Archive for January, 2009

Validity of the Bible.

January 29, 2009

It is vital for the Christian to know that the book he believes in has exceptional proof. With such an important topic, I thought it necessary for this post to be long. When confronted with skepticism of the Bible’s truth, many Christians simply say something like, “I believe that the Bible is true.” The problem is: It doesn’t matter what you believe; it matters that it is actually true. With that in mind, what proof is there of the Bible?

Uniqueness- Though it doesn’t make it true, the uniqueness of the Bible is unparalleled. Here is a book that was: 1. Written over a 1600 year span. 2. Written during 60 generations. 3. Written by over 40 authors from every walk of life including kings, peasants, statesmen, fishermen, etc. 4. Written in many different places including a wilderness, a dungeon, a hillside and inside a palace, written while traveling, on the isle of Patmos, and in the rigors of a military campaign. 5. Written at different times and during different moods: David in times of war. Solomon in times of peace. Some writings were written during heights of joy, others were written in sorrow and despair. 6. Written on three continents and in three different languages. 9. Its subject matter includes hundreds of controversial subjects which would normally create opposing opinions when mentioned or discussed. 10. Despite all of these extremes, the Bible’s continuity is astounding. Imagine simply ten modern day authors writing a book about a similar controversial subject; it would likely be a confusing conglomeration. The way the Bible agrees with itself is wonderfully great. Not only does the Bible show amazing things inside its pages, but facts simply about it show uniqueness. The Bible has approximately 150 million copies printed annually. That far outweighs the printing of any other book. Also, more than 5,000 ancient, hand written, Greek New Testaments are in existence today, greatly exceeding any other writing from long ago. Homer’s Iliad,which is considered very valid by modern critics, has only five hundred manuscripts in known existence. The Bible’s uniqueness is amazing.

Claimed to be written by God- Most people don’t realize it, but the Bible claims to be written by God. 2Timothy 3:16 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God,” 2Peter 1:21 “For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”  God used men as a tool to write the Bible. Some may say that because men are not perfect, men couldn’t write the perfect word of God. This is where God’s supernatural power arrives. It’s been said, “God can draw a straight line with a crooked stick.” He is powerful enough to enact a flawless scripture using flawed people. The Bible says, “thus saith the Lord…” over 3,000 times. But just because the Bible claims to be written by God isn’t enough. I could write a note that says, “-from God” at the end, but that wouldn’t mean it was true. Now I’ll show some actual proofs of the Bible’s truth.

Non-contradictory– The first test employed to test the validity of a document, like the Bible, is a test that checks for internal contradictions.  If a document gives two different dates for the same event or explains an event two different ways, it is discarded.  However, there must be no way to explain away the contradiction, or the contradiction will be ignored.  The Bible has many apparent contradictions, if you look hard enough, but they can all be explained away to misinterpretation, mistranslation, etc.  There are no contradictions that hold well enough to disprove the Bible.

History and Archaeological– There hasn’t been a single fact of history that has contradicted the Bible. The Bible was always supported historical data. If men had written a book with so much history, it would be very likely to hold many errors. Not so with the Bible, after all these years, not a single historical fallacy has been found. It is the same with archaeological data. To this day, there hasn’t been anything in the Middle East found that contradicts the Bible; in fact, the archaeologist’s finds have strengthened the Bible’s validity. Over 25,000 archaeological finds have been discovered relating to the Bible, and each supports the Bible’s trustworthiness. “If you can believe the physical records in the Bible to be true, why can’t you believe in the spiritual?” Is a good question to ask.

