ANSWERS TO LESSONS 1-101
After completing each lesson, it is always good to review your work. We’ve provided answers to all 101 lessons spread throughout each course. Review them below or by downloading the PDF.
What does the “S/A” mean? The letters “S/A” indicates that the question is to be self-answered; these are questions where there is no right or wrong answer or where an opinion is requested.
Lesson 1: The Forgotten Key to Biblical Evangelism
- Paul sought to persuade his hearers about Jesus using both the Law of Moses and the prophets. He did this because fulfilled prophecy, which proves the inspiration of the Scriptures, appeals to the intellect, while the Law appeals to the conscience. Prophecy produces faith in God’s Word, and the Law produces knowledge of sin.
- The Law of the Lord is perfect converting the soul.
- The preaching of the cross seems like foolishness because it will not make any sense without the sinner knowing what he has done wrong. It is offensive because it insinuates that the person has broken God’s Law when he doesn’t think he has.
- Before someone is told the good news he should be taken through God’s Moral Law, the Ten Commandments, to show him that he has offended a holy God. He must first understand precisely how he has violated God’s Law and be convinced that he is a transgressor. Then the good news will make sense.
- God’s Law stops sinners from justifying themselves by thinking that they’re not really a bad person or they’re not as bad as other people. The Law shows them their own sin according to the holy Standard and leaves them guilty before God.
- The four functions of God’s Law for humanity are as follows: It stops sinners from justifying themselves; helps the whole world realize that they are guilty; brings the knowledge of sin; and acts as a schoolmaster to bring them to Christ.
- The biblical definition of sin is transgression of the Law.
Lesson 2: Making Grace Amazing
- Grace can be defined as “unmerited favor to the infinitely ill-deserving,” or as “God’s Richest At Christ’s Expense.”
- The Christian should be concerned about how to make grace amazing to the world because a passion for the lost should be our primary concern in life. We should earnestly study how we may be most effective in reach-ing the lost.
- It is sin that makes grace abound, according to Romans 5:20, and it is the Law that makes sin abound.
- It was the law that showed the speedster the seriousness of his transgression. It didn’t matter that others were doing the same thing; the law showed him that he personally was guilty and responsible for his offense.
- Charles Spurgeon said that the Law serves “a most necessary purpose” and that sinners “will never accept grace, until they tremble before a just and holy Law.”
- The prostitute’s tears were an emotional response to the need for a father’s love. They had nothing to do with contrition.
- John Newton, who wrote “Amazing Grace,” said that a wrong understand-ing of the harmony between Law and grace would produce “error on the left and the right hand.”
Lesson 3: The Problem with the Modern Gospel
- Between 80 and 90 percent of those making decisions for Christ fall away from the faith.
- Around the turn of the century, modern evangelism stopped using the Law to convert souls and drive sinners to Christ, and instead chose to at-tract sinners by using “benefits.” Life enhancement is now the typical draw-ing card to bring someone to Christ.
- He was promised the parachute would improve the flight and all he got was embarrassment and humiliation. He became disillusioned and bitter toward the person who gave him the parachute, because he was told to put it on for the wrong reason.
- Because the second passenger knew the parachute would save his life, he didn’t notice its weight on his shoulders or the fact that he couldn’t sit upright. He was able to withstand the mockery of the other passengers because he didn’t put the parachute on for a better flight, but to escape the jump to come. Everything paled in comparison to the horrific thought of having to jump without the parachute. He had gratitude toward those who gave him the parachute.
- We should be telling people that they have an appointment with death that they will not miss. They have broken God’s Law and will face Him on Judgment Day. Unless they repent and put on the Lord Jesus Christ, they will be under God’s wrath.
- According to Proverbs 11:4, riches will not help us on the Day of Wrath; the only thing that can deliver us from death is righteousness.
- Christians have joy and peace in believing because we know that the righteousness of Christ will deliver us from the wrath to come.
- If we have “put on the Lord Jesus Christ” for the right motive (to avoid the wrath to come), tribulation won’t make us lose our joy and peace. In fact, it should cause us to cling even tighter to the Savior.
Lesson 4: How to Confront Sinners
- Their idea of “wonderful” will be different from ours. They think of a “wonderful plan” as having a problem-free life. But God’s Word promises us trials, tribulations, and suffering in this life (although He will see us through them). If people come to Christ for the wrong reason, without repentance, they will not be saved.
- In Luke 18:18, the rich, young ruler came to Jesus asking how he could get everlasting life. Jesus pointed him to the Law by giving him five “horizontal” Commandments having to do with his fellow man. When he said he’s kept those Commandments, Jesus used the essence of the First Commandment to show the man that his god was his money.
- God’s love should be mentioned only in the context of the cross. The biblical way to express God’s love to a sinner is to use the Law to show him how great his sin is, and then tell him of the incredible grace of God in Christ.
- David realized that he had sinned against God when Nathan began by talk-ing about something in the natural realm, got David to admit the wrong-ness of the act according to the Law, then confronted David about his personal transgression.
- Simply telling a sinner that all have sinned will not bring about an aware-ness of his personal transgression against a holy God and will not produce godly sorrow, which is necessary for repentance. He needs to be able to cry out, “I have sinned against the Lord.”
Lesson 5: Our Ally: The Conscience
- “Conscience” means “with knowledge.” According to the dictionary, it is “the human faculty that enables one to decide between right and wrong acts or behavior, especially in regard to one’s own conduct.”
- The function of the conscience is to give “light” to every man so that whenever we sin, we do so “with knowledge” that what we’re doing is wrong. As Oswald Chambers said, “Conscience is the internal perception of God’s Moral Law.”
- Sinners dull the voice of their conscience, ignoring its warning, by think-ing that God won’t punish sin. They snuff out the light and abandon themselves to the dark world of sin.
- When we shine the light of the Law, the Holy Spirit awakens the con-science and affirms the truth of the Commandments. The conscience bears witness that the Law is written on the sinner’s heart.
- According to John Wesley, “It is the ordinary method of the Spirit of God to convict sinners by the Law.”
- Some phrases you can use when addressing the conscience are: “God gave you a conscience, so you know right from wrong.” “Listen to the voice of your conscience. Let it remind you of the sins of your youth.”
Using the Law in Evangelism
Lesson 6: The Ten Commandments, Part 1
- The First Commandment is, “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3).
Humanity has such a shallow understanding of what God requires of them because the god of this world has blinded their minds.
- Humanity has such a shallow understanding of what God requires of them because the god of this world has blinded their minds.
- If the first and greatest Commandment is to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength, then the greatest sin is failure to do so.
- In Psalm 14 and Romans 3:10–18, the characteristics of human nature include: unbelief, being corrupt, doing abominable works, failing to do good, not understanding, not seeking God, going astray, becoming filthy; none are righteous, all are unprofitable, they practice deceit, are full of cursing and bitterness, are swift to shed blood, spread destruction and misery, don’t know peace, and have no fear of God.
- Jesus demonstrated that He kept this Commandment by always doing those things that pleased the Father. Obeying the Father’s will was His utmost concern. He ultimately proved this by giving Himself on the cross out of an obedient heart.
- We should put God first because it is our reasonable service to yield our all to Him because He gave us life itself.
Lesson 7: The Ten Commandments, Part 2
- Idolatry is perhaps the greatest sin because it opens the door to unrestrained evil; it allows people not only to tolerate sin but to sanction it.
- Idolatry appeals to the secular mind because an idol has no moral dictates. An idolater can make a god to suit himself, and his god will remain silent while he sins his heart out.
- The Catholic version of the Ten Commandments deleted this as the Second Commandment, and divided the Tenth Commandment to keep the total at ten. They therefore do not have this prohibition against worshiping idols.
Lesson 8: The Ten Commandments, Part 3
- Using God’s name to express revulsion shows man’s contempt toward his Creator, revealing that unregenerate man hates God and His Law.
- Idolaters will contest that they don’t hate God because they have created a concept of God (an idol) that they’re comfortable with.
- God’s name is synonymous with His glory and His goodness. If man saw God in all of His glory, he would die. When blasphemers stand before God to give an account for every idle word, God’s goodness will ensure that His justice is carried out.
- In dismissing their blasphemy by saying that God’s name is “just a word,” they are showing their disdain and disrespect for Him.
- Rather than saying that we’re offended by his blasphemy, we should greet the person, talk about something in the natural realm, and try to witness to him.
Lesson 9: The Ten Commandments, Part 4
- The Fourth Commandment says to rest on the Sabbath—to work six days and rest on the seventh.
- The Sabbath was given as a perpetual sign to the children of Israel (Exodus 31:13–17) to separate them from the world. Thousands of years later, the Jews continue to keep the Sabbath holy. Nowhere is it given as a sign to the church.
- Paul went to the synagogue every Sabbath, not to keep the Law, but to reason with the Jews so he could win them to Christ.
- The Christian is free from the Law because the demands of the Law have been satisfied in Christ. The Christian is under no obligation to keep the Sabbath holy. Salvation is by grace, through faith—not of works.
Lesson 10: The Ten Commandments, Part 5
- To honor your parents means to treat them in a way that is pleasing in the sight of God. It means to esteem and respect them, and submit to their authority.
- Yes, someone should honor his mother even if she’s a prostitute. All par-ents are imperfect and none are “worthy” of honor. We are to honor our parents not because they deserve honor, but because God commands us to.
- If a child will not submit to the authority of his parents, who are God’s agents to train and discipline him, it is very unlikely that he will submit to God’s authority and obey God’s Laws.
- It’s important to go through the Commandments that deal with the sins of the flesh before mentioning this one because some people will claim to have kept this Commandment. However, if the person has lied and stolen, he will see that he has dishonored his parents’ name by being a lying thief.
Lesson 11: The Ten Commandments, Part 6
- Civil law can’t see everything that a man does or know what he thinks.
- Explain that Jesus said we don’t have to actually kill someone to be found guilty of breaking this Commandment; those who even hate without cause are equally guilty. The Bible also says in 1 John 3:15 that if we hate someone, we are murderers.
