believers. He has told us what authentic Christianity is. He has warned us about apostates, and their false doctrines, who want to distract, disrupt, and destroy, the efforts of true believers to share the gospel message of Jesus Christ. He has reminded us of the promises of the Second Coming of our Lord and the new heavens and the new earth that will be our home in the day of God. And then he has said that knowing these things to be true, we are to be found blameless and without spot, as we work diligently to accomplish the tasks that the Lord has given us. The corrupt and tragic events of today’s world are not what our eyes should be focused on, but on the coming of our Lord.

In the nineteenth century, there was a world famous tightrope walker by the name of Charles Blondin. He would stretch his tightropes across great structures and natural wonders. One was Niagara Falls. When the press was interviewing him, they asked him how he could do this, how did he keep from falling or getting distracted. His response was, “When you see my tightrope set up someplace, look at the platform at the other end. Above that platform is a great big silver star. I keep my eyes focused on that star and I do not look away.”

This is the lesson that Peter has for us as we close out this wonderful epistle, keep your eyes focused on the coming of our Lord. In fact, look beyond that day to the day when Jesus Christ will create a new heaven and a new earth that we will spend eternity with Him on and in. Focus on that day and do not look away to the things that are happening all around you.

Listen to this podcast as we discuss how the world is full of darkness. Yet, it is the light of Jesus Christ that should occupy your mind and heart. Join us next week as we begin a study of the book of Revelation. We are in the last days, and it is important we understand what the Bible says so can be ready and encouraged by Who is coming.

ARE YOU LOOKING FOR HIS COMING? (2 Peter 3:10-12)

ARE YOU LOOKING FOR HIS COMING? (2 Peter 3:10-12)

February 14, 2017

The world is going to pieces.  It is falling apart all around us. But Peter says, that what is happening today should not be what the believer is looking for and working toward. Our focus should be on completing our mission of sharing the gospel to a lost world, but our hearts should be looking for the Second Coming of our Lord and the new heavens and the new earth that He is going to create.

Jesus Christ is coming again, and those who have rejected Him will spend eternity in the fires of Hell. I can’t say it any plainer than that. If you reject Christ as your Savior, then you will spend eternity in Hell. Not only is Jesus coming again to judge the wicked, but He is going to destroy the current heavens and the earth by fire and create a new heaven and a new earth. This new heaven and new earth, and our home on it, is what we are to be looking for. Let me tell you, the world is indeed getting ready to come apart.

Someone once told Mark Twain that they were afraid the world was going to end, and he said, “Don’t worry about it, we can do without it.” We can, and we will, do without this corrupt world, but we will have a new heaven and a new earth to live on. In our lesson today, Peter is going to tell us that since we know that all of these things are true, there should be changes in the way we live today. There should be an urgency to our mission. There should be a desire to live a life that is pleasing to God. There should be a fire burning within each believer to do everything they can to hasten the coming of the Lord. Somewhere out there is the last soul that the Lord is waiting on to be saved. If we truly want the Lord to come, then we need to be working hard to accomplish the tasks that we have been given. We should be sharing the gospel message to the lost souls that Jesus Christ has said He is waiting on, so that none should perish.

We are the tools that God uses to bring those souls to Him. We pray for His guidance on where those souls are, and which ones we are to evangelize to, and then we labor to bring them in. In doing so, we hasten the day of His coming.

Listen to this podcast to learn what we should be doing to hasten the coming of our Lord. We will answer the questions, What role are you playing in the purposes of God? Are you really looking for that day, and working toward it? If not, Peter says, get ready, be looking, and be working for the coming of the day of our God.

JUDGMENT IS COMING (2 Peter 3:7-9)

JUDGMENT IS COMING (2 Peter 3:7-9)

February 6, 2017

Jesus Christ is coming again, and when He arrives the time of judgment will begin. The Great White Throne of Judgment will deal with all who have rejected Christ. Satan and all of his antichrists, false prophets, apostates, demons, fallen angels, and followers, will be cast into the lake of fire. A new heaven and a new earth will be created, and Christ will reign in power for all of eternity. This is the promise that the Bible has given us as believers. The whole purpose of the Gospel message of Christ is so that man can avoid this judgment and live with Christ in the new heavens and on the new earth for eternity. God’s plan of salvation for the corrupted human race has been planned by a loving God from the foundation of the world.

