Simply and accurately:
“The Bible is a reliable collection of 66 historic documents written in 3 languages by 40 eyewitnesses from different economic classes on 3 continents during the lifetime of other eyewitnesses over the course of more than 1500 years. They report supernatural events that took place in fulfillment of specific prophecies and claim that their writings are Divine in origin. The fulfilled prophecies prove that these documents came to us from outside of time, making them of Divine origin.”
Many young students when confronted by a professor about their faith, often have no foundation from which to respond. When asked, “What is your authority?” and he answers, “The Bible,” the professor, with a chuckle and a grin, then asks, “Why?” The student may hem and haw and say something like, “That’s how I was raised.” Or “That is what I was taught.” Or give some other unsupported answer. Embarrassed and humiliated by the professor, the student sinks back into their desk – the professor wins.
Truth is, many…maybe most…seasoned Christians who attend Church regularly also don’t have an adequate answer for that question either. How can we teach our children what we ourselves don’t know?
We are living in a time where the church and our nation are set adrift.
An elder in the Church I attended conducted a several week seminar on a major university campus. His subject was, “Defending Your Faith.” By the end of the sessions it became painfully obvious that most in attendance really weren’t sure of just what they believe nor had they any idea of how to explain their faith to themselves, much less to others. Thus, the dilemma we find the Church and the country in today. Living in a postmodernism culture the Church has been infected by a worldview which poses no absolutes, no convictions, no certainty, no foundation—and with no sense of history.
In today’s confused environment many Christians, new and seasoned, find ourselves unable to give an adequate defense of our faith. Honestly, most of us who attend church have become “Cultural Christians.” Not having developed a solid foundation to stand on, we don’t have the tools necessary to present a reasonable case in defense of our faith. Then, when attempting to share our faith with “outsiders,” we find that many have no interest and others become hostile. Without an adequate response, when confronted by hostel skeptics we become intimidated – Intimidated by academicians, humanists, evolutionists, etcetera.
There is a Cure:
The statement in the first paragraph is a solid response. It is accurate and provable. Scripture is a solid rock we can stand firmly upon. If we have questions or doubts, for our own sake and peace of mind we should immediately seek for answers. Ask a pastor or elder. If they can’t satisfy your inquiry, there are many solid Christian ministries on line like “Got Questions,” https://www.gotquestions.org/. Next, and a most important, don’t neglect looking into a good reference Bible for answers. And to build that foundation, every day we should spend time somewhere in the Scriptures. Paul taught, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). The next verse is paramount, “But shun profane [and] vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness” (2 Timothy 2:16). That is, don’t waste your time in foolish arguments. They go nowhere and add to the confusion.
The Apostle Peter taught, “Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence” 1 Peter 3:13-15 (NASB).
Paul adds to that, “Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone” (Colossians 4:5-6 NLT).
Two great principles are advanced in the above: Share with those who ask and the best witness we can give is our lifestyle. Simply by walking in “the Way,” our light shines brightly in the darkness and draws others to Christ.
Paul instructs Timothy, “Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth. Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants” (2 Timothy 2:23-26 NLT).
“A servant of the Lord” here is primarily meant a minister of the word. Still, for us laypeople there is a lesson to be gleaned. Be gentle, be patient, be non-argumentative. Don’t become aggressive or defensive and don’t get carried away in useless, endless speculations. Paul warns, “Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.” (Philippians 3:2).
It is not our duty as children of God to force the issue. If someone continues resisting God’s Word, let them be. Our hearts ache hearing Christ’s words in the Sermon on the Mount where He says, “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and attack you” (Matthew 7:6). Of course, He is speaking metaphorically, but the point is clear. “Pearls” are the Word of God, the Gospel. The “dogs and swine” are those caught so deeply in Satan’s web that they’re unwilling to even hear of their own salvation. They become vile and vicious when confronted with the holiness and graciousness of Christ – Sadly, they are demonically controlled and desire to remain that way.
“Anyone who rebukes a mocker will get an insult in return. Anyone who corrects the wicked will get hurt. So don’t bother correcting mockers; they will only hate you. But correct the wise, and they will love you. Instruct the wise, and they will be even wiser. Teach the righteous, and they will learn even more. Fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment” (Proverbs 9:6-10 NLT).
We can hold in our hearts with all confidence and assuredness the God inspired words of David:
“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof. The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer” (Psalms 19:1-14).
Paul’s words should inspire us every day, “For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile. This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.” But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness. They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever- living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles. So God abandoned them . . .” (Romans 1:16-24 NLT).
We can defend our faith and prove the Bible. God made Himself obvious to anyone who is willing to inquire of Him.
Exploring Scripture ~ because it matters—it really does!