- Some people who hate would actually commit murder if they had opportunity and knew they would never be brought to justice by God or man. God also considers it murder if we refuse to give someone we hate the words of life, thereby indicating our desire for their eternal death.
- No, the Bible does not equate capital punishment with murder. In fact, in Genesis 9:6 and Numbers 35:30,31, God commands us to put to death the person who deliberately takes a human life. God made man in His image, and this shows the value that God places on human life.
Lesson 12: The Ten Commandments, Part 7
- The Messiah made the Law “honorable” by explaining that God requires more than an outward show of piety. He judges even the thought-life.
- Some of the sins that accompany lust are fornication, adultery, perversion, rape, and even murder.
- What lust really wants from you is your death.
- If you have a problem with lust, it shows that you are struggling with it rather than yielding to it. This problem reveals that the conscience is still alive.
- Viewing pornography, lusting after someone in the heart, is considered committing adultery. It is a sin, and is so serious that Jesus said it would be better to be blind and go to heaven than for your eye to cause you to sin and end up in hell.
- We can learn from Proverbs 2:1–5 that if we treasure God’s commands, incline our ear to wisdom, apply our heart to understanding, cry out for knowledge and discernment, seek it as we would for silver or hidden treasures, then we will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.
Lesson 13: The Ten Commandments, Part 8
- If someone takes just a dollar out of your wallet, it is still stealing. Theft is theft regardless of the value of the item stolen.
- That someone returning a lost wallet is newsworthy reveals that the world doesn’t think much of the character of human nature. It is “news” when a human being exhibits honesty. This is a testimony to the fact that our spiritual father is a thief and we do his will.
- Yes, stealing is stealing even when a man steals because he is hungry. It is still wrong. The person should instead humble himself and beg before he breaks the Law of God.
- It’s not enough for a thief to reform his ways because God still sees him as a thief even though he has decided not to steal any longer. A murderer is still a murderer, even though he decides not to kill anymore.
Lesson 14: The Ten Commandments, Part 9
- The dictionary definition of a lie is a false statement deliberately present-ed as being true; a falsehood; something intended to deceive or give a wrong impression.
- Discretion is showing wise self-restraint in speech, often in order not to hurt someone’s feelings. Lying is intentionally being deceitful, usually in order to harm someone or to avoid bearing the consequences of our behavior.
- There is no difference between an exaggeration, white lie, half-truth, and a fib. They are all lies in the sight of God.
- Telling just one lie will make someone a liar.
- All liars will have their part in the Lake of Fire, which is the second death.
Lesson 15: The Ten Commandments, Part 10
- To covet means to jealously desire something, to long for anything that belongs to another—house, car, income, lifestyle, etc.
- Coveting often leads to other sins: before a man steals, he covets; before he rapes or commits adultery, he covets. Covetousness is the spark that sets off the fuse of sin, and is the bedfellow of jealousy, greed, and lust.
- The opposite of coveting—wanting something that we don’t have—is contentment—being satisfied with whatever we already have.
- According to Psalm 23, if the Lord is our shepherd, we will not “want.” If He is guiding our thoughts and desires, we will be content with what He has given us.
- We live in a prosperous nation in a very materialistic age. Advertising bombards us with things we “must” have, and credit cards help to fuel our greed.
The Salvation Message
Lesson 16: Personal Witnessing: How Jesus Did It
- The four principles of evangelism are Relate, Create, Convict, and Reveal (RCCR).
- As long as it’s asked in a spirit of love and gentleness, there won’t be any offense because the “work of the Law [is] written in their hearts” and their conscience will also bear “witness” (Romans 2:15).
- Our unbelief will not negate reality because truth can never be altered. You can stand on the freeway and say you don’t believe in trucks, but that won’t change the reality that you would become “road kill” if you tried. Whether someone believes in hell or not, he will still have to face God on Judgment Day.
- Sinners may think that God is good so He will not send them to hell; but because God is a good and just Judge, He must by nature punish all wrongdoers.
- We should tell the sinner about the Savior once he has been humbled by the Law and is ready for grace. Unless the person is convinced that he has the disease of sin, he will not embrace the cure of the gospel.
Lesson 17: The Necessity of Repentance
- It would be easier to tell sinners to “believe” than to repent because the word “repentance” carries connotations of sin, judgment, and condemnation. It implies that the sinner is guilty of doing something wrong. However, the word “believe” carries less reproach and is therefore less likely to produce persecution.
- The old soldier summed up repentance by saying, “God said, ‘Attention! About turn! Quick march!’”
- Because God is holy, wicked men cannot have fellowship with Him un-less they repent of their sins. We are dead in our trespasses and sins and must repent before we can be made alive in Christ. If God is truly draw-ing someone to Him, He would also be drawing the person away from his sin.
- God commands all men everywhere to repent.
- Jesus commanded that “repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations” (Luke 24:47). He sent out His disciples to preach that “men should repent” (Mark 6:12).
Lesson 18: The Sinner's Prayer
- When someone is “born of God,” we just need to make sure that the per-son understands what he is doing, like Philip asked the Ethiopian eunuch if he understood what he read.
- In the parable of the sower, the only true convert (the “good soil” hearer) is the one who hears “and understands.” Someone can say a prayer, but if he doesn’t fully understand salvation and is not repentant, he will be a false convert—a stillborn.
- This understanding comes only by the Law in the hand of the Spirit, who will “convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.”
- God just looks at the heart; as long as there is godly sorrow, the words don’t matter.
Lesson 19: True and False Conversion
- Jesus told His disciples, “Do you not know [understand] this parable? and how then will you know [understand] all parables?” (Mark 4:13). In other words, the Parable of the Sower is the key to unlocking the mysteries of all the other parables.
- Some of Jesus’ parables about true and false conversions are: the Wheat and Tares (true and false), the Good Fish and Bad Fish (true and false), the Wise Virgins and the Foolish (true and false), and the Sheep and Goats (true and false).
- False converts will be exposed on Judgment Day when the wheat and the tares, etc., will be separated.
- A Christian who doesn’t understand the possibility of a false conversion can cause devastating damage. If we aren’t aware that those who fail to re-pent are strangers to conversion, we are liable to think that simply “pray-ing a sinner’s prayer” or responding to an altar call will save someone.
- We can ensure that we are not bringing false converts into the church by preaching biblically. That means using the Law to bring the knowledge of sin. It means mentioning Judgment Day, not casually, but impressing upon the mind of the sinner that he must face a holy God and answer for every sin he has committed against Him. It also means preaching the cross and the necessity of repentance. We should avoid modern methods where emotions are stirred in an effort to get decisions. We may rejoice over “decisions,” but heaven reserves its rejoicing for repentance.
Lesson 20: Hypocrisy
- Those who bring up this argument usually do so because of sin in their own lives, and they’re trying to find an excuse for themselves on Judgment Day.
- Hypocrisy is “the practice of professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold.”
- There are no hypocrites in the Church because the world mistakenly thinks that the Church is the building, and that those who sit within its confines are Christians. However, the Church is the Body of Christ, which consists only of true believers; hypocrites are “pretenders” who sit among God’s people.
- All hypocrites—those merely pretending to be Christians—will end up in hell.
- The root of hypocrisy is idolatry. The false convert has created a god of whom he has no fear. If his concept of God were according to Scripture, he would rid himself of any pretense.
- We should examine ourselves to ensure that we are in the faith, that Jesus Christ lives in us, so that we can first make sure we are Christians. If we are, we should live holy, blameless lives so that we don’t cause anyone to stumble because of what they perceive as hypocrisy in our lives.
Lesson 21: The Certainty of Judgment
- John the Baptist was imprisoned because he preached the Law of God, coupled with the judgment of God.
- Hananiah prophesied that Judah would have a future of peace, not of judgment.
- Such a message is rebellious because when the preaching of a coming judgment is neglected, there are no consequences for sin, and people will therefore see no reason to repent.
- When we tell people only of God’s love and neglect to warn them of His wrath and justice, they will see no need to repent. When a coming judgment is not explained, they will not understand the consequences for sin.
- Judah sinned against God by transgressing the First, Second, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth Commandments.
- God showed both His retribution and His compassion in the gospel— the good news that Jesus died for us on the cross. God must punish sin because He is just, but because of His great compassion He offers us forgiveness through the Savior.
Lesson 22: Judgment Day
- Sinners should rightly fear God because they have sinned against Him and are therefore “children of wrath”; they are commanded to repent.
- If we don’t tell sinners of the coming judgment as the reason for them to repent, they will be passive about responding to the Savior and will be false converts who only believe but do not repent. They won’t fear God enough to obey Him.
- Preaching about judgment and hell without referring to the Law, to show sinners why God is angry with them, will leave them bewildered and angry because the punishment will seem unreasonable. Without the Law, a sinner cannot comprehend that God would send anyone to hell, be-cause he is deceived into thinking that God’s standard of righteousness is the same as his own. The damage is done when a sinner concludes that hell is unreasonable and he therefore doesn’t need a Savior.
- The Law appeals to the “reason” of sinners and helps them see that judgment is reasonable.
- According to R. C. Sproul, there’s probably no concept in theology more repugnant to modern America than the idea of divine wrath.
- That God would punish sin with eternal punishment shows His absolute and uncompromising holiness, and how serious sin really is in His eyes.
Lesson 23: The Reality of Hell
- If hell didn’t exist, it would mean that the Bible’s authors were wrong and the Bible is therefore a hoax; Jesus is a liar; and God is unjust.
- Some picture hell as an enjoyable place to be with their friends; as a fun-filled place to enjoy hedonistic pleasures; as the grave, where conscious existence ceases (annihilation); or even as a place of punishment for other people.
- The Bible describes hell as a place of eternal, conscious punishment, where there is unquenchable fire, blackness, weeping, gnashing of teeth, anguish, shame, everlasting contempt, and no rest from the torment day or night.
- We instinctively desire that justice be done when someone is wronged, but with the concept of annihilation there is no justice. People can commit the most heinous crimes and they will face no punishment for them, but at death will simply cease to have a conscious existence.
- God’s Moral Law will help people see that they have sinned against a holy God and that His wrath abides on them.
