Easter is approaching and I am always a little sad now this time of year. I’d be tuning in to the University Network on Sunday and hear, “I lost my faith at University…” Then Dr. Scott would speak on his testimony of how he lost his faith and regained it through a hard study of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. He would later call this one of his “Nitro Pills.” It’s a message that I think people need to hear; the lost and the saved. You see, to we Christians, the resurrection of Jesus is just accepted and believed, but to the world this is a mystical and far out thing. “Because resurrection is a miracle, and miracles can’t occur. Therefore the apostles and the Bible must be lying, and since these sources are not trustworthy, they can’t be believed. Because His rising is a miracle, and we know miracles can’t be true. And anyone that says this happened has to be concocting these stories. Because this is a miraculous happening…” And so Doc talked about how stupid the critics are. They use a circular argument, and they try to sound really smart when they say it. It is a rhetorical argument and false reasoning at its finest.
I’ve been on Rapture Ready’s message boards and argued with atheists that don’t believe that this is a “historical” event. I say historical because, in my humble opinion, I view this happening as fact. In the next few articles, I’ll go through why I think it’s a fact of history that you don’t have to take on faith and even why the Scientific Method is not applicable here. The groups of early Christians never doubted this happening as they watched Him sail off into the blue.
I’m going to say this, and I will stand behind the following: “to be a Christian you don’t have to park your brain outside the front doors of the church.” Ignorance is not next to Godliness. I don’t believe that Christians have to be dumb and poor to believe in Jesus. I believe that when the evidence is all laid out there, that this event is proven. In a court of law, it would be proven “more likely than not.” Simon Greenleaf, in his book The Testimony of the Evangelists: The Gospels Examined by the Rules of Evidence, lays out the apostles testimony, examines the evidence in their stories and he comes to the conclusion these men are telling the truth. Objective evidence proves out in the end.
Now the second thing I am going to put forth and throw out for consideration is the following. I believe, just like my former pastor, that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the linchpin for/of Christianity. It’s the one thing that holds everything else up. It should be the basis of your faith in Christ. Some may argue that the Bible as a whole or the Book of Genesis and the creation account is the essential foundation of the belief of a Christian. I am going to respectfully disagree with those people. While I think it is important, and believe that the Bible is the complete and true account, that is not my basis for faith. The basis for my faith is that single act, that if untrue, renders the whole of Christian faith null and void. If in vain, then we owe the Jewish people an apology, as well as the Creator of All.
12 Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; 14 and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. 15 Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; 17 and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:12-19 (NASB)
You see, at this time, it was fact to Paul and these Christians, as they had lived, and some witnessed, the events in the New Testament. There was no accepting by “faith” what had happened to Christ. There were people that were still alive and saw Christ ascend into heaven with the promise that He would be back to get us. The faith that was to be given was the faith the Christ would come back, you would be raised from the dead and would be accepted as God’s son/daughter. You have to have faith in Jesus that He will keep His word. If Jesus is the “out-raying” of God, as He said, “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father,” then you can trust Him. You can believe lots of things, but until you hang your body on it and trust, then you aren’t stepping out in faith. Faith again says, “Damn the reality, God says this!” Grab on to a promise of God and hold on, by a fingernail if need be.
What’s this song say? “I will walk by faith, even when I cannot see.” ~ Walk By Faith (Jeremy Camp)
The world, your friends and maybe family laughing at you for a belief in Jesus? We have to hang in there, and walk by faith. As the book of Numbers says:
God is not a man, that He should lie,
Nor a son of man, that He should repent;
Has He said, and will He not do it?
Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?
~ Numbers 23:19 (NASB)
The question you have to ask yourself is, “Can I trust God?” If you are convinced that Jesus died, rose, stepped through that rock, appeared to the disciples and sailed off into the blue; once you settle that, then you are on your way friend. Trust in God. Your problems aren’t bigger than He is. He’s bigger than the doubting mob. Look at what He’s promised:
10 But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. 11 For it is written, “AS I LIVE, SAYS THE LORD, EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW TO ME, AND EVERY TONGUE SHALL GIVE PRAISE TO GOD.” 12 So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God.
~ Romans 14:10-12 (NASB)
There will be that day when there is no more excuse and every eye shall see. The Atheists are wrong.
Since it is Resurrection Sunday coming up, I want to take Doc’s teaching on this historical event and summarize it up for you with my comments. If you want more detail for each point, I would be happy to email it to you or carry on discussion in comments. I just pray that God will grant me the brains and talent to be able to condense Doc’s points in his Resurrection Message and other messages in the future.
Grace and Peace & Good Day to You,
~ ~ ~
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