Truth For The World

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Basic Outline

1 Thessalonians 5:21; 1 Peter 3:15

Introduction

  1. It will be our purpose in this lesson to present truths that we need to know, and that we need to teach to others.
  2. These teachings are essential to our obtaining eternal salvation.
  3. This lesson will include things that we need to understand in order to go to Heaven and also that we will want to teach others so that they also might go to Heaven.

I. Jesus Is the Christ, the Son of God

  1. Whether or not Jesus is the Christ is essential to our faith.
    1. If He is not the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God, then our faith is vain.
    2. If He is the Son of God, then we must obey Him in order to go to Heaven (Matthew 7:21-23).
  2. Jesus is a historical character.
    1. It cannot be denied that He lived on this earth about two thousand years ago.
    2. Almost everybody in the world believes that Jesus lived in Palestine.
    3. Not everybody believes He is the Son of God.
      1. Some say, “He was a good man, a moral man, a great teacher, but He was not the Son of God.”
      2. This is an impossible statement. Either He is the Son of God, or He was the biggest liar, imposter, and con man that the world has ever seen.
      3. He claimed to be the Son of God. If He was not, then He was either a liar or crazy.
  3. Why do we believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God?
    1. To believe something we must have reasons, evidence.
    2. We must be able to prove why we believe Jesus is the Christ (1 Peter 3:15 ).
  4. People must believe that Jesus is the Christ in order to be saved (John 8:24; John 14:6).
  5. If someone asked you why you believe in Christ, or why they should believe in Christ, what evidence would you offer?
    1. Christ is Eternal
      1. John 1:1-3, 14.
      2. Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:22-23.
      3. John 5:18.
      4. John 8:58.
      5. Philippians 2:6-8.
    2. Virgin Birth
      1. Isaiah prophesied concerning a virgin giving birth to a son about 700 years before the event (Isaiah 7:14).
      2. Matthew 1:18-25.
      3. There are over 300 prophecies concerning the Messiah that were fulfilled in Jesus.
        1. Right ancestors - Abraham, David (Matthew 1:1-17).
        2. Right birthplace - Bethlehem (Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:5-6).
        3. Suffered and died on the cross (Isaiah 53).
        4. Rose from the dead (Psalm 16:8-10; Luke 24:6, 31, 34).
    3. Sinless Life
      1. 1 Peter 2:21-23.
      2. Hebrews 4:14-15.
      3. Matthew 4:1-11.
    4. Miracles
      1. John 3:1-2; John 20:30-31.
      2. Purpose of Miracles - To confirm new truth (revelation).
      3. Discuss some of the miracles of Christ.
        1. Feeding 5,000.
        2. Healing the sick.
        3. Raising the dead.
    5. Others bear witness to Him
      1. Heavenly Father (Matthew 3:16-17; Matthew 17:5).
      2. Pilate and wife (Matthew 27:19, 24).
      3. Centurion (Matthew 27:54).
      4. Apostles (2 Peter 1:16-18; 1 John 1:1-3).
      5. John the Baptizer (John 1:29-34).
    6. Death and Burial
      1. Mark 15:16-28, 42-47.
      2. Romans 5:6-11.
    7. Resurrection
      1. “Empty tomb.” Attempted explanations:
        1. The swoon theory.
        2. Buried in the wrong tomb.
        3. His disciples stole the body.
        4. His enemies stole the body.
        5. The only reasonable answer - Jesus actually rose from the dead!
      2. Romans 1:4.
      3. 1 Corinthians 15:1-8, 12-19.
    8. Ascension
      1. Daniel 7:13.
      2. Acts 1:9-11.