Rev 13:8
8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
KJV

God knew that we would reject Him and His Son, but He loved us anyway.

1 John 4:19
19 We love him, because he first loved us
KJV

God loved us so much that He sent His Son to die on the cross for the sins of the world.

John 3:16-21
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
KJV

Christ has done all of the work of salvation for us, all we have to do to have everlasting life with Christ is accept His free gift of redemption. Yet, there are those who still reject this gift. They deny these truths, and they claim that Jesus Christ was not the Son of God. He was a good man, a teacher, and a prophet, but He was not the Son of God. The apostate rejects Christ, and claims that he cannot find Christ. They shout, where is He?

The apostate cannot find Christ for the same reason that a thief cannot find a policeman. Because he doesn’t want to find Him.

The only hope of the salvation of any soul rests in the patience, longsuffering, and self-control of God. God is long–suffering; He is patient; He is not rushing things. After all, He has eternity behind Him and eternity ahead of Him. But this almighty, merciful, and patient, God has promised that the final judgment, the dissolution of the earth and the heavens, is coming. God cannot lie. The day of judgment is coming.

In the meantime, He is giving men everywhere a further opportunity to repent and accept His gift of grace. This is the reason you and I need to get the Word of God out. It is the only thing that can change hearts and lives. It is by the Word of God that man is born again:

1 Peter 1:23
23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
KJV

It is not God’s will that you should perish. God does not want you to come into judgment; He wants you to pass from death unto life. And you can do that—you can turn to Him and receive the wonderful salvation that He has for you.

Did you know that you cannot keep God from loving you? You can reject His love, but you cannot keep Him from loving you. Neither can you keep it from raining, but you can raise an umbrella to keep the rain from falling on you. Also, you can raise the umbrella of indifference, or the umbrella of sin, or the umbrella of rebellion, so that you won’t experience God’s love, but you cannot keep Him from loving you.

My friend, you can slap God in the face; you can turn your back on Him; you can blaspheme Him, and you can shake your fist in defiance at Him, but you cannot keep Him from wanting to save you. You cannot keep Him from loving you, for He provided a Savior, His own Son, to die in your place. The Lord Jesus will save you if you will receive the free gift of salvation that He offers. My friend, things are not going to continue as they are now. It is coming to an end, and judgment will come. You and I are living in a world which is moving toward judgment.

We tend to think in terms of “balance scale” justice. God thinks in terms of mercy. He wants everyone to accept His gracious forgiveness so as not to pay the ultimate penalty for sin. Especially since it has already been paid for them! Listen to this podcast to learn of the promise of God that a day of judgment is coming for all who reject Christ.

CHRIST IS COMING AGAIN (2 Peter 3:1-6)

CHRIST IS COMING AGAIN (2 Peter 3:1-6)

January 30, 2017

With each new presidential campaign, comes a new catchphrase. President Trump’s catchphrase is “Make America Great Again.” President Obama’s catchphrase was “Hope and Change,” other presidents have had the New Deal, A thousand points of light, and a New World Order. Each man promised something new by mixing up what exists in the world today, and restacking it. Someone once said that you can’t make a good omelet out of bad eggs, and you can’t make a new world using the corrupt world that we live in today as the material for the new world.

I believe that there will be a new world order, but it won’t come from the hand of man, or the politicos in Washington, or Paris, or London, and certainly not from the UN. Jesus Christ is coming again, and He will indeed establish a New World Order. In fact, the Bible says that there will be a new heaven and a new earth.

Rev 21:1
1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
KJV

So, not only will there be a new earth, Jesus Christ is going to create a new heaven, as well. It will not just be a remixing and a covering of the old, it will all be brand new. The old will be consumed in fire, and the new will be created.

This is the fervent hope of every believer, the Second Coming of Christ. No matter how difficult it gets, no matter how full of sin the world becomes, we have this promise from our Lord. We don’t have to worry about what the world is coming to, because we can look forward to Who is coming to the world. Jesus Christ is coming again in power to judge the wicked, to reward the saints, and to create a brand-new world.