Prophecy– This is truly the greatest proof of the Bible (Isaiah 48:3-7). Prophecy is a great ally to us. Suppose someone was to write a book that fortold events of the future, and those events didn’t come to pass, you could reasonably say that the book is false. Now if the prophecy did happen, it would provide great validity for the book. Statistically, there is no possible way for a human to prophecy the future with 100% accuracy, but that is exactly what the Bible has done. Approximately 25% of the Bible contains foretelling of the future. That means that a quarter of the Bible is prophecy. All have come true except for a few that will happen when Christ returns. Not only have they been fulfilled, but they have been fulfilled to the minutest degree. Here are a few starters:

  • Zechariah 11:12b “…So they paid me thirty pieces of silver.” It was said the Messiah would be betrayed for thirty pieces of silver. Jesus was betrayed for thirty pieces of silver! (Matthew 26:15)
  • The Old testament states that the Messiah will be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2, John 7:42). It also says that the Messiah will come out of Egypt (Hosea 11:1, Mathew 2:15). Then the Old Testament also says that he will be called a Nazarene (Isaiah 11:1,Mathew 2:23). The Jews were confused by these references because they took it to mean that God would be coming from three different places. They considered that maybe there was going to be more than one Messiah. The amazing thing is, is that Jesus fulfilled all of these prophecies Himself! He was born in Bethlehem, he then was taken by his parents to Egypt to escape Herod’s wrath. Later Jesus returned to Nazareth and thus, was called a Nazarene.
  • In Ezekiel 26:3-21 it prophecies some very precise prophecies about the great city Tyre. It says: 1. Nebuchadnezzar will destroy the mainland city of Tyre. 2. Many nations fight against Tyre. 3. Make her bare rock; flat like the top of a rock. 4. Fishermen will spread their nets over the site. 5. Throw debris into the water. 6. Never be rebuilt. 7. Never to be found again. These prophecies have all come true to amazing detail. After Nebuchadnezzar attacked Tyre, Alexander the Great attacked Tyre and eventually pulled it into the sea. It was made a bare rock, and to this day fishermen spread their nets on it. And lest people think that nearly every big city of ancient days is destroyed, it also says how the city of Sidon would be attacked, but it never says that it would be destroyed. Sidon was, in fact, not destroyed, but Tyre was brought to ruin. There are many more biblical prophecies that have been fulfilled through history.
  • The prophecy in these verses is overwhelming: Psalms 22:15 “My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. 16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. 17 I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.” When it says, “My tongue cleaveth to my jaws”, it refers to Christ thirst and his asking for a drink while on the cross (John 19:23). Later it says, “they pierced my hands and my feet”. Jesus was nailed to the cross by His hands and feet (John 20:25). A remarkable fact is that at the time these verses were written crucifixion wasn’t even invented. It would be over 800 years before a cross was even used as a means of punishment. It then says, “I may tell all my bones:”. In other words, it is saying that He can count all of his bones; they aren’t broken. In the normal crucifixion process the soldiers would break the legs of the punished to make breathing more difficult. But when the Roman soldier saw that Jesus was already dead, he instead simply speared Him in the side (John 19:26). Lastly, when it says, ” They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.”, it is astounding to note that Jesus’ garment was truly gambled on by the soldiers with lots(John 19:24).

Not only did Jesus fulfill these prophecies, but He fulfilled more than 300 other prophecies. And they had been written down for hundreds of years before he was born. The odds for one man to fulfill 300 prophecies in one lifetime are next to impossible. The Bible has over 2,000 prophecies in the Old Testament alone. No other religious book even compares to that . Believing the Bible to be true is not a blind leap of faith, rather it is a calculated step of faith into Jesus.

These statements were compiled using information found in the Bible, Evidence That Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell, The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel, One Thing You Can’t Do In Heaven by Mark Cahill, and One Heartbeat Away by Mark Cahill. (Levi speaking)

Book review

January 12, 2009

Levi says,

I have been, and I probably will be posting things I’ve learned from
One Thing You Can’t Do In Heaven by Mark Cahill. Here is a little bit
about it. It is a book encouraging and exhorting people to evangelize.
It is jambed packed with stories about the author’s witnessing
experiences (probably fifty or more inspiring stories). He tells
several common questions the lost have and how to answer them. The
book has many, many practical and biblical tips for witnessing to the
unsaved. He shows how bringing people to heaven is nearly the most
important thing you can do. I really recommend this book to everyone.
The wisdom and spiritual wealth contained in this medium sized book is
extremely beneficial. It is also written in an intriguing fashion and
is very convicting (the author is like a full-time one-on-one soul
winner.) He shows the correct ways to share the gospel and interesting
things to get people to want to listen. Very good read.

