The Sure Word of God

2 Peter

The Sure Word of God

October 2nd, 1960 @ 7:30 PM

2 Peter 1:12-21

Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me. Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance. For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
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THE SURE WORD OF GOD

Dr. W. A. Criswell

2 Peter 1:12-21

10-2-60    7:30 p.m.

 

 

Will you turn to 2 Peter?  This morning we left off at the eleventh verse; this evening we begin at the twelfth verse and preach to the end of the chapter.  Second Peter chapter 1, verse 12 to the end, verse 21, and everybody read it together; read it out loud.  It was written to be read aloud.  Second Peter, to the end of your Bible almost, chapter 1, verse 12, now everybody together:

 

Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.

Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;

Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath showed me.

Moreover I will endeavor that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.

For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty.

For He received from God the Father honor and glory, when there came such a voice to Him from the Excellent Glory, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with Him in the holy mount.

We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation.

For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man:  but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

[2 Peter 1:12-21]

 

Truly, you have just read one of the finest passages in the Bible.  The apostle Peter says, "I would not be negligent, I will bring to your hearts, your minds, the remembrance of these things . . . that you may be established in the present truth" [2 Peter 1:12].  And there are two ways by which in this passage he seeks to establish us in the truth of the gospel and the Word of God.  First, he says, "We were eyewitnesses of these things that are written in the message and the story of our Lord" [2 Peter 1:16]; and second, he says, "We have a more sure word of prophecy" [2 Peter 1:19].  And upon those two foundations, he builds the truth of the superstructure of the gospel message of the Son of God, "That ye be established in the present truth" [2 Peter 1:12].

First, the eyewitnesses:  "For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty" [2 Peter 1:16].  That is the same kind of a thing that the apostle John wrote, when he said, "We are eyewitnesses of these things."  He begins his first epistle,

 

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, the Word of life; For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us:  That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us; for our fellowship is with the Father, and with the Son.

[1 John 1:1-3]

 

So Simon Peter, as John says, "These things we write unto you, and we know they are the truth of God, for our eyes saw these things, and our ears heard these things, and our very hands handled these things" [2 Peter 1:15-18].

Well, to have men of the moral stature and the spiritual insight and acumen of John, and of Simon Peter, and of Matthew, and of all of the apostles would be in itself a wonderful evidence for the truth of their witness to the glory, and majesty, and deity of our Lord.  But one of the strangest things in the Holy Word of God is this:  even though Simon Peter says and John says, "I saw this with my eyes, and I heard it with my ears, and our hands did handle the Word of life" [2 Peter 1:15-18], yet he says, "We have a surer word that this message is true and this is the divine revelation of God" [2 Peter 1:19].  He says we have the Bible; we have the sure word of prophecy.  And he puts a comparative in it:  "We have a more sure word of prophecy" [2 Peter 1:19].  A man’s eyes might mislead him, and with what a man might hear, he could be mistaken. 

That’s hard to think, but it is possible; we could be deceived in what we have heard, and we could have made a mistake in what we saw.  But he says, "There is no mistaking, and there is no possibility for deception in the witness of the Holy Scriptures to this divine truth and revelation that we have in Jesus our Lord.  A sure word of prophecy, Whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, knowing this first, that the prophecy of the Scripture is not of any private interpretation.  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man:  but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit" [2 Peter 1:19-21].  And many times the Holy Ghost moved in the hearts of those men to lead them to say things they themselves did not understand.  They were making prophecies by the Spirit of God of things that should come to pass in the very millenniums that were yet to come.

Now, the message tonight, the burden of it is the truth of that Book and that witness.  "We have a more sure word of prophecy" [2 Peter 1:19].  The Bible itself gives us a standard by which we can know that the prophecy is sure.  And that word "sure" is that same word that I spoke of this morning when I preached on the text "to make your calling and election sure, bibaian," from the Greek word bebaios which means "to establish, to confirm" [2 Peter 1:10].  Now, this is the first way that a prophecy is established:  I read from Deuteronomy chapter 18 and the last two verses, "If thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the Lord hath spoken and hath not spoken?"  This is the way you know, "When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, if it does not comes to pass, then he did not speak in the name of the Lord; but if the thing that the prophet speaks come to pass, then you may know that he has spoken in the divine inspiration of God" [Deuteronomy 18:21-22].

