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The Conclusion of the Whole Matter

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Key Verse: Ecclesiastes 12:13
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

Question: What does the key verse mean to you?

LESSON:

By this time, if you have followed instructions (a very good Christian trait, by the way), you have studied the 45 lessons in this series and are familiar with the doctrinal beliefs of the Church of God Rocky Mount. There are many who would challenge these beliefs, claiming that certain of the Scriptural statements no longer apply, that they have been “done away.” How do we prove the veracity of the Bible? How can we convince the ones who claim that certain commandments are no longer in effect? There is only one way (John 14:6). The words of Jesus are in this Book and the testimony of the men who died rather than deny the truth contained in them constitutes the most reliable witness of their dedicated conviction that these words are the very essence of truth. No rational person of faith would die for a lie. Stephen, John the Baptist, Peter, Paul, James, Daniel, and Esther all either died or risked death for what they believed. There can be no more sure indication of the high degree of their faith in the soundness of the words of Scripture. If someone is willing to die for what they believe, they must have very strong confidence in the facts. These disciples listened to His teaching, were eye-witness to His miracles, and saw first-hand His appearance after the Crucifixion. They didn’t just believe. They knew. Therefore, in recognition of the faith passed to us from their example through the pages of the Bible, no reasonable person, honestly seeking truth, can doubt its word.

How much of the Bible can be attributed to Jesus? Let me digress for just a moment. Abraham Lincoln studied geometry when he was young because he intended to enter politics. That may surprise you, but geometry is a math science that reaches a conclusion by building one premise upon another already proven (Isaiah 28:10). That is what a political debate is all about. You prove your point by demonstrating that your conclusion is founded upon solid logic. Let us see if Isaiah was right. (You did look it up, didn’t you?)

The following words are in red in my Bible, so there is no doubt that Jesus spoke them: “And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.” (John 5:37). In the wilderness, the elders of Israel heard a voice at Mount Sinai, a voice that so frightened them, they begged Moses to be the liaison between them and the LORD. According to the words of Jesus above, it couldn’t have been the Father. Then, who was it (Deuteronomy 5:22)? With whom did Adam and Eve commune in the Garden of Eden when they had conversation with the Creator (Genesis 3:8-13)? Whom did Moses see on the Mount (Exodus 33:22- 23)? Just who was the leader of the three men Abraham served a meal (Genesis 18:1-10)? Jesus does not lie. In none of the scenarios above was the Father the One referred to as LORD. Then who was it?

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.” (John 1:1-3, 14-15). This WORD was (verse 1) with God (the Father) and was God (of the Old Testament) Who was the Creator that made all things (verse 3). This WORD became flesh and dwelt on the Earth among men (verse 14) and was the One whose coming John the Baptist proclaimed (verse 15). This One was the LORD, Jesus (Matthew 3:1-3). Need to nail it down tight? Notice what John says in the last phrase of verse 15. John the Baptist was six months older than Jesus (Luke 1:13-36) but states that Jesus was here before him. Need more? Paul, speaking of the Exodus, wrote: “Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” (1 Corinthians 10:1-4). If Christ was the God of the Old Testament, then every word inspired by God in the Old Testament is from Jesus.

Paul claims that ALL Scripture is inspired by Jesus (2 Timothy 3:16). Peter claims that Paul’s writings are Scripture: “And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.” (2 Peter 3:15-16). If the epistles of Paul are considered Scripture by Peter, doesn’t it follow that the writings of all of the Apostles are Scripture? We are told that their recall of events would be empowered by God’s Holy Spirit, and this amounts to Divine Inspiration. Their writings would be factually correct, being inspired by Christ through the Holy Spirit, and therefore being His words (John 14:26).

It has been established that the Old Testament is the Word of Jesus. The sayings of Jesus in the New Testament are obviously from Jesus. Peter proclaimed the writings of Paul as Scripture and Paul said that all Scripture is inspired by Jesus. This leads to the conclusion that the entire Bible was inspired by Jesus and that every word in it is His Word. Do any of them expire? What did Jesus say? “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” (Matthew 24:35). Take a look out of your window and you will see that the Earth is still here. Gaze up into the night sky and you will see that the heavens are still up there. That tells me that His words have not passed away. Anyone who claims anything different is calling Jesus Christ a liar.

The false doctrine of “once saved, always saved” creates a false sense of security. Paul was concerned about being a “castaway” (1 Corinthians 9:27). He knew better. Jesus lost one (John 17:12). The false doctrine of “going to Heaven when you die” does nothing for the deceased; it is strictly for the benefit of the grieving survivors. “And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.” (John 3:13). Jesus said it, Heaven and Earth are still here, so it must still apply.

Don’t be stubborn in insisting on clinging to your old, erroneous beliefs. There is a penalty for that (Mark 8:38). Don’t dismiss the Old Testament just because your preacher tells you it was replaced with the New. You can’t understand the New Testament without the Old Testament. Remember, Phillip taught the eunuch about Jesus out of the Book of Isaiah (Acts 8:26-38). Jesus taught that the teachings of Moses were relevant during His day, and, as the subject has been well covered in this lesson, what Jesus said then still applies now (John 5: 46-47).

This series has covered all of the essential things you need to know about the pathway to salvation. There are many other things to study, but these lessons covered the essentials. If you are convinced that our Savior means what He says and intends to carry out His plan, turn to the front cover, slowly read the Key Verse, and do it!

 

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  1. If you are approached by someone with a new idea concerning Biblical doctrine, what should you do?
    (1 Thessalonians 5:21)

  2. Three brave men faced a horrible death unless they denied their faith and disobeyed God. Who were they?
    (Daniel 3:16-18)

  3. Which of these two would have a better chance of selling you a used car, Stephen or Judas?  Why?


FOR FURTHER STUDY:

Matthew 3:1-3 John the Baptist announcing the beginning of the ministry of the Lord.

Luke 1:13-36 The age difference between Jesus and John the Baptist.

Luke 9:26 If you deny the present-day relevance of the words of Jesus, the reward for doing so is rejection by the Son.

John 5:46-47 If you can accept what Jesus says, you cannot reasonably reject what Moses wrote.

John 12:48 Those who reject the words that Christ has spoken will be judged in the last day.

John 14:26 The verification of the facts as written by the Gospel writers.

Acts 7:54-60 The death of Stephen.

Acts 8:26-38 The story of Philip and the eunuch.


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