There is no youth on Easter Sunday, April 21st.

What Will You Defend? Part 2— Defending Our Faith— 4/9/17

Happy Monday Before Easter!

Last night was Week 2 of our “What Will You Defend?” Series, and the message was, “Defending Our Faith”. We looked at three main questions during the message:

1. Is the Bible really accurate?
2. What makes the Christian faith the one true faith?
3. How do we prove that Jesus actually rose from the dead?

1.     Is the Bible Really Accurate?

2 Timothy 3:16NIV says— All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,  that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

While this is true, it doesn’t mean anything if you don’t believe that the Bible sets the standard for how everything else is viewed. We took a few minutes to revisit the Creation account listed in Genesis to help prove the accuracy of the Bible.

Moses wrote the book of Genesis and listed 13 steps of Creation that have been widely debated:

1. The physical universe— originally argued that matter was eternal; not able to be created or destroyed. Einstein’s formula helped disprove this view.
2. The early earth (without form)— mathematical physicist showed the earth/planets could not have been formed by a body of gas because the masses that would have been left behind when the body of gas shrank would not have been large enough to make a planet. Scientists discovered something called dark nebulas that are dark and without form.
3. Earliest life in the sea— science also claims that the earliest life appeared in the sea.
4. Let there be light— the Stellar Sequence proves this and science is in complete agreement with Genesis 1:3-5.
5. The earth cools off (God made the firmament and divided waters). This is a process that a planet must go through as it cools off allowing the largest portion of water to be gathered on the surface of the earth and the smaller amount would be in the clouds.
6. The earth was covered with water— The theories of geology strongly support the earth being in this early condition.
7. The continents were formed (Let dry land appear)— While there are many arguments on the “why” of the rise and fall of the continents, they agree that the earth was at one point smooth and mostly the same height before the continents were raised up above water from
shrinkage, etc.
8. Vegetation (grass, etc.)— Chemistry has established the fact that it is impossible for any planet to have sustainable amount of oxygen in its atmosphere without having large amounts of plants to continuously replenish the supply to keep the oxygen from rapidly combining with the rocks and metals of the surface and deplete the oxygen supply. (The earth’s atmosphere would have needed the plants to help sustain the proper supply of oxygen to sustain life on earth.)
9. Breaks appeared in the sky (lights to separate day and night)— This has been attacked by critics of the Bible who say that this says the sun was created after the vegetation. However, this part of the creation account is referring to God making the sun to shine on the earth by putting a break in the clouds and letting the sunlight break through. The sun was created before the plants.
10. Fish were created— Geology supports this.
11. Birds were created— Geology again supports this.
12. Mammals were created— Science again supports this step.
13. Man was created— Geology supports man as the last step of Creation.

The odds of Moses getting listing these thirteen steps in the correct or are “1 in 311,351,040”. While those are impressive odds, it doesn’t tell the whole story!
How would Moses even have known the what the thirteen steps of Creation were? The probability of Moses getting all 13 steps correct and in the correct
order is 1 in 31,135,104,000,000,000,000,000! That is 1 in 31 x 10*21(10 to the 21st power).

To put this in perspective, check this scenario out: There are 8 million presses printing 2,000 tickets/minute, 24/7 for 5 million years. Mark one ticket, mix it in with the rest, blindfold yourself, and try to pick the marked ticket on the first try. You have a better chance of finding the ticket than Moses did of getting the
Creation account correct. It’s safe to say that the Bible is accurate!

2.      Is Our Faith the ONE True Faith?

John 14:6NIV says,  Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Other faith books have had mistakes and contradictions found, and these contradiction were “corrected”. The Bible is the only faith book that continues to be proven over and over again.  The Bible was written over a period of 1,500 years by a number of authors (~40). There are more copies of the Bible than any other book in history, and the copies show incredible accuracy. There has also been physical evidence from copies that have been discovered. While there are MINOR differences in some manuscripts called variants, none impact or change the key beliefs and components. Archaeological finds have helped prove the accuracy of the Bible. (Dead Sea Scrolls)

3.      Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead?

1. Some people say, “What If Jesus really didn’t die?
A. The Romans were experts in crucifying people. They wouldn’t have taken Jesus down from the Cross until he was dead.
B. Luke— the writer of the Gospel of Luke was a medical doctor, and would have picked up on inconsistencies in the facts he was given.

The 3 Top Arguments against Jesus raising from the dead are as well as why these arguments aren’t valid arguments are listed below:

1. The sightings are just legends (made up stories)
 1. A Legend developed and grew over time. 1 Corinthians 15 account of 500 eye witnesses that Jesus appeared to after rising from the dead came so   soon after the resurrection happened that a Legend wouldn’t have had time to develop.
2. Women arrived at the tomb first. A legend made up at that point in history would not have credited women with finding the tomb first since women were   not held in high esteem in that culture.

2. The sightings were hallucinations
1.  500 people seeing the same hallucination at the same time??? 500 people seeing the same hallucination is virtually impossible as well as the odds of Paul seeing the exact same hallucination 3 years later!
2.  If people only thought they saw Jesus, his body would still be in grave.

3. Wishful thinking/disciples were lying.
– The disciples had too much at stake to lie about this and make it the foundation of their belief.  Ten of the eleven original disciples who remained were killed for their faith. Would they really die for something they knew was a lie?

There are also any secular writings that talk about the crucifixion of Jesus—Phlegon (80-140AD), Mara Bar-Serapion (70AD), Tacitus (56-120AD), and more are just a few of these writings.

To wrap things up for this post:

1. The Bible is accurate. While Christianity and the Bible continue to be attacked, they are proven to be true time and time again.

2. Why do we defend our faith?
A. Romans 1:16NIV says— For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the
Jew, then to the Gentile.
B. Our faith, the Gospel, is power of salvation to EVERYONE who believes.
2. By defending our faith, you are defending your peers against the lies and attacks of Satan.

 Be someone’s hero and stand strong in your faith in Jesus Christ.

Be Blessed!

-Pastor Dustin

Sources outside of the Bible used in this post are:

Historical Evidence for the for the Resurrection by Matt Perman from desiringgod.com.

The Case for Christ— Student Edition by Lee Strobel with Jane Vogel

Science Speaks by Peter W. Stoner and Robert C. Newman

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