  Well, that ought to be fair enough test.  There is a man who says that he speaks for God.  He has a prophecy for God, a word from the Lord.  All right, God says let’s see if it comes to pass.  If it comes to pass, he’s spoken the truth of God; if it doesn’t come to pass, then he doesn’t speak the truth of God.  Now that is a remarkable test.  And if any man has the spirit of divination, if he’s a seer and if he can prophesy what will come to pass, he can have the world and all that’s in it.

For example, if there is a man that knows what the economic picture of America is going to be seven days from now, seven days from now, he can be a rich man beyond anybody that I know of:  all you have to do is just to know seven days in advance what the stock market is going to do; and invest your funds here, the stock’s going up; don’t invest them here, the stock’s going down.  And you’ll be a multimillionaire in a matter of days, if you know just seven days in advance what the stock market is going to do, and what the economic life of America is going to do, just seven days.

 I’ll give you a better illustration.  If you can prophesy in three minutes what’s going to come to pass, you can be rich beyond compare.  Just go to the horse races and put your bets on the horse that’s going to win the race in three minutes from now; and you’ll be a rich man over night.  Always bet on the horse that’s going to win, and make your bets big.  And if you can foresee in three minutes what’s going to happen, you’ll be a rich man.  Got any candidates?  Got any candidates?  Anybody around here, would he stand up and say, "Preacher, I have the spirit of prophecy in me.  I can prophesy three minutes from now what’s going to happen."  If you can do it, the world is yours, for you see, prophecy belongs to God.

One of the truisms of the whole stock market is this:  that the experts are always wrong, always wrong.  Whatever the experts say, do just the opposite.  I heard of a fellow who every time he prophesied the weather got it right, every time, he never missed it.  And somebody went up to him, and said, "How in the world is it that you always prophesy and it comes out right about the weather?"  Well, he says, "The way I do it is very simple:  I just read what the United States Weather Bureau says, and I prophesy the opposite; and I’m always right."

 No man knows what the future brings.  But, I have here in my hand a Book in which men of God stood up, and they not only prophesied what would happen in three minutes, they not only prophesied what would happen in seven days, they not only prophesied what would happen in a thousand years, but those men of God stood up and they prophesied what would come to pass in thousands and thousands of years that lay ahead.  Why, it’s an astounding thing when you compare it with mortal men and mortal mind and mortal acumen.

Now I prepared a whole group of those tonight, but I haven’t time to go through them.  Two thousand years, two thousand years to Abraham, "In thy Seed as of one," so says Paul, "in thy Seed, as of one, shall all the nations of the earth be blessed" [Genesis 22:18; Galatians 3:16].  I turn the page, and nineteen hundred years before Christ, Judah – He is going to be called the Lion of the tribe of Judah some of these days [Revelation 5:5] – two thousand years after that prophecy, Judah is a lion’s whelp [Genesis :9], "The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto Him shall the gathering of the nations be" [Genesis :10].  Why Judah?  Pick out Judah, that’s where you get the name "Jew."  "Jew" is a shortened form of a "Jew-dah," Judah; he shall have a government until Jesus comes. 

And you’re not through with the Jew yet.  I heard a man say about a week ago, that what God is going to do through the Jew is just now begun, and I believe it.  There’s a scheme and there’s a program for the Jew that reaches until the great consummation of the age.  And in that denouement, he has an increasingly vital and tremendous part.  Judah, the Jew, Jesus said, he will be here until I come; all of the rest of those nations have perished from the face of the earth, and their very names are under the dust of antiquity.  But the Jew, God said, would still be here, and he is [Matthew 24:34].  Walk down the street of any big city, go down the streets of Dallas, go in any department store, there he is.

I wish I had hours.  May I take just one more?  "Thou Bethlehem, thou Bethlehem," seven hundred fifty years before Jesus was born!  Were a man to prophesy what’ll happen in three minutes, would be of God; here’s a man that stands up and says, seven hundred fifty years before it comes to pass!  Man!  How long is seven hundred fifty years?  How old is America?  Isn’t it about a hundred eighty-five, eighty-six, eighty-seven years old?   Seven hundred fifty years, "Thou Bethlehem, in thee shall He come who shall rule My people" [Micah 5:2].  Oh, I haven’t time!  I haven’t time.  The sure word of prophecy; we may have confidence in it because according to the Book it comes to pass; God hath spoken it.

