The Master’s Class, Summit Church
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.