Lesson 24: Our Primary Task
- The lighthouse keeper neglected his primary responsibility—to keep the light shining.
- The lighthouse keeper’s misguided priorities resulted in the tragic death of human beings. The judge had to punish him because he had done wrong, and also as a sober warning to other lighthouse keepers who might be tempted to neglect their responsibility.
- The primary responsibility of the Church is to obey the Great Commission by warning sinners of danger. We must shine the light of the gospel so that sinners can avoid God’s wrath and escape eternal damnation.
- Smith said that we are loaded down with church activities while we’re neglecting the real work of the Church: evangelism.
- If we neglect our primary responsibility to warn sinners, we are impostors. If we don’t have love and concern for others, then we don’t know God. If we have no wish for others to be saved, then we are not saved ourselves.
Lesson 25: Fear of Man
- Paul experienced “weakness, fear, and much trembling.”
- Fear makes us rely on God. It makes us aware of our weaknesses and insufficiency, and causes us to rely on God’s strength and ability.
- We can put our fears in perspective by realizing that we’re not being forced to preach to a crowd, and we’re not risking jail for witnessing. All we have to do is hand one tract to one person.
- The recruits were to learn how to take control of situations, including controlling their fears.
- We should quote Scripture in the face of fear because it is more than mere words. When the light of the Word is spoken, the darkness of the enemy must vanish.
- According to William Gurnall, we fear man so much because we fear God so little. We can overcome our fear of man by turning our thoughts to the wrath of God.
Lesson 26: The Empowering of the Holy Spirit
- God gave His Spirit to the Church so that believers would have the power to witness.
- When the disciples received the Holy Spirit, they went out into the world and became fearless witnesses of Jesus Christ.
- Dr. Bright said, “Only two percent of believers in America regularly share their faith in Christ with others.”
- Perhaps the reason why so many don’t share their faith is that they have not been genuinely converted, they are not filled with (controlled by) the Holy Spirit, or they have never been instructed that evangelizing the world is the Church’s number one priority.
- One way to be filled with the Holy Spirit is to go somewhere quiet (a “closet”), confess all known sin, and turn control of your daily life over to God. Ask God to fill you to overflowing.
Lesson 27: Holiness
- Today “holiness” may mean sitting half-naked with your legs crossed and getting paid to bless people; sitting on poles for twenty years; cutting yourself off from any contact with sinners in holier-than-thou legalism; or living in a monastery with a vow of silence.
- The church has become a “monastery without walls”—living with little contact with the world and in a “vow of silence” by not talking to sinners —because it has lost sight of its mandate: to reach out to the lost.
- “True holiness” is separation from sin.
- Jesus was a “friend of sinners” because He loved them. He came to save sinners.
- We should have no fellowship with hypocrites.
- We can cultivate holiness by reading God’s Word daily, keeping a tender conscience, having an obedient heart, and living in the fear of God.
Lesson 28: The Will of God
- Upon conversion, God puts His Law into our minds, gives us the “mind of Christ,” and renews us in the “spirit of our mind.”
- If we are walking in the Spirit, with our sinful nature crucified, we can be assured that the desires we now have are in line with God’s desires.
- According to Psalm 37:4, if we delight ourselves in the Lord, the desires of our heart should be in line with God’s desires—primarily to seek and save that which is lost.
- We can learn that God will honor our desire to follow Jesus, even if it means walking on water to get to Him.
Lesson 29: Our Most Valuable Commodity
Reaching the Lost
Lesson 30: How to Capture the World's Attention
- An often-overlooked tool for reaching the lost is their fear of death, also called “the will to live.”
- Hebrews 2:15 tells us that all human beings fear death: “And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”
- “Years” makes death sound too far into the distance, whereas we can better relate to the “weekends” that we spend.
- It should shake us enough to ask what we’re doing with our life and con-sider whether we’re obediently reaching the lost.
- We should be concerned for the ungodly because their end will be eternal torment in hell. This should horrify us, and drive us to pray for and reach out to them with the gospel. Everything else should pale in importance.
- Charles Spurgeon said, “Men have been helped to live by remembering that they must die.”
Lesson 31: Gospel Tracts, Part 1
- George Whitefield, a diver, and the great missionary Hudson Taylor were all saved through a gospel tract.
- Tracts can provide an opening for us to share our faith. They can do the witnessing for us. They speak to the individuals when they are ready. They can find their way into people’s homes when we can’t. They don’t get into arguments; they just state their case.
- Greet people warmly then ask, “Did you get one of these?” It makes them feel as though they are missing out on something—and they are.
- We may have a fear of rejection, or a fear of looking foolish, which is a form of pride. Also, the devil tries to paralyze us with fear.
- We can conquer fear by asking God to give us compassion for the lost, by meditating on the fate of the ungodly in hell, and confronting our fears.
- Spurgeon’s advice is to always have a tract ready for when preaching and private talk are not available, and to get good tracts and never go out with-out them.
Lesson 32: Gospel Tracts, Part 2
- Fifty-three percent of all who come to Christ worldwide come through the use of printed gospel literature.
- Tracts are useful for people who feel they have little power or ability to preach the gospel, but who want to do something for Christ. They may not be eloquent, but they can be diligent to distribute thousands of tracts.
- Spurgeon called gospel tracts “silent preachers.”
- Give tracts with candy to trick-or-treaters (or go door-to-door yourself) on Halloween, hand out tracts at Christmas parades or to shoppers in malls, distribute tracts at Fourth of July celebrations, car shows, sports arenas, concerts, and other events—anywhere crowds are gathered.
Lesson 33: Personal Testimony
- We should begin in the natural realm because Jesus did, to establish a connection with the person and show that we care.
- The woman at the well was able to persuade others because of her personal experience: she had met the Savior. She had heard His voice. She knew the Lord.
- In essence, she said that God is omniscient and sees our sin, and she pointed to Jesus as the Christ (Messiah).
- We should include the spiritual nature of the Ten Commandments so the person knows what sin is. We should emphasize that God sees our sins— He knows everything we do, think, and say—and that we will have to give an account of ourselves on the Day of Judgment.
- Our testimony should lead from sin and judgment to the cross of Christ, because our salvation centers on the cross.
- Because the Bible tells us that we should always be ready to share our testimony: “Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15).
- We know that we know Him if we keep His commandments.
- Giving money helps establish credibility with listeners because people rarely get something for nothing. People are astounded that you give them a dollar for merely answering a question.
- Asking questions gives you a chance to interact with people, and perhaps laugh with them. Once you’ve established a rapport, they’re more willing to listen to you.
- Scripture should be quoted because the Word of God is quick and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword, and it cannot return void. (See Hebrews 4:12; Isaiah 55:11.)
- The job of the Holy Spirit is to draw the sinner, and to convict him of sin, righteousness, and judgment.
- Our job as Christians is to faithfully plant the seed of God’s Word in the heart of the sinner.
Lesson 35: How to Witness to Hurting People
- Although the unsaved are concerned about having their immediate pain relieved, it is only temporary. The most serious wound is the sin issue— which will lead to their death and eternal damnation.
- When speaking with someone who has lost a loved one, we must remember to show a deep empathy for the person, express sorrow about his loss, and show genuine sensitivity.
- We should avoid any talk about the salvation of a deceased loved one, be-cause it may cause an offense that will hinder the salvation of the one we are trying to reach.
Lesson 36: Open Air Preaching, Part 1
- John the Baptist, Jesus, Peter, and Paul all preached open-air where sinners gather. Also, a good open-air preacher can reach more sinners in thirty minutes than the average church does in twelve months.
- Realize that you are qualified for the job. God works through “nobodies” who are submitted to Him for His use. According to His power working in us, He promises to do abundantly more than we can imagine.
- You can get people to stop by asking interesting, humorous questions, and promising a dollar to whoever has the right answer. Once you have the crowd’s attention, lead into the gospel by asking if anyone considers himself a good person.
- Other Christians with you should form an audience and listen to you, because a crowd draws a crowd. They should also face you, not talk with each other, and not argue with hecklers.
- Being elevated when you preach will give people a reason to stop and lis-ten. It will give you protection as well as authority.
Lesson 37: Open Air Preaching, Part 2
- A good heckler can quickly increase a crowd. The situation gives people a reason to stop and listen.
- Remember the attributes of 2 Timothy 2:23–26: be patient, gentle, humble, etc. Show him genuine respect and honor; don’t offend him unnecessarily; bless him if he curses you.
- If a “mumbling heckler” won’t speak up, ignore him and keep talking. If he gets angry enough to speak up, it will draw hearers.
- If you are “reviled” for the name of Jesus, “rejoice, and be exceeding glad.” Cling to the promise of Matthew 5:10–12.
- We are instructed to teach sinners, to bring them to a point of under-standing their need before God. They will not flee from God’s wrath un-less they understand that they are under His condemnation.
- The Law brings the knowledge of sin, so the sinner understands that he is under God’s wrath, and reveals God’s will—if the sinner is “instructed out of the Law” (Romans 2:18).
Lesson 38: Open Air Preaching, Part 3
- We should not be discouraged by an angry reaction to our message be-cause anger is a thousand times better than apathy. Anger is a sign of conviction. We’ve hit a nerve in the heart of the sinner.
- John Wesley told his evangelist trainees that when they preached, people should either get angry or get converted.
- While apologetics are legitimate in evangelism, they should merely be “bait,” with the Law of God being the “hook” that brings the conviction of sin.
- “Decisions for Christ” (which can be obtained through the manipulative methods of modern evangelism) are meaningless unless there is a God-given repentance. If there is no repentance, there is no salvation.
- The modern concept of success in evangelism is to relate how many people were “saved” (that is, how many prayed the “sinner’s prayer”). This produces a “no decisions, no success” mentality. Success should be based on faithfully planting the seed of the Word of God in the hearts of sinners.
- According to 2 Timothy 2:24–26, we are to not strive, be gentle, be able to teach, be patient and meek.
Basics of the Faith
Lesson 39: Faith, Part 1
- According to Hebrews 11:1, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
- Faith in general is being fully persuaded of something, having a confident belief or conviction that something is true. Its primary idea is trust. When you believe with certainty that a thing is true, it is therefore worthy of trust.
