Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Revelation - The Bible

The Bible is God’s Word.  It’s 1 BIG story.  It’s God’s story.  It’s a story of Himself and His purpose for man.  Who is God?  God was there before all things.  He is the Holy Creator and unlike anyone.  He desires to be with us and wants a relationship with every person.   He created us in His image so we are an exceptional value to Him.  He has a plan for us and the world and nothing can stop His perfect plan.

God reveals himself in many ways, but mainly He chose to reveal himself through his Word.  The Bible was written over 1500 years ago.  It was written by 40 different people, in 3 different languages and on 3 different continents.  Each writer of the books in the Bible reflect his own personality, but the words and truth are God's. 

There are 66 books in the Bible – 39 in Old Testament, 27 in the New Testament.  It has high standards of morality and is the best-selling book that the world has ever known.  No book has ever been more analyzed or criticized.  Why is it attacked?  It’s the revelation of God whose message demands must be destroyed or obeyed.  Many times people have tried to destroy it.

The Bible is about:
How the universe and the human race started, how humans sinned and how the suffering started, and how the human rescue plan of God started - Gen 3:15 (the promise).
The Bible reveals:
God, his creation, his unlimited power and wisdom, his laws, a God of moral standards, history with God in control, Jesus as a God of compassion, God’s solution to sin, his special people in a special place, a special family, a special child:  John 3:16  (fulfillment of his promise)
It also reveals in the book of Revelation the future with a new heaven and a new earth without pain and cruelty.  Only the righteous will be there with the Lord.

75 % of the Bible is Old Testament.  Jesus came to fulfill the OT prophecy.  God tells how, why and when Jesus, the Messiah would come.  Proverbs 30:5-6 tells us His Word is flawless.  Revelation 22:19 tells us not to add or take words away from it.  We should not sit around and argue about what it says.  It implies complete authority and we should not debate over it. 

Hebrews 4:12“For the word of God is living and active.  Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”   So matter what your age, 10 – 110, it can speak to us.

When you read the word of God, do you believe it is God speaking to you or do you read it and then just go back to your regular life? 
If God came in person and told you to stop stealing or cheating, or whatever, wouldn’t you say, “OK, I will”? 
Why wouldn’t you do it, if God’s Word says to do the same thing?

2 Timothy 3:16-17All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

2 Peter 1:20-21 “Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation.  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”.

The purpose of the Bible is essential for:
            Salvation – it reveals God, ourselves, our Savior
            Teaching – foundation of what we believe
            Conviction – it’s the test of our action
            Training – the rod of discipline

Why do we believe it’s true?
            The Prophets – spoke for God.
            Jesus – the Spirit will guide you into all truth.
            Paul – we speak in words taught by the Spirit.
            Peter – not clearly invented myths, but an eyewitness.
            John – we proclaim what we’ve seen. 
            It speaks with authority. 
            Many gave their lives for it. 
            By listening and weighing the evidence.

God created Adam and Eve in the beginning.  They chose to act independently from God.  They sinned and died spiritually and because of their sin, they would also die physically.  Now we are all under the curse of sin.  We sin when we gossip, tell lies, with adultery, idol worship, etc.  Because of sin, we are separated from God. 

In the Old Testament God provided a way for man to restore their relationships with Him by setting up blood sacrifices with animals, but this was only a temporary solution.  We needed a Savior.  God Himself came to earth through His Son, Jesus.  Jesus came to save the people from their sins.  He was accused and condemned by religious authorities and the Roman Empire.  He was sentenced to die on a cross.  Jesus went willingly.  He died a horrible death, but after 3 days He arose from the dead demonstrating His power and victory over the consequences of sin, which is death.  His resurrection guaranteed new life for all who believe in Him.

After His death the Holy Spirit was sent to us to guide us how to live.  Jesus promised one day He would return and take His people, the church, to heaven to be with Him forever.  We see this in the end of God’s story in the book of Revelation.  The book of Revelation will be fulfilled exactly how all the other prophecies have been fulfilled.  God started history and He will finish it.  All His plans will come to pass.

Jesus is woven throughout the Bible and Revelation tells us the end of the story.  It ends with the glorious appearing of our Lord Jesus and the judgment of those who do not and will not believe in Him.  What an awesome study this will be!

We, too are part of this story.  We have a chance to change to world.  Like Jesus’ disciples who traveled the world telling others about Him, we can spread the good news about Jesus to the unsaved before it’s too late.

The unsaved don’t know they are headed for destruction and judgment.  Who do you know who needs a SaviorWill you share His love and truth with them before it's too late?

God created the world and mankind for His glorious purposes.
Sin separates us from God and His perfect plan.
The curse is removed to all who trust in Jesus our living Savior.
Those with faith in Jesus find great hope in God’s promises of perfect restoration.

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