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Thursday, August 03, 2006

2 Peter 1:16-19 (Sermon for the week of 8/6/06)

Reading 1:
2 Pt 1:16-19
We did not follow cleverly devised myths
when we made known to you
the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,
but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty.
For he received honor and glory from God the Father
when that unique declaration came to him from the majestic glory,
“This is my Son, my beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”
We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven
while we were with him on the holy mountain.
Moreover, we possess the prophetic message
that is altogether reliable.
You will do well to be attentive to it,
as to a lamp shining in a dark place,
until day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.


Let us look at several important truths in this reading from the Second Book of Peter. First, the very beginning of this reading contains the crux of faith within Christianity.
Are the Gospels and the New Testament books of the Bible fact or fiction? How many people are quick to say "I don't believe!" when they have not looked for themselves? How many call themselves Christians but in their heart have no idea who Jesus Christ is, and why he was crucified? How many Christians and non-Christians know how many prophecies Jesus fulfilled, what the bloodlines of Jesus are, why Jesus is the Son of God, why Jesus is the Son of Man, and why Jesus is the "I AM" the Creator of all?

As Peter answers the question of the unbeliever..."These are not clever myths"...
LOOK FOR YOURSELF. How many have looked? If you haven't looked, then how in your heart can you jump to the conclusion that the testimony of the Apostles, of the disciples, and of Christians, is fantasy? If the Creator of all things really did come down here and lived among us 2,000 years ago...shouldn't you take some time out of your life to look for yourself and look at what Jesus said?

I was an unbeliever once myself, but sought the Truth because I wanted the Truth. Knock and the door will be opened...but you have to knock!

The second point to reflect on is when Peter said that they were eyewitnesses to the majesty of Jesus and heard with their very own ears a voice that "came from heaven". This wasn't one person that heard this...this was many people that heard it. Have you ever heard the voice of heaven? These men walked with Jesus...I have no reason to disbelieve this than I have to believe it. But why wouldn't it be so? Why lie? What gain do the Apostles have in lying? Couple this reading with the whole testimony in the New Testament, and faith begins to grow in what is recorded history. If this recorded history is not enough for you to believe...then ask yourself what would you require in order to believe? What will make you believe that Peter and the Apostles are not liars? They are either liars or they are telling the truth. Either Jesus was the Son of God or He was not. But what do you need to decide for yourself?

I would think that if you watch the TV every night, you would care to take some time out of your busy life to find out...RIGHT?

Jesus fulfills over 300 prophecies of the coming of the Messiah in the Jewish Old Testament...300! Do you want to know how Jesus fulfilled them??

The third point to reflect on is this: Let me tell you about the Truth Peter wrote about and died for. Peter states in the reading "we possess the prophetic message that is altogether reliable". Why was it reliable? Because they lived it, they saw it, they witnessed it!
Do you know how Peter died?
He died by crucifixion under the ruler Nero in the pagan Roman Empire. The Acts of Peter speak of him being crucified upside down in order not to be associated with the way the Messiah, Jesus died. Under the mockery of the pagans, this man, Peter, who denied Jesus before three times could have given up and denied Jesus again, couldn't he? He died by crucifixion for being an apostle of Jesus, he could have denied him again to save his own life. He didn't.

Would you? If I gave you something, and you know I gave it to you because you saw it, you heard my voice, and you know you where consciously alert at the time I gave it yo you and someone told you that you were a liar, what would you say? You would stick to your guns and stand your ground....standing up for truth in the face of adversity. Now, if someone said to you that if you do not state that I never gave anything to you and if you don't say that, you will die....would you still stick to your guns if you knew that this person had the ability to kill you? Peter was faced with this scenario and didn't deny Christ a fourth time...and he died for it...and was CRUCIFIED UPSIDE DOWN for it. What was so important to Peter that he died crucified upside down?
It was this: That Jesus was the Son of God , the Messiah, who died for you and will grant eternal life for those that have faith in Him...

If you don't understand who Jesus was, and why He died...you should look, you should read, you should ask the questions, you should pray for guidance and truth...

For those who are growing in faith, I ask you this...do you still seek to know more? Do you still seek the truth, do you still seek to grow in faith? Would you lay your life down for the Truth? Would you lay your life down for Jesus?

Let me repeat the end of this reading again:
"You will do well to be attentive to it,as to a lamp shining in a dark place,until day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts"

My final comment is this: The only way to eternal life is through Jesus. Ask the questions and you will get the answers...seek and you shall find.

God bless you and your families this week.

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