If you would like to view the Youtube Services for 2021 go to St Matthews Youtube 2021

 

If you would like to view the Youtube Services for 2020 go to St Matthews Youtube 2020

 

Sun, Jun 05, 2016

Part 1

Series:Objections
Duration:36 mins 20 secs

Why have a series like this?

Why try deal with objections that people have against Christianity?

If they disagree let them. Why risk confrontation and the possibility of alienating someone. We have our ideas, they have theirs.

If they don’t want to believe what we believe just leave them.

Firstly, it is good to have a series like this because many of us who are trusting in Jesus actually still struggle with many of these objections. And for the sake of our own faith it is important that we do this.

Secondly, as part of living wisely as Christians in this world, we need to be able to give a credible explanation to people about why our hope and trust is in Jesus… and I believe that will include dealing with the objections.

Paul says that in Colossians 4: 5 – 6, “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”

Peter says the same in 1 Peter 3: 15, “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to anyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”

This is part of our calling to be disciple-making disciples…

So based on the understanding that God calls all of us to be able to deal with objections, let’s look at some.

 

Objection #1 You can’t prove that God even exists

And if there is no proof then it is pointless believing in anything which depends on Him existing.

It is true. I can’t prove to anyone that God exists. Only God Himself can prove to you He exists.

I believe He exists but that is because He gave me the faith to believe that He exists.

But if you don’t have faith nothing will convince you.

So I have always believed that God exists… but at first I think I probably believed it simply because my parents and the church I went to as a child told me so.

But at the age of 20 Ephesians 2: 8 – 9 happened to me, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.”

And when that happened it seemed so obvious to me (in many things) that God existed.

  • What I read in the Bible convinced me He existed. Some people say the Bible doesn’t set about trying to prove the existence of God, it just assumes it.

I am not sure I agree.

To me the Bible is full of real, historical, reliable, eyewitness accounts telling us about how God revealed Himself to them and other people in the OT and particularly in the NT in the person of Christ (some people met God in the flesh… and He gave many convincing proofs to those with faith that He was God)… and if that is not trying to prove He exists then I don’t know what is.

And once faith started working in me the more I read the Bible the more I became convinced He existed.

  • And then everything else around me began to shout out that God existed…
    • The intricate, beautiful design of everything around in this world and beyond shouted out that there was a Designer and the Bible said that the God spoken of in its pages had indeed created everything
    • The universe and so much of our world seems to operate according to set laws (what some call the laws of nature). That spoke so clearly of a God who purposefully sustains His Creation. And guess what that is what the Bible says is true of God.
    • The way people’s lives are transformed for the good when they have faith in God through Christ… and the impact that some of those people have had on the world for good… proved to me not only that God existed but that He was involved in our lives for good. And the Bible says that is what God is doing.

I believe there is more than enough evidence that God exists. But without faith none of this will convince you.

And I know that to some that seems like a get out of jail free card in some game (faith – yes / no faith – no) but it is true. And it is not beyond the realms of reality that God would operate like that.

Objection # 2 Hasn’t science disproved Christianity?

I suppose we would need to know what is meant by Christianity to someone who says this.

But the short answer is no, science hasn’t disproved Christianity.

Scientists may try, but science can’t really prove or disprove Christianity.

For science to disprove Christianity, it would have to disprove…

  • That God exists
    • It can’t prove or disprove that, as we have seen
  • That He created everything
    • Any alternative, especially evolution, is just an alternative theory, not a scientific fact of how things happened.
    • At the very least Creation is an equally valid theory.
    • But actually there are many world leading scientists who believe that creation fits the evidence best  
  • That He created people responsible to obey Him
    • Can’t be disproved
  • That those people disobeyed Him
    • Can’t be disproved
  • That God provided salvation through the death and resurrection of Christ
    • This is a big one and why so many people attack this, particularly the resurrection.
    • And Paul knew this and wrote what he did in 1 Corinthians 15: 14 – 20.
    • But this hasn’t been disproved. Can be proved through eyewitness accounts who saw Him after the resurrection.
    • And if they were pretending, lying or didn’t know they would not have lived and died for it the way they did.
    • Only way to disprove would have been to produce the dead body and they didn’t and it seems they tried.
  • That people are saved through faith in this
    • Can’t be disproved.
    • Many personal experiences prove it.
    • The transformation of societies and cultures prove it.