Satan hates the teaching of the second coming of Christ because he knows that all of his power and all of his kingdoms will come crashing down in the judgment of the Lord. Satan knows this and so he marshals all of his cohorts to deny and disgrace the idea of the return of Christ.

Listen to this podcast as we find the apostate’s argument against the second coming of Christ. Next week, we will have the apostolic response and confirmation of the second coming of Christ. This is an exciting and incredibly important chapter of the Bible to study. Every believer needs to learn and apply these promises in their hearts.

LIBERTY TO DO AS YOU WANT (2 Peter 2:19-22)

LIBERTY TO DO AS YOU WANT (2 Peter 2:19-22)

January 22, 2017

Liberty to do as you want, that is the promise of the false teacher and the apostate. It is a lie that is as old as mankind. No more following the rules of your parents. No more following the rules of your religion, the church, God, or the Bible. It is a lure that draws people within its trap doors, and once there, they find themselves deeper and deeper into the bondage of sin.

How many alcoholics feel free from the bondage they are in? How many drug addicts feel free from the bondage they are in? How many sexual addicts feel free from the bondage they are in? They were free to choose, but they were not free to choose the bondage brought on by the consequences of their sin.

People who are trapped in sin often try religion out for period of time. They commit to cleaning themselves up. It becomes their New Year’s resolution. How many New Year’s resolutions have you kept? My guess is not many. So, they fail in their cleanup efforts and then they go back to their lives of sin and they are worse off than they were before. They are trapped, they are in bondage.

Let me tell you something, I sin all I want to. You say, really? If I sinned all I wanted to, I would be deep in sin. My answer to that is you need to get your wanter fixed, in fact, you need a brand new wanter. You need to be saved. A child of God can sin. They can lapse into sin, but when they do they loathe it. When a lost person sins, they love it.

This is the reason that Peter has instructed us to make our calling and election sure. It is not enough just to go to church, or to be baptized. You must be sure that you are sure. You must be truly born again. One does not become a child of God by cleaning up his life. If we try to clean up our life without filling it with the Holy Spirit, Satan will fill it with many more sins than we had before. Knowledge of salvation is not salvation. In order to live in the Father’s house, you must accept Jesus Christ as your Saviour and Lord. You must make certain that you have authentic Christianity.

If you are not sure that you are sure, then you come find me, or find a pastor of the true gospel of Christ, such as we have at this church, and you make sure that you have the authentic Jesus Christ in your heart as your Lord and Master.

Listen to this podcast to learn that Jesus Christ can give you the liberty to do as you ought, rather than to do as you want.

FAKE COLA, FAKE NEWS, and FAKE GOSPELS (2 Peter 2:14-18)

FAKE COLA, FAKE NEWS, and FAKE GOSPELS (2 Peter 2:14-18)

January 1, 2017

Coke-Cola used to have a slogan saying that it was the Real Thing. This inferred that all of the other colas were fake colas or not real. Now, I know there are people with strong preferences of one cola over another, but to be honest, I don’t drink enough of it to be able to tell a Coke, from a Pepsi, or a Shasta.

In our news media, there is talk of fake news, and there certainly is. Truth seems to be at premium in our news and social media applications. Political bias, ideology, hunger for power and the wealth that comes with that power, and a desire to live a lifestyle that has been considered immoral, and often illegal for most of this country’s history, all seem to be the drivers of wanting to push the general public into supporting one political group, agenda, or person, or another. They want you to believe they are the real thing, and all the others are fake, or not real. The news media blatantly say they no longer have an obligation to report the truth. Instead, their purpose is to destroy the values and morals that have been the foundation of this country.

When a nation rejects God, gross immorality is usually at the heart of that nation. When a politician embraces liberalism and progressivism, gross immorality and corruption are usually at the heart of that person’s desire to do so. You cannot believe in the liberal, progressive, political platform and believe the Words of the Bible. You are deceiving yourself if you think that is possible.

These progressive leaders know that this is true so they plan, and they strategize, on how they can lure people away from the truth of God’s Word. They don’t want to destroy Christianity, as much as they want to corrupt it, to draw it away from the teachings of God, to lay alongside it their own corrupted ideology and religious teachings. They want to so corrupt the corporate world of Christianity that they can use it to move their own agenda forward. They want to make their own ideas on what is right and wrong the accepted, or normal, behavior in our society. They want the power that comes with drawing people to their movements, and they want the money that comes from these people.

