Summary: Our faith and the church is built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets. Let's note 3 truths about the Old Testament Prophets.
Prophets for Our Spiritual Profit
1. I love to joke about sending people a Groundhog's Day card.
2. If there ever was a minor holiday, if it could be called that, it is Groundhog's Day.
3. David Roper writes:
Punxsutawney Phil is a groundhog that comes out of his burrow on Gobbler’s Knob, Pennsylvania, each February 2 to predict the weather. According to legend, if Phil sees his shadow, there will be 6 more weeks of cold weather. If he doesn’t see his shadow, spring will come early.
This is all humbug and good humor, of course. No one to my knowledge takes Phil’s predictions seriously. Furthermore, he’s unreliable—more often wrong than right, I’m told. [Source: Our Daily Bread]
4. All nations and most religions had their prophets. But Yahweh was not just any god, but the true God; and His people, Israel, were not just any people, but His chosen people.
5. We know our faith is true for a number of reasons; one of them is the existence of the nation of Israel. Another is what Peter mentioned last week, the fact that our belief in Jesus is based upon eyewitness accounts. Elsewhere, Paul makes a similar point when he mentions that Jesus appeared to a group of over 500 people after His resurrection (I Cor. 15:6), most of whom were alive at the time of Paul's writing.
6. But another monumental evidence for the truth of our faith is the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy.
And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. 21For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
Main Idea: Our faith and the church is built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets. Let's note 3 truths about the Old Testament Prophets.
I. The Prophets Still Give Us A Sense of CERTAINTY (19a-b)
A. Our CERTAINTY is doubly high (19a)
1. Eyewitness testimony is such an important evidence that we use it in our courts today.
2. But fulfilled prophecy is even more convincing.
3. Putting them together increases the credibility of both
4. If the Bible is to transform our lives, we must believe in its powere!
A man went to a bookbinder to get a well-used New Testament rebound in leather. He wanted the side binding to read: “The New Testament”. When the job was finished, the binder explained that he just wasn’t able to get all the letters on the side, so he abbreviated: “TNT”. (Bob Leroe, SermonCenral)
B. Our ATTENTION should be directed toward them (19b)
1. The early Christians were into learning & contemplating God's Word
2. I think God wants us to give attention to the teachings of the prophets as a faith builder
3. We all struggle with doubt; faith can only exist if competing with doubt, otherwise it is presumption
4. If you have never struggled with your faith, then you are probably not noted for your deep thinking…
C. Fulfilled PROPHECY is a great DEFENSE of the Faith
Hundreds of Bible prophecies have been fulfilled, specifically and meticulously, often long after the prophetic writer had passed away.
For example, Daniel the prophet predicted in about 538 BC (Daniel 9:24-27) that Christ would come as Israel's promised Savior and Prince 483 years after the Persian emperor would give the Jews authority to rebuild Jerusalem, which was then in ruins. This was clearly and definitely fulfilled, hundreds of years later.
There are extensive prophecies dealing with individual nations and cities and with the course of history in general, all of which have been literally fulfilled. More than 300 prophecies were fulfilled by Christ Himself at His first coming. Other prophecies deal with the spread of Christianity, as well as various false religions, and many other subjects.
There is no other book, ancient or modern, like this. The vague, and usually erroneous, prophecies of people like Jeanne Dixon, Nostradamus, Edgar Cayce, and others like them are not in the same category at all, and neither are other religious books such as the Koran, the Confucian Analects, and similar religious writings. Only the Bible manifests this remarkable prophetic evidence, and it does so on such a tremendous scale as to render completely absurd any explanation other than divine revelation.
II. The Prophets Shine a LIGHT for us in this Dark World (19b)
A. The FOCUS here is the Prophets
Promises, prophets, Moses, Elijah, Eyewitness Testimony (Gospels) and Paul's Writings pretty much describe the Bible.