Reading: 2 Timothy 3:1-17
[a] I wonder have you met someone like the young gentleman I had on my doorstep who introduced himself as a monk, and offered me a book.
I knew with a glance at the cover, that it was a New-Age publication, promoting one of the eastern religions.
[b] I told the chap that I knew what his game was, and I was not interested in his ‘godless religion’.
[c] He asked me why I said it was godless, and I told him that his religion did not accept Jesus Christ, and therefore as far as I was concerned, was godless!
[d] He was most indignant, and said, “You mean that because a religion does not accept Jesus Christ it is godless?”
[e] I told him that as the Bible said Jesus is the ONLY way of Salvation, then without Him, a religion is indeed godless!
[f] I was then informed, that the Bible was only one book, and that there were other holy books.
[g] Before he left, I enlightened him, that I didn’t need any of his other holy books, because, through the Bible, I have found the living Jesus, and have therefore found Salvation.
[h] He was obviously English, and told me that he had heard that Scotland was bigoted, but he didn’t believe it until he met me!!
I didn’t have the heart to tell him, I came from Ireland.
[i] He also felt that because his own insistence was rebuffed, and his arrogance was tackled, that I was ignorant to him, because I refuted his stance, and would give no place to his false doctrine.
FRIENDS, THE ANGELS OF THE DEVIL DO NOT NEED TO BE DEALT WITH, WEARING KID GLOVES!
Be so very careful, the devil and his followers, so often appear as angels of light.
(a) One of the big problems today is that many professing Christians do not believe completely in either the power or authority of Scripture!!
[b] Sometimes, they use it as little more than a textbook, which they edit and change at will. How many times have we heard the idea expressed, “Well yes, I know the Bible says that, but we live in a more enlightened age today.”
(c)In meetings which I attended some years ago, with representatives of other churches on the subject “WHAT IS THE CHURCH”, we started looking at some of the things which separate us, it was stated to be BIGOTED AND NARROW to believe in PERSONAL SALVATION AND CONVERSION !!
(H) In fact one of the ministers said to me that he felt it was a SIN OF PRESUMPTION for anyone to say THEY WERE SAVED. After all, no-one could know until this life was finished. The last time someone said that to me was on the streets of London’s Soho over 30 years ago. It was at an open-air meeting, in amongst the strip clubs and houses of prostitution, when I gave my testimony and had the audacity to say I was saved!
I reminded them of some verses of Scripture: e.g. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved,” and “By grace are ye saved through faith.”
They said “But how can churches come together if they do not compromise!!”
I said, “We cannot compromise what we see God’s Word to teach!, and we cannot compromise when we believe that it means the difference between Heaven and Hell for people’s souls!!”
(I) In so many instances today, there is the effort to bring ‘togetherness’ at any price, with any compromise!!, and let me be quite honest with you THE TRUTH OF GOD IS BEING SOLD DOWN THE RIVER!!
(J) Our Salvation Army Doctrines state very clearly concerning the Scriptures, that “THEY ONLY CONSTITUTE THE DIVINE RULE OF CHRISTIAN FAITH AND PRACTICE.”
That means quite simply, that WE HAVE NO AUTHORITY TO CHANGE WHAT THE SCRIPTURES TEACH US. WE HAVE NO AUTHORITY TO COMPROMISE WITH WHAT WE KNOW TO BE AGAINST IT’S TEACHING!!
The General, the Territorial Commander, the Divisional Commander, even the Corps Officer can say what they will, our tradition and history can speak loudly, BUT IN THE END, IT IS WHAT THE ETERNAL WORD OF GOD HAS TO SAY THAT IS ALL IMPORTANT!!
(A) It is often stated today - sometimes as a play on words to confuse, that “The Scriptures CONTAIN the Word of God”!!
THE SCRIPTURES DO NOT CONTAIN THE WORD OF GOD !
THEY ARE THE WORD OF GOD !!
(B) To say that the Scripture CONTAINS the Word of God, has the inherent suggestion that there are parts which are not the Word of God.
The logical conclusion of this is of course that we end up not knowing which parts we can accept with authority and which we can’t!!
WE END UP WITH NO CERTAINTY OF FAITH!!
GOD HAS NOT LEFT US WITH UNCERTAINTY - HE LEAVES US IN NO DOUBT, FOR IN OUR TEXT IN 2 TIM.3:16 HE SAYS,
“ALL SCRIPTURE IS GIVEN BY INSPIRATION OF GOD, AND IS PROFITABLE FOR DOCTRINE, FOR CORRECTION,FOR INSTRUCTION IN RIGHTEOUSNESS.”