There will always be false teachers, false prophets, and apostates, in our churches. Always. Therefore, we must be able to identify them, in order to remove them. That is the reason Peter is spending so much time on defining what these false teachers look like, act like, and talk like.

Listen to this podcast to learn how to identify that which false, from that which is the true Word of God.

WILL GOD JUDGE THOSE WHO LIE ABOUT HIM? (2 Peter 2:6-9)

WILL GOD JUDGE THOSE WHO LIE ABOUT HIM? (2 Peter 2:6-9)

December 12, 2016

It is easy to get discouraged when we look at the trajectory of the world around us. To wonder if God is really going to judge those who lie about Him. The news media, the entertainment media, and the social media, would all have us believe that Christianity is on the decline. That God’s definitions of right and wrong are outdated, hurtful, and bigoted.

But I do not believe that is the case. God’s purposes are on track to be completed, just as God planned it from the foundations of the world. God’s people are steadily marching toward the goals that God has laid out for them. The Word of God is being shared all around the world. People are coming to know Jesus Christ as their Savior by the millions around the world. It is important for us to remember, that in spite of all the bad things that surround us, God is still on His throne, and He is still in control of all things. God’s will, will be done on this earth and in heaven.

Isa 46:9-10
9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,
10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:
KJV

Isa 14:22
24 The Lord of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand:
KJV

Not one promise that God has made will fail to come true. Not one.

Not one reward that God has promised the believer will fail to come true. Not one.

Not one judgment that God has promised for those who reject Christ as the Son of God, and their Lord and Savior, will fail to come true. Not one.

The message that Peter has for us in this letter is that in spite of all of the persecutions that Christians face in this world, God knows how to deliver the righteous from temptation, and to judge those who lie about Him.

TO HAVE ITCHING EARS (2 Peter 2:2-5)

TO HAVE ITCHING EARS (2 Peter 2:2-5)

December 6, 2016

Why do people listen to false teachers? What is the appeal that they bring?

Certainly, nobody likes to hear that they are living a life that is displeasing to God. Most people’s first reaction to that message is that they live good lives, they help other people, they don’t do any bad things like steal, or lie, or hurt others. So, how could that be displeasing to God? People would rather hear that man is inherently good, that the meter which determines right from wrong, and good from bad, is an evolutionary thing, that it changes as society’s morals change. That which was wrong in our parent’s day is no longer wrong today, and they want to hear someone tell them that is a good thing. That those who preach and teach otherwise are homophobic, racist, and hateful.

People who want to have followers, lots of followers, know that this is true, and so they deliberately say the words people’s itching ears want to hear. We see this in the pulpits of our churches, and in politics, on every side. We see it in our colleges. We see it on our media, TV, movies, and social networks. If you want to get a bunch of likes in social media, say the politically correct things, say the things their itching ears want to hear.

However, the gospel message of Christ is not a negative message, it is a joyous message. It is not a message about do’s and don’ts, it is a message about life, eternal life. It is a message about the unconquerable love of God for His creation, man, even when man totally rejects Him. It is a message about the sacrifice that Jesus Christ gave for the ruined human race. How He chose to die for the sins of the world so that man might find eternal life. How salvation from an eternity in Hell is a free gift of God, by the grace of God alone, through faith in Christ alone, and by Christ alone.

Yet, this is not the message that tickles the ears of those that want to hear the popular message, the feel good message, and the socially correct message. People want to hear that their destiny is within their ability to earn, by what they do, and by how much they give. The false teacher, or the predator teacher, knows this and gives that person tasks to perform, and places to send their money. They can then look at their fellow members and say, See what I have done, see what I have given. They feel good about themselves, right up to the point they stand before God on Judgment day.

We said last week that it is wrong to tell a lie, it worse to teach a lie, but it is monstrous to teach a lie about God. These false teachers know that the words they share are a lie about God. They know that their lies are drawing people away from the true gospel of Christ, and they know that people will spend an eternity in Hell because of their lies. They know this, and they count the money they have earned by these lies all the way to the bank. That is their motive. They covet wealth, power, and an immoral lifestyle.

