Foreword:

Ever wonder what God might have to say to YOU today? Here are things to ponder, and things to receive into your heart. If you have a question, put it in the comments. I respond as much as I can.

A note for all my readers: I've been experimenting with YouTube videos for Bible teaching for a while, and I'm working through Revelation here. My YouTube videos are currently short studies in Matthew, and at present I'm posting videos on Revelation as well. Both appear on the blog, which is turning into a Vlog. I encourage you to subscribe to my YouTube channel for better coverage.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Christian Evidences and Christian Experience...

Every thinking Christian is interested in the evidences for their faith. We do want to know if the historical documents (i.e., the Bible) we trust are factual. We want to know if the accounts of Jesus' ministry are true, and certainly we want to know if God created the world, or if we are merely the product of a mindless "big bang" and subsequent evolution.

On the other hand, those who don't believe the Bible have a bunch of arguments against our faith. They say things like, "Religion has existed as superstition from time immemorial. It's an invention of man," and things like, "Geology proves evolution," and, "belief in Christianity or any other religion is an aberration of the mind."

Christians approach these viewpoints in two ways:
  1. They try to provide evidence of such things as the Creation; they try to show that the documents surrounding Jesus birth, death and resurrection have historical roots--that they are at least credible in that way;
  2. They point to the experiences of other Christians, and invite the unbeliever or atheist to experience that for himself. 
For some, the idea of evidence that "proves" Christianity is incredibly important, and they spend their lives learning that evidence, debating unbelievers, and so on, in an attempt to bring people to at least consider believing in Jesus.

For others, they point to the potential for experiencing God--the God who IS there, in real time, and point to the possibility that the atheist or unbeliever himself can experience God.

Here's what I've found, in over 50 years of study and thought.

  1. Ultimately, everyone who uses "evidences" to promote the idea that becoming Christian is not just an aberration of the mind comes to a point where evidence no longer works, and the people with whom he's talking have to open their minds to the fact that God at least could be real, and Christians are telling the truth about their experiences and about Him.
  2. If a person wants to retain a closed mind about the subject, and hold on to his faith that evolution is the process by which mankind came into existence, he will. There is no arguing with someone who is determined to reject every evidence you provide, and every experience you discuss. 
  3. Those who open their minds to becoming Christians because of "evidences" ultimately have to have a real encounter with God, which they invite, or they will never change. 
So what I'm saying is that Christian evidences may "open the door" for someone to believe, may break through the barriers of irrationality presented by the unbeliever's mind, but in the final analysis, a man or woman who becomes a Christian does so personally, individually, and because of an encounter with the living God.
As far as I'm concerned, I was "blindsided" by a simple Gospel presentation over 50 years ago, and I received Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Since that moment, I have always believed in Him. I have often doubted myself ("am I really a Christian?" "How can I be so sinful and be a real Christian?"), and wondered about the tremendous rejection Christians face in our world, but as for me, I cannot not believe. He is for me the "Way, the Truth, and the Life," and I know that "nobody comes to the Father" except through Him. How do I know this? It was (and is) a personal revelation of Himself to me, though why He would pick me I have no idea. I hope you get the same revelation, and you can. It's quite simple, really. You begin by asking God to show Himself to you, and promise that when He does, you'll follow Him (John 7:17). Or you simply invite Jesus Christ to enter your life and make His home there, and you will see (Revelation 3:20). You will.