II. The Existence of God

  1. The way man views the existence of God.
    1. Atheism - The Atheist says, “I know that God does not exist. I have evidence to prove it.”
      1. The atheist would have to be everywhere at the same time to be able to prove God does not exist.
      2. But omnipresence is one of the characteristics of God.
      3. So, a person would have to become a God to prove God does not exist!
    2. Agnosticism - The Agnostic says, “There is not enough evidence to prove one way or the other whether God exists.”
      1. There is abundant evidence to prove the existence of God.
      2. We will discuss that evidence a little later in this lesson.
    3. Skepticism - The Skeptic says, “I will not accept the evidence even if it is presented.”
      1. He already has his mind made up. Prejudiced mind.
      2. Thomas Paine was a famous American skeptic.
    4. Deism - The Deist says, “A Supreme Being created the universe, gave laws, then turned His back. After that, He had no dealings with His creation.”
      1. The Deist says He does not care for his creation, and does not provide for its needs.
    5. Theism - The theist believes that God created the universe, but does not believe that
      1. He is the God of the Old and New Testament, does not believe in Christ, the church, plan of salvation, etc.
        1. Jews.
        2. Moslems.
    6. Polytheism - The polytheist believes there is more than one God.
      1. Buddhists.
      2. Shinto.
      3. Taoism.
    7. Christian Theism - The Christian theist believes in the one God of the universe, the one God who created the universe. This includes:
      1. Belief in Christ as the Son of God.
      2. The church.
      3. The plan of salvation.
  2. The Origin of the Universe.
    1. Where did the universe come from?
      1. It is a fact that the universe had a beginning. “Nothing comes from nothing.”
      2. Two possible explanations - Creation or accident.
    2. Did the universe come about by accident?
      1. This is unreasonable.
      2. Watch illustration.
    3. Passages that emphasize the existence of God and that He created the universe.
      1. Romans 1:18-20.
      2. Psalm 19:1-3.
      3. Hebrews 3:4.
      4. Genesis 1 & 2.
    4. Arguments for creation vs. accident.
      1. Design/Designer.
      2. Cause/Effect.
      3. Moral Argument.
      4. The origin of man.
        1. All of the complex systems in man (respiratory, nervous, etc).
        2. Genesis 1:26-27.
  3. Attributes of God.
    1. God does not just have one attribute. (Example: God of love only, vengeful God, etc.)
      1. One God (Isaiah 44:6; l Corinthians 8:6).
      2. Omnipotent (Genesis 17:1).
      3. Omnipresent (Psalm 139:7-11).
      4. Omniscient (Hebrews 4:13).
      5. Just (Psalm 89:14).
      6. Self-existent (Psalm 90:1-2).
      7. Concerned for man (John 3:16).
      8. Communicates with man (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21).

III. The Origin of the Bible

  1. From where did the Bible come?
    1. Man couldn’t write it.
    2. The Devil wouldn’t write it.
  2. Attributes of the Bible.
    1. No contradictions. No other book can make this claim.
    2. 40 writers over a period of 1,600 years.
      1. Different occuptions.
      2. Different times and places.
      3. Writers did not know each other in every case.
        1. This could not be an accident.
  3. Scientific facts found in the Bible.
    1. Earth is round (Isaiah 40:22; Proverbs 8:27).
    2. Stars innumerable.
      1. Science finally stated that in AD 1940.
      2. Jeremiah 33:22.
      3. God can count and name them (Psalm 147:4).
  4. Fulfilled prophecies - 1,000 prophecies in the Bible.
    1. Already mentioned prophecies concerning Christ.
    2. Other prophecies.
      1. Cyrus (Isaiah 44:28; 45:1; Ezra 1).
      2. Destruction of Jerusalem (Matthew 24).
        1. A.D. 70 this prophecy was fulfilled.
        2. The historian Josephus records this true historical event.
  5. Archaeology confirms the facts of the Bible.
    1. Archaeology has established the location of Bible places.
      1. Queen of Sheba.
        1. The Old Testament mentions this Queen (1 Kings 10:1-13).
        2. Jesus affirms the truth of this story (Matthew 12:42).
        3. About 100 yrs. ago two Europeans traveled to South Arabia and found inscriptions on walls in the city of Marib. This was the capital of ancient Sheba.
    2. Archaeology has also proved the location of Nineveh.
      1. Archaeology has supported Bible doctrine.
        1. Some claimed there were not enough places of water to baptize 3,000 people in Acts 2.
        2. Archaeology has found pool after pool in the city. One pool was longer than 2 football fields and 1 football field wide.
  6. If it wasn’t for the Bible, we would know nothing of:
    1. The origin of man.
    2. The nature of God.
    3. The origin of sin.
    4. What happens to man after death.
  7. Christ, God, and the Bible all go together.
    1. We cannot believe in one without believing in the others.
    2. Some will say, “Oh, I believe in God, but I don’t believe in Christ. Or, I believe in God, but I don’t believe he gave us the Bible.”
    3. Others will say, “I believe the Bible is from God, but I don’t believe the first 11 chapters of Genesis are true fact.”
      1. Then you don’t believe all the Bible is from God.
      2. Also, Jesus quoted from those first 11 chapters often.

