A Sure Bet
Christianity is based upon the historically proven facts of the life, death and resurrection
of Jesus Christ. Christianity is not a crutch for weak people, the opiate of the masses, old wives tales, myths, fables or man-made stories to scare people into right living. Humanism has been trying to rewrite history to exclude God by removing him from our money, our dating system and our public schools. But you cannot deny the historicity and objectivity of what God has done for mankind 2000 years ago. The Gospel as recorded in the Bible also cannot be reduced into some subjective, internal, feeling based philosophy as is the case of other religions. The Gospel must be presented objectively as what God literally did to meet our spiritual needs on our behalf on a Roman cross and not subjectively as some internal emotional gymnastics. (Warm feelings, peace of mind, or changed attitudes are a few of the results of the Gospel, and not to be confused with the gospel itself). Let’s not get the cart before the horse!
If the Bible in its entirety cannot be trusted to be God’s true testimony to us, then our faith is reduced to only one of many ways to heaven as the saying goes and its unique claim to exclusivity of eternal life is lost. Thus the importance of teaching the historical truth and accuracy of the Bible as transmitted to us over the years is critical to the Christian message. Peter assures us that we can trust that the words we have today are those given to the prophets and apostles by God. We can have confidence that we are reading God’s very words to us. We can confidently bet our eternal lives and the destination of our souls on it.
Prophecy of Scripture
2 Peter 1:12 So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. 13 I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, 14 because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. 15 And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things. 16 We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For he received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” 18 We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain. 19 And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
Who are you Lord?
I AM the God of History who came physically to earth to live my life to fulfill all of the Father’s will (Jn 17:4). My miracles were performed as proof of my authority for all of Israel to see and attest to. I am not some philosophy, wives tale, crutch for the weak or a myth. The evidence of my coming is incontestable. My Word is undeniable and my future coming in judgment unavoidable. You will do good to pay attention to me.
I AM the personal God who desires to speak to you, my beloved creation through my Word -the Bible, which is why I spoke it to men to write down. In this way it would not be distorted or forgotten. I AM the light of the world and my Word is testimony to the light of my righteousness in this spiritually dark world. As king David says; “Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” As you have my word in your life, you will become a beacon unto the lost of this world, a city set on a hill for all to see. I AM the answers to life’s difficult questions. Those answers are found in my Word. Only as you know my Word will you be able to help others who are “groping around” (Acts 17:27NASB) in the dark trying to find me on their own.
Your life is short. Heb 9:27 “For it is appointed unto man once to die, and after that the judgment.” I AM the God who determines your years on this earth. You and I have an appointment. The question is when? Are you ready? You do not know how long you will live so I have given you my Word so that you will be prepared now to stand before me to give an account for your life. I have given you all the answers to life’s ultimate test. If you know me, you will have the right answer, and you will not fail on that day.
Christianity claims exclusivity in its promises of eternal life
The historical accuracy and truth of the Bible has been proven in many ways over the years. Many secular critics and evolutionists have set out to disprove God’s Word only to discover the Bible is true. Some of these men have written books with the findings of their research. Ones that I have enjoyed reading are Josh McDowell’s two books “Evidence that demands a verdict” and “more evidence that demands a verdict”. John Ankerberg’s “Taking a stand for the Bible” and Dan Story’s “Defending your faith” which contains two wonderfully written chapters on the proof of God’s Word. Henry Morris writes about the origins of Earth and the Biblical flood in his book “the Genesis Flood”. John MacArthur also writes on that same subject in his book “The Battle for the Beginning”. The point that I am trying to make is that the Bible claims to be the sole authority on truth and eternal matters. This subject is audacious to some, but a guarantee of eternal life to anyone who would believe. Acts 4:12 “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” ” I am the way the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father but by me.”
God’s prophetic track record is perfect
People think that the burden of proof lies with God to validate his claims to them. But the burden of proof actually lies with men to disprove what he has established in his Word. Some of these authors seriously took up the challenge to disprove God’s Word and found like the Apostle Paul did that they were “kicking against the goads”. They could not disprove God’s Word and the historicity of Christ and his claims, and thus the results of their research gave them a new perspective. I was going to summarize their findings but realized how large a task that would be so I will let you read those books and come to your own conclusion. So let me take from verse 19 above that the prophecies that are yet to be fulfilled have much more certainty knowing that God has fulfilled all the prophecies of Old Testament (some 365 fulfilled prophecies concerning Christ). God’s track record is perfect in the past. Thus we can be certain that future ones will also be fulfilled.
Seeing is NOT believing
One story comes to mind that Jesus tells is in Lk 16 which depicts the sole authority of God’s Word in eternal matters it is Lazarus and the rich man. Many believe that because Jesus used an actual name, that this is a true story not a parable. And since Jesus created hell and his home is heaven, it is not farfetched to think that he knows what happens in those places. There is many things we can learn from this passage, but the lesson I want to bring out is that the only authority that men need for eternal life is God’s revelation; not miraculous visits from departed ancestors to prove the afterlife nor any guides or mediums to assist you in this matter. Abraham told the rich man in Hades, “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead”. “Seeing is not believing” -hearing is. “Faith comes by hearing and hearing the Word of God”. Jesus also said to the disciples in the closed room after his resurrection; because of Thomas’ need for empirical evidence “Blessed are those who believe and yet have not seen”. The evidence is there but there is a point where we do need to take God at his Word.
Only God’s Word is Authoritative Truth
In our passage today, Peter wants to remind us of the importance of the ultimate, absolute, and authoritative truth which is God’s Word concerning spiritual matters. So that our faith would rest assured in the Historical Facts of Scripture, and not flounders in the relative, emotional, subjective philosophies or religions which are continually bombarding us today. This is how Peter is trying to prepare the church for after his departure, using the objectivity from God’s perspective as written in the Word of God. Peter is saying that men cannot claim to possess authoritative truth in them, but God can and does in his Word the Bible. And we can live confidently in this uncertain world when we believe his Word.
More to come,