Bible Study

Following Their Pernicious Ways 2 Peter 2:1-9

Though all of this has been prophesied for thousands of years, it still amazes this preacher that America has gone so spiritually “south.”  In my lifetime, I have witnessed the decline in every major denomination.
1.  Older people, who have seen this change come, have evidently gotten used to the dark because they refuse to “come out from among them.”  Just because Granny is buried in the church cemeteries, they remain faithful to these liberal churches and will be buried there too.
2.  Younger people, who have never known the old paths of their fathers, now run after these false prophets who are leading contrary to the Word of God.
We know what time it is and, yet, lose so many to follow their pernicious (wicked) ways.  They speak evil of those who hold to the truth of God’s Word and the multitudes are in agreement with them.

2 Timothy 3:13-17; 4:1-4  But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.  (14)  But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;  (15)  And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.  (16)  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:  (17)  That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works … (4:1)  I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;  (2)  Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.  (3)  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;  (4)  And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-5  Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,  (2)  That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.  (3)  Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;  (4)  Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.  (5)  Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?

1.  Lucifer beguiled the angels in heaven to rebel against God. Isaiah 14:12
2.  The satanic serpent beguiled Eve in the beginning. Genesis 3
3.  False Prophets in the Old Testament led the people astray. Jeremiah 23:16
4.  Pharisees of the times of Christ found fault and led to the crucifixion of Christ. Matthew 23
5.  Judaizing teachers followed the Apostle Paul and led the people away from his teachings. Galatians 2
6.  False teachers in churches and seminaries have challenged the Word of God in our day and turned the multitudes from the Bible by undercutting its purity and authority. 2 Peter 2

Why do so many reject the Truth?  You would think that everyone would follow truth, but this is not the case.  They follow those who speak evil of truth instead.  Why does the world choose to reject the truth of God’s Word. And follow these false teachers?

1.  They do not want an authoritative Bible.  If the Bible is God’s Word, and it is, then they would have to submit to that authority.  The world rejects the Bible without ever reading it.  They have no personal knowledge of truth and follow those who pervert the truth. Titus 2:5

2.  They do not want a salvation that changes the heart and desires.  The world loves their sin and is not willing to give it up for a holy life.  The world rejects righteousness and chooses to follow those who promote unrighteousness.

3.  The god of this world has done a good job of blinding their minds to the gospel.  The gospel gives salvation to all who come to Christ by faith.  The world rejects the concept that few are going to heaven and the many are on the broad way to hell.  The gospel is exclusive! 2 Corinthians 4:4

4.  The false religions appeal to the flesh.  The world loves worldliness and false teachers who make their message appealing to the sinful.  Sinners are sinners by birth and sinners by choice.  The world wants a religion that requires nothing and judges nothing.  The Word of God condemns sin and judges it.

5.  The minds of the multitudes has been programed to think according to the philosophy of the world.  This world has gone mad.  Our children are being raised up in an ungodly world where common sense and right is labeled as the enemy of society.  Their thinking is perverted and that is the reason that our minds must be renewed through God’s Word.

Why do so many professing Christians reject the truth?  People who have known truth, people who were raised in truth, follow those who attack and speak evil of the truth.  They leave good churches for ones that do not preach on sin, practical sanctification, and service.

1.  Because they reject God’s command of distinction!  We that are saved are not of this world!  We are new creatures, we are different, and we are the enemy.

Romans 12:1-2  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  (2)  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.  (Transformation to Christ comes through the renewing of our minds and the renewing of our mind comes through the Word of God.  We are to love God, not the world.  People follow their pernicious ways because of their affinity with the world.)

2.  Because of their love for sinfulness!  God’s people love God!  But, as sinfulness comes, that first love begins to cool.

Matthew 24:11-12  And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.  (12)  And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.  (The preaching of our day is mostly exhortational and positive were as Biblical preaching is mostly reproving and rebuking.)

2 Timothy 4:2  Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.  (Notice the Biblical order of preaching.  This does not mean that the pastor is hateful or always negative.  The key to reproving and rebuking is longsuffering and doctrine.  Longsuffering shows compassion while doctrine does the rest.  People do not want a church whose doctrine is right.)

3.  Because the world has changed their thinking!  We that are saved are being constantly bombarded with the philosophy of the world. 

1 Corinthians 2:14-16  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.  (15)  But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.  (16)  For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

Philippians 2:5  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:  (We have the mind of Christ but have to allow that spiritual mind to operate within the realm of our thinking.)

2 Corinthians 4:4  In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.  (I do not like to take a text our of its context but do want to make a spiritual application from this verse.  Satan is busily seeking whom he may devour.  He uses philosophy to get his work done.)

4.  Because of spiritual loneliness!  If you live for Christ in these last days, you will have to travel the road less traveled.  “Though none go with me, still I will follow” is easily sung but takes spiritual resolve to accomplish.  The sword of division brought by Christ is a reality.

