Q Who knows the definition of the word “skeptic”?
-it means to be disbelieving or unbelieving in regards to something
-When I person says “I find that hard to believe” they are being skeptical
-the attitude of the skeptic is “prove it to me” “change my mind”
-other words for skepticism (which come from Roget’s pocket thesaurus) include: doubt, unbelief, incredulity, rationalism, atheism
When it comes to God’s word there are a lot of skeptics. When it comes to the teachings of God’s word there are a lot of skeptics.
The average person of today does not believe in the God of the scriptures.
The average person today does not believe that the Bible is true
Often in our witnessing today we have to start at ground zero: speaking of evidences for God’s existence, speaking of evidences for the Bible being trustworthy. It’s because people are skeptical. It’s also because of sin and the work of the Devil who has blinded the minds of unbelievers and who themselves suppress the self evident truth’s which God displays everywhere as to his nature and power and existence. (Rom. 1, II Cor. 4, Psalm 19)
Jesus had to deal with skeptics all the time. His main opponents were the religious leaders in the land of Israel-the Pharisees, the Sadduccees. For the most part they refused to acknowledge that he was the promised Savior, spoken of in the OT scriptures. For the most part they rejected his teachings and exposition of the true meanings of the scriptures. They even rejected the supernatural proofs he gave- his miracles, asserting that it was the Devil working thru him.
In Matt. 22:23-33 we bump into the Sadduccees. Big time skeptics in respect to the Bible’s teaching regarding the resurrection of the dead.
-wealthy, powerful, controlled the Sanhedrin (the highest Jewish court)
-controlled the high priesthood
-disliked by the average Jewish person, in cahoots with the Romans
-arrogant and known to be pushy and rude people
-denied the afterlife, denied the existence of angels, downplayed the supernatural acts of God, denied the resurrection of the dead
-rationalists. When it comes to God, rationalists are people who try to fit God into their own mold of reasoning. What rationalists can’t understand by their logic they dismiss. What it really is about is an elevated view of oneself and intellectual capacities. What is forgotten is the scriptures wherein God says “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” Isa. 55:8-9
-the Sadduccees would never be able to sing the song that we sometimes do in S.S and mean. “My God is so big, so strong and so mighty, there’s nothing my God cannot do”. The Sadduccess conception of God was a God whom they had reduced to fitting into their way of reasoning. This is the same thing that happens today. People try to fit God into their way of thinking. God is shrunk to fit into what people think God can reasonable do. All the while what is forgotten is that we have finite minds, limited understanding, and that we have been stained by sin.
God and what he can do or not do is not for us to define out of our heads. The scriptures define for us who God is and what he can do and does.
The strange thing is that the Sadducees claimed the OT as the words of God. Yet what Jesus makes quite clear to them is that they are in error as to their interpretation and knowledge of it. What Jesus ends up doing is proving to them from the scriptures they claimed to believe that their skepticism regarding God and his ability and the resurrection of the dead is completely unfounded and corrupt.
This is a very strange text because what generally captures our attention most vividly is Jesus’ teaching that in Heaven there will be no marriage. For the bulk of this week that is what my emphasis was going to be in this sermon. I was so captivated by Jesus’ words that I was all set to do a topical sermon regarding “Things that won’t be in Heaven” with this text being the centrepiece of the sermon. You see, the bulk of my attention was caught by the wrong thing (this is something we must be careful of in studying the scriptures) The main emphasis of our text is not the truth that in Heaven there will be no marriage. Indeed it’s in our text and the truth needs to be proclaimed yet the main emphasis of our text regards the reality of the resurrection of the dead.