- The young man was offended because my lack of faith in him implied that I thought he wasn’t trustworthy—that he was a liar trying to deceive me.
- Some of the things in which people have faith are the weather forecast, daily newspapers, and airline pilots. They trust their car’s brakes, history books, medical journals, and elevators.
- Someone who finds it hard to have faith in God is implying that God is not trustworthy—that He is a liar and a deceiver.
- The Bible draws on the strength of the word “impossible” to show that it against God’s holy nature to deceive.
Lesson 40: Faith, Part 2
- The name of the giant in Doubting Castle is Giant Despair. His name is applicable because those who doubt God’s promises are thrown into hopeless despair.
- Going through tribulation tests the depth of our faith in God. The amount of joy we retain in our trials reveals the amount of faith that we actually have in God.
- The reason any of us would lose faith in the promises of God is that we lose sight of His faithfulness.
- Nehemiah 8:10 tell us that “the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
- Someone in Scripture who slept when others would have been fearful is Peter. He slept while awaiting execution in Herod’s prison.
Lesson 41: Prayer
- Prayer is our lifeline, our line of communication with God. It is our weapon in the spiritual battle.
- Four Bible references tell us to pray continually: Romans 12:12—“Continuing instant [steadfast] in prayer”; Ephesians 6:18—“Praying always”; Colossians 4:2—“Continue in prayer”; and 1 Thessalonians 5:17—“Pray without ceasing.”
- Prayerlessness reflects idolatry—a trust in substitutes for God. It says that we don’t need God, short-circuits His working through our lives, and is sinful.
- According to Proverbs 15:8, our prayers delight God.
- For our prayers to be heard, we need to pray with faith, pray with clean hands and a pure heart, pray genuine heartfelt prayers (not vain repetitions), and be sure to pray to the God revealed in Scripture.
Lesson 42: The Survivor's Guide
- Second Peter 1:3 says that God’s divine power has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness—we have been given everything we need to live a life pleasing to Him.
- Knowing God more intimately strengthens our faith, and reading His Word acts as a mirror to help us recognize our sin and cultivate a tender conscience.
- The psalmist rejoiced over God’s Word because of the wealth it contains.
- Paul exercised self-discipline so he wouldn’t be disqualified (declared un-fit) when he preached.
Lesson 43: Water Baptism, Part 1
- Two verses where Jesus mentioned water baptism are Matthew 28:19 and Mark 16:16.
- The Greek word baptizo means “immersion.”
- Jesus taught in Matthew 28:19 that believers should be baptized “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
- It is true that baptism is an outward sign of an inward work.
Lesson 44: Water Baptism, Part 2
- Adding any other requirement to salvation besides grace becomes “works” in disguise.
- Ephesians 2:8,9 tells us that salvation is by grace alone, and not by works.
- Acts of obedience that are important but not essential to salvation include water baptism, prayer, good works, fellowship, witnessing, etc.—all of which issue from our faith in Christ.
- According to Mark 16:16, it is unbelief that brings damnation.
- The thief on the cross was never baptized, yet he received salvation.
- In 1 Corinthians 1:17 Paul said, “Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel.” He made a distinction between the gospel and being baptized.
Understanding the Enemy
Lesson 45: The Enemy, Part 1
- The moment we repent and trust the Savior, we step into a battle with three enemies: the world, the flesh, and the devil.
- The way to overcome the devil is to be outfitted with the spiritual armor of God, including the sword of the Spirit (the Word of God).
- The only access the enemy has to cause us to sin is through the flesh.
- Sin takes the “edge” off our prayer life by bringing with it guilt and re-moving our bold confidence before God.
- Most of our fear about witnessing comes from our Adamic (fleshly) nature, which prefers the praise of men to the praise of God. It is proud and more concerned with self than with the eternal welfare of sinners.
- In order to stop the enemy’s access, we must consider the old nature dead to sin. Rather than obeying its lusts, we must yield ourselves fully to God and offer our bodies to Him as instruments of righteousness.
Lesson 46: The Enemy, Part 2
- If a Christian does not have a battle with lust, it may be that he isn’t fighting. He may have surrendered to the enemy.
- The sex drive is from God, and can find satisfaction in marriage. Lust is an overwhelming desire that draws us like a moth to a flame, leading us to sin.
- Deceitfulness exemplifies sin. Sin can deceive and delude people into thinking something bad is actually good.
- People who are sinful are not always miserable. Sin can be enjoyable, fun, and pleasurable—that’s why we’re drawn to it.
- We are always susceptible in the battle against “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life,” but we become a target for the enemy especially when we desire to share our faith.
- One great tool that the enemy likes to exploit is an idle hand.
- Guard our minds, have a fear of God so we will not choose to indulge in sin, make a covenant with our eyes not to look with lust, keep busy by abounding in the labor of the Lord.
Lesson 47: The Enemy, Part 3
- As soldiers in God’s army, each of us is called by God to become person-ally involved in the battle to win the world for Christ.
- According to Billy Graham, mass crusades will never finish the job. We must reach the lost by sharing our faith one on one.
- If we’re not fishing for men, we may be following Jesus at too great a distance. We can’t see Jesus’ example or hear His voice.
- Satan may attack us through the most unexpected source: through an-other Christian or someone close to us. The person may try to discourage us from doing God’s will—seeking the lost.
- Satan often withholds an attack until we are vulnerable. He will not strike when we are full of faith and power, but when we are tired, fasting, or carrying a problem on our shoulders.
- The children of Israel were not allowed to speak as they walked around Jericho.
- With their shields of faith, Christians should deflect the subtle words of discouragement from the enemy.
Lesson 48: The Enemy, Part 4
- The god of this world, Satan, has blinded the minds of unbelievers.
- The unbeliever’s understanding is darkened because he is alienated from the life of God due to his ignorance and the blindness of his heart.
- Satan is a counterfeiter who can transform himself into an angel of light.
- Satan is also called the god and prince of this world, the ruler of dark-ness, our adversary, a devourer, a liar, the father of lies, and a murderer.
- Satan hates for Christians to use the Law because that’s what the Holy Spirit uses to convince and convict men of their sin. It enables sinners to have a clear understanding of sin and salvation.
- If preaching fails to present the standard of the Law, there might be a spurious conversion, or the sinner might lack gratitude because his deci-sion was based solely on fear.
- Satan has created a massive religious system—filled with false apostles, deceitful workers, and false ministers of righteousness—that masquerades as God’s representative on earth.
The Nature of God and Man
Lesson 49: Man's Sinful Condition
- “Original sin” refers both to the first sin of Adam, and to the sinful nature possessed by every person since Adam.
- The sinful nature is called “depravity.”
- Every individual at birth is “depraved” in these four ways:
- They have no original righteousness.
- They have no affection toward God.
- The things inside them defile them.
- They have a continual bias toward evil.
- All people can certainly have some qualities that are pleasing; their condition of depravity, however, means that they are basically self-centered instead of God-centered. They cannot love God with all their heart, soul, and strength, as the Law requires.
- The greatest defense against sin is to be shocked at it.
Lesson 50: The Trinity
- The word “Trinity” does not occur anywhere in the Bible, although God’s triune nature is clearly described.
- The doctrine of the Trinity says that there is one God who exists eternally as three distinct persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
- According to Ephesians 1, the Father chooses those in Christ to be saved (verse 4); the Son redeems them (verse 7); and the Holy Spirit seals them (verse 13).
- Instead of recognizing God as three separate, equal, eternal persons—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—the Jehovah’s Witnesses view God as only one person, the Father, with Jesus as a created being and the Holy Spirit as merely a force.
Lesson 51: The Deity of Christ
- Although we can tell people about Jesus, according to Matthew 13:14–17 the Father must open their eyes and reveal who Jesus truly is.
- If Jesus were merely a good man, He would not have allowed people to worship Him. Because only God is to be worshiped, accepting worship would have been a sin, which would mean Jesus wasn’t a good man.
- Man can only refashion or reform something using materials that already exist, but God can truly create something out of nothing.
Lesson 52: The Holy Spirit
- The four main things that the Holy Spirit does for sinners are to draw them, convict them, give birth to them, and keep them.
- Billy Graham stated that the Holy Spirit convicts us by showing us the Ten Commandments.
- According to Paris Reidhead, when the Law is not used in witnessing, the Holy Spirit is deprived of the only instrument He has to prepare sinners for grace.
- The Holy Spirit is the Creator (gives us life), can be blasphemed, and calls men to ministry.
Lesson 53: The Resurrection
- Of the variety of evidence we have available, none is more compelling than the fact that over five hundred individuals saw Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:6) during a 40-day period following His death and burial (Acts 1:3).
- We know that the Romans had no motive for stealing Christ’s body be-cause the last thing they wanted was any turmoil that was sure to follow such an event.
- The Jewish religious leaders would have had no intentions of stealing the body since that would only stir up the very movement they tried to crush.
- The disciples would not have stolen the body; after all, would anyone suffer and die for a cause that they knew to be a lie?
- After Jesus endured several trials, a crown of thorns, scourging, crucifix-ion, a spear in His side, the loss of blood, three days without medical attention or food, it’s ridiculous in the extreme to think He pushed a two-ton stone away from the tomb entrance and overpowered an armed Roman guard while walking on pierced feet.
- Within five weeks of Jesus’ death, more than 10,000 Jewish believers suddenly altered or abandoned their important religious rituals (offering sacrifices, obeying the Mosaic law, keeping the Sabbath), and began the sacraments of communion and baptism.
Overview of the Bible
Lesson 54: The Bible, Part 1
- The word “Bible” simply means “book.”
- There are 66 books in the Bible: 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament.
- The Old Testament was written from approximately 1400 B.C. to 400 B.C., and the New Testament was written from approximately A.D. 50 to A.D. 90.
- The Bible tells us about the nature of God, the purpose of mankind, and
- the purpose of history, and served as the basis of science and law.
