Introduction: Imagine that you and a friend had never been to a place
you want to visit. Each of you has an idea of how to get there, but
your ideas are different. Could you settle the matter with a map?
Only if you both agreed the map was accurate, right?

I will argue about the existence of God with someone who does not
believe the Bible, but I will not argue a theological point with
someone who does not believe in the authority of the Bible. Why?
Because, without a common source of acknowledged truth, they argue my
opinion is no better than the opinion of any one else. God gives us a
source of truth about His Second Coming, let’s jump in and find out
why it is reliable!


    1. Read 2 Peter 1:19-21. Let’s take these verses apart. What is
      the “word of the prophets?” (The Bible.)

      1. How did the “word of the prophets” come to be? (While
        “carried along” in the Holy Spirit, men spoke from

        1. What do you think it means to be “carried along”
          in the Holy Spirit?

        2. Have you ever been “carried” by the Holy Spirit?

      2. Whose will does prophecy reflect? (Not the will of
        man, but the will of God.)

      3. How do you think prophecy works? Does God inspire the
        words or the Bible? Or does He inspire the thoughts
        of the Bible writer? (This text strongly points to
        thought inspiration. Look again at the language used.
        We are told the “interpretation,” “the will” are
        God’s, but the “words” are man’s (“men spoke from

      4. Now that we have looked at verses 20 and 21 to clarify
        the first part of verse 19, let’s look at the rest of
        verse 19. Why should we pay attention to the Bible?

        1. What is the light? (This brings to mind a famous
          text: Psalms 119:105.)

        2. What is the “dark place?”

      5. This sounds like we are walking around with a
        flashlight at night. What is the “day dawning” and the
        “morning star arising?” (The day dawning refers to the
        sun coming up. I think this symbolizes the Son coming
        the second time. In Revelation 22:16 Jesus calls
        Himself the “bright Morning Star.”)

        1. If we are talking about the second coming here,
          why does verse 19 talk about the day dawning “in
          your hearts?” (When Jesus comes the second time
          it will certainly “arise in [our] hearts.”
          Perhaps more to the point, we should never forget
          that the second coming is never more than 70
          years away (depending on your age). A burst blood
          vessel in the brain recently caused the
          unexpected death of a young acquaintance of

    2. Perhaps at this point you are saying, “Sure, the Bible says
      it is authoritative. What do you expect? Is there any proof
      it is authoritative, other than its own self-serving

      1. One last piece of these verses (in 2 Peter) deserves
        scrutiny. Why does the first part of verse 19 refer to
        the word of the prophets being “made more certain?”
        What more certainty do we need than knowing that God
        is the source of the words of the prophets? (This is
        the “outside” proof. If you look at the chapter, it
        refers to Jesus’ coming. Thus, the prophets are
        confirmed by the truth of their prediction of the
        first coming of Christ. The Bible is proven by the
        historical fact of Jesus’ first coming!)

        1. Are there any other “historical facts” that prove
          the truth of the Bible to you?

    3. Read 2 Corinthians 4:4-7. Who is the “god of this age?”

      1. Is it fair that these people are blinded and cannot
        see the light? Isn’t it only fair that everyone gets
        to hear the gospel?

      2. Is it possible for us to blind ourselves? If you say
        “yes,” tell me how people blind themselves?

      3. When Paul says we have this treasure “in jars of
        clay,” what is he talking about? The days before

        1. What is the treasure? (We are the clay pots! The
          treasure is the knowledge of God through Jesus.)

      4. How does the fact that this treasure is in clay pots
        prove its truth? (Verse 7 says that the fact that we
        share this power shows it is from God. The power of
        the gospel is beyond the ability of man.)

        1. Are you a “historical fact” that proves the truth
          of the Bible – God’s message?

        2. Have you considered your influence among your
          fellow workers? Do you tend to prove or disprove
          the reliability of the teachings of the Bible to
          fellow workers?

          1. Is it possible you are more of a “paper
            cup” then a “clay pot” at work?


    1. How much of the Bible is from God? Let’s read 2 Timothy

      1. Romans 12:6 tells us that one of the gifts that we can
        potentially have from the Holy Spirit is the gift of
        prophecy. If you have the gift of prophecy, can you
        correct some of the errors of the Bible? Or do the
        Scriptures have a different standing then Holy Spirit
        inspired prophecy?

        1. Isn’t it all from the same source, just your
          information is more current and more culturally
          correct than that of the Bible?

      2. If you say “no,” the Bible corrects us, we do not
        correct the Bible ( 2 Timothy 3:16), do you ever find
        yourself rejecting Biblical advice because you

      3. Notice a very important point in Romans 12:6. It
        refers to using the gift of prophecy “in proportion”
        to a man’s faith. What does that suggest? (It
        suggests that prophecy is perfect only to degree the
        modern-day prophet’s faith is perfect. I strongly
        believe that when the “Canon closed” (the church
        agreed on the content of the Bible) that was the end
        of infallible “God-breathed” truth. Modern-day
        prophets can be wrong — consistent with their level
        of faith. This is not the same with the prophets who
        wrote the Scriptures and who prophesied “pre-Scripture.” For them, being wrong meant death.
        Deuteronomy 18:20-22. This important distinction
        means two things. First, we should not ignore a
        modern-day prophet simply because some of what was
        said is not true. Second, we should not accept
        anything from a modern-day prophet unless it squares
        with Scripture.)

    2. There are many books and commentaries in the book stores
      which tell us about the Bible. If the Bible is the only
      source of truth, why would you buy any of these books? Why,
      for that matter, would you read this lesson? (God’s
      followers have various degrees of inspiration and wisdom
      from the Holy Spirit. None of these, not even those who
      appear to have the modern-day gift of prophecy, are able to
      correct or add to (Deut. 4:2) the Bible. However, they are
      all capable of helping us to better understand the Bible.
      The key is to hold these other sources to their proper
      “helping” place and make our focus of study the Bible.)

    3. Read Luke 24:17-24. What is the state of mind of Cleopas and
      his companion? (Discouraged. Confused.)

    4. Let’s read on. Read Luke 24:25-32. Can this happen in your
      life? Can God reveal His truth through the Scriptures to
      take away discouragement and confusion? What is needed to
      make this happen?

      1. Why didn’t Jesus just tell them who He was at the
        beginning, and give them His version of what happened?
        Why did He direct them to the Bible first?

      2. Should we go to the same source to determine whether
        Jesus is coming a second time?

    5. Friend, the Bible is trustworthy. It is the source of
      encouragement in discouraging times. It is also God’s pledge
      that He will return and make all things right. Are you
      benefitting from what He has given you by reading it in a
      version you can understand?

  3. Next Week: Creation and the Second Coming.