“The Bible an Amazing Book”
II Timothy 3:16, 17
- I was listening to the radio one day this week to my favorite preacher, pastor, leader of the Master’s Seminary in California, and he gave these interesting stories of people who read the Bible and did some amazing things.
- Oil found in Sodom – Some years ago, an Israeli business man by the name Ze-el Fetterman began to brood over the account of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. And he read in the Scripture that it said, “And lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace.” He guessed that such conflagration might indicate underground gas, and underground gas, he guessed, meant underground oil. He was right. In 1953, Israel’s first oil well went into operation somewhere near the ancient site of Sodom and Gomorrah.
- The Standard Oil Company – It is a well known fact the Standard Oil Company has discovered oil and has been operating wells in Egypt for a long time. But many do not know how it come about that they knew there was oil in the ancient land. It has been said that one of the directors of the Standard Oil Company happened to be reading His Bible in Exodus 2:3…And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river’s brink. This gentleman reasoned that where there was pitch there must be oil, and if there was oil in Moses’ time, it is probably still there. So the company sent out Charles Witchet, its geologist and oil expert, to make investigations, with the result that oil was in fact discovered.
- Haifa Police – The World Christian Digest reported that a Haifa policeman who knew his Bible got on the trail of a gang of smugglers. The gang of smugglers used a mule driven caravan or cart to hide their stolen goods as to not draw attention to themselves. The policeman caught onto their scheme (plan) and after catching them in the act of loading stolen goods he managed to capture some of the donkeys, though the smugglers got away. The officer remembered reading in his Bible from Isaiah 1:3…The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider. So the policeman decided to keep the mules tied up and let them go without food for several days and then turned them loose. The Bible was right. The mules knew their masters (owners) crib (home or place to stay). The mules led the policeman right to their hideout and they were captured.
- It is truly amazing to me to read these true stories of people who read the word of God and find how valuable it is to their everyday life.
- Then there are stories like this next one that are touching to the heart when someone truly cherishes the Word of God so much…
- The story of a little girl in France who was poor and was stone blind. She had obtained the gospel of Mark in Braille and learned to read it with the tips of her fingers. Because she had such a passionate love for the Scripture and read it constantly, her fingers became calloused, and by becoming calloused, diminished the capability she had to discern the letters. One day, so much desiring to read the Scripture, she cut the skin from the ends of her fingers in an effort to increase their sensibility, only to destroy the nerves. She felt that she must give up the beloved book, and weeping, the story says, she pressed her lips to the pages of Mark, and said, “Farewell, farewell.” To her surprise, her lips, more delicate than her fingers, discerned the form of the letters, and all that night she read, with her lips, the Word of God, and became overflowed with joy at this new opportunity.
- We’ve heard it said “Sin will keep you out of this book, and this book will keep you out of sin.”
- John MacArthur said that somebody should put a warning label on the Bible, and maybe it ought to read like this, “Warning: This book is habit forming. Regular use of it causes a loss of anxiety, and a decreased appetite for lying, cheating, lusting, hating and stealing. Symptoms of condition are increased feelings of joy, peace, love and compassion.”
I. The BIBLE
A) Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth
- In looking at our text this morning (II Timothy 3:16), I want us to realize first of all …
- Where it came from – All scripture is given by inspiration of God,
- What it contains – and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
- Why it was given to us – 17) That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
- When God creates something, “…it is good.” Never bad. God created scripture for our good, for our benefit.
B) Our attitude towards the Bible
- This book called the Bible is a book of facts, and prophecy and Paul warns the church at Thessalonica in I Thessalonians 5:20…Despise not prophesyings.
- Paul is talking about our attitude towards the Word of God.
- When we look at I Thessalonians 5:16-22, we see a list of basic principles for Christian living.
- “Despise not prophesyings” is one of those basic principles.
- To “despise” something is to look down your nose at, not consider it as important, to not think of it as anything valuable.
- “Prophesyings” are the revelations of God, the foretelling of what has happened, what is happening, and what will happen. Past, present, and future. They are utterances of God through His chosen men.
- The entire Bible is prophecy, prophetic utterances, the revelations of God.
- Paul is basically saying here is “Do not look down on anything written in this book (the Bible).”
C) Growing a healthy flock
- My duty to God in pasturing this church SBBC is to grow a healthy flock of sheep. I am to make sure that you are growing, maturing, doing that which is right in the eyes of God.
- Most importantly I am supposed to help you become a follower of the Great Shepherd…Jesus Christ.
- This is why Paul is giving us an outline or a pattern here for us to follow in … I Thessalonians 5:16…
- Pray without ceasing
- In everything give thanks
- Do not quench the spirit
- Do not despise prophecies
- Test all things
- Hold fast what is good
- Abstain from evil
- A pastor’s duty to God is as Christ told Peter in John 21… feed my lambs, feed my sheep, and thirdly feed my sheep.
- Paul writing to the church at Rome said in Romans 12:5…So we, being many, are one body in Christ (this is the church, the people), and every one members one of another. 6) Having then gifts differing (God given talents in different areas) according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy (preaching or teaching of God’s word), let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
- Now then, note carefully the last part of verse 6… “…let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;”
- The word “prophecy” means to speak forth. It does not necessarily restrict speaking forth the predictions for the future.
- Prophecy means to speak the truth of God that was revealed to them.
- Spiritual growth does not come from the speaker, the preacher, or teacher…spiritual growth comes from hearing the Word of God.
II. The Bible is a Map, Compass, Manual
A) A Map
- You will not find the word “map” in the Bible. You will find the same meaning of the word map … “the way.”
- A map tells you “the way” to get to certain places, towns, cities, states, or countries.
- The Bible shows you…The way to God, which is found in John 14:6…Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
- A “map” is a flat drawing of roads and hi-ways to help you in reaching your destination (where you want to go).
- The Bible shows you “the way” to God and the roads (Commandments) you must travel on the reach Him.
- The Bible however is a map with only TWO ROADS to travel on… the ROAD to heaven, and the ROAD to hell.
B) A Compass
- A compass is a device that shows you the direction to go to get to the destination of your choice.
- If you do not know the direction you want to take, a map is no good or of no value to you.
- A Bible is a compass to you in that it will show you which way to go to reach whatever destination you choose.
- Remember there are only TWO ROADS in the Bible but you need a compass or direction on how to drive o those roads that will lead you to that destination.
- The ROAD to hell is a natural and well traveled road, and the most popular.
- The ROAD to heaven is not the natural course taken, nor is it the most traveled or most popular course taken.
- Proverbs 4:14…Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. 15) Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.
- Proverbs 10:29…The way of the LORD is strength to the upright: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity. 30) The righteous shall never be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth.
- The Bible will also show you the results of taking your choice of direction. That is something that a compass cannot do.
- A compass, points you in the right direction, but it does not give you the result of taking that direction.
C) A Manual
- You have a map to tell you which Road to take, and a compass to lead you in the right direction, now you need a manual to give you instructions of what to do to maintain a balance for your life to pursue that direction.
- A manual is a book of instructions on how to use, or do something.
- For an example, a manual that comes with your new car tells you how to use and operate everything there is to know about it.
- What happens if you do not follow the manual? Trouble, it won’t operate properly, it will not get you the results you desired, it will become ruined more quickly.
- A manual that comes with something you bought tells you how to assemble it. Don’t follow the manual and you get bad results.
- Our Bible is exactly that… a manual. Follow it and it will lead to blessings, and life eternal.
- Don’t follow the Bible’s instructions and you will receive a curse, unhappiness, sorrow, and death.
- Matthew 7:14…Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
- The Bible is an amazing book