Monday, April 16, 2018


According to the Apostle Paul, disbelief is not a matter of any lack of evidence:

·       For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. (Romans 1:18-20)

Not only is the evidence for the existence of God plain, the evidence for His “eternal power and divine nature” is “clearly perceived.”

Faith is not a leap into the darkness but an assured step into the light of evidences. This is the uniform testimony of Scripture. The leadership didn’t hate Jesus because there was no reason to believe that He was the Messiah. Jesus explained to His biological brothers that the world rejected Him because He exposed their evil and hypocrisy:

·       “The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify about it that its works are evil.” (John 7:7; 8:43)

Later, Jesus taught that the knowledge of the truth was there for the taking:

·       “If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority.” (John 7:17)

In other words, if they want the truth, they will have the truth. However, they didn’t want the truth, because they knew the truth and didn’t like it. Everyone knew that Jesus had been performing miracles but didn’t want to honestly deal with the implications of what they were seeing:

·       Then a demon-oppressed man who was blind and mute was brought to him, and he healed him, so that the man spoke and saw. And all the people were amazed, and said, “Can this be the Son of David [the Messiah]?” But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul [Satan], the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons.” (Matthew 12:22-24)

Their claim not only lacked evidential support, it was also illogical, as Jesus explained:

·       “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand. And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand?” (Matthew 12:25-26)

Why then the refusal to believe in Jesus? Jesus often described Himself as the light, and the light exposes evil:

·       “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. (John 3:18-20)

Jesus’ opponents stood self-condemned. They had the light but rejected it in favor of the darkness, which would not expose their sins and self-righteousness.

This was hard for me to understand. It is hard enough to understand why people reject the truth, but why would they reject the truth about the free gift of life, something from which we would benefit? It seemed self-destructive. However, the Scriptures are filled with such descriptions.

I hadn’t been so surprised about the account of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead after he had been in the grave for four days (John 11). I was more surprised by the reaction of the Pharisees. Instead of even considering that Jesus might be the promised Messiah, they strenuously plotted to put Him to death, the very thing that Israel had always done to their Prophets (Jeremiah 2:29-30; Nehemiah 9:26; 2 Chronicles 36:15-16), who were sent with a message of censure but also one of hope.

While Israel honored their Prophets as men of God after they murdered them, they would not heed them. Why not? Jesus explained that they “not willing”:

·       “Therefore I [Jesus] send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and persecute from town to town…O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!” (Matthew 23:34, 37)

Why weren’t they willing? It is not that they lacked the evidence. Atheists challenge us to prove the existence of God. However, wherever we look, we are confronted with the evidences of intelligent design. However, mankind has always been adept at dismissing the plain implications of these evidences. It is undeniable that the creation is so incredibly fine-tuned, precisely calibrated for life and existence, that some calculate the chances of this happening as one chance in ten followed by a hundred zeros.

Shouldn’t this settle the question of the existence of a God who cares about life? Not for all! The skeptic claims, without any hard evidence, that if there had been an infinite number of universes (the “multiverse”), it is likely that one of them would be our universe. This is reminiscent of the charge that Jesus performed His miracles through the power of Satan, as the Talmud alleges.

Some skeptics conclude, “We really can’t know about such spiritual matters.” However, this statement disqualifies itself. If it is true that we really can’t know about such things, then it also means that we can’t know enough to discount such things. This, of course, is absurd.

To illustrate this point, imagine trying to tell “Doubting Thomas” that it is impossible to know that Jesus actually appeared to him along with the room full of disciples. Or just try to tell any credentialed historian that Jesus didn’t die on the cross, or a meeting of Orthodox Jews that their Talmud doesn’t claim that Jesus had performed miracles. They know otherwise!

Besides, a simple question might expose the emptiness of the claim, “We really can’t know about such spiritual matters” – “Where is your evidence?” Suddenly, this seemingly unassailable “truth” is left without any clothing.

Why don’t people at least examine the Biblical claims of a blissful eternal life with God? What do they have to lose? Perhaps their self-esteem?

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