- If we had only an oral communication from God, the message could be changed and misinterpreted when repeatedly told. A written revelation solves doctrinal controversies, can be studied as an authoritative source, and can be translated into different languages.
- The central verse in the Bible says, “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man” (Psalm 118:8).
Lesson 55: The Bible, Part 2
- To write the Bible, God picked 40 writers from all walks of life—fishermen, politicians, generals, kings, shepherds, and historians—from three different continents, in three different languages, over approximately 1,500 years.
- Even 10 people from the same time and place couldn’t all agree on one controversial topic. But these 40, from various times, places, and back-grounds, wrote on hundreds of controversial subjects with agreement and harmony.
- The Bible was not only the first book printed on a printing press, it is the most printed and most read book in history.
- The Bible’s one unfolding story is the redemption of mankind through the Messiah—the Old Testament tells of the coming Messiah; the New Testament tells of the Messiah who has come. Genesis describes how paradise was lost, and Revelation describes the paradise gained.
Lesson 56: The Bible, Part 3
- Works by Aristotle and Plato have only 49 and 7 existing manuscripts, respectively. The New Testament has over 24,000 ancient copies to confirm its wording.
- In the works by Aristotle and Plato, there are gaps of 1,200 to 1,400 years between the time of writing and the earliest copies. The oldest manuscripts of the New Testament date to within 35 years of their writing.
- Other ancient sources that verify Jesus’ existence—His birth, ministry, death, and resurrection—include the Babylonian Talmud, the Annals of Tacitus, Mara Bar Serapion, and writings by Josephus, Pliny the Younger, and Suetonius.
- No books were excluded from the Bible by the early church councils; in fact, the councils confirmed the divine inspiration of the books already accepted as Scripture.
Lesson 57: The Bible, Part 4
- The Dead Sea Scrolls are ancient texts that were discovered at Qumran in 1949, hidden in pots in cliff-top caves. They are portions of Scripture that were copied and studied by the Essenes.
- The Dead Sea Scrolls comprise thousands of fragments of every Old Testament book except Esther, and include the complete book of Isaiah.
- Previously, the earliest known manuscript of the Old Testament was the Masoretic Text dated A.D. 900. The Dead Sea Scrolls are 1,000 years older.
- The Qumran texts confirm the reliability of the Old Testament text and have become an important witness for the divine origin of the Bible. The close match they have with the Masoretic text demonstrates the reliability and preservation of the authentic text through the centuries.
- Archaeological finds have affirmed the historical core of the Bible, proving the existence of key Bible characters and substantiating its claims. No archaeological discovery has ever controverted a biblical reference, show-ing that the Bible is trustworthy.
Lesson 58: Contradictions in the Bible
- A contradiction is an inconsistency or discrepancy, which may give the appearance of an error.
- The godly can base their confidence on the fact that all Scripture is in-spired by God, and that God has deliberately included seeming contradictions in His Word to “snare” the proud.
- God has purposely chosen the foolish things to confound the “wise.” A proud, self-righteous man attempts to justify himself by discrediting the Bible, not realizing that God allows only those who exercise faith and humility to enter the door of life.
- Ask for the person’s phone number, e-mail, or address so you can get back to him with a solid answer. If the person doesn’t agree, he really wasn’t interested in an answer but just used the “contradiction” as a smoke screen.
- The seeming contradictions in the four Gospels attest to the fact that there was no corroboration between the writers.
The Bible’s Divine Origin
Lesson 59: Prophecy
- There is no other book, other than the Bible, that contains precise prophecies that have come to pass.
- If a prophet was truly from the Lord, 100 percent of his prophecies would come to pass. If even one fails, he is a false prophet.
- Close to 30 percent of the Bible contains predictive prophecy.
- False prophecies include that the Queen of England would become a nun, and Kathy Lee Gifford would become host of “The Tonight Show.” Nostradamus never predicted a great California earthquake, the attack on New York, or the assassination of JFK. Sylvia Browne, whose accuracy is close to 0 percent, stated that Amanda Berry was dead, yet she was found alive years later.
- Prophecy is a good tool to use in evangelism because no other religion can use it to authenticate its writings as supernatural in origin. God alone can see tomorrow as clearly as we see yesterday.
Lesson 60: Messianic Prophecies, Part 1
- Unlike any other book, the Bible offers a multitude of specific predictions—some thousands of years in advance—that either have been liter-ally fulfilled or point to a definite future time when they will come true.
- Fulfilled prophecies argue for omniscience because only one who is omniscient can accurately predict details of events thousands of years in the future.
- The two categories of biblical prophecy are messianic and non-messianic.
- Isaiah’s prediction about Jesus being born of a virgin was made over 700 years in advance.
Lesson 61: Messianic Prophecies, Part 2
- Jesus was rejected, was a man of sorrow, lived a life of suffering, was despised by others, carried our sorrow, was smitten and afflicted by God, was pierced for our transgressions, was wounded for our sins, suffered like a lamb, died with the wicked, was sinless, and prayed for others.
- Daniel 9 is considered to be such an amazing prophecy because it gives the very year in which the Christ would die.
- Psalm 16:10 foretold the resurrection of the Messiah from the dead.
- Unlike many psychic predictions, many of the biblical prophecies were very specific, giving, for example, the very name of the tribe, city, and time of Christ’s coming.
- Many predictions were beyond human ability to fake a fulfillment be-cause if Jesus had been a mere human being, He would have had no control over when, where, or how He would be born, or how He would die; He would not have been able to do miracles or rise from the dead.
- If 1017 silver dollars were laid over the entire state of Texas two feet deep, and only one had a black X on it, the chance that a blindfolded man would pick up the marked one on the first try is exactly the same probability that just eight of the messianic prophecies would be fulfilled in any one person. For forty-eight predictions to meet in one person, the probability is 1 in 10157—mathematically impossible—yet all of them came true in Christ.
Lesson 62: Non-Messianic Prophecies
- Daniel gives the amazing prediction of the succession of the world empires of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome.
- Isaiah identifies Cyrus of Persia before he was even born.
- Ezekiel predicted that the Eastern gate in Jerusalem would be closed one day, and not reopened until the Messiah returned.
- Despite 2,000 years during which their nation did not exist, the Jews man-aged to keep a culture, identity, and language intact and were reestablished as a nation when Israel was “born in a day.”
- The prophet Jeremiah predicted that Edom would experience only “perpetual desolation.”
- Ezekiel predicted that after lying in waste and desolate for centuries Palestine would one day return to a place of flourishing.
Lesson 63: Scientific Facts in the Bible, Part 1
- Science expresses the universe in five terms: time, space, matter, power, and motion, all of which God mentioned in Genesis 1:1,2.
- Nine times in Scripture we are told that God stretches out the heavens like a curtain (e.g., Psalm 104:2).
- The Bible tells us that the earth is round (Isaiah 40:22). In fact, the Scriptures inspired Columbus to sail around the world.
- Genesis 2:1 says that “the heavens and the earth were finished”—the creation was “finished,” once and for all. The First Law of Thermodynamics states that neither matter nor energy can be either created or destroyed. Creation is “finished” exactly as the Bible states.
- The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that every ordered system over time tends to become more disordered. Everything is running down and wearing out as less energy becomes available for use. That means the universe will eventually “wear out.” Isaiah 51:6, Psalm 102:25,26, and Hebrews 1:11 all indicate that the earth is wearing out.
Lesson 64: Scientific Facts in the Bible, Part 2
- Newton, Faraday, Maxwell, Kelvin, Boyle, Dalton, Pascal, Ramsay, Ray, Linnaeus, Mendel, Pasteur, Steno, Woodward, Brewster, Agassiz, Kepler, Galileo, Herschel, and Maunder are all great scientists who were creationists.
- They expected our God of order to impose rational order and harmony in His creation, so they considered science to be dedicated to “thinking God’s thoughts after Him.”
- There should be a union between religion and science. We should be the owners of the lock (humanity and the cosmos) and the key (God). This is because as science advances, it discovers what was said thousands of years ago in the Bible.
- Perhaps God is behind scientific discoveries because they seem to be “made only for the purpose of confirming more and more strongly the truths that . . . are contained in the Sacred Writings.” God is giving man-kind more proofs for the truth of His Word.
- Moses knew 3,500 years ago that the “lights” of the sun and moon deter-mined the seasons, days, and years because God inspired his words.
Lesson 65: Scientific Facts in the Bible, Part 3
- The Bible describes the water cycle in Ecclesiastes 1:7, Ecclesiastes 11:3, and Amos 9:6.
- Solomon described a “cycle” of air currents in Ecclesiastes 1:6.
- After reading Psalm 8:8, Matthew Maury said, “If God said there are paths in the sea, I am going to find them.” Based on God’s Word, he went looking for these paths and found them.
- The Bible and true science harmonize because they have the same author.
- The eighth day is when prothrombin, which coagulates the blood, is the highest. Blood clotting peaks on that day, then drops.
- Leviticus 15:13 says to wash under running water, which will remove in-visible germs. Leviticus 13 advises quarantine for those with an infectious disease.
Lesson 66: Evolution, Part 1
- You could ask an evolutionist, “Where did space for the universe come from? Where did the initial matter come from? How could something come from out of nowhere, by itself? What sparked the explosion?”
- “Microevolution” is simply adaptation, and these variations in species within a kind are scientifically observable. However, nothing new comes into being (“evolves”). Macroevolution is supposedly when one kind of creature (such as a reptile) develops new features and becomes a new kind (such as a bird). There is no evidence for macroevolution.
- Natural selection can only work on the genetic information present in a population of organisms—it cannot create new information. For example, a reptile will never produce feathers. Mutations in genes can only modify or eliminate existing structures, not create new ones.
- Peppered moths are nocturnal and don’t rest on tree trunks during the day, so they couldn’t have been seen and eaten by birds as claimed; the photos showing evidence of the moths “evolving” were all faked; and nothing changed anyway. No new color or variety came into being, so nothing actually “evolved”!
Lesson 67: Evolution, Part 2
- Man was made in God’s image, has self-awareness, has artistic appreciation, is moral, can relate to God, is intellectually superior, and has God-given dominion over animals. Jesus Himself said man is much more valuable than animals.