2 Peter 2:2  And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.

Victory Baptist Church 29 June 2022 victorypalmetto.com

Wade’s Wednesday

Walking Through the Dark Times

By Charles Stanley

Did you ever peek ahead to the end of a story because you just couldn’t wait for the conclusion?    This is oftentimes what we long to do in our own life, especially in difficult seasons. We want to know when our affliction will end. But only God knows the future, so we must learn to trust Him in the meantime.

Joseph probably wished he could glance into the future to find out when his life would stop spiraling downward. [Read his story in Genesis 37:1-50:26.] Between the hatred of his brothers who sold him into slavery, the anger and lies of his master’s wife, and incarceration that left him languishing, it would have been easy for Joseph to lose hope. Those 13 years of his life must have seemed like an eternity.

Even though Joseph couldn’t see the future, God was with him every step of the way. And at the end of the dark years, he proclaimed he had learned that “God meant it for good”

We can’t avoid trials. But knowing that God is with us and His purpose is good gives us the hope needed for enduring hardship with peace.

Everyone faces challenges in life, whether financial, vocational, relational, physical, or spiritual. When trouble comes, as it inevitably will, we should waste no time in bringing it to God.

It’s easy to think our problems are unimportant to God, but He doesn’t feel that way at all. Whatever concerns us concerns our Father. So when we . . .rely fully on the Lord, He will help us. And remember; No matter how great our challenges are, God is greater.

From the sermons of Charles F. Stanley

Tuesday With Karen

Rest In The Lord
Rest in the Lord if the world falls apart,
He knows the smallest feeling of your heart;
If He’s the only One to know how you feel,
His compassion & love are always so real!

Rest in the Lord every day you live,
Fellowship with Him has so much to give;
He oversees the very steps of your life,
Thank Him for protection each day & night!

Rest in the Lord, whatever you face,
His love will provide sufficient grace;
He never deserts anyone in His fold,
Your life, in His hand, He lovingly holds!

Rest in the Lord, give Him all your faith,
He forgave your sin the day you got saved;
Your place in Hell was erased forevermore,
By His saving grace, there’s rest in the Lord!

Never the less

Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
In these few words, we are given profound insight concerning the grace of God at work through our intimate relationship with Christ. This verse begins with our spiritual death, that another might live in and through our lives. Finally, we are told how we are to respond, so this divine arrangement can proceed as intended.
First, our spiritual death is in view. I have been crucified with Christ. If we are believers in the Lord Jesus, we died with Him upon that cross. The cross of Christ is now our testimony of rejoicing, for by that cross we escaped the dead world of unredeemed humanity. But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. Although the cross is the end of our old life in Adam, that is not the end of our story. Even when we were dead in trespasses, [God] made us alive together with Christ, by grace you have been saved. By His grace, we were raised with Christ. We died with Him, that we now might live with Him. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him.
The astounding consequence of these truths is that we are not the ones producing our Christian life. It is no longer I who live. This reality is radically contrary to man’s natural thinking. If we are not to manufacture our life with God, what other option could possibly be available? The wonderful answer is: Christ lives in me. True Christian living is to be Christ living in and through our lives. How can this be accomplished? We still have an ongoing human experience in flesh and bones bodies: the life which I now live in the flesh. Yes, but this life is to be lived by faith: I live by faith in the Son of God. As we put our trust in Jesus day by day, He lives in and through our thoughts, our words, our choices, our priorities, our relationships.
Once again, this is God’s grace at work through humility and faith. Humility is expressed by embracing this confession: it is no longer I who live. I am glad to say that faith is expressed by counting upon this truth: Christ lives in me.

Commandments

We run into trouble when we think of God as we would think of man. That is all we have to relate to, other humans. With the exception of Jesus’ physical life, all human comparisons with God’s character are flawed. When we read this passage, at first, we may think of jealousy is an unholy quality. That would be thinking as if God was like man. He is not. He is utterly holy. We can understand Him calling Himself a jealous God if we consider His other attributes.

His jealousy is out of a holy heart of real love. Since we are dedicated to Him as His bride, He longs to see us uncompromisingly dedicated to Him. His desires are entirely pure and unselfish. The motivation of His jealousy is His genuine love that knows His ways are best for us. He wants to see us made into a pure and spotless bride.

The same word for jealous in Hebrew can be translated zealous. God has a great zeal to see us transformed into the image of Christ. It is out of His great love that we see this jealousy, or zealousness, in God. It is hard to fathom that Someone so great could love us so much. We, in proper response, should allow our love for Him to flourish. We should be zealous about Him as well. We should also be sensitive to times when something may be competing for our love for Him. It is not a good idea to arouse His jealousy. It is there for our good.