(C) There is a heresy abroad today, that suggests that all of Scripture is not equally inspired!! This is just a watered down version of the same.
[e] Such people teach what they would term to be THE MIND OF SCRIPTURE. Don’t be fooled by it, for it quite simply means that if you present them with a Bible verse that proves their theories incorrect, they turn around and state that in their estimations it does not fit in with the overall message of the Bible and by that token, must be lacking in inspiration at that part. Therefore they need not accept it!!
(A) When we look at our text, we find that THE SCRIPTURE IS ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN IN THE WITNESS IT GIVES OF ITSELF!!
(B) When it uses the word “ALL” it’s translated from a Greek word - “PAS” meaning “ANY AND EVERY!”
SO MUCH FOR THE THOSE WHO THINK THAT ALL OF IT IS NOT EQUALLY INSPIRED!
[c] It means we can RELY ON EVERY PROMISE!!
It means EVERY COMMAND MUST BE OBEYED!!
It means EVERY BIBLICAL THREAT WILL BE CARRIED OUT!!
It means that THE BIBLE ACCOUNT OF CREATION IS TRUE!!
It means that EVERY RECORDED MIRACLE HAPPENED!!
It means that EVERY PROPHESY WILL COME TO PASS!!
It means JESUS IS COMING BACK IN POWER AND GLORY!!
It Means WE MUST ACCEPT SCRIPTURE AS A WHOLE AND CANNOT LEAVE OUT ANY PARTS BECAUSE THEY HURT!!
It means we CANNOT TAKE ANY PART IN CHEAP JOKES ABOUT HOLY WRIT; WE MUST SHOW RESPECT FOR THE WORD OF GOD!!
[a] Isn’t it good to remind ourselves that the word INSPIRATION in this verse, is a tailor made word (THEOPNEUSTOS) in the original Greek, the ONLY TIME IT IS USED in the whole of Scripture!!
(B) Obviously it means something VERY IMPORTANT, and should be taken special note of!!
(C) It means, quite literally GOD BREATHED.
FROM THE VERY LIPS OF GOD HIMSELF.
(D) In other words, when you read the Scriptures, you are not just reading the words of Isaiah, Matthew, Paul or any of the other writers, rather - YOU ARE READING THE WORD OF GOD COMING THROUGH THEM!!
IT HAS THE STAMP OF GOD’S AUTHORITY!!
(E) When we QUOTE THE WORD OF GOD, WE TRULY SPEAK AS HIS AMBASSADORS, WITH HIS AUTHORITY!!
I WOULDN’T DARE STAND UP HERE TODAY, IF I DIDN’T BELIEVE IT!!
(F) I was speaking to a man in the pub one week as I sold the War Crys. AS WE SPOKE ABOUT HIS SOUL and the way of Salvation. He said to me -
What do you think?
I said, “WHAT I THINK IS OF NO IMPORTANCE, IT IS WHAT GOD SAYS IN HIS WORD THAT IS ALL IMPORTANT!!!” and I went on to explain the way of Salvation to him, as it is found in Scripture!!
(G) Unfortunately, all too often we are inclined to have a simplistic SECOND HAND VIEW of our faith, based on what an officer or someone else preaches or says, without checking it out to see if it’s true!!
(H) In the book of Acts, it says that they SEARCHED THE SCRIPTURES DAILY to see if these things were so. If we want a solid dependable faith, then we must be willing to do the same, OR WE WILL END UP WITH A FAITH THAT IS PAST IT’S SELL-BY DATE!!
[A] In some of our appointments some of the young people of the corps, would go off to Youth Councils, and return apparently having made a good impression on some members of the opposite sex. There was often certain correspondence floating around afterwards.
[B] I’m sure each letter sent and received was urgently read with excitement and expectation. Whilst it’s not why Youth Councils exists, it’s a natural and essential part of growing up!
(C) If we truly love our Lord, we will want to hear Him speak to us, by reading His Word for ourselves. It should be a precious and exciting letter from Him!
(D) We can TRUST HIS WORD ABSOLUTELY AND COMPLETELY!
(E) Let us remember that the miracle working God of Scripture IS, AND ALWAYS WILL BE THE SAME - HE IS UNCHANGEABLE!! HE IS DEPENDABLE!!
He says, “I AM THE LORD, I CHANGE NOT!”
The whole of our CHRISTIAN WITNESS is dependant upon the VISION OF HIM WE SEE IN HIS WORD!
PRAYER CHORUS 80
CHORUSES 130 & 145