Listen to this podcast to learn about how these false teachers, who are ever present, are deceiving many, and God’s assurance that He will judge them for their lies.

UNMASKING THE FALSE (2 Peter 2:1)

UNMASKING THE FALSE (2 Peter 2:1)

November 27, 2016

We are surrounded by different kinds of religion. There are Baptists and Buddhists, Islamists and Methodists, Catholicism and Confucianism, Evolutionism and Gnosticism. There are as many religions as there are colors in crayon box. If you don’t like the way one religion makes you feel, pick another, or another. We are encouraged to believe that we all worship the same God, and there are just different ways of coming to Him. Unfortunately, we are being encouraged to believe a lie. When you look at all of the religions of the world, and you analyze the differences between them, when you boil it down to the basics, there are but two kinds of religion, the true and the false. That’s it, the true and the false. That which is authentic from God, and that which in inauthentic and has the curse of God upon it. If it is false it is dangerous and the world is full of dangerous doctrines.

I am going to say something that does not fit in our politically correct society. It is likely to cause college students across the nation to run to their safe zones, to grab a cup of hot cocoa and a binky, and curl up on the coach in their jammies, afraid to face an idea that does not meet their narrative. They may even need counseling after they hear this.

There is but one God, and there is but one way to Him, and that is through His Son Jesus Christ. It is not a religion that will give you eternal life in heaven, it is a relationship with Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior that will give it to you. It is a relationship, not a religion.

Yet, you can hear false doctrines from false teachers on every corner, on every website, and in the pulpits of churches, temples, mosques, and synagogues everywhere. Peter knew that this was true in his day, and the Holy Spirit knew it would be true in our day. There are false teachers among us today, in our own churches, and so we are going to spend the next several weeks studying about that which is authentic and that which is false. If you are going to be effective in your witness you must be able to recognize that which is authentic from that which is false.

Now, I think everyone would agree that it is wrong to tell a lie. You would agree with me on that, right? It is wrong to tell a lie. It is even worse to teach a lie, but it is monstrous to teach a lie about God. There is no greater crime in the eyes of God than to be a false prophet, or a false teacher, who preaches lies about God. God takes this crime very seriously. In the days of the Old Testament prophets, God had this to say about false prophets.

Deut 18:20
20 But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.
KJV

Now if God acted with a bolt of lightning every time a false prophet spoke a lie about Him, that would certainly thin out the ranks of false prophets. Unfortunately, God does not always act on our time frame. However, make no mistake, God hates lies taught about Himself, and He will punish the false prophet. The Bible says, even that prophet shall die.

2 Peter 2:12
12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;
KJV

Jesus told the Pharisees that God has reserved a special place for them in Hell because they had led the people away from God. So, it is important that we know and understand that which is authentic and that which is false. We need to be able to unmask the false prophets and teachers so we are not deceived.

Listen to this podcast so that you can know how to unmask the false teachers who are among us.

MORE SURE THAN THAT (2 Peter 1:19-21)

MORE SURE THAN THAT (2 Peter 1:19-21)

November 20, 2016

For most things, if we want to know that something is really true, or actually real, we want to see it, touch it, hold it in our hands, shake it around, and simply check it out for ourselves. I am not likely to buy something sight unseen, just because somebody tells me about it.

Important events in our lives are easier to accept if we are able to physically be there, or see them happen. For example, if you told me one of my family members had been seriously hurt, my first reaction would be to immediately go to them so that I could see for myself how they were. When a major tornado hit Wichita, it happened on the other side of town from where I live. I could hear about the destruction on the news. I could see it in the video coverage, and read about it in the newspaper. However, nothing brought home the real amount of damage the tornado caused until I went to see the damage personally. Seeing whole neighborhoods completely flattened made the storm more than just another news story that we hear about every day, it made it real.

This is how many people feel about Christ and the gospel message of salvation. They hear that Jesus Christ was real and that He is the Son of God, and they say, show me. They hear that there is life beyond the grave and they say, show me. They hear that heaven and hell are real and that you will spend eternity in one of them, and they say, show me. They say if you want me to believe that God exists, show me.

