Summary: This sermon, like a prosecuting attorney, lays out the evidence of man's problem and God's solution, in clear, precise language that demands a verdict based upon this evidence.
Evidence That Demands A Verdict
John 20:30 – 31
By: JB Hall
Introduction: Josh McDowell wrote a book titled ‘Evidence That Demands A Verdict’. I’d like to borrow that title today. I’d like to preach a message with that same title: Evidence That Demands A Verdict.
Today there is much talk about faith and its role in our lives. Political candidates all speak of their faith and the role each thinks his/her faith should play as they govern. People often speak of faith as if it is an end in itself; as if faith is the principle factor, regardless of what that faith is in.
But, genuine faith, faith that will provide a real benefit to you, must be based in reality. You’ve heard me preach many times that the object of our faith determines the worth of our faith. Faith that is not based in reality is a presumptive leap into the dark that can, and will, provide absolutely no benefit whatsoever to the possessor of such a faith.
So, when someone talks about their faith, find out what their faith is in; what is the basis for their faith; just what do they believe in, and what do they believe about what they say they believe in. This careful examination of their faith will help you to know if their faith is a faith of real substance, or if it is an empty faith that cannot profit them or those who follow their faith.
This morning I’d like us to examine Biblical saving faith, and just what is involved in this kind of faith. For after all, this is the only kind of faith that will provide one with deliverance from his/her sins, and from eternal damnation.
1. There is an unseen reality.
A. One thing that poses a real problem for atheists, that atheists really struggle with, is the existence of an unseen reality, a reality that exists beyond the tangible realm.
B. They have difficulty believing that anything exists that cannot be observed or experienced with their natural senses.
C. We’re going to see how this belief, in itself, is really a leap of faith.
D. Biblical saving faith requires our faith to be placed in a real God; not just a conceptualized god who does not really exist, one that is just a figment of our imagination.
E. 1 Chronicles 16:26 says, “For all the gods of the people are idols: but the Lord made the heavens.”
F. Here, there is a distinction made between the real God Who made the heavens, the One Who created us and all things; and the gods that are simply the creation of man’s active imagination.
G. These conceptualized gods are called idols.
H. Psalm 115:4 – 7 describe these imaginary gods, these idols, like this, “Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands.” “They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not:” “They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not:” “They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat.”
I. So, whether one believes in no god, or in a false, imagined god; neither faith is able to profit him.
J. It is only when one believes in the one and only real God, the God Who made all things; that his faith profits him.
K. The fact that the true God is unseen makes Him no less real.
L. Biblical saving faith then, must be placed in an unseen reality; the existence of a God we cannot see; but Who really exists.
2. Any reality will be supported by evidence.
A. You’ve heard it said that there is no perfect crime.
B. I watched a show one night on which the commentator said, “People lie but science doesn’t.”
C. What he was saying in essence was that people will lie to conceal the reality of what happened; but the evidence will always expose the truth.
D. Therefore, there is no perfect crime because evidence of the reality of what happened exists, and when discovered, examined, and understood, will always expose the truth.
E. In the same way that investigators can uncover the facts about a crime by the evidence that supports those facts, the truth of an unseen reality can be determined by supporting evidence; for existing reality always produces supporting evidence to its existence.
F. This begs the question: What evidence is there that will support the fact that an unseen God exists?
G. First, the tangible creation is irrefutable evidence of His existence.
(1) Romans 1:20 says, “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:”