Making the Case for Christ
Tired of impeachment talk? Surely even the most serious political junkies have had their appetites satiated with the 24-hour coverage on the subject of the president’s guilt or innocence. Despite the constant drivel of talking heads, one interesting observation can be made: for all the talk, it appears few, if any, have changed the opinion held before hearings commenced. Those believing the president innocent have been unconvinced by the parade of witnesses; those who believe him guilty stand stalwart in their conclusion despite no firsthand evidence. Sound familiar?
For 2,000 years, people have conducted a debate not on politics, but rather on the authenticity of Christianity. Opinions of Jesus Christ vary from those who believe Him to be Lord and Savior to those who think Him simply a creation of religious delusion. While in the long run, it makes little difference what one currently believes about the president, the conclusion reached about Jesus is one of eternal proportion. What, then, will determine whether or not one accepts Him as Savior or dismisses Him as a fraud? Consider the following in reaching personal conclusions about the Lord.
More than a Family Tradition
Political scientists have determined that near 75% of Americans hold the same political beliefs as their families. Upon examination, this should hardly be surprising since the environment in which one grows up impacts many beliefs. As with politics, family also greatly determines the view one takes of Jesus. This is not a bad thing! In fact, Moses commanded Israel to take great care in teaching children about Jehovah: “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:6-9 ESV). In the New Testament, parents are commanded to bring up children “in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4b). While parents are encouraged and commanded to teach their children about the Lord, belief in Him is not a family heirloom. There comes a point when belief taught by parents must be accepted or rejected based on the merit of the case. Those who do not take this spiritual step are often troubled when confronted about their perceived faith. Its fragility becomes apparent when what family believed is insufficient to personally make the case for Christ. Faith is always personal; it cannot rest on the beliefs of another.
Strength of Evidence
The strength or weakness of the arguments for Jesus rests on the validity of the Bible. There is no other source where one can turn to find a recording of the life of Jesus or the teachings given to His followers. Thus, to believe in Jesus, one must be convinced of the Bible’s accuracy. Determining accuracy begins by an examination of the Bible’s claim: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (II Timothy 3:16-17). Testing this message requires an examination of the internal evidence of the Bible; does it contradict itself? Does it contradict secular history? Is its theme consistent? These are only a few questions that are necessary to test the Scriptures in determining the faith that it can be believed. When one is convinced of biblical accuracy, the case for believing in Christ is strengthened.
Strength of Witnesses
Alongside developing faith in the Bible’s accuracy is the need to determine the reliability of the witnesses brought forth in its pages to provide their testimony concerning Jesus. The Bible provides a host of people from many different walks of life who claim Jesus to be the Son of God: fishermen, tax collectors, women, and those healed of diseases are a sampling of the different voices that proclaim Him as Lord. Interestingly, the strength of these witnesses can be found in the fact that they came from so many different walks of life. Each met Jesus in varying circumstances, yet came to the same conclusion about Him.
The above is only a small sampling of the ideas that help to build the faith needed that Jesus Christ is Lord. However, these provide a realization that belief in Jesus is a decision that must be made by every man and woman. This decision cannot be deflected to another nor set aside as unimportant; it is one that will determine how one lives life on Earth and, if the Bible is true, where one will live eternally. May everyone, whether believer or unbeliever, take the occasion for serious reflection on their conclusion concerning Jesus. What one believes about politics will have little impact 100 years from now; yet, what one believes about Jesus is of eternal proportion.
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