2 Timothy 3:10-17
English Standard Version, David Cochran Audio
10 You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, 11 my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. 12 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.
14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God [a messenger of God] may be competent, equipped for every good work.
20 -30 years ago, Christianity was divisive by denomination. Christians would gather and wonder about Jesus and the Heavenly Kingdom being burdened by the gap in the body of Christ. Would God be saddened? Today, we've seen news reports of the high rate of change - people changing denominations. Then considerable attrition in the major denominations.
We are at the 500 year mark in Christianity and live in interesting times. The denominations that carried the founders of the United States across oceans - the ones we recognize as belonging to our families, our grandparents, parents and our generation are falling into decline. People are just not divided by denomination any more.
What is new? People are divided by - - - What are the Scriptures?
The Churches believing the Scriptures are the Word of God are growing. The faithful want their faith in hope and love.
Jesus said, in Luke 6:44: For each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush.
Paul wrote the same to Timothy in this letter the same thing.
You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, 11 my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me.
Our pastor, Clark Lowenfield, said in Sunday's sermon, "Jesus is fully divine and fully human. The Bible is also fully human and fully divine."
2 Thessalonians 3:17
I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. This is the sign of genuineness in every letter of mine; it is the way I write.
1 Corinthians 16:21
I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand.
See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand!
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness
For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
2 Peter 1:19-21
And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
Peter agrees with Paul in Scriptures, as does John. These men who knew Jesus, clearly knew if Jesus said He was the Son of God and was killed for it. They would be killed for claiming to write Scripture for God. They believed what they had witnessed was greater than their lives.
2 Peter 1:16
For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
John says in his 21st, last, chapter:
24 This is the disciple who is bearing witness about these things, and who has written these things, and we know that his testimony is true.
and John's 1st chapter he says:
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
2 Samuel 23:2
"The Spirit of the LORD spoke through me; his word was on my tongue.
The word of the LORD came to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, by the Kebar River in the land of the Babylonians. There the hand of the LORD was upon him.
and said, "Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through the mouth of David concerning Judas, who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus--
2 Peter 1:18-19
We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the holy mountain. And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts
2 Corinthians 4:6
For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
Why doesn't archeological fragments back up the early writings of the Bible? It does! It does! Tender papyrus is found! Preserved from 30 and 70 A.D., The Magdalen Papyrus
Qumran Cave 7, portions of Scripture from Timothy, James, Mark and Acts - 70 AD - latest date.
Rylands Papyrus recently re-dated to 90 AD
Bodmer Papyrus - 50 collected works of Scripture dated to 200 A.D.
Does history record this time. Again and again and again. The Sanhedrin Court documents of Israel - encountering the miracles of Jesus, who His mother is, who His father and grandfather are, how they despised Him "for sorcery." The writing of Josephus - from Israel, recording undisputed history for 3 emperors. Writing of Jesus as the Christ, amazed His disciples did not desert Him after death and was the first time the word Christians were used. Writing of Jesus' brother - James.
Julius Africanus, an early church father, writing in the year 221 C.E. wrote about the writings of Thallus - quoting from the now destroyed works of the famous first century historian about Jesus. Cornelius Tacitus, born circa early 50 A.D., became a senator, wrote of the Christians at the time of Nero and their belief in Jesus. The early first century letters of Rabbi Lycanthra of Lystra, Israel - worried, saying how will the true faith of Judaism continue when so many miracles keep occurring in the name of Jesus Christ.
The 262 years of martyrdom - people willing to proclaim Jesus Christ with their lives. 16 years after the death of Jesus, the Emperors of Rome knew the name of Jesus and feared His power. The first distinct Roman persecution of Christians in 64 A.D., by the emperor Nero, and closes with the implementation of the 'Edict of Milan' in 313 CE., signed by Constantine and Licinius.
Sometime in the 3rd century A.D., Sextus Julius Africanus, also cited by Eusebius of Caesarea, Bishop of Caesarea, records the Emperor Diocletian sent a troop from Rome specifically to discredit the relatives - nephews - of Jesus who had kept the records of their ancestry with great care. Emperor Diocletian wanted the family to recant their claim that Jesus was the Son of God. Instead they were killed. Diocletian considered this to be his most important stand against Jesus in an ever failing battle to do away with Christianity. (Church History 1.7.14)
Further reading can be found - http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08375a.htm
1 Thessalonians 2:9-10 (New International Version)9 Surely you remember, brothers and sisters, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. 10 You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed.
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.How have you received the Good News ..... 2,000 years after Jesus Christ rose from the dead?
40 but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. 41 He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead.
2,000 years later - we still honor Him as the Son of God. Our Redeemer. Believing in Him, there will be a day - when all tears will be wiped away - we will know Him fully as He has known us.