Tag Archives: faith

How to Answer Questions About What Happens to People Who Have Never Heard of Jesus Christ, and Are Miracles possible

Following the question of whether or not Jesus is the only way to salvation, comes the question about what happens to those who have never heard of Jesus Christ, the next tough question answered in Bobby Conway’s video series on the Tough Questions Christians Face. We know that the Bible says that all creation shows the glory of God (Psalm 19) so that all people are without an excuse (Romans 1:20). But, we also know that the Bible calls upon all Christians to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all people everywhere, because God’s will is that none should perish, but that all would come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9), and Jesus, Himself, said that no one can come to the Father but through Him (John 14:6). So, we, who are called by His name have a job to do. God has entrusted us with the most important message that could come into anyone’s life, the story of Jesus and how He wants t give everyone the free gift of eternal life. Christ gave His Great Commission, to His disciples (present and future), “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to follow all that I commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20). Why would he have admonished us to do so if people could come to salvation without the Gospel? It is true that we, humans, do not have the power to save. But, God has ordained us as His ambassadors, to speak on His behalf to a world that is desperate for His salvation.

The next tough question In Bobby Conway’s video series is: Are Miracles Possible? In a day when science supposedly has an answer – a natural explanation – for everything that happens, are some of these happenings actually miracles, and does God only exist in things that cannot be explained away by science? Dr. Norman Giesler answered this from CS Lewis who said, simply, ‘If God, then miracles.’ The creation itself was a miracle, a supernatural act of God. Even scientists agree that before creation, there was not time, no space and no matter, and all of a sudden, BANG, we have a universe. Science has all kinds of theory’s about matter colliding with anti-matter to cause this great explosion. But, where did the matter and anti-matter come from? How did nothing become matter and anti-matter? How did all of the finely-tuned reams of data that chromosomes pass on from generation to generation come from? No matter how you believe this universe and all that is in it has come to be, you already believe in miracles. Now, fast forward to the great flood, then on to Moses parting of the Red Sea, the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. His raising of Lazarus from the dead. His and His disciples’ raising of other people from the dead, cleansing of lepers, healing the blind, the deaf, the lame, the casting out of demons… Dr. Norman concluded by saying that there is no problem turning water into wine, if you can create water from nothing. Indeed miracles have happened, and still do.

Toughest Questions Christians Face (continued)

The next tough question is one of the hardest questions to answer, one of the largest stumbling blocks keeping non-believers from accepting God’s love. In the next One Minute Apologist video in the series on the Tough Questions Christians Face, Brett Kunkle, apologist at Stand to Reason, takes on that question: Why Does God Allow Suffering and Evil? When asked if there are any reasons why a loving God would allow suffering, Brett answers that there certainly are, even if we do not know what those reasons are. God is God, and we are not. There is an infinite chasm between His wisdom and ours; we cannot expect to know everything He knows. In Deuteronomy 29:29, God tells us,“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us…” God is a God of reason, and has a reason for everything He does. Sometimes we need to know what those reasons are, and sometimes we don’t – or may not understand if He told us. Parents, have you ever told your children, “I’m the mom (or dad), that’s why.” We take our tiny children to a doctor, who sticks a needle in their arm and causes pain. The child would not understand why that needle is important, and does not have the level of knowledge to know that the shot he/she is getting is to protect them from something we as adults know is out there, but they do not. As a parent, you have a morally sufficient reason – and a responsibility – to get your children the care (medical or otherwise) that they need, whether they understand that or not. We have to trust that the Creator of the universe knows what He is doing and is acting to in accordance to His plan.

But, God has not left us with no answers to this question. God tells us that we need perseverance, we need to learn to love deeply, and to care for others in need. How do we get that depth of character, of love and understanding to do that? God tells us in Romans 5:3-5, “…we also celebrate in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” God loves us, and wants what is best for us, and part of that is to help us learn to love and care for Him and for others, through Him.

The next video deals with the question of whether Jesus is the only way. The argument from the world is that there may be only one destination, but there are many paths – choose on and be sincere, that’s all it takes. But, can’t we be sincerely wrong? In John 14:6, Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me.” In Acts 4:12, we read, “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among mankind by which we must be saved.” The question comes back to us as to why we have to be so narrow in our response. When we go to a doctor, we expect that doctor to diagnose and prescribe a treatment for our condition. We need that diagnosis and prescription to be narrow, to actually solve our medical problem, not just take a shotgun approach and hope something works. If our car in not running properly because of a fuel mixture problem, we don’t need to have our mechanic tear apart the transmission to find a fix.

Jesus said that He is the only way. That is either the biggest con-job in the history of the world, the biggest psychotic delusion in the history of the world, or it is true. It cannot be true and untrue. If it’s true, then what happens to those who do not accept – or have never had an opportunity to accept – Jesus as the only way? That is the question of the next video in this series, which we’ll cover in my next posting. In the meantime, you may want to look at Steps to Peace with God.