There’s a second reason why we can have confidence in this prophecy in the Word of God, and that is this:  the Lord who spake it is the God who is the same yesterday, and His truth the same; and the same today, and His truth the same; and the same tomorrow and forever, and His truth the same [Hebrews 13:8].  That is, God knows all things, and He speaks without error, without mistake, He speaks in infallibility [Psalm 119:160, John 17:17].  That word doesn’t belong to any mortal man; it belongs to God alone.  And this Book that I hold in my hand, the Word of God, is without error, it is without mistake, it is accurate according to the truth of God Himself [2 Timothy 3:16].  Now, I want to illustrate that.

Several days ago I heard Dr. Fowler in one of these meetings refer to a trial that was held in New York City concerning the accuracy of the Bible.  That happened when I was a young man.  And I kept the story of that trial in my files.  And today I have prepared to present you that trial, the New York trial concerning scriptural accuracy.  I have boiled it down here to present to you.  On October 31, 1939, the following notice appeared in the Herald Tribune in New York City.  Quote from the Herald Tribune: "Reverend Harry Rimmer," who was an evangelist, "Reverend Harry Rimmer speaks nightly this week and Sunday at Central Baptist Church, Ninety-Second Street and Amsterdam Avenue, on ‘The Harmony of Science and Scripture’.  He offers one thousand dollars for a scientific error in the Bible."  Now that was what was published in the Herald Tribune of New York City.  Now, a Mr. William Floyd read this and demanded the money, alleging a number of scientific errors in the Bible.  Since he could not prove it to the satisfaction of the preacher and the church, he entered suit in the courts of New York City against both the evangelist and the Central Baptist Church to collect his one thousand dollars on the basis that he had found scientific errors in the Bible.  So the trial was held on the fifteenth of February 1940.

Now do any of you all remember that trial?  Well anyway, if you remember it, it’ll do you good for me to summarize it and bring it back afresh in our minds.  It was a very famous trial.  The trial was held on the fifteenth of February, 1940, in New York City.  Mr. William Floyd, the plaintiff, brought in four chief witnesses to establish his case that there are scientific errors in the Bible.  The first witness that he brought in was Rabbi Baruch Braunstein of an ultra-liberal Hebrew synagogue.  The second witness was Reverend John Haynes Holmes, who was pastor of the Community Church in New York City and one of the biggest liberals of all time.  His third witness was Reverend Charles Francis Potter, pastor of the First Humanist Church of New York City.  And his fourth witness was Mr. Woolsey Teller, vice president of the American Association for the Advancement of Atheism; he also of New York City.  All right, now let’s start with the trial.

Mr. William Floyd, the plaintiff, the man who was suing to get the thousand dollars on the basis that he had found scientific inaccuracies in the Bible, Mr. William Floyd, the plaintiff, was the first witness.  A large part of his case was an elaborate argument based on the Scriptures in the Bible that make it absurd concerning to the number of quail that the Israelites, he says, were buried in, in the wilderness.  And the two passages of Scripture that he used were these:  Exodus 16:13, "And it came to pass, that at even the quails came up, and covered the camp:  and in the morning the dew lay round about the host," and the dew was manna [Exodus 16:15]; then the second Scripture was in the eleventh chapter of the Book of Numbers, verses [31] and [32],

 

And there went forth a wind from the Lord, and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, as it were a day’s journey on this side, and as it were a day’s journey on the other side, round about the camp, and as it were two cubits high upon the face of the earth.  And the people stood up all that day, and all that night, and all the next day, and they gathered the quails:  he that gathered least gathered ten homers:  and they spread them all abroad for themselves round about the camp.

[Numbers 11:31-32]

 

Now those were the two passages of Scripture on which he alleges a vast absurdity.  He figured that this means a deposit of quail about four feet deep, covering all the surface of the earth for 3,136 square miles.  Item number F – A, B, C, D, E, F – in the brief that he brought to the court, item number F on this part of the complaint reads, now I quote from it:

 

The cubical contents of this mass of quails would be approximately 305,258,552,448 cubit feet of quails.  Estimating that each quail pressed in the mass would occupy about three inches by three inches of space, thus displacing some twenty-seven cubic inches of space per quail in the pile.  The total number of quails therefore in this mass, or mess of quails would be –

now I’m quoting from him in the court, would be –

the number of those quails would be 19,538,468,356,672 quails presented to the eye of the fundamentalist faith."  End quote. 

