Friday, August 7, 2009
A Faith Based on Facts
He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen, to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.
Christianity is not a feel-good belief system that asks you to accept some misguided fairy tale. It is based on reliable and documented evidence of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, thereby justifying His claims and promises. Granted there is an element of faith that is required to believe, but it is based on the clear facts.
Yet going back to the earliest centuries, there have been those who have suggested that Jesus never rose from the dead. Some have said it was a hoax, while others have said the disciples were just hallucinating. But Luke, writing about what he had seen, said that Jesus “presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:3).
The word Luke used for “seen” could be translated “eyeballed.” The disciples “eyeballed” the risen Lord. Here was Jesus, who had been crucified and put to death. And He didn’t just appear once or twice—He was popping up everywhere. Five hundred people saw him on a single occasion. That is no mass hallucination; that is evidence.
If this were a hoax the apostles dreamed up, certainly one of them would have broken ranks and admitted it. But they all died the death of a martyr except John, who survived an execution attempt and was banished to the island of Patmos. Not one of them broke ranks, because they could not deny what they knew was true.
Jesus was alive. They had seen Him. They eyeballed Him. It transformed their lives, and they had to share the gospel message with others. They were real people just like you and me. Yet God used them to change the world.
Copyright © 2009 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- This life will have its sorrows
- God loves us
- Jesus weeps in our times of pain
- God can be glorified through human suffering
Hope for Hurting Hearts, Pastor Greg Laurie’s new book, examines these truths, revealing God’s love and care for us, and shows how we can find hope, even in the midst of the most unbearable pain and sorrow.