IV. Our Standard of Authority in Religion

  1. What it is not!
    1. Our opinions (Proverbs 14:12).
    2. The majority view (Matthew 7:13-14).
    3. Tradition (Matthew 15:8-9).
    4. Zeal or Sincerity (Romans 10:1-3).
    5. Our feelings (Acts 26:9).
    6. Our conscience (Acts 23:1; 24:16).
    7. Denominational creeds (Galatians 1:6-9).
  2. What it is: The Word of God!
    1. John 17:17.
    2. 1 Peter 1:22, 23, 25.
    3. 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
    4. 2 Peter 1:3.
    5. 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14.
    6. Romans 1:16.
    7. Colossians 3:17.

V. Old or New Testament

  1. The law was given to the Jews, and to them only.
    1. Deuteronomy 5:1-5.
    2. Gentiles were never under obligation to the law of Moses.
  2. The Old Law is no longer in effect.
    1. Ephesians 2:13-16.
    2. Colossians 2:14.
    3. Hebrews 8:6-13.
    4. Romans 7:1-7.
  3. We are now under the law of Christ.
    1. Matthew 28:18-20.
    2. Matthew 17:5.
    3. Matthew 7:21-23.
    4. John 12:48.
  4. The Old Testament is still helpful to us (Romans 15:4; 1 Corinthians 10:6, 11).
  5. We cannot add to, take away from, or change it in any way (Galatians 1:6-9; Revelation 22:18-19).

VI. Why Jesus Came to Earth

  1. One reason was to give mankind a chance to have their sins washed away.
    1. Romans 3:23; 1 John 1:6-10.
    2. 1 John 3:4; Romans 6:23.
    3. Isaiah 59:1-2.
    4. Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-6.
    5. Matthew 1:21; Luke 19:10.
    6. Romans 5:8; 1 Timothy 1:15.
  2. Another reason that is connected with the first was to purchase His church.
    1. Acts 20:28.
    2. 1 Peter 1:18-19.
    3. Ephesians 3:8-11.
    4. Matthew 16:18-19.
    5. 1 Corinthians 3:11.
    6. John 17:20-22.
    7. 1 Corinthians 1:10-13.
    8. Ephesians 1:22-23; 4:3-6.

VII. How to Identify the Church Jesus Built

  1. The situation today.
    1. Many churches claiming to be one of the “branches” of the church, or who claim to be the church that Jesus established.
    2. 229 different religious organizations in Taiwan that make this claim. Over 2,000 in the United States.
    3. How do we find out which one is the church that Jesus established?
  2. Characteristics.
    1. Lost child - use characteristics to find. Once found, don’t keep on searching. Must have all the characteristics, not just some.
    2. Cars are not all the same.
      1. Cadillac.
      2. Mercedes Benz.
      3. Yue Loong.
      4. Yugo.
  3. The New Testament tells us what are the characteristics of the church. Once we know, we can compare and find the right one.
  4. Characteristics of the church.
    1. When established?
      1. Matthew 16:18.
      2. Mark 9:1.
      3. Mark 15:43.
      4. Luke 24:46-49.
      5. Acts 1:5-8.
      6. Acts 5:11.
      7. Colossians 1:13.
      8. Acts 2:1-4, 36-42, 47.
    2. Where established?
      1. Isaiah 2:2-3; Luke 24:47.
      2. Acts 2:5, 14.
    3. Name?
      1. Matthew 16:18.
      2. Acts 20:28.
      3. Rm. 16:16.
      4. Could have right name, but without all characteristics, it cannot be the Lord's church.
    4. Foundation/Founder?
      1. Matthew 16:18.
      2. 1 Corinthians 3:11.
      3. Psalm 127:1.
    5. Organization?
      1. Autonomous; Independent.
      2. Each congregation has:
        1. Elders, pastors, shepherds.
          1. Acts 14:23.
          2. Acts 20:17-18, 28.
          3. 1 Timothy 3:1-7.
          4. Titus 1:5-9.
        2. Deacons (1 Timothy 3:8-13; Philippians 1:1).
        3. Not one man over one or more congregations, pope, etc. No earthly headquarters.
    6. Worship?
      1. Lord’s supper (Matthew 26:26-29; Hebrews 10:25; Acts 20:7; Gen. 6).
      2. Giving (1 Corinthians 16:1-2).
      3. Prayer (Acts 2:42 ; Acts 12:5; 1 Thessalonians 5:17).
      4. Singing (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16).
      5. Preaching/Teaching (Acts 20:7; Acts 2:42).
        1. Plan of salvation?
        2. Hear (Romans 10:17).
        3. Believe (John 8:24; Hebrews 11:6; James 2:24, 26).
        4. Repent (Acts 17:30; 2 Peter 3:9).
        5. Confess Christ (Matthew 10:32-33; John 12:42-43).
        6. Baptism.
          1. Mark 16:16. Acts 22:16.
          2. Acts 2:38. Revelation 1:5.
          3. 1 Peter 3:21. Acts 8:35-39.