 

Now that was his first argument.

Well, the answer to it is very plain.  God never said that those quail were killed, and plucked, and dressed, and packed down together like sardines for 3,156 square miles around the camp.  What God said was that the wind blew the quail out of the north, out of the Nile Valley, and across the Red Sea, and that they were confused in the wilderness, and that they flew in coveys.  In coveys?  Is that what quails fly in?  They flew in coveys about four feet above the ground, and the people could take a stick and knock them down, or they could even catch them with their hands.  And the absurdity of what the man said made even the judge laugh.

Now Rabbi Braunstein was the second witness.  He started off by admitting he knew practically nothing about science, but he was a member of a liberal wing of the Hebrew scholarship and had read a great deal, he said.  He alleged that the Bible contradicts itself as to the animals in the ark: saying there were two of each kind, the Bible says, in one place; and there were seven of each kind, the Bible says, in another place.  Now when the counsel for the defense, the honorable James E. Bennet, cross-examined him, he had this rabbi to read the first two verses of the seventh chapter of the Book of Genesis, which reads:  "And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark . . . Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and the female" [Genesis 7:1-2].  And when the counsel for the defense, James Bennet, got through with him, why, the rabbi declared that he was then very positive that the Bible was correct, and he turned out to be a witness for the defense, on the side of the preacher.

Now the third witness that he brought in was the Reverend John Haynes Holmes.  He admitted he was not qualified to speak as an expert on any branch of science; his ideas concerning the Bible account of creation were merely his own opinions, and he could not qualify to speak for anyone else.  And all of this did not constitute legal evidence in the court; so the judge threw him out.

Now the fourth witness was the Reverend Charles Francis Potter, who was pastor of the First Humanist Church of New York City.  He admitted he could not qualify as an expert on the various branches of science, which the judge considered necessary for a witness to know, so he could not speak with any authority on that.  He then stated his case, namely, that there was no Flood as described in Genesis [Genesis 7:17-8:14].  The judge then asked him if he was there, and if not, where did he get his information.  The preacher said he got it from reading and studying and finally admitted his opinions were merely his own; he didn’t know anything about it, whether there was a flood or not.

Then the honorable James A. Bennet, the counsel for the defense, cross-examined this preacher.  And in the cross-examination, he made the pastor of the First Humanist Church admit that he did not know whether or not there was a God, since he was an agnostic and ignorant on that subject, and he made him also admit that he never prayed, and that he thought that God was just an idea.

Then came the last one, who was a humdinger: the next day, Friday, February 16, the vice president of the American Association for the Advancement of Atheism was the witness, Woolsey Teller.  He was very positive and confident in repeating the atheistic slurs and insults against the Bible made by the long line of atheists from Celsus, to Voltaire, to Ingersoll.  He claimed to be an accredited scientist, but admitted he had never been graduated from any college and was entirely self-educated by reading books, newspapers, magazines, and so forth – presumably majoring on all the literature published by atheists.  When the counsel for the defense, the honorable James E. Bennet, cross-examined the atheist, he made him admit that he had misunderstood and misread Darwin; he compelled him to admit that he knew nothing about Hebrew, Greek, or Latin, then also he compelled him to admit that scientists make grievous errors and mistakes, and then pointed out one.  Now I wish I had a long time to go through the scientific mistake, the hoax, the dupe that some of these fellows fall into who claim to be the greatest authorities in their particular science of all the world.

Now the one that this counsel for the defense, the honorable James E. Bennet, used in defending the preacher was this:  Dr. Fairfield Osborn was the greatest paleontologist that America has ever produced.  And at that time in this trial day, he was head of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.  Now to sum up what it was, up here in Nebraska they found a tooth, a tooth.  And this man, Dr. Fairfield Osborn, and all the other anthropologists labeled that tooth as the tooth of a Nebraska Man whom they called Hesperopithecus, that is "the western ape man," and they said that he lived over a million years ago.  And on the basis of that one tooth, this great paleontologist and anthropologist, and all of the other paleontologists and anthropologists, they all built on the basis of that one tooth, a whole race of men who lived here over a million years ago, they said.  They had males of them, and they had females of them, and they had habitats of them, and they had habits of them, and they had houses for them, and they illustrated it and published it in the magazines of the world; they had the thing going great guns.  And I want you to know, by the time they got the thing started real good, and had got that whole race of men going here in America over a million years ago, they discovered the entire skeleton to which that tooth belonged, and it belonged to a pig, a peccary, that used to inhabit the North American continent over a million years ago.

