Saturday, January 25, 2014

Christianity ... Prove it!

Jesus said to him …

I am the way, the truth, and the life:

No man comes to the Father, but by me.  
John 14:6

What would you say if an atheist or a believer in a false religion ... 
were to ask you to explain why Jesus is God and why your beliefs are true ... 
and all other religions false? Could you give a compelling answer?

This is a complicated question which most would be hard pressed to effectively answer. I am convinced that the key here is to stay focused on what you believe and why ... and the words of Jesus, rather than your personal opinions.

Recently in an online forum, a man named Carlos Castaneda asked the following question: 
“What makes your point of view (religion) the most superior? So what makes other religions fake, but not yours?  I'm not trying to disrespect you or your beliefs, but what bothers me is that you're downgrading other people's beliefs. They care about their religion the same way as you to yours … to clarify things; I'm an atheist so therefore I respect you and your beliefs as well as all others.  Please explain.”

This type of question is often raised by atheists and believers of other religions. What is the best way to reply?  Well here is my response to Carlos.

What makes your point of view (religion) the most superior?
My Answer: First of all what do I believe? I do not need to do anything to receive the free gift of grace that Jesus has promised … only to believe in Him. I believe that my eternal life is secured by the sacrificial death of Christ on the Cross as atonement for my sins by faith alone. John 11:25; Galatians 2:20. Jesus has given us the eternal Truth and the indwelling Holy Spirit to guide and help us understand Him and His Truth.

Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross for the sins of all mankind, and His resurrection from the dead is clearly what makes my religion superior to all others.

If Jesus did not die on the cross for my sins and did not resurrect from the dead after three days, then Christianity would a fraud and I may as well be an atheist. If there is any other true god, then Christianity is a false belief. Christianity is monotheistic which means that God has demanded that we are to worship him alone, and that all other gods are false gods, and are the foolish teachings of men; rather than the eternal truth of the Creator of all things.

God’s Truth gives us absolutes which we are free to accept or reject. To reject these absolute truths is to reject Christ who has stated: I am the Truth. Jesus Christ is the foundation of eternal life and His absolute promises have become the building blocks of my belief system. Christianity stands or falls on the basis of these truths. No other belief system can defend the claim to be established upon the eternal truth which was demonstrated by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

It is quite easy to prove that there are absolutes. For example: atheism makes an absolute statement: "there is no god." This statement is either absolutely true or false. Carlos' question begs for evidence that his rejection of God and the other religions are false. To say; “I respect … your beliefs as well as all others" is confused at best. I can't imagine for instance that Carlos means that he respects the belief of more than 50 million Muslims that say: "all infidels must convert to Islam or die?" There is a huge difference between respecting people and their rights to believe; and respecting their false religions or false beliefs. 

They are free to believe whatever they choose ... 
and I am equally free to reject or challenge falsehood.

The most unloving thing that I could ever do would be to know the truth and not share it with everyone I meet. This is not disrespecting the person. When considering various beliefs and religions, some confuse giving validation of a religion, with the tolerance for freedom of belief for all. If my belief system is false, please show me. You will not offend me in any way. 

I don’t believe anyone wants to die believing in a false god, or rejecting the true Creator and Savior of all men … Do you?

Both atheists and Christians could be absolutely wrong; or one could be absolutely right, and the other wrong; but both cannot be absolutely right. 

Some others say the truth is relative and there are no absolutes; how do I know they are wrong? Think about it … if the statement; “the truth is relative” is true; then this is an absolute truth as stated, and it would be a self-defeating statement, by proving that truth is not relative. The same rule applies to the statement "there are no absolutes."

On the other hand, we all know that there are absolutes. 

It is true that truth exists and the truth will not contradict itself. In the same way that Jesus will never be wrong or lie … this is another absolute. All of His promises are absolutes. Man-made religions contradict themselves; but God’s Truth never contradicts itself. Only men’s interpretations and their understanding of God’s Truth are contradictory.

God’s Truth has many fulfilled prophecies … hundreds of years later. 

Dr Peter Stoner has calculated the odds of only eight Old Testament prophecies being fulfilled in the life of Jesus Christ as being 1 with 28 zeros behind it. 
That’s 1 in 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.

The odds of these miracles happening by chance are zero.  
When considered with an open mind, who can deny that God inspired the writers of the Old Testament; and that Jesus fulfilled these prophecies as a further demonstration of the validity of who He is: God who came down to earth, born of a virgin, in the form of a man, in order to fulfill God’s purpose for all of mankind.