God certainly knows that this is true about us, and so He designed a world that no man could possibly create, and no amount of science could explain, no matter how hard they try. He did this so that man would know that an all powerful Creator existed. God made man so intricate in the mechanical and biological portions of his body, that man would know that he was created, and could not possibly have come into existence by accident. Yet, knowing a Creator existed, and that we were the product of that Creator’s work was not enough to allow a holy God to forgive all of the sin that exists in the world. We needed a loving God to provide a path to our salvation from an eternity in hell without God, to an eternity in heaven with God. We needed a Savior, and so God sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross that man might find salvation in His Creator.

And so Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, came to this earth to live as a Man, God incarnate in man, fully God and fully man. He did great miracles as signs to show mankind who He truly was. He healed the sick by the thousands. He made the lame walk. He raised the dead, and He fed thousands using the contents of a lunch box from a small boy. Jesus Christ came knowing that He would be rejected, knowing that He would be beaten and mangled, and knowing that He would be crucified and suffer a horrible death. He did this because He knew that it was only His sacrifice and His precious blood that would allow the terrible sins of man to be forgiven by a righteous God. The blood of animals would never be enough. The blood of mortal man would never be enough. It had to be the precious blood of the Son of God that would wash the sin away in the eyes of God.

God, then raised Jesus from the dead. Jesus walked around in His resurrected body for 40 days and he was seen by hundreds of people. People touched Him, felt of Him, put their fingers through the holes in His hands, and ate with Him. People believed because they had seen Him do those miracles, and they had seen Him die and then rise again. They saw Him, they felt Him, and they touched Him. He was real, all those things really happened, and so they believed.

Yet, all those things happened two thousand years ago. Today, people say they would also like to believe, if only they could see those things as well. If they could see Jesus Christ perform miracles, then maybe they would believe that He was truly the Son of God. If they could see Him in His resurrected form, then they would believe that there was life after death, and they would accept the gospel message of salvation. If only, they could see Him, feel Him, and shake Him around a little just to make sure He was real, then they would believe.

Yet, even if God did do this, we know that many would still reject Christ. Christ was seen by many thousands of people, and still He was crucified. So, seeing is not always enough. Sometimes we need something more. Our memories are faulty, that is why we take pictures and videos of our lives, because we forget. We remember how we want to remember things.

God knew this about us. He knew that seeing, touching, and shaking was not enough. People who did not want to believe would corrupt those memories handed down by oral tradition. He knew these things and so He gave us something more sure than that. He gave us His more sure word of prophecy.

Listen to this podcast to learn how God gave us His written Word, and how we can depend on it to live our lives in His will.

ARE YOU AN EYEWITNESS?  (2 Peter 1:16-18)

ARE YOU AN EYEWITNESS? (2 Peter 1:16-18)

November 15, 2016

Have you ever been an eyewitness to a crime? At the age of 17, I was the victim of an armed robbery at the store I was working at, and at the age of 18, I was the victim of an assault by a gang of teenagers. In both cases, I was expected to describe what the person, or people, looked like, how tall they were, how much they weighed, how they were dressed, what race they were, were they male or female, and to describe exactly what happened. This is what eyewitnesses do, they testify to the activities that occurred and who did what in the crime. If a suspect is caught, then they are required to testify against them, under oath, swearing that what they are saying is true and factual, so help them God.

Have you ever been asked to be an eyewitness for God? Well, you might say, how is that possible, for we have never seen God? So, let me ask you a question, is your eyesight the only sense that you have which allows you to describe what has happened in an event? Can you use your ears, your taste, your smell, or what you can feel with your hands? How about your feelings, your experiences?

If somebody asked you, is Jesus really the Son of God? Could you be an eyewitness to that fact? Could you testify that Jesus Christ is the Son of God under oath in a courtroom? You should be able to. If Jesus Christ is real in your life, if you have experienced His power in your life, if His spirit lives in your heart, then you should know Jesus Christ better than you do your own spouse. I said a couple of weeks ago, that when you get to heaven and the Lord is waiting for you, you are not going to meet a stranger, you are going to meet your best friend. You are not going to meet somebody you have only read about in a book, you are going to meet someone you have a heart knowledge of. If you are an adopted child of God, joint heir with Christ, then you should be able to testify with absolute confidence as to who Jesus Christ is.