Sanctified for Your God-given Ministry

“You are the light of the world…on the lampstand, [where] it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)

Whatever your God-given ministry, it will include being a light to those darkness. In order to be a light to the darkness, you must be IN that darkness, just as a light bulb shines with a brightness that will overtake the darkness. But, just as the filament in a light bulb is protected by the glass of the bulb, you must also be separated – set apart, protected – from the elements within that darkness, lest your light be snuffed out.

What is Your Worldview?

In my last post I gave a couple of illustrations designed to help us understand that we, who believe in the inerrancy of God’s Word, The Holy Bible, see all of existence through a different worldview than do people without such faith in God’s Word. I want to take that a step further before launching into evidences of Biblical truth.

When you power up your computer, it boots into the operating system chosen by its operator and/or the builder of the computer, which tells it how it will do its work, either MacOS, Windows, Linux or one of several specialized operating systems. The operating system tells the computer how it sees, analyses and works with data to do much the same work as all other computers.

At the risk of dehumanizing humans or dignifying computers beyond their inanimate state, we humans do much the same. It is important, I suppose, to point out that this comparison does have its limitations. A computer cannot determine or reason or draw conclusions, but merely crunches data as far as its operating system and programs allow it to. We also tend to work within the parameters that have been fed into us, not by computer code, but by teachers, mentors, parents, etc. Through all of that, we develop our own worldview. In the case of existence and the meaning of life, this includes determining who or what – if anything – designed this whole universe and why.

It is important to realize that the world around us is what it is, the data that we see and hear as we learn and grow is the same data that everyone has access to. It’s how we interpret what we observe that makes the difference. Realize that if there is an error in a computer program, it will give the operator the wrong answers. Similarly, if your worldview is skewed, you will see the world from that skewed perspective.

In Defense of ‘in the beginning god…’

While on deployment as a Samaritan’s Purse Volunteer to a rebuild team after Hurricane Harvey in Texas, we were being hosted by the Grace Baptist Church of Brazoria, the church of Pastor Mark Brumbelow. If you have been around the Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child program, you’ve heard of Pastor Mark – a unique pastor, to be sure. We had the privilege of hearing Pastor Mark preach God’s Word. His Wednesday evening sermon was short and to the point. Please allow me to paraphrase his sermon, because I could never hope to do justice to his down-to-earth cowboy-style preaching. It went something like this:

“There was a man, who’s name was Darwin. And Darwin wrote this book about what he was supposin’ was natural selection. In this book, he was supposin’ that man came from apes, which he was supposin’ came from some other animals. Now, he was supposin’ that all animals came from this ooze that he was supposin’ was left over from the beginnings of the Earth, which he was supposin’ happened all by itself.

Now, there’s this other book called The Bible, which is the Word of God. And the very first words in The Bible are, “In the beginning, God…” And if you were to suppose that “In the beginning, God…,” then your supposin’ is all done. Because, the Word of God goes on to say that God created all things. And, that settles that.”

The point is that those who do not hold to the inerrancy of the Bible – as the very Word of God – see the world and all that is in it much differently than those of us who do – they take in all the same sights and sounds, view everything that is in this big beautiful world and do not see the One who created it. “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, being understood by what has been made, so that they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20)  

Let me make that point another way. I invited an archeologist, an expert on researching new finds in the Middle-East, to speak at our church many years ago. He was with the US Army Corps of Engineers and was in town for official business. In our spare time, I had a chance to talk with him about his research in the Middle-East, and was fascinated by what he had to say. So, he accepted my rather impromptu invitation to speak at our church. He made one incredible point that I have never forgotten. He said that Middle-East archaeologists carry the Bible whether they are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, any other religious persuasion (or none), because it’s never wrong. They have learned that if the Bible says some there is a city somewhere, and they have not found it, it is not because the Bible is wrong, simply that they haven’t looked hard enough, yet.

What is so incredible about that statement is that it fits the way we determine truth from evidence. If something is accurate and true historically, culturally, and other verifiable ways, it stands to reason that it is accurate in its meaning, too – in the case of the Bible, that means spiritually. For instance, Bible-believers have been mocked for ages because we believe the Biblical account that says ‘there were giants in the land’ (Genesis 6:4). And then…archaeologists started uncovering evidence and bones of people 17 to 30 feet tall. There WERE giants in the land, and if Biblical experts had written off the Biblical accounts of giants simply because science had no proof that such beings ever existed, then they would have destroyed their own credibility when the evidence finally did surface.

But, what do we do about that? Of what value is such information? Well, what I’ve been trying to do today is demonstrate that people who believe in the Bible, and people who don’t, interpret data from a completely different worldview. I hope to share some things with you over the next weeks that will support the Biblical worldview in ways that will help you have confidence in, and be able to defend that worldview.