- If any one of about 40 physical qualities of the universe had more than slightly different values, life as we know it could not exist. Even well-known scientist Stephen Hawking, an evolutionist, admitted, “It would be very difficult to explain why the universe should have begun in just this way, except as the act of a God who intended to create beings like us.”
- Hoyle, the famous statistician, determined that the likelihood of life form-ing from inanimate matter is 1 in 1040,000—statistically impossible. He compared it to the chance that “a tornado sweeping through a junkyard would assemble a Boeing 747 from the materials therein.”
- Molecular biologist Michael Denton acknowledges even the tiniest bacterial cell is a “micro-miniaturized factory containing thousands of exquisitely designed pieces of intricate molecular machinery, . . . far more com-plicated than any machinery built by man and absolutely without parallel in the non-living world.” According to biochemistry professor Michael J. Behe, Darwin’s theory of evolution can’t explain what is seen under a microscope. Cells are too complex to have evolved randomly, and intelligence was required to produce them.
Lesson 68: Evolution, Part 3
- All the genealogies accept Adam as being a literal person; the Bible says that Jesus was descended from Adam; and Jesus confirmed that the creation of Adam and Eve was a real historical event. It’s necessary to believe the first Adam is real in order to understand the work of the “last Adam,” Jesus.
- Researchers suggest that virtually all modern men share genes with one male ancestor they call “Y-chromosome Adam.” They’ve found that our genetic roots are very, very shallow and go back very recently to one male ancestor. DNA analysis also indicates that all humans have as a common ancestor one woman who has been called “Eve.”
- Rejecting the Bible’s account of creation as given in Genesis eradicates the purpose for man’s existence. The Book of Genesis explains the origins of sin, the curse, death, marriage, the family, government, and so on. Genesis is quoted over 200 times in the New Testament alone, by each New Testament author. It is foundational to understanding the gospel.
- According to Ken Ham, outside of Genesis 1, yom (the Hebrew word for “day”) is used with a number 410 times, and each time it means an ordinary day. All 61 times “evening” or “morning” occurs outside of Genesis, it refers to an ordinary day. Outside of Genesis 1, each of the 53 times “night” is used with yom it means an ordinary day. Using the word “light” with yom also indicates an ordinary day. Why would Genesis 1 be the exception to all these?
- Fossils show exactly what we would expect to find if biblical creation is true. During the “Cambrian Explosion,” all the major animal groups suddenly appeared fully formed, all at one time, genetically separated into kinds, and with limited change. Richard Dawkins admitted, “And we find many of them already in an advanced state of evolution, the very first time they appear. It is as though they were just planted there, without any evolutionary history.”
Lesson 69: Evolution, Part 4
- Something is irreducibly complex when it requires several components to make it functional. If any one of these components is missing, it will not function and is worthless.
- An example of irreducible complexity is the knee joint, which contains at least 16 essential components. It could not have evolved gradually but must have been created all at once as a whole, fully functioning joint. In the human eye, it would be absolutely impossible for random processes to create forty separate subsystems when they provide no advantage to the whole until the very last state of development. Another example is the blood clotting process, which requires twelve specific chemical reactions in our blood, all of which must occur in the right order or the per-son would bleed to death.
- Darwin conceded the failure of his theory, admitting, “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.”
- The prestigious body of evolutionists couldn’t identify anything that they knew to be true about evolution, and in fact stated that it shouldn’t be taught in high school.
Lesson 70: Evolution, Part 5
- The lack of intermediate life forms disproves the theory of evolution. If evolution were true, there should be millions of transitional forms dis-covered in the fossil record. But despite spending hundreds of millions of dollars and more than a hundred years searching for fossils worldwide, scientists have failed to locate even one “missing link.” Darwin’s theory and the fossil record are in conflict.
- The fossil record agrees with the Genesis account. Rather than the oldest rocks showing a gradual transition from primitive creatures to developed forms, the oldest rocks show developed species suddenly appearing. There is a complete absence of intermediate fossils between species.
- Piltdown Man, Nebraska Man, Java Man, Heidelberg Man, and Neanderthal Man have all been shown to be fully human or fully ape, and all involved either error or intentional fraud.
- Geologists show that carbon dating can be way off, even dating living snails as being 27,000 years old. Also, to use the “clocks” in radiometric dating, we must know where the clock was set at the beginning and be sure the clock has ticked at the same rate from the beginning until now. However, no geologists were present when the earth was formed, or have been there since day one, so they cannot know for certain where the radiometric clocks were set at the beginning or whether the rate of radio-active decay has always been the same as today.
Lesson 71: Atheism
- Someone who knows all things is “omniscient.”
- Thomas Edison said, “We do not know a millionth of one percent about anything.”
- An example of an absolute statement is, “There is no gold in China.”
- To make an absolute statement that is proven true, you would need to have absolute or total knowledge.
- You don’t need to have all knowledge to say, “There is gold in China.” If there is even a speck of gold in the country, the statement is true.
- “There is no God” is an absolute statement, which can be truthfully asserted only by one who has absolute knowledge. Only God is omniscient and therefore qualified to make such a statement.
- An “agnostic” is one who claims to not know if God exists, or “one who professes ignorance.”
- Psalm 10:4 says that this ignorance is willful: “The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God; God is in none of his thoughts.”
Lesson 72: How to Prove the Existence of God
- We know that there was a builder by the building itself. The building is proof that there was a builder. In fact, we couldn’t want better evidence that there was a builder than to have the building in front of us.
- The painting is perfectly positive proof that there was a painter. In fact, we couldn’t want better evidence that there was a painter than to have the painting in front of us.
- Since everything that was made has a maker, the creation itself proves, beyond the shadow of the smallest doubt, that there is a Creator.
- All that is needed to figure this out are eyes that can see and a brain that works. Faith is not necessary.
- We can recognize the existence of a Creator without having “faith” in Him, but we must exercise faith when we “come to God” (see Hebrews 11:6).
- According to Romans 1:20, evidence of God—His eternal power and God-head—is clearly seen in creation and is understood by the things that are made, so men are without excuse.
Lesson 73: Atheist Obstacles
- One must be omnipresent (dwelling everywhere at once) or omniscient to prove that God doesn’t exist.
- Whether “miracles” exist and whether prayers are answered or unanswered have no bearing on the existence of God because His existence is not dependent on any human testimony. God exists regardless of whether He chooses to move or not move in the way we desire.
- “Idolatry” is the act of creating a god in our image, whether it is shaped with human hands (a physical “idol”), or shaped in the human mind through the imagination. Those who create their own god then use it as a “good-luck charm” to do their bidding.
- The great deception of the idolater is thinking that their imaginary god really exists, and that Almighty God changes like pliable putty to whatever they visualize Him to be. However, our imaginings don’t change reality. God doesn’t change just because we change our perception of Him.
- Malachi 3:6 says, “I am the LORD, I change not.”
Lesson 74: Atheists' Questions, Part 1
- Christianity is not a manmade “religion” in which man futilely tries to find peace with God; it is a personal relationship with the one true God. The Christian doesn’t strive to have peace with his Creator, but received it in the Savior who forgave his sins.
- According to Jesus, who is God, no other religion provides forgiveness of sins. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). The Bible says about Jesus, “There is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5) and, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
- We can know with our intellect that Christianity is true, regardless of our feelings, because the Bible’s thousands of fulfilled prophecies, historical accuracy, and many infallible proofs attest to its reliability. In addition, if we repent and place our faith in Jesus Christ, Jesus promises that He and the Father will reveal themselves to all who love and obey Him.
- God gave mankind the free will to choose whether to love and obey Him. He allows false religions and atheism to exist for the same reason He al-lows sinful humans to exist. God is not willing that any should perish, but wants all to come to repentance.
- Since the Bible commands Christians to love their enemies and do good to those who spitefully use them, those who use Christianity for their own ends are not true followers of Jesus.
- If one studies God’s Word and understands His Law, Christianity is seen to be infinitely rational and believable, whereas atheism rejects logic and evidence. That’s why God invites us, “Come now, and let us reason together,” and why Paul spoke “words of truth and reason” when trying to persuade others to become Christians.
Lesson 75: Atheists' Questions, Part 2
- A Christian has already been convinced that he was wrong, before his conversion. Conversion to Christianity is when a fallible human being admits that he is wrong and that the infallible Creator is right. When a person repents of his sin and places his trust in Jesus, he becomes spiritually alive; he has moved out of the realm of belief into the realm of experience. Once he knows the truth, nothing can convince him otherwise.
- A cult is “a system of religious worship and ritual,” which describes every manmade religion. Christianity, on the other hand, is not a strict adherence to ritual, but a personal relationship with a living God.
- God’s concern isn’t whether people believe in Him; even the demons believe—and tremble. Even “moral” people have sinned by violating God’s holy Laws, and must repent and trust Jesus Christ for their salvation. All who refuse to do so will be given justice on Judgment Day.
- If there were any such myths, they have died out for lack of proof. The story of Jesus’ resurrection has endured through the ages in cultures all around the world because it is true and provable.
- Although the “natural” man cannot understand the things of God, the Bible is very clear to those who obey Him. We can all understand enough to realize that we have sinned against a holy God and need to repent. Once we do that, God gives us the ability to understand His Word.
Lesson 76: Relativism, Part 1
- Relativism is the philosophical position that all points of view are equally valid and that all truth is relative to the individual.
- Cognitive relativism affirms that all truth is relative. No system of truth is more valid than any other and there is no objective standard of truth.
- In moral or ethical relativism, all morals are relative to the social group in which they are constructed.
- In situational relativism, or situational ethics, ethics (right and wrong) are dependent upon the situation.
- Valid aspects of relativism include culturally based considerations such as which side of the road to drive on, how to rear children, and how to conduct burials and weddings. They are not universally right or wrong but are what that society determines.
- There would be no common ground from which to judge what is right and wrong, or truth. If all moral views are equally valid, a society cannot determine right from wrong and establish punishment for wrongdoers.