Meditate on the zealous love of God for you. Is there something that is competing for your love for Him?

True to the Word

by David Jeremiah

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32

Christians are sometimes questioned about their faith. It happened in the first century as well as in our day, which is why the apostle Peter encouraged believers to “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you ” (1 Peter 3:15). But what if you aren’t sure? What if you don’t know an answer to a question? You will never go wrong by simply saying what the Word says—the living and written Word of God.

Jesus called Himself “the truth” (John 14:6) and “He who is true” (Revelation 3:7). Therefore, saying what Jesus said is to say what is true. A Christian will never go wrong by agreeing with Jesus. But Jesus also called God’s Word “the truth.” He knew that the psalmist had written, “Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.” (Psalm 119:160), and he borrowed those words in His prayer to the Father: “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth” (John 17:17). So Jesus called Himself the truth and He called the Word of God the truth. Jesus was the human embodiment of the eternal truth of God. If you want to speak the truth, quoting Jesus and the Bible is the best place to begin. If what we say departs from those two sources, we have departed from the truth.

The truth of Scripture demolishes speculation. R. C. Sproul

Friday Funnies

Missing You

Dearest Lauren,

I’m so sorry for the things I said.  I’ve been unable to sleep since I broke off our relationship last month. I think about you day and night. Your absence is breaking my heart and recently I’ve begun to realize that nobody can take your place. Sweetheart, I miss you so much. Please call me.

All my love,

Robert

P.S. Congratulations on winning last week’s Powerball Lottery.

Tainted Money

Timmy didn’t want to put his money in the offering plate Sunday morning, so his mother decided to use some hurried creative reasoning with him.

“You don’t want that money, honey,” she whispered in his ear. “Quick! Drop it in the plate. It’s tainted!”

Horrified, the little boy obeyed.

After a few seconds he whispered, “But, mommy, why was the money tainted? Was it dirty?

“Oh, no dear,” she replied. “It’s not really dirty. It just ‘taint yours, and it ‘taint mine,” she replied. “It’s God’s.”

Warnings

A state trooper stopped a Congressman for going 15 miles over the speed limit.

After he handed him a ticket, the Congressman asked, “Don’t you give out warnings?”

“Yes, sir,” he replied. “They’re all up and down the road. They say, ‘Speed Limit 65.'”

Bible Study

A More Sure Word! 2 Peter 1:16-21

A great number of people believe the claims of Christianity are just fables, folk tales, and legends. Despite the evidence—often, without any at all—these same people are counting on the idea that the Bible is mostly invention with very little truth. Even in Peter’s day, this was a counter to the preaching of the gospel. Arguments over the reliability of the message had already begun. Not only had some doubted what they’d been told, but others were trying to take advantage of the situation by making up their own stories. This is something Peter will deal with: cunningly devised fables, “clever lies” being told about Jesus.

Peter writes that his personal case for Christ is simple: He saw Jesus’ majesty with his own eyes. He is reporting as an eyewitness. When Peter preached about Jesus’ power and impending return, he wasn’t following someone else’s script; he was speaking from his own experience.

Specifically, Peter will refer to seeing Christ’s “majesty.” Peter was present for an event we commonly call the “transfiguration” (Matthew 17:1–8). This is not the only miracle which Peter saw, nor the only piece of evidence he will use. But, for this event is the clearest example of how he knows—for sure—that what he is teaching is the truth.

While writing to these displaced but saved Jews, Peter directs their hearts toward the Word of God.  If we are to trust in the Lord with all our hearts when we do not understand, we must learn to trust in His Word.

Peter will go back to the past to establish a present truth as he establishes the importance of faith in the Word of God.

1.  First, in verses 16-17, Peter established their faith in God’s Word that was spoken in an audible voice.  Everyone here tonight, if you heard the voice of God and knew that it was He that spoke, would believe EVERY WORD spoken.  Not one of you would have thought that God was too wordy or did not speak as many words as He need to speak.  Not one of you would have said, “God could have said it better this way,” and then re-phrase what He said.  You would take God at His Word and honor every single word spoken.

2.  Second, in verses 20-21, Peter established their faith in God’s inspiration of the Scriptures through holy men of old.  Everyone here tonight believes that the initial inspiration of the Word of God was verbal, plenary, inerrant, and infallible.  Every single word of God!

In verse 16, Peter uses the phrase “cunningly devised fables.”  The word “fables” is used 5 times in the New Testament.

1.  Fable – a tale or fiction.  Also, to teach or instruct a tale or fiction.  Cunningly devised is a tale that has been crafted.  We get a lot of that in politics these days.  You craft a story that presents a deception to the hearer.

2.  The most quoted use of the word “fables” is in 2 Timothy.

2 Timothy 4:1-4  I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;  (2)  Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.  (3)  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;  (4)  And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

The fables referred to in 2 Timothy had to do with turning those deceived away from the preaching of sound doctrine and the Word of God.  That is where we are today.