The Way of the Master!

January 10, 2009

Way of the Master (WOTM) is a organization founded and organized by Ray Comfort, Kirk Cameron, Todd Friel, among others. Way of the Master has a television program, a radio show (now called Wretched Radio), and many other resources. They realize that more than 150,000 people die every 24 hours, and statistics show that only 5% of professing-Christians reach out to those lost. WOTM is trying to equip Christians with the resources they need to be an effective witness for Christ. Here are some +

of the main points they stress in evangelism:

  • Going around the intellect and reaching to the conscience. When people see their sin, and are guilty of it, you can show them God’s salvation. It is easy to get caught up in debating Evolution, the validity of the Bible, and such, but when people are guilty of their sin they will want to be saved from it. Especially when see that their sin has the possibility of sending them to hell.
  • People don’t feel guilty for their sin when they’ve hardened their hearts. So WOTM shows how to soften hearts to the Gospel by showing them God’s Law. A great starting point for showing people their sin is the Ten Commandments.
  • Boldness is a virtue. WOTM shows how easy it is to put off sharing the gospel and the law to “be on peoples’ good side.” It’s easy to forget God’s law and the coming judgement; instead we talk about the Love, Peace, and Joy that we will have when we believe in Jesus.

An illustration they often use is about a guy on an airplane. The flight attendant tells him to put a parachute because it will make his plane ride more enjoyable. The people on the plane laugh at him because he’s wearing the funny, bulky parachute for no apparent reason. He rips it off in disgust because it truly doesn’t make his ride better. On another plane the flight attendant tells a man to wear a parachute because of the 20,000 ft. drop that will be coming. He gladly ignores the mocking of the others because he knows the true reason for his parachute. Unbelievers need to know the true reason for Jesus’ saving grace.

Way of the Master has a great array of resources, including: An awesome DVD course on evangelism, easy-to-give-away Gospel tracts, and their site, www.WayoftheMaster.com, has a huge list of topics that you may need to know while witnessing. Check it out… no really, check it out.

God bless you,

Levi

They’re People!

January 9, 2009

History Maker here,
I’ve been thinking a lot about friendship evangelism lately and God
keeps bringing something to mind. That thing? The people you’re
witnessing to are people. So many times I find myself looking at them
as an argument to be won, a mission, an act, instead of seeing them as
lost hurting souls, people just like me. When you go out to evangelize
be bold, but realize that these people are people. Another thing,
don’t be surprised if people who are already in other religions don’t
respond right away. Think about it, you’re asking people to throw away
(in our equivalent) their Bible, and in some cases everything they’ve
grown up believing, they’re whole culture and family life. This is why
it is so important that we see the people we are witnessing to as
people rather projects

Winning!

January 8, 2009

(Levi)

When someone witnesses to an unsaved person what responses can the unsaved person have? I would say that there are three. The unsaved person can either Accept, have a Seed Planted, or Reject the truth. Now it is easy to see that when someone Accepts the gospel it is a very good thing. Also, if a Seed is Planted in someone’s life it is good. But, remorsefully, when someone Rejects Jesus it is a bad thing. When someone Rejects God’s holy love it is a disgraceful sin.So basically you can see that when you share the gospel with someone you have a sixty-six percent of it being a winning situation! Sixty-six percent is quite a big bonus. If you had 66% chance of winning a bunch of money or shooting a basket ball in the hoop you’d take it.win-win-lose5

Now we’ll look at some verses, Luke 6:22 “Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. 23 Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their fathers treated the prophets.” and 1Peter 4:13 “But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.” From those verses we can see that even if someone Rejects what you tell them it is still a good situation.win-win-win4

When you witness it will always be a winning situation! When you speak God’s word to people it will always be good. Even if someone Rejects what you are saying it is a winning situation. Accept, Plant Seed, Reject…Win, Win, Win! So go for it! Give your friend a high-five and praise God the next time someone Rejects the gospel . Because “your reward is great in heaven.”

Incites from One Thing You Can’t Do In Heaven.