Here are a few of the Old Testament prophecies and New Testament fulfillments.

 Born of a virgin –Isaiah 7:14 – Matthew 1:18-25. Born at Bethlehem - Isaiah 7:14 - Matt. 1:18-25. Proceeded by a Messenger - Isaiah 40:3 - Matt. 3:1-2. Rejected by His own - Isaiah 53:3 - John 7:5; John 7:48. Betrayal by friend - Psalm 41:9 - John 13:26-30. 30 pieces of silver used to buy potter's field – Zechariah 11:13 – Matthew 27:3-10. His side pierced - Zech. 12:10 - John 19:34 Crucifixion - Psalm 22:1-18 - Luke 23:33 - John 19:23-24. Resurrection of Christ from the dead - Psalm 34:20; Zechariah 12:10 - John 20:1-27

Some might say that their religion or beliefs have prophecy fulfillments and other truths that are comparable to God’s Truth … and I say: show me. My challenge is extended to the false science and atheistic belief system of Darwinian Evolution.

Either my belief is the only way to heaven or Jesus lied which would render Him a fraud. 

Jesus came to give the free gift of everlasting life to all. Those who have rejected Jesus Christ and believe in these other gods and religions already stand condemned. If I were to pretend otherwise, I would be denying the Creator and Savior of all men which clearly would be hypocritical on my part. His words: John 3:16-18.

Now, what did Jesus claim regarding Himself? 
Why were the Pharisees and other religious leaders plotting to kill Jesus? 
There are a number of reasons. He referred to himself as God in John 8:58. At this point the angry Pharisees attempted to stone Him to death; but Jesus miraculously disappeared and went on His way. Jesus also claimed that he could do everything God the Father could do in John 5:19.

Imagine the outrage, since Jesus was in reality claiming the powers of the Creator of all things; another absolute that was an offense to the religious rulers.

Jesus declared: I am the way and the truth and the life and that no one goes to the father but through Him. John 14:6.This claim effectively renders all other religions and philosophies false. The many miracles Jesus performed, was resulting in many people following Him; rather than the Pharisees. This was the final straw that led to Jesus' crucifixion. John 11:46-53

Making a claim is one thing, but backing it up is another.  
Did Jesus back up His claims with miraculous deeds?  
Yes, He did … over and over again.

What miracles did Jesus perform? What made him different from all others in the eyes of those who He met and witnessed his deeds?

Jesus continuously performed miracles … 
like no other being that has ever walked the earth.

Jesus changed water into wine. John 2:6-10. Jesus cast out demons.  Matthew 8:28 and Matthew 15:22-28. Jesus healed lepers. Matthew 8:3 and Luke 6:17-19. Jesus healed the lame man. Mark 2:3-12. Jesus raised the dead. Matthew 9:25 and John 11:43-44. Jesus healed the blind. Matthew 9:27-30 and John 9:1-7. Jesus healed the deaf. Mark 7:32-35.

Jesus fed thousands with a five loaves and two fish Matthew 14: 15-21 and Matthew 15:32-38. Jesus walked on water. Matthew 14:25-27. Jesus calmed the storm with a command. Matthew 8:22-27. Jesus rose from the dead. Luke 24:39 John 20:27. Jesus appeared to disciples after resurrection. John 20:19. There were many more miracles Jesus performed which are too numerous to note here.

Without question, the resurrection is the most important miracle of all. 
The truth that Jesus resurrected from the dead is not realistically disputable. Without this resurrection, my faith is of little value. 1 Corinthians 15:14. His victory over death allows all of us to stand securely in this victory over death eternally with Him.

Only after the resurrection were the disciples radically changed men. Even doubting Thomas was able to look at the wounds from His crucifixion and be transformed. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the proof that Jesus is God the Creator and the only true God and Savior of mankind as he claimed to be. 

This evidence is not available with any other religion.

Jesus is the only way, the only truth and the only one who gives us eternal life. His Truths are absolute and eternally true, and His miracles are the evidence that demands a verdict. Jesus is the Messiah. He died and rose again on our behalf. Why would anyone place their trust in any other god or religion? 
I beg you on behalf of Jesus Christ: be reconciled to God. 2 Corinthians 5:17-21
God bless you my friends, Bob

1 comment:

  1. awesome Bob! appreciate your fervor and desire to tell all, unashamedly, that Jesus is Lord!