In addition to being an eyewitness to who Christ is, you are likely to also quote from the Bible as proof of who Jesus Christ is, because the Bible is what we base our faith on. We say we believe it because it is the Word of God. Now, if you do, then inevitably, somebody is going to raise the question, How do you know that the Bible is really the Word of God, that it is not just the writings of a bunch of people with a creative imagination?

Listen to this podcast to learn how to answer the questions, is the Bible real, is the gospel of salvation true, and is Jesus Christ the Son of God. Listen to the Word of God as we hear the answers directly from an eyewitness to the Lord’s majesty.

Amen.

THE WORD OF GOD SURVIVES HUMAN MEMORY (2 Peter 1:12-15)

THE WORD OF GOD SURVIVES HUMAN MEMORY (2 Peter 1:12-15)

November 6, 2016
Memory.  Do you have trouble remembering things?  Of course you do, we all do.  Most studies on adult learning will tell you that people will remember only about 20% of what they hear in a lecture class like this one, and they will remember that for only about an hour, maybe two, after the class.  Stretch that out to two or three days, and the amount they remember is down to about 1%.  If they have an outline to read while the lecture is going on, the amount they remember goes up slightly, and if they write down notes, its goes up a little bit more.  I am no better, sometimes my wife will ask me what the preacher’s sermon was about today when we get home, and to be honest, I have to really stop and think about it.

Memory is both defective and selective.  We don’t remember things like they really were.  If we are honest, the good ole days were not really as good as we remember them to be.  Remember, the race riots of the 60’s and 70’s, the free love and drug movements, Watergate, and the war protests.  The good ole days had their own issues, but we remember the good things that we want, like how things used to run at a slower pace, we weren’t bombarded with so much of the media constantly blaring at us.  Families actually sat down at the table and ate together, and books were for reading, instead of just being used as decorations.  Our memory is both defective and selective, but we don’t have to base our faith on our memory, for we have the Word of God to put us in remembrance of what Peter, and Paul, and the other apostles taught.   

God knows we have a poor memory and so He has given His Word in the form of the Bible so that we can remember it, and in spite of all man’s efforts to change it, God’s Word survives.  Peter is gone, Paul is gone, the great evangelists of the past are gone, but the Word of God survives human memory.  

Listen to this podcast to learn how God wants us to know we have the wonderful promises of salvation written down in the inerrant, infallible, and Holy Spirit inspired Word of God.  
BLESSED ASSURANCE (2 Peter 1:8-11)

BLESSED ASSURANCE (2 Peter 1:8-11)

November 1, 2016
There once was a blind lady by the name of Fanny Crosby who was one of the most prolific hymn writers to ever live.  A woman friend came to Fanny and said, Fanny would you listen to this melody and perhaps you could add the words to it.  So, Fanny listened to the melody for a while and then she said, oh that is easy, it says, Blessed Assurance, Jesus is mine, oh what a foretaste of glory divine.  Do you have that blessed assurance that Jesus is yours?  I hope that you do. 

Over the last several weeks, we have been studying about the promises that God has given to us in order that we can live a victorious Christian life.  However, the very first thing that you must do is to make sure that you are truly saved, that your calling and election are sure.  A Christian should not be walking around like a question mark, he ought to be an exclamation point.  You shouldn’t be a doubting Christian, you should be a shouting Christian.  You shouldn’t be a hope-so Christian, you should be a know-so Christian.  You must make your calling and election sure.  

If you want to be sure that you are sure, then you must have a faith that knows, a faith that grows, and a faith that shows.  

To have a faith that knows, Peter has said that we are to have a faith that has a supernatural knowledge of Jesus Christ, this is a deep personal relationship with Christ.  When I get to heaven, I am not going to meet a stranger in the Lord, I am going to meet my best Friend.  I am not going to meet Someone I only know through reading a book, I am going to meet someone that I have a heart knowledge of.  Someone who I know better than anyone else in the world.  I am going to meet my Lord and Savior who has lived constantly within my heart from the day I was saved.  