Lesson 77: Relativism, Part 2
- Science promotes the idea that it alone has the true answers. Many people have faith in science even when it cannot answer questions and when the “truths” of today change tomorrow. It thereby undermines absolute truth.
- When the theory of evolution is believed, God becomes unnecessary. With-out God to determine what is true and not true, we are free to do “what is right in our own eyes.”
- Encountering diverse cultures makes us more comfortable with the idea that there is more than one way to do something, more than one way for a culture to operate, more than one way for something to be true or right.
- Cognitive relativism can easily be refuted by the absolute truth “Some-thing cannot bring itself into existence.” For something to bring itself into existence, it must first exist. If it first existed, then it cannot bring itself into existence because it already is existing. Likewise, if something does not exist, then it is not possible for it to bring itself into existence since it isn’t there to do anything.
- In order for something to be absolutely true, for everyone at all times, it must come from a source greater than ourselves. For truth beyond our-selves, we must look to God, the author of all truth.
Lesson 78: Reincarnation
- Reincarnation is attractive because it negates the concept of hell, so guilty sinners don’t need to trust in Jesus. Also, individuals who don’t “get it right” in this life can have multiple opportunities in future lives.
- Actress Shirley Maclaine helped popularize reincarnation.
- Orthodox Hinduism teaches that at death the soul goes into some other kind of body here on earth. This body can be an insect, fish, animal, or human body.
- In the Western concept of reincarnation, the soul always progressively evolves up the scale of being, so humans can’t regress back into an insect or animal body.
- Karma is the principle that determines, on the basis of the good and evil you have done in previous lives, whether you will be reborn as rich or poor, healthy or handicapped, slave or master, etc. Eventually, with enough good karma, the individual progresses enough to be absorbed back into oneness.
- The Bible doesn’t teach that John the Baptist is a reincarnation of Elijah, but that John merely came “in the spirit and power of Elijah” (Luke 1:17). Also, since Elijah never died, he cannot be reincarnated.
Lesson 79: New Age Movement
- The New Age Movement is difficult to define because there is no hierarchy, dogma, doctrine, collection plate, or membership. It is an assortment of different theologies with the common threads of toleration and divergence weaving through its tapestry of “universal truth.”
- In the New Age Movement, man is central. He is viewed as divine, as co-creator, as the hope for future peace and harmony. Man’s nature is good and divine.
- God is not a personal heavenly Father but an impersonal force. God is all and all is God. God is not separate from the creation, but part of every-thing that exists.
- NAM states that there is no sin, only incorrect understanding of truth. Knowledge is what saves, not Jesus.
- Salvation in the NAM means to be in tune with the divine consciousness, in harmony with reality and whatever is perceived to be true. It is self-achieved through understanding your natural godlikeness and goodness, combined with proper knowledge.
- Two basic beliefs of the NAM are evolutionary godhood and global unity.
Major World Religions
Lesson 80: Islam, Part 1
- The Qur’an was supposedly dictated to Muhammad in Arabic by the angel Gabriel. It is considered God’s precise words, and preexisted in heaven with God.
- Muslims must abide by the “five pillars,” and must believe in Allah, Muhammad’s authority as a prophet, and the perfection of the Qur’an.
- The “five pillars” require Muslims to do the following: declare that there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet; pray five times a day facing Mecca; give alms of 2.5%; fast during the month of Ramadan; and make at least one lifetime journey to Mecca.
- They believe Allah is only one, and that the most serious sin is to consider god as more than one. They would therefore be very unreceptive to our be-lief in the Trinity—that God is three persons in one.
Lesson 81: Islam, Part 2
- Like Paul did with the men of Athens on Mars Hill, we can find common ground with Muslims to springboard into the gospel, rather than telling them where they are in error.
- We agree that there is one God who is the Creator of all things; that Jesus of Nazareth was a prophet of God; and that Moses was a prophet of God.
- We can identify it as the Law of the prophet Moses, quote how the prophet Jesus magnified the Law, and cite the Law of Moses as the standard by which they will be judged.
- According to Psalm 49:7,8 and Surah 10:54 of the Qur’an, no amount of money is ever enough to pay the ransom to redeem a soul.
- Only Jesus claimed that He had power on earth to forgive sins; no other prophet of any great religion—including Muhammad—ever made this claim. Only Jesus can provide peace with God.
Lesson 82: Hinduism
- Hinduism was not founded by a single individual.
- The Hindu scriptures are the Vedas, Upanishads, epics, Puranas, and the Bhagavad Gita.
- Hindus view God as an impersonal and unknowable Ultimate Reality called Brahman, which some personalize as Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva (Creator, Preserver, and Destroyer). They also personify the forces of nature (pantheism) and recognize 330 million gods.
- They worship primarily as individuals, through a variety of means such as prayers, offerings, rituals, meditation, yoga, color symbolism, fasting, dance, chants, flowers, and incense.
- Hindus don’t believe that humanity’s problem is sin, but is its ignorance about unity with the impersonal Ultimate Reality, the presence of desires, and avoidance of social duty. Christianity declares that sin is a willful rebellion against God and His Law.
- Hindus believe that they will endure a cycle of reincarnations until they eventually end the illusion of personal existence and become one with the impersonal Ultimate Reality (Brahman).
Lesson 83: Buddhism, Part 1
- Siddhartha Gautama founded Buddhism because he couldn’t reconcile the reality of suffering, judgment, and evil with the existence of a good and holy God. He therefore rejected the concept of a personal God.
- “Buddha” means “the Enlightened One,” and is a title given to Buddhism’s founder.
- The essential elements of Buddhism are summarized in the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path.
- They believe that suffering is caused by craving, and that suffering will cease only when craving ceases, which they try to accomplish by follow-ing the Noble Eightfold Path. In the Bible God tells us that suffering is a result of man’s sin, and that all suffering will cease in heaven for those who place their trust in Christ.
- Their views are similar to the Hindus’ in that individual selves do not truly exist (they’re an illusion), they believe in karma and reincarnation, and the goal of life is eventually extinguishing personal existence.
Lesson 84: Buddhism, Part 2
- Most of the manuscripts about the teachings of Buddha did not appear until nearly 1,000 years after his death, whereas the New Testament was written within 18 to 65 years of Jesus’ death (see Lesson 47).
- The Christian response to suffering is to take action to alleviate it, such as establish a hospital or give food to the hungry, whereas Siddhartha’s response was to increase suffering by abandoning his wife and child.
- The writer of this proverb wanted “neither poverty nor riches,” but to rely on God to meet his needs and to be satisfied with whatever God gave him. When Siddhartha’s desires were not met by either wealth or poverty, he became dissatisfied and looked not to God but to himself. He concluded that he should have no desires for himself, for his family, or for others.
- Buddhism has a death-wish philosophy, does not enable people to cope with the real world, and encourages them to escape reality and live ac-cording to illusion.
Lesson 85: Judaism
- Judaism’s three main branches are Orthodox, Reform, and Conservative. Orthodox are the traditional type and aim to keep the Law of Moses. Conservative are somewhat traditional but believe Jewish laws can be updated to suit the times. Reform are the most liberal group and care more about keeping good values than religious laws.
- Someone is considered Jewish if their mother is Jewish, regardless of what they believe. Being Jewish is not the same thing as following the religion of Judaism.
- None of the branches of Judaism believe in original sin, and instead believe that man, created in the image of God, is born morally pure. Men do sin, but God’s justice is tempered with mercy. Judaism teaches that all good people from all nations will go to heaven. Since most Jews don’t believe in hell, they don’t think they need to be “saved” from anything, and believe they have favored standing with God as His “chosen people.”
- Instead of the word “Jews,” which can sound anti-Semitic, it’s best to refer to “Jewish people.” Avoid using the Hebrew name “Y’shua” unless you also use the name “Jesus.” Don’t use the term “convert,” which implies leaving behind their Jewishness; instead, talk about becoming a “follower of Jesus.” Instead of “Savior” use the word “Messiah,” and speak of redemption instead of salvation.
- Many Jews don’t care how Jesus fulfills the Jewish prophecies of the com-ing Messiah because they don’t have much regard for Scripture. Even if someone does esteem the Old Testament, he may argue that Christians are just “reading Jesus into the Scriptures.”
Lesson 86: What Makes a Group Non-Christian?
- Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Science, Unity, The Way International, and Unitarianism are all examples of cults.
- A group is a non-Christian religion or cult if it either doesn’t include the Bible in its set of authoritative scriptures, or it includes the Bible but dis-torts the key biblical doctrines.
- An organization is a cult when it denies the essential doctrines of the Bible, such as the deity of Christ (which involves the Trinity), the resurrection of Jesus, and salvation by grace alone.
- All cults believe that they must add their own works of righteousness to Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross in order to be worthy of salvation.
- Mormons believe that Jesus is the brother of the devil, begotten through sexual intercourse with a god from another planet. In Jehovah’s Witnesses, He is Michael the Archangel who became a man. In the New Age Movement, Jesus is a man in tune with the divine consciousness.
- Some of the errors cultists commit in interpreting Scripture are: 1) taking Scripture out of context; 2) reading into the Scriptures information that is not there; 3) picking and choosing only the Scriptures that suit their needs; 4) ignoring other explanations; 5) combining Scriptures that don’t have anything to do with each other; 5) quoting a verse without giving its location; 6) incorrect definitions of key words; and 7) mistranslations.
Lesson 87: Mormonism, Part 1
- The Mormon church was founded by Joseph Smith after he claimed God visited him and directed him to establish the true church. Supposedly, all other churches were an abomination and corrupt.
- The Bible says that if a prophet has even one prophecy fail, he is not a true prophet from God. Joseph Smith falsely predicted that a temple would be built in Independence, Mo., within his lifetime; therefore, he is a false prophet.
- Mormons believe that the Holy Ghost, Jesus Christ, and “Heavenly Father” comprise three separate and distinct gods.
- Rather than viewing Jesus as God, who is Spirit and was incarnated in a physical body through a virgin birth, they view him as a God’s literal, physical son. They believe His death guaranteed immortality to everyone, whereas the Bible says that only those who repent and place their trust in Him will be saved.