And of course the Bible tells us all about this from the perspective of God’s revelation and eyewitness accounts.

So as you can imagine the next thing that would be attacked is the Bible.

Objection # 3 You can’t trust what the Bible says it is just a book written by fallible men who made many mistakes

Says who, someone reading a few books, trying to get a doctorate?

  • Many more ancient copies and portions of the Bible have been found than those of any other ancient manuscript.
  • Each of those biblical writings have been accepted as authentic by many, many historians.
  • Many of the biblical accounts were recorded just a short time after they took place, in contrast to the huge time gap of centuries that existed with most other ancient manuscripts.
  • You need to understand that no other set of manuscripts have been scrutinised as much as the biblical manuscripts
    • And when various biblical manuscripts have been scrutinized against each other, they've been proven to be consistent.
  • No other ancient document can even come close to the New Testament in terms of number of manuscripts found and the closeness in time to the original autographs, so questioning the New Testament's credibility would require tossing out the validity of every other ancient manuscript ever found.
  • Many, many people will tell you that the Bible qualifies as the most reliable, verifiable source ever written.
  • There are many archaeological discoveries that verify people, places, and events the Bible mentions.
  • Hundreds of biblical prophecies have been fulfilled in specific and meticulous ways - often, long after the prophetic writer had died.
  • Contrary to popular belief, the Bible has been found historically and scientifically accurate.
  • It might also say something that the Bible has proven to be indestructible, despite many attempts throughout history to either censor or eradicate it.
  • The Bible's unique structure points to its reliability, since it maintains perfect unity and consistency throughout, despite its 66 different books written by at least 40 different people from all walks of life over a period of 2,000 years.
  • And again it is worth mentioning how profoundly the Bible has impacted world culture and events - more than any other document in human history.
  • And again, think about the Bible's unique power to change people's lives. 

And as far as many mistakes are concerned…

  • For sure the Bible contains complicated passages that can be difficult to understand.
  • But I do not know of any proven error that has been found in the Bible
  • I personally do not have any problem saying that all 66 books of the Bible are the inspired, inerrant and infallible Word of God.
  • Remember that, although the whole Bible (including the NT) wasn’t officially decided on until the end of the 4th century, the early Church already acknowledged the same 27 New Testament books long before then.
  • And while early Christians wrestled with doctrinal differences, they agreed on the core of the faith - the essential beliefs related to Jesus and the salvation He offers.
  • You also need to know that just because one writer (say a Gospel writer) left something out that another wrote… doesn’t mean it was a mistake. Just like modern journalists, the author of each biblical book mentioned only the details that were most vividly impressed on their minds or the minds of those who witnessed the different events… or that fitted to the part of the story that they were covering.
  • I have also seen many passages of Scripture shown to be contradictions that were adequately shown by others to not be contradictions based on the above.
  • And when you think again that the Bible's unique structure points to its reliability, since it maintains perfect unity and consistency throughout, despite its 66 different books written by at least 40 different people from all walks of life over a period of 2,000 years… you cannot but agree with 2 Timothy 3: 16 that “All Scripture is God-breathed…”
    • And so much of the Scriptures are classified as the best in the different types of literature that are contained in the Bible.

Even at this stage of this series I think there is enough evidence to believe that what the Bible says…

  • That God exists
  • That He created everything
  • That He created people responsible to obey Him
  • That those people disobeyed Him
  • That God provided salvation through the death and resurrection of Christ
  • That people are saved through faith in this

…is believable.

Do you want to respond in faith to that?

Powered by: Preachitsuite