Not only am I to have a supernatural knowledge of my Lord, I am to know what the Word of God says and how I can claim the promises of God for wisdom, courage, strength, and perseverance.  We don’t have to pray for these things to be added to our lives, for we already have all that we need that pertains to life and godliness.  They are in God, and God is in us, so we already have these things.  This type of knowledge is practical wisdom, knowledge that comes from the diligent study of the Word of God to show myself to be an approved workman for the Lord. 

Then I am to have a faith that grows.  Using both the supernatural and practical knowledge that I have gained, I am to give all diligence to add to my faith the seven graces of virtue, knowledge, self-control, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and agape love.  We are to grow our faith by making sure these things are added to our faith.  These graces come from the Holy Spirit that resides within us as we turn more and more of our lives over to Him.  They are the evidence of our faith.

When these graces are in our lives, then we will have A faith that shows.

2 Peter 1:8
8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
KJV

We are to have a faith that knows, a faith that grows, and a faith that shows.  When this is the type of faith that we have, then we will have A faith that is sure.  
GOD’S PROVISIONS, GOD’S PROMISES (2 Peter 1:3-4)

GOD’S PROVISIONS, GOD’S PROMISES (2 Peter 1:3-4)

October 17, 2016
What was the most solemn vow that you have ever made?

Swearing in as soldier?  Taking the oath to become a law enforcement officer, or some public office?

For me, it was the day I spoke my wedding vows.  Those words meant something very important to me, and they mean just as much today as they did 38 years ago.  I promised to love my wife, to comfort her, to keep her, meaning I would provide for all of her needs, and that I would remain faithful to her no matter what comes in our lives till death do us part.  Those are pretty powerful words.  I have promised to love my wife, protect her, and provide for her.  When she needs a home, or food, or shelter, or someone to provide courage, strength, a helping hand, or just someone to stand by her as she deals with a problem, I have promised to provide that for her.  It is my promise that I will do these things, and I have lived my life trying to keep that vow.  It is the most solemn vow that I have ever made, and most likely ever will make.  Now, lots of people get married making this vow to each other, but the problem with vows made by man is that it is a weak person making the vow.  Try as we might, we sometimes fail to meet our promises.  

Our lesson today is about the promises that God has made to provide for His children, the born again believers who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Master and, therefore, have become adopted into the family of God.  The wonderful thing about these promises is that it is the unchanging, supreme, Creator of all things, almighty God who is making them, and He will not fail. Not ever. Not once.  

Listen to this podcast to learn that we already have all the wisdom, strength, courage, power, patience, and anything else that we might need to live a victorious life for Christ.  Everything that you need is in God and God is in you.  Amen.  
THE BENEFITS OF A CHRISTIAN (2 Peter 1:1-2)

THE BENEFITS OF A CHRISTIAN (2 Peter 1:1-2)

October 10, 2016
We live in a world full of apostasy.  False teachings abound.  Satan is seeking to destroy the church from within.  The Christian life is more than just a birth.  It is a growth, and it is a development.  The key to a victorious Christian life in the midst of apostasy is found in the last verse of the book of 2 Peter. 

2 Peter 3:18
18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
KJV

You will not be able to live for God unless you have a knowledge of the Word of God.  Yet, we need to have more than simple knowledge about Christ, the kind of knowledge we find in a library book.  Rather, we are to have a super knowledge of Jesus.  To have this kind of knowledge of Christ is to know Him better than your closest loved one.  To know Him, is to know life eternal.  First comes salvation by the grace of God, then as we begin to know Jesus, we gain peace in Jesus.  

In our lesson today, we find that in just the first two verses of this book we are told of some truly marvelous benefits of being a Christian.  We have a like precious faith, made precious by the object of our faith, the Lord Jesus Christ.  It is through our faith in Christ that we have obtained all the righteousness of God.  Our sins have been wiped clean, and we have a standing before God as completely righteous.  Then, by the grace of God we obtained our salvation, and being justified by God’s grace we can have the peace of God because we have a super-natural knowledge of God.  We have a personal relationship with the Creator of all things, the almighty God.  But not just any personal relationship, we know Christ better than we know our own spouse because the Holy Spirit resides in our hearts.  He constantly speaks to us of the things that Christ tells Him to share with us, and He speaks to us when we are all alone.  

Amazing, huh?  Listen to this new series of podcasts to see the rest of what God has in store for us in this little book.