Series: The Big Questions

Five major world religions.

There are countless distinctions when it comes to Judaism, Islam, and Christianity but the one that matters the most is answering the question who is ?

Point 1:

Christianity is the most reasonable belief system because it is only through Jesus that God deals with the real issue of .

1 Jn 2:1–2.

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.

Point 2:

Christianity is the most reasonable belief system because Jesus claimed to be God and it.

John 11:25-26

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and [1]kthe life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.

C. S. Lewis popularized the argument that Jesus was either a liar or a lunatic or the Lord.

  • In the mid-nineteenth century the Scottish Christian preacher “Rabbi” John Duncan (1796-1870)
  • formulated what he called a “trilemma.” In Colloquia Peripatetica 

Christ either [1] deceived mankind by conscious fraud, or [2] He was Himself deluded and self-deceived, or [3] He was Divine. There is no getting out of this trilemma. It is inexorable.

1 Corinthians 15: 3-8

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then [2]tto all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.

What is amazing is that there is eyewitness testimony that corroborate the testimony of Jesus.

Point 3:
If God exists and Christianity is the most logical belief, then we’re all responsible for the question who is ?

Mark 8:27-30

27 And Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. And on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” 28 And they told him, “John the Baptist; and others say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.” 29 And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are [3]sthe Christ.” 30 And he strictly charged them to tell no one about him.

 

Big Question One: Does God really exist?

New Series: The Big Questions

    Resources

    • Reason for God Timothy Keller
    • Stand Firm: Apologetics and the brilliance of the gospel by Travis Dickenson, Paul Guild, and Keith Loften.
    • Christian Apologetics: An anthology of primary sources by Chad Meister & khaldoun Sweis

    Definitions

    Theist
    It is the belief that at least one God exists. Theism, in this specific sense, perceives God as personal, present, and active in governing and organizing the world and the universe.

    Atheist
    believe that there is insufficient evidence to prove the existence of a God.

    Naturalism
    The belief is that everything from natural properties, causes, and spiritual explanations are excluded or discounted.

    Quote

    “Although atheism might have been logically tenable before Darwin, Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.”

    Timothy Keller, Reason for God (p.84)

    Quote

    If there is a Creator God, there is nothing illogical at all about the possibility of miracles. After all, if he created everything out of nothing, it would hardly be a problem for him to rearrange parts of it as and when he wishes. To be sure that miracles cannot occur, you would have to be sure beyond a doubt that God didn’t exist, and that is an article of faith. The existence of God can be neither demonstrably proven nor disproven.

    Timothy Keller, The Reason for God (pp. 86-87)

    Point 1:

    We have reasonable evidence to believe in God because of the evidence.

    Psalms 19:1-4

    1 The heavens declare the glory of God,
    and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.

    2 Day to day pours out speech,
    and night to night reveals knowledge.

    3 There is no speech, nor are there words,
    whose voice is not heard.

    4 Their voice goes out through all the earth,
    and their words to the end of the world.
    In them he has set a tent for the sun,

    Point 2:

    We have reasonable evidence to believe in God because of the natural evidence.

    Romans 2:14-15

    14For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law.

    15They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them

    Big Problem with Moral Relativisms:

    2.

    Quote

    The horrid doubt always arises about whether the convictions of man’s mind, which have been developed from the minds of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy.

    Charles Darwin, Quoted in Timothy Keller’s book, The Reason For God (p. 138). Penguin Publishing Group

    Quote

    Evolutionists say that if God makes sense to us, it is not because he is really there, it’s only because that belief helped us survive and so we are hardwired for it. However, if we can’t trust our belief-forming faculties to tell us the truth about God, why should we trust them to tell us the truth about anything, including evolutionary science? If our cognitive faculties only tell us what we need to survive, not what is true, why trust them about anything at all?

    Timothy Keller, The Reason for God (pp. 137-138). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

    Point 3:

    We have reasonable evidence to believe in God because we have a that only God can

    Ecclesiastes 3:11

    11He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.

     

    The Rise of Hope
    Three ways we find hope in the resurrection.

    1 The Resurrection of Jesus gives us hope to

    1 Peter 1:3
    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

    Romans 6:11-14
    11So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

     

    2 The Resurrection of Jesus gives us hope because it

    Romans 4:19-25
    19 He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. 20 No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21 fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. 22 That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.” 23 But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, 24 but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, 25 who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.

    3 The Resurrection of Jesus gives us hope because it means we’ll be

     

    1. Our present .

    1 Peter 3:22

    Eccl. 12:1-8

    2 Corinth. 5:6-8

     

    2. The New & New

    Revelation 21:1-8

    1 Corinthians 15:50-53
    50 I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.

    1 Corinthians 15:16-19 
    16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. Because Christ has been raised from the dead, we will have a resurrection. The resurrection of Jesus is The Rise of Hope for us who know and love Jesus.

    When you think about suffering, what comes to mind? Do you envision bedraggled children with distended stomachs, a hospital patient hooked up to life-sustaining medical equipment, or a courageous veteran dealing with the aftermath of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Adversity seems to be a common denominator to human existence, but what does the Bible have to say about suffering?

    Jesus spoke to His disciples about suffering. One of the most well-known verses reads, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24 ESV). The Greek word for cross in this verse is staurós. It refers to the crossbeam which the lowest criminals carried as they trudged toward their execution. The cross symbolized degradation and indescribable pain as well as sacrifice.

    While the invitation to eternal life is free, it comes at a price–certain suffering.

    John 12:12-16

    12 The next day rthe large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13 So they took branches of spalm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is uhe who comes in the name of the Lord, even vthe King of Israel!” 14 And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written, 

    15  “Fear not, daughter of Zion; 

    behold, your king is coming, 

    sitting on a donkey’s colt!” 

    16 His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him.

    I. Obedience doesn’t always require

    Proverbs 3:1-12

    1 My son, do not forget my teaching, 

    but let your heart keep my commandments, 

    for length of days and years of life 

    and peace they will add to you. 

    Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; 

    bind them around your neck; 

    write them on the tablet of your heart. 

    So you will find favor and good success

    in the sight of God and man. 

    Trust in the Lord with all your heart, 

    and do not lean on your own understanding. 

    In all your ways acknowledge him, 

    and he will make straight your paths. 

    Be not wise in your own eyes; 

    fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. 

    It will be ohealing to your flesh 

    and refreshment to your bones. 

    Honor the Lord with your wealth 

    and with the firstfruits of all your produce; 

    10  then your barns will be filled with plenty, 

    and your vats will be bursting with wine. 

    11  My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline 

    or be weary of his reproof, 

    12  for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, 

    as a father the son in whom he delights. 

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    John 12:17-19

    17 The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to bear witness. 18 The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign. 19 So the Pharisees said to one another, “You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him.”

    II. worship doesn’t necessarily indicate true

    Romans 12:1-2

     1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

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    John 12:19-23

     20 Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. 21 So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23 And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come jfor the Son of Man to be glorified. 

    III. We can come to because of what did on the cross

    Ephesians 2:11-14

     11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility

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