VIII. Living the Christian Life

  1. When we become a Christian, we are new creatures (2 Corinthians 5:17).
    1. We are in Christ and have access to all spiritual blessings (Ephesians 1:3).
    2. We have a change of mind and a change of life (Colossians 3:1-17).
  2. What are some responsibilities in living the Christian life?
    1. Bible study (2 Timothy 2:15; 1 Peter 2:2; Hebrews 5:12-14; Acts 17:11).
    2. Prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:17; Philippians 4:6-7; James 5:16-18).
    3. Attend the assemblies (Hebrews 10:25; Matthew 6:33; John 14:15).
    4. Teach others (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16; 2 Timothy 2:24-26; Acts 8:1-4).
    5. Live a godly life (Romans 12:1-2; Titus 2:11-12; Matthew 5:13-16; 1 Peter 4:3-4).
    6. Endure to the end (Galatians 6:9; 1 Corinthians 15:58; Revelation 2:10; 1 Peter 4:12-16).

IX. The Second Coming of Christ

  1. Is Christ coming again? (Acts 1:9-11; Hebrews 9:27-28; 2 Peter 3:1-9).
  2. When? (Mark 13:32-37; 2 Peter 3:10).
    1. No signs will be given.
    2. Premillennialism is wrong - Foy Wallace definition.
  3. What will he do?
    1. Raise the dead (John 5:28-29).
    2. Judge the world.
      1. Acts 17:30-31.
      2. 2 Corinthians 5:10.
      3. Matthew 25:31-46.
      4. Revelation 20:12.
    3. Return the kingdom to the Father (1 Corinthians 15:23-24).
    4. Eternity begins.
  4. There will be just one resurrection, not two (John 5:28-29; Acts 24:15).
  5. The earth will be destroyed (2 Peter 3:7, 10, 12).

X. Counting the Cost

  1. Before a person becomes a Christian, they need to consider very carefully if they are willing to pay the price that it takes to live the Christian life.
    1. We have found this to be especially true in our work among the Chinese people.
    2. Whereas in the states we might be able to teach a new Christian some things after they become a Christian, the Chinese do not have the religious background that westerners have and therefore they need to fully understand what they are doing.
    3. Every person needs to know that becoming a Christian means entering the Lord's church, not a denomination; and that becoming a Christian carries with it responsibility.
  2. We know that a person who becomes a Christian then falls away is worse off than one who never knew the truth (2 Peter 2:20-22; Luke 12:47-48).
  3. There are passages that emphasize “counting the cost.”
    1. Matthew 10:32-39.
    2. Luke 14:25-33.
  4. For a person who has counted the cost, we need to encourage them to obey the gospel.
    1. 2 Corinthians 6:1-2.
    2. James 4:13-17.

Conclusion

  1. This lesson has been designed to help those who have not yet obeyed the gospel to have a better understanding of what is involved in becoming a child of God and having the hope of Heaven (Matthew 7:21-23).
  2. It was also presented to help to remind those who have already obeyed the gospel what we must always remember (2 Peter 1:12).
  3. Further, it was presented to help Christians to teach others these basic truths (2 Timothy 2:2).
  4. It is our hope and prayer that every person might be saved and go to Heaven.
    1. 2 Peter 1:5-11.
    2. I Timothy 2:4.
    3. 2 Peter 3:10.
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