If Jesus is the Son of God, his teachings are more than just good ideas from a wise teacher; they are divine insights on which I can confidently build my life.
The real issue is whether the sources we do have are credible – and in the case of the New Testament, they certainly are! And keep in mind that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John report what Jesus’ contemporaries knew to be true about him.
No cardinal or essential doctrine is altered by any textual variant that has plausibility of going back to the original. The evidence for that has not changed to this day.
It was the evidence from science and history that prompted me to abandon my atheism and become a Christian.
The scientific data point powerfully toward the existence of a Creator and that the historical evidence for the resurrection establishes convincingly that Jesus is divine.
Paul himself says that he was converted to a follower of Jesus because he had personally encountered the resurrected Jesus.12 So we have Jesus’ resurrection attested by friend and foe alike, which is very significant.
The Jews proposed the ridiculous story that the guards had fallen asleep. Obviously, they were grasping at straws. But the point is this: they started with the assumption that the tomb was vacant! Why? Because they knew it was!
Believing the right things about Jesus isn’t enough. You’re not adopted as God’s child until you confess and turn away from your wrongdoing and receive the freely offered gift of forgiveness and eternal life that Jesus purchased with his death on the cross. Until you do that, you’ll always be on the outside looking in.
Jesus Christ did not come into this world to make bad people good; he came into this world to make dead people live.
When we help seekers diagnose which path they’re treading, assist them in avoiding its pitfalls, and expose them to the logic and evidence that uniquely support the Christian faith, we’re introducing them to the only spiritual option truly qualifies to be called the way, the truth, and the life.
I’ve seen far too many Christians who are more than willing to travel halfway around the world to volunteer for a week in an orphanage, but who cannot bring themselves to take the personal risk of sharing Jesus with the co-worker who sits day after day in the cubicle right next to them.
If your friend is sick and dying, the most important thing he wants is not an explanation; he wants you to sit with him. He’s terrified of being alone more than anything else. So, God has not left us alone.
I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know who holds my future.
I went to a psychologist friend and said if 500 people claimed to see Jesus after he died, it was just a hallucination. He said hallucinations are an individual event. If 500 people have the same hallucination, that’s a bigger miracle than the resurrection.
Often it is hard. So hard, in fact, that Jesus’ decree to love and pray for our opponents is regarded as one of the most breathtaking and gut-wrenching challenges of his entire Sermon on the Mount, a speech renowned for its outrageous claims. There was no record of any other spiritual leader ever having articulated such a clear-cut, unambiguous command for people to express compassion to those who are actively working against their best interests.
In short, I didn’t become a Christian because God promised I would have an even happier life than I had as an atheist. He never promised any such thing. Indeed, following him would inevitably bring divine demotions in the eyes of the world. Rather, I became a Christian because the evidence was so compelling that Jesus really is the one-and-only Son of God who proved his divinity by rising from the dead. That meant following him was the most rational and logical step I could possibly take.