And when the judge got to that part of the case, he threw the whole thing out of court.  And that ended that famous trial in New York City.  That offer stood for years and years and years.  Wherever Harry Rimmer went and wherever he preached, he’d always publish that little thing in a newspaper:  "A thousand dollars, a thousand dollars for anybody that can prove a scientific error in the Bible."  That’s the only time it was ever challenged; and to this day, nobody of any branch of learning or science has stood up to avow with accuracy and with truth that God has made a mistake in the Word that He spake through His prophets.  That’s why Peter says, "We have a sure word of prophecy" [2 Peter 1:19].

Now, I wish I had still another hour.  Dr. John Bagwell says, "Preacher, what are you going to do when you get through preaching the Bible?"  Well, I said, "I’m going to do this, that, and the other."  He said, "Now let me tell you what you do.  You just go back through all those years you’ve been preaching through the Bible and finish those sermons that you’ve just started."  I’d like to do it.  I don’t know where the time goes.

I have another word why it’s the sure word of prophecy [2 Peter 1:19], and that lies in the purpose, the accomplishing of the purpose for which God intends His Book and His Word, "For," He says, in Isaiah:

 

As the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven . . . and as it bringeth forth in the earth fruit and bud and bread for the eater: So shall My word that goeth forth out of My mouth:  it shall not return unto Me void; it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereunto I sent it.

[Isaiah 55:10-11]

 

The purpose of the proceeding of the word of God is that we might be saved, that we might be encouraged, that we might be comforted, that we might find heaven’s gate.  That’s why God sent us the Book.  Now, does it accomplish the purpose, or does it return to the Lord empty and void?  O Lord, don’t you wish we all could stand up and testify?

There was a fellow lecturing in Lancaster about the myths in the Bible and the legends in the Bible and all of the things untrue in the Bible.  And when he finished, a common workman stood up and said, "Could I ask you a question?"  And he asked simply, "Isn’t it strange that a Book so full of mistake, and error, and myth, and legend, should have made out of me a true man of God?  I once was a curse to myself, and I was a curse to my family, and I was a curse to the community.  And I heard, and I listened to the message of the Book; and I was saved, I was converted.  And I’m a Sunday school teacher now, and a disciple of Jesus, and a follower of the Lamb." 

Why bless you, whoever in this world said, "I was lost and in sin, and I was undone," and then pick up a book of mathematics and say, "And this book of mathematics saved me"?  Or pick up a book of astronomy and say, "And this book of astronomy saved me!" Or pick up a book of anthropology and say, "And this book of anthropology saved me!" Or pick up a book of geology and say, "And this book of geology saved me!"  Why, I never heard of it in my life.  But how many, like Carl Bates did in this pulpit – do you remember when he held our revival meeting here?  Carl Bates, pastor at Amarillo, now pastor of the First Church at Charlotte, North Carolina, Carl Bates said, "I was a sinner, and I was vile and unclean, and I was lost.  And in a hotel room in Mississippi, I picked up a Gideons Bible, and I found the Lord, and I was gloriously saved."  Remember him saying that?  Why bless you, there are thousands that’d stand up and say, "And I found the Lord in the Book."

"Bring me the Book," said Sir Walter Scott, as he lay dying.  And Lockhart, his son-in-law, what book do you think he brought him?  Well, he brought him a book of science?   Or he brought him a book of fiction?  Or he brought him a book of geology?  Or he brought him a book of, oh, botany? Or zoology?  Think of the books he could have written and could have brought.  "Bring me the Book," said Sir Walter Scott as he lay dying.  And Lockhart went into the vast library of the great Scottish bard, and laid in his hands the Bible:

 

Thank God for the Bible, whose clear shining ray

Has lightened our path and turned night into day;

Its wonderful treasures have never been told,

More precious than rubies, set round with pure gold

 

Thank God for the Bible! in sickness and health

It brings richer comforts than honor or wealth,

Its blessings are boundless, an infinite store;

We may drink of its fountain, and thirst nevermore.

