Summary: Continuation (Part 2) of an Apologetic Message, set in a contempory theme...there should be enough for a lengthy sermon or it could be re-worked to an appropriate length for your circumstances. You will be encouraged to use your minds as we examine histor
Did You Get the “TEXT” About My Son? – Part 2
by Larry La Douceur
Last Sunday’s sermon (Did You Get the “TEXT” About My Son?), helped with one very important building block as we build a foundation upon which we can rest our faith...
We have seen that it is more logical based on the evidence (Text messages from history) to believe that Jesus did in fact historically exist and since He actually existed, that requires everyone to give some sort of answer to the question posed by Jesus Himself:"But who do you say that I am?" - Matthew 16:15
We only have two choices, He either is the Lord or He is a lie. The evidence, Text Message’s from the Lord (the Bible) and from historical evidence will assist us as we seek to determine the truth.
Illustration - Two men had an argument. To settle the matter, they went to a judge for arbitration. The plaintiff made his case. He was very eloquent and persuasive in his reasoning. When he finished, the judge nodded in approval and said, “That’s right, that’s right.”
On hearing this, the defendant jumped up and said, “Wait a second, judge, you haven’t even heard my side of the case yet.” So the judge told the defendant to state his case. And he, too, was very persuasive and eloquent. When he finished, the judge said, “That’s right, that’s right.”
When the clerk of court heard this, he jumped up and said, “Judge, they both can’t be right.” The judge looked at the clerk of court and said, “That’s right, that’s right.”
Roger von Oech, Ph.D., A Whack on the Side of the Head, Warner Books, 1983, p. 23.
When it comes to Jesus and our faith in Him, we never want to be in the position of the judge in that illustration. The word of God sometimes leaves us with only two alternatives and we can’t say, “That’s right, that’s right.” to both.
Please consider the following Scripture verses;
1st Corinthians 15:14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. (NIV)
The Apostle Paul explained in his letter to the Corinthians, either Jesus rose from the dead and their testimony about God is true, or he and other "eyewitnesses" are in fact "false witnesses".
The Apostle Peter also weighs in with a similar statement, which allows for two options,
2nd Peter 1:16 We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17For he received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." 18We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain. (NIV)
Peter explicitly tells us, they did not follow cleverly invented stories, he was an eye witness. And as Christian’s our faith should not rest on "cunningly devised fables”, we must constantly search for the truth.
When it comes to Jesus and our faith in Him, the only detailed record we have that describes the life and death of Jesus is found in the New Testament. Again we will have two choices, we can believe the New Testament (Gods Text message to us), or we can reject it. God with certainty would want us to believe the message He sent about His Son.
If I were to ask today, why do you believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of the living God? Many great answers would be forthcoming; Because He died on the cross and arose from death, because He is the fulfillment of hundreds of Messianic prophecies, because He performed many miracles in the presence of numerous witnesses. All of these are great answers and your answers helped demonstrate that you already believe in the Son of God and He is who God said he was, but since there are two choices and the other is to reject the word of God and His Son, and many will, we will take a closer look the New Testament as a historical record.
New Testament - Evidence for Early Existence
The New Testament is an accurate historical record of events that occurred during the First Century A.D. And of great significance is the fact that it was written during the First Century A.D. as well.
How soon after an event takes place and was recorded is very important.