Break down verse 19 to get a good grasp upon what Peter is speaking about when he references a more sure Word.

1.  “we have” – to hold or to have in possession

2.  “a more sure” – A stable or firm base

3.  “word” – Logos, the same as John 1:1, in the beginning was the Word.  An utterance or something said.

4.  “prophecy” – to foretell whereas we “forth tell.”  It is a word that knows the future.

5.  “take heed” – not only to have in possession but to adhere to or to apply to oneself.

6.  “light” – a portable lamp, white in lamination.  Psalm 119:105.

7.  “that shineth” – luminous, to lighten or to show, to allow to see.

8.  “dark” – to blow dust or to be dirty.  The meaning is not just an absence of light but something dirty that obscures the light.  Dust storm.

9.  “place” – a condition, not a room.  As Israel sat in spiritual darkness when the First Advent took place, so we also sit in a time of spiritual darkness just prior to His Coming again.

10.  “until” – continuance of time and place.

11.  “day” – ffiguratively a period instead of a 24 hour day.  The Millennium or 1000 year reign; a thousand years is as a “day” with God.

12.  “dawn” – to beam or break through.  To appear.

13.  “The Day Star arise in your hearts” – to bear light.  

14.  Revelation 22:16  I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.  Isaiah 14:12 when they refer to Jesus as the morning star.  Jesus Christ is the Morning Star!

Victory Baptist Church 22 June 2022 victorypalmetto.com

Wade’s Wednesday

Changing Circumstances

By David Faust

According to a newspaper account, a government agency sent a form letter to a South Carolina man who had died. The letter said, “Your food stamps will be stopped, effective in March, because we received notice that you passed away.” Evidently a kind-hearted government worker had tried to add a human touch by writing, “May God bless you.” Then the form letter continued, “You may reapply if your circumstances change.” It should be noted that thus far, the client has not reapplied.

When we die, could our circumstance change? Yes! Jesus died, and his body was sealed in a garden tomb. But three days later, his circumstances changed! Hundreds saw him alive again—teaching, eating, interacting with his disciples, giving them 40 days worth of evidence that his resurrection was a fact (Acts 1:3).

In the 1960’s Jerry Lee Lewis sang, “There’s a whole lot of shakin’ going on!” On Jesus resurrection day, there was a whole lot of shakin’ going on. Matthew 28 says the ground shook (v. 2).—just as it did a few days earlier when Jesus died on the cross. Also, the guards shook. These seasoned soldiers normally weren’t afraid of anything, but when an angel appeared as bright as lightning, wearing clothes that shone like the sun on new-fallen snow, the guards trembled with fear (vv. 3, 4).

God was shaking things up! Yet, the angel of the Lord “rolled back the stone and sat on it (v. 2). He sat there calm, cool, and confident because God was in control.

We all know what it’s like to be shaken up. A doctor tells us bad news, The stock market dips and dives. War takes the lives of young soldiers. We’re all headed for the tomb, searching in the dim light of dawn for a reason to hope. And then to our surprise, we find God has already been at work. Like the women who came to Jesus’ tomb early on Sunday morning, we’re all “looking for Jesus, who was crucified (v.5). We all need the wonderful news that “he is risen, just as he said” (v. 6).

Our possessions can’t give us hope. When a TV psychic network declared bankruptcy, its lawyer declared, “They made some bad decisions due to unforeseen circumstances.” Perhaps they should have seen it coming.

Despite all the good it does, science can’t give us hope. Noting that the cosmos appears to be flying apart with increasing speed, a science reporter for Time magazine wrote, “Tens of billions of years from now, our Milky Way galaxy will find itself alone in empty space….The stars will simply wink out—and the universe will end, not with a bang but with the mildest of whimpers.”

Without Christ, life is a hopeless end; with Christ, it’s an endless hope. When we have the living Christ as our Savior and Lord, we have “crossed over from death to life” (John 5:24). We are a dying race on a dying planet, but a calm assurance abides when the risen Christ dwells in our hearts. Because he lives, even when we die our circumstances are going to change for the better.

Tuesday With Karen

Thank God for having it all in His hand! KI

Forecast Storms

If forecast storms are coming your way,
Making you worry, how to plan your day;
Trust in the only Master of the sea,
He’s more than able to meet every need!

If forecast storms are due to arrive,
Causing turmoil within your daily life;
Call on God’s name, He hears every prayer,
He’s watching over your life with His care!

If forecast storms are working together,
Part of a violent system of weather;
Put your worry inside the Saviour’s hand,
He has control of what happens on land!

If forecast storms are soon coming near,
Causing your heart concern & great fear;
Call upon God, who divided the Red Sea,
His loving way still brings perfect peace!