,

 

Thank God for the Bible! how dark is the night

Where no ray from its pages sheds forth its pure light;

No Jesus, no Bible, no heaven of rest –

Oh, how could we live, were our lives so unblessed?

["Thank God for the Bible," Charles Edward Pollock, before 1880]

 

"We have a sure word of prophecy . . . For the prophecy came in old time not by the will of man:  but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" [2 Peter 1:19-21].  And I hold the living Word of the living Lord in my hand.

Our faith is not built upon idle superstition.  It’s built upon the foundation, the Rock; the Word is identified with God Himself.  To love the Word is to love God; to believe the Word is to believe God; to receive the Word is to receive God; to obey the Word is to obey God.  "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" [John 1:1].  And He had a name:  "the Word of life" [1 John 1:1-2].  The written Word, the incarnate Word, the spoken Word, and the three are one: and to love the Word is to love God.

Oh, what a fountain, what a treasure!  What a blessing to come down here and read it together, to open it at home, to bow in prayer over its sacred pages, and to let it guide us from earth to heaven; and that’s our appeal to you tonight.  Is there somebody you tonight who would place your trust in the God of the Book?  Give your heart to the Jesus of the Bible.  Make the foundation of your hope this immutable and unchanging promise.  "Pastor, tonight, I give my heart to Jesus."  Or, "Tonight, we’re coming into the fellowship of the church."  Would you make it now?  In that group, that throng in the balcony, is there somebody you to come?  While we sing this song, there is time and a plenty to come down one of these stairways and to the pastor, "I give you my hand; I give my heart to Jesus."  And on this lower floor, you, into the aisle and down here to the front, "Here I come, pastor, and here I am.  I’ve given my life to the Lord."  Or a family, "We’re all coming tonight in the fellowship of this precious church."  Would you make it now?  As the Spirit shall lead the way and shall say the word, would you come?  While we stand and while we sing.

 

THE SURE WORD OF GOD

Dr. W. A. Criswell

2 Peter 1:12-21

10-2-60

 

I.          Introduction

A.  Two ways we are established in the truth (2 Peter 1:12)

1.  The eyewitnesses (2 Peter 1:13-18, 1 John 1:1-3)

2.  A more sure word of prophecy(2 Peter 1:19-21)

B.  Bible gives us a standard by which we can know that the prophecy is sure

 

II.         That it came to pass(Deuteronomy 18:21-22)

A.  The difficulty of that test

1.  If a man is a seer and prophesy what will come to pass, he can have the world and all that’s in it

2.  But no man knows what the future brings

B.  Word of God prophesied what would happen in thousands of years ahead

1.  To Abraham  – "In thy seed…" (Genesis 22:18, Galatians 3:16)

2.  Judah, the Jew, will be a nation until Jesus comes (Genesis :8-10, Matthew 24:34)

3.  That Jesus would be born in Bethlehem(Micah 5:2, Luke 2:1-3)

 

III.        That it be without error(Psalm 119:160)

A.  God’s Word is like Himself – true yesterday, today, forever(Hebrews 13:8)

B.  New York trial on Scriptural accuracy

1.  Rev. Harry Rimmer’s notice offering $1,000 for an error in the Bible

2.  William Floyd demanded the money, alleging several errors

3.  Floyd could not prove them satisfactorily to preacher, so he filed suit

4.  He argued that the Bible makes absurd statements on the number of quail referred to in Numbers 11:31-32

5.  Second witness changed testimony when he read Genesis 7:1-2

6.  Third witness dismissed, as he was not qualified to speak

7.  Fourth witness admitted his opinions merely his own

8.  When cross-examined, fifth witness admitted scientists he quoted made grievous blunders, errors and mistakes

a. Dr. Henry Fairfield Osborn’s ape-man

 

IV.       That it accomplish its purpose(Isaiah 55:10-11)

A.  To bring us to God, save our souls

B.  Lecture in Lancaster about myths and legends in the Bible

C.  Sir Walter Scott, "Bring me the Book…"

D.  Poem, "Thank God for the Bible…"