- Faithful Mormons will achieve the status of Elohim, will be exalted to godhood, and will be given their own world over which they will exercise dominion.
- Mormons hope to achieve their salvation through faith in the God of Mormonism and the LDS church, plus a variety of works: baptism; ab-staining from alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine; tithing; attending weekly sacrament meetings; supporting the Mormon prophet; doing temple works; and actively supporting the church.
Lesson 88: Mormonism, Part 2
- Be aware that Mormons will often agree when we use words such as “salvation,” “Savior,” or “going to heaven,” but their understanding of the words differs from the biblical meaning. We should be careful to use language that they can understand, and that will reveal the basis for their salvation.
- Many Mormons are under great stress because they’re taught that perfection is an attainable goal. We can talk about the imputed perfection we have received through Jesus.
- Because the Mormon church has greatly watered down the concept of sin, God’s Holy Law will enable them to become conscious of their sin. It will help them see the impossibility of their becoming perfect and the severity of their predicament.
- Mormons believe that almost everyone will go to one of three kingdoms of heaven; they are not taught the concept of eternal suffering in hell.
- Since Mormons assume they will go to heaven, it’s eye-opening to them when we lovingly but firmly say that they will go to “outer darkness” be-cause of their sins. They are often shocked, but eager to know why we would say such a thing.
Lesson 89: Jehovah's Witnesses, Part 1
- Arguing about beliefs will likely only frustrate them, whereas studying the Bible together allows everyone to prepare, ask questions, and discuss calmly. It also helps develop a caring, personal relationship.
- JWs view Christians as lost souls who have been misled by the devil into worshiping a pagan three-headed deity.
- Rather than believing in one God who exists in three Persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—JWs believe that only God the Father is “Jehovah”; that Jesus Christ is Michael the archangel, a created being; and that the Holy Spirit is merely God’s impersonal “active force.”
- Once the JW realizes that the Watchtower Society has misled him, he will be open to listen to you share the truth, and once he knows who Jesus isn’t, he will then be at a point to consider who Jesus really is.
Lesson 90: Jehovah's Witnesses, Part 2
- Their Bible, the New World Translation, has been revised to reflect their theology, and is biased against the deity of Jesus. Those who think they are reading the true Word of God will be deceived about who God is.
- They believe God’s only name is Jehovah, He has a spiritual body, and He is therefore not omnipresent. They deny the Trinity.
- According to JWs, Jesus was a created being who existed in heaven with God (Jehovah); He was incarnated on earth then rose spiritually after His death; and He will come again to reign over the earth (not to judge it).
- JWs believe that the dead go to Sheol, the grave of all mankind, and that the consciousness ends at death. Faithful JWs will inherit eternal life in heaven or on Paradise Earth; the disobedient will be annihilated. The Bible teaches that all souls are eternal, and will spend eternity either in heaven with God or in conscious torment in hell.
- In order to be saved, JWs must have faith plus works: they must be baptized by immersion, be an active member of the WBTS, have righteous conduct, and be absolutely loyal to Jehovah. Even then, there is no assurance of salvation, only hope for a resurrection.
Lesson 91: Unitarianism
- Unitarianism is the belief that God exists in one person, not three. It is a denial of the doctrine of the Trinity as well as the full divinity of Jesus.
- Unitarians believe that human reason and experience should be the final authority in determining spiritual truth.
- According to Unitarianism, Jesus became the Son of God at His baptism.
- Unitarians believe that the Holy Spirit is not a person, and that He does not have a will.
Lesson 92: Catholicism
- Justification is a divine act where God declares the sinner to be innocent of his sins. It is a legal action in that God declares the sinner righteous— as though he has satisfied the Law of God.
- Justification is accomplished entirely by Christ’s shed blood and is a gift of grace that comes through faith. When we trust in Jesus’ sacrifice for us on the cross, we are declared justified by God. The Bible states that justification is not by works, but by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.
- Roman Catholic doctrine not only denies justification by faith alone but pronounces a curse of excommunication, of being outside the camp of Christ, on those who believe in salvation by grace through faith in Jesus alone.
- Catholics hope to gain heaven as an eternal reward for their good works.
- Those who try to earn salvation by their works will be in bondage to the Law and have a lack of assurance of salvation, will constantly worry about not being good enough, and will continually be in subjection to the church’s teachings about what one must do to be saved.
- Trying to earn forgiveness through practices such as empty repetition of words or “good” works is not only not endorsed anywhere in Scripture, it is condemned by the Bible.
Lesson 93: Oneness Pentecostals
- Oneness Pentecostals think Trinitarian Christians worship three separate gods, don’t believe that Jesus was truly God, and therefore are not saved.
- There is not a single verse in the Bible that states that one must speak in tongues to be saved.
- Verses clearly teaching that Jesus did in fact exist before time began include John 1:15,31; 3:13,31; 6:33,38,41,46,51,57,58,62; 8:42; 13:3; and 16:27,28.
- Jesus is referred to as “the Son” over 200 times; the Father is referred to as distinct from Jesus the Son over 200 times; and Jesus the Son and the Father are put side by side in the same verse over 50 times.
- The New Testament mentions salvation by faith alone at least 60 times, without mentioning baptism as a requirement. Jesus Himself tells us to baptize “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19), which simply means “in the authority of.”
Lesson 94: International Church of Christ
- The ICC teaches that, in addition to having faith and repenting, salvation is achieved after becoming a “true” disciple, conforming one’s lifestyle to their standards, and being baptized.
- A prospective convert must be a “totally committed disciple” by completing ICC studies; agreeing to attend all services; promising to read the Bible daily; beginning to recruit others; agreeing to obey church leaders; giving tithes weekly; listing all sins ever committed and confessing them to a member; being “cut to the heart” by Christ’s death for us; and being judged eligible by the leadership—then the individual can be “baptized into Christ.”
- According to Acts 8:36,37, if you believe with all your heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, you may be baptized.
- Jesus’ point in Matthew 28:18–20 was that the disciples were to preach the gospel to all nations—all other ethnic groups.
- Unregenerate people cannot live the godly life of a disciple until after salvation, when the Holy Spirit comes to live within them and change them. Not only is it impossible, but it makes a mockery of God’s grace.
Lesson 95: Seventh-Day Adventists
- Jesus didn’t return when William Miller predicted, so Hiram Edson had the thought that on that date something did happen—but instead of coming to earth, Jesus entered into the heavenly sanctuary to begin a second phase of His ministry. Ellen White, considered a prophet of God on a par with Samuel and Jeremiah, provides an “authoritative source of truth,” yet plagiarizes and is frequently in error.
- Seventh-Day Adventists believe that before Jesus came to earth, He was Michael the archangel. Some early SDAs claimed Jesus was not equal with the Father and has not always existed.
- They believe in “soul sleep”—that there is no conscious existence after death. When Christ returns, the righteous will be resurrected and receive eternal life; after the millennium, the unrighteous will be resurrected and cast into the lake of fire where they will be annihilated.
- The Bible consistently says that the mark of the beast will be given to those “who worship the beast and his image”—not to those who worship God on a particular day, as the SDAs teach.
- They state that salvation is by faith, yet they advocate obeying the Old Testament laws such as keeping the Sabbath and abiding by dietary laws —faith plus works.
Pressing Onward and Upward
Lesson 96: When You've Been Wronged
- Pride is a sin that will keep multitudes from repenting so they may enter the kingdom of heaven. It also keeps spouses from admitting that they are wrong, so they would rather destroy their family than humble them-selves.
- The Lordship of Christ means we give up our “rights”; we live life on His terms, not ours, and we give our allegiance to Him alone. We do things His way.
- When we surrender our lives to the Lord, we also surrender the job of vengeance to Him. We are not to take matters into our own hands when we are wronged, but are to give it all to God in prayer and let Him in His perfect judgment decide what to do.
- When Jesus was wronged, He committed Himself to Him who judges righteously (the Father).
Lesson 97: The Source of Revival
- Prayer has ignited every revival fire in history.
- Our flesh resists travailing prayer. We’re too busy; we give other things higher priority. We’re undisciplined.
- Many are praying for revival, but not sharing their faith. They are substituting prayer for a move of God, for obedience to the Word of God.
- True prayer is a travail of the soul, a groaning empathy. But then it tells the dead to “Come forth.”
Lesson 98: Hindrances to Revival
- When God’s people sanctified themselves, when they searched their hearts with a tender conscience to see if they harbored any secret sin, it preceded a move of God’s Spirit.
- If we are calling upon God even with great anguish, yet fail to receive anything, it might be that our prayers are unanswered because of sin. The Bible says that our iniquities will keep God from hearing us.
- We can ask in faith and expect answers if we uncover our sin, make straight the crooked ways, and gather out the stones in our hearts.
Lesson 99: How to Maintain Zeal
- Spurgeon described zeal as having sleepless hours, weeping eyes, and bursting hearts for the lost. The heart is heavy with grief and vehement in desire, yet beats with holy ardor and pants for God’s glory.
- Awaiting Paul in every city he was about to visit were bonds and afflictions.
- Paul had a courageous, joyful resignation to the will of God. Because he was crucified to the world and its pleasures, he didn’t count his life dear to himself, but joyfully finished the course God set for him.
- When we see ourselves as hell-deserving sinners and appreciate the fact that we are heading for an undeserved heaven, we will be bursting with love, gratitude, and zeal for God.
Lesson 100: Ten Ways to Raise Laborers in Your Church
- If they are not laboring in the harvest fields themselves, they will feel guilty or uncomfortable praying for laborers. Instead, they will pray for God to move so they won’t have to. They find it easier to talk to God about men than to talk to men about God.
- Those who have a thorough understanding of what they have been saved from will know what they are saved for. The Law makes grace abound in the heart and feeds a zeal to do God’s will.
- We should encourage the preaching of future punishment because with-out the threat of Judgment Day and the horrifying reality of hell, no one will flee from the wrath to come.
- Philippians 2:15 instructs Christians to be in, but not of the world: “That you may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.” We should be friends of sinners so we can lead them to the Savior.
Lesson 101: The Christian's Prayer