Evidence

Documenting: The great and wonderful thing about the Lord our God is that He proves Himself. From the Old Testament to the New Testament, God puts forward the evidence of His power, love and existence. The Gospels are first-hand eyewitness accounts of the life of Christ Jesus and are considered so much a documentation that the first verses of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John implore the readers that what they are about to read are true events that transpired. Look at how the Gospel of Luke begins, “Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things accomplished among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, it seemed fitting for me as well, having investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order, most excellent Theophilus; so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been taught.”Luke 1:1–4. That opening of the Gospel of Luke sounds like a very serious and carefully undertaken investigation to provide clear evidence. In the Gospel of Matthew, the leading verses tell of the genealogy of Jesus in relation to King David and Abraham, and thus, His standing as the Messiah. The Gospel of Mark and the Gospel of John, both mention the prophecy of John the Baptist who prepared the way for Jesus as foretold in the book of Isaiah. The unifying factor with all the Gospels is that they all immediately start to put forth evidence that Jesus truly was the Messiah. They read in such a way as to say, “Here is the proof, here is our evidence.” Likewise, the Old Testament records events in great detail. There are what seems like an endless amount of references to dates, regions and genealogies listed in the Scripture. This is important because it shows that these words are not written as a myth, but they are real. The men and women who lived through these times are real. The power of God is real. The wonderful miracles and promises of the Almighty are real, and this book (the Bible), is our documentation.

Eyewitness: The Apostles consistently talked about their eyewitness experiences and reminded the early church that they aren’t following a myth. These men saw with their own eyes the power of God. Notice how Peter speaks in the 2nd Epistle of Peter. “For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, “This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased” — and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.” — 2 Peter 2:16–21. Likewise, Paul similarly recounts his experiences in defense before King Agrippa. “While so engaged as I was journeying to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests, at midday, O King, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining all around me and those who were journeying with me. “And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew dialect, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ “And I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. ‘But get up and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you; rescuing you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you, to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.’…“So, having obtained help from God, I stand to this day testifying both to small and great, stating nothing but what the Prophets and Moses said was going to take place; that the Christ was to suffer, and that by reason of His resurrection from the dead He would be the first to proclaim light both to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles.” While Paul was saying this in his defense, Festus said in a loud voice, “Paul, you are out of your mind! Your great learning is driving you mad.” But Paul said, “I am not out of my mind, most excellent Festus, but I utter words of sober truth. “For the king knows about these matters, and I speak to him also with confidence, since I am persuaded that none of these things escape his notice; for this has not been done in a corner. “King Agrippa, do you believe the Prophets? I know that you do.” Agrippa replied to Paul, “In a short time you will persuade me to become a Christian.” And Paul said, “I would wish to God, that whether in a short or long time, not only you, but also all who hear me this day, might become such as I am, except for these chains.”Acts 26:13 — 29. In these Scriptures we see Paul, who was a hunter of Christians, explain his eyewitness account and conversion. He speaks to King Agrippa laying out the facts that what Moses and the Prophets had foretold were all speaking of Jesus *Christ (*which means Messiah or Anointed One in Greek). King Agrippa is compelled by this and says, “In a short time you will persuade me to become a Christian.” This is important for modern-day Christians to grasp, especially for evangelism. Yes, it is important to talk about the love of God and His payment for sins when evangelizing, but it is also important to speak about the reality of Jesus as the prophesied Messiah and the eyewitness accounts of His life, miracles, and resurrection. Jesus is not a myth. He is real. He was not just a good person as people like to point out, but He is the Son of God, He is the prophesied Messiah who takes away the sins of the world. He did not prove himself by only speaking philosophical words but through mighty miracles and the power of the Holy Spirit. Think about this the next time you are speaking and explaining your faith with someone who does not believe in Jesus. Remember to point out the truth of His existence and that He rose from the dead. If you are not as versed in the history and life of Jesus or His standing as the Messiah, read your Bible and investigate it yourself. In doing so, you will find your faith will grow and confidence will encompass you when sharing Jesus with others. In summary, always hold fast to the truth that, Jesus, did and was everything that was documented about Him in the Bible. For if not, our faith is in vain.

Proof: Many times non-believers will ask, “If God is real why doesn’t he come down and just reveal himself to us.” The short answer is, He did (accounts in the Bible) and still does to this day, and will again when He returns in all glory and power. But even with all the proof in the world people will still choose to not believe. We even see such an example from Thomas, who was one of the twelve disciples. “So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples then rejoiced when they saw the Lord. So Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. “If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.” But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples were saying to him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” Then He said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.” Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.” John 20:19–29. The mercy and grace of Jesus when dealing with people is incredible. But there will be a time when it is too late to continue disbelieving as all people will either die on this earth or live to see the second coming. “BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen.” — Revelation 1:7. The proof we carry as Christians today is that we are sealed with the Holy Spirit. Our bodies are the Temples of the Holy Spirit and the testimony we speak is of the truth and light. The cloud of witnesses who went before us beheld Christ Jesus, and like them, we carry this message to the ends of the earth. We do not talk from cleverly devised tales but from truth. Jesus is the Messiah, He died for our sins, He rose from the grave, He ascended into Heaven…and He is coming again. Amen!

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