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The Alex McFarland Show-71-Why the need for Apologetics?

Alex McFarland Show / Alex McFarland
The Truth Network Radio
August 17, 2023 6:00 pm

The Alex McFarland Show-71-Why the need for Apologetics?

Alex McFarland Show / Alex McFarland

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August 17, 2023 6:00 pm

Some come to faith with ease, naturally believing that Jesus is the son of God who died and was resurrected for our eternal salvation. For others, the journey to faith isn’t so effortless. They need convincing and persuading, with no shortage of evidence to back up Christian beliefs that they aren’t naturally accepting of. Today’s episode of the Alex McFarland Show is a special conversation between Alex and his wife Angie. The couple share how God is faithful to meet both the eager and the doubtful. For the doubter, Alex explains how God graciously provides an abundance of evidence to confirm His existence and the truth of the Bible, through apologetics. 

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The spiritual condition of America, politics, culture, and current events, analyzed through the lens of scripture.

Welcome to the Alex McFarland Show. In John 14-11, Jesus has done a lot of miracles. People have heard him teach, and it's time to make a decision. Is he the Son of God, as he said, the promised Messiah? And he had said, if you've seen me, you've seen the Father. And then in John 14, 10 and 11, he says, do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me? The words that I speak to you, I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does the works. So he's equating himself, his words, his works with the Father who sent him. Now, in verse 11, there's an amazing dichotomy, two options here about belief. And what I want to do is talk about this, and really ultimately talk about the legitimacy of apologetics. But I'll bring it back around after I explain some of the background noises you might be hearing.

In John 14-11, Jesus says, believe me that I am in the Father and the Father in me, or else believe me for the sake of the works themselves. Well, I'll circle back and explain why I open with this verse. But I want to welcome you to this edition of the program.

And I greet you from our front porch. I'm sitting here with my wife, Angie, and we're outdoors recording this on an iPhone. And you might think, well, it doesn't sound all that great.

The fidelity is not so good. Let me tell you why we're doing it this way is because we don't have any electricity. I don't know if you saw on the news, but in central North Carolina, there was a storm the week of August 17th, 80 mile an hour winds, hundreds and hundreds of trees are down. And in fact, for about 30 hours, we've not had electricity. And our producer, Mike Segovia of PFC audio video called me up. He said, where is the audio file for this weekend?

And I've got to get it out to all the syndication and the servers. And I said, well, Mike, we can't record because we don't have electricity. And he said, record on your iPhone. And he said he had Dr. Dobson do that one time.

And I said, well, you know, it's not going to be the greatest fidelity. And he said, it'll be great. And so Angie and I are out here. And first of all, I want to say, Angie, thanks for holding the clock for me on your phone.

And so isn't this exciting? It's almost like camping life with no electricity. What do you think, Angie? I don't like to be without electricity. Well, you know, for centuries, they came along and they lived without the amenities you and I take for granted.

Maybe this is just the Lord's way of helping us be grateful. God made me in 1964, not in the previous centuries where there was no electricity. So I would be appreciative if the electricity came back on. Well, well, I would too. But now, listen, the wives and women of previous centuries, you know, they had to cut their own firewood and get the water out of a well.

I mean, a few days without electricity, don't you think you still have it pretty well? It is 84 degrees in our house. I'm hot. I'm sorry. It's just hot.

Well, look at it this way. It's like living in the oven. You could bake bread in there. Bread would rise. Now, see, this is, we've always talked about learning to make bread.

Now would be an ideal time. What do you think? I'm running over to cookout. Which is what? What is the cookout? The cookout. It's a restaurant, and it's a drive-thru.

I don't know that they have electricity either, but you're a good sport now. Those that have followed our comings and goings for the last 20 plus years, you've been a part of everything we've done. And I know you have incredible rewards in heaven for all that you've done to help me and our organizations get the gospel out.

What's the message that if you had one message you could proclaim to everybody on the planet, what would it be, Angie? That God is good. He is good all the time. All he does is good.

He highly favors his children, and we have it made. And we are inconvenienced currently with no electricity. I know Jesus has got this, and soon the power will be back on, and that's all we need to think about how good God is. No trees hit our house.

Praise God. No trees hit the cars. No trees hit anything. We are fine. It's just we're inconvenienced, and we don't have air conditioning at this moment.

Hey, I want to, Angie, seriously, I want to bring something up. You mentioned when I was out yesterday, and it was storming, and I was driving, couldn't see trees. Literally, I was watching trees fall as I was driving. You were back here at the house with Esther, and you said Esther was so afraid. She was going from door to door, window to window, crying, shaking, whining. And I said, Esther, calm down. I said, God's got this, Esther. He's not going to let anything happen to you, little Esther.

And she looked up at me like, are you sure about that? I said, he's got this, Esther. He's not going to harm us. He's not going to let harm come to us. We are safe. We are secure. We are fine. And, you know, she calmed down.

She quit shaking. She did just wonderfully, and she sat in my lap till the storm was over, and then was happy when Alex returned home, so. Well, you know, I was thinking about that. You and I, a little dog that we love and we care for, and anybody who's listened to our live radio show, Exploring the Word, you've heard Esther.

Esther has been on many times, and she'll bark, and people ask about Esther. But just like you and I, I know you and your heart, you know my heart, we would stand down a locomotive to protect that little dog. And that's how the Lord looks after us. I mean, as His children, we're looking unto Jesus. We're trusting Him. Just like we would do anything we could for that precious, helpless little dog, the Lord looks after us in that same way, doesn't He?

Oh, all the time. He has us in the palm of His hand at all times. He'll never leave us nor forsake us. His Word tells us that. God's got this. God's timing will be perfect, and when our power needs to come back on, it will. That's how the Lord works out things. You know, folks, life is very much a marathon, not a sprint. And God is with us, and the Bible says in Philippians 4.13 that we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength.

And, you know, talking about not quitting, not giving up, we love stories about how people don't give up and how much more so do we have all the incentive in the world to hang in there as Christians. I was reading the story of Ole Kirk Christiansen, who lived in the Netherlands, and he, you will know his product. You might not know that name, but I guarantee you know what he created. Legos, the building blocks, every year they say there are 75 Lego blocks cast plastic made for every person on earth.

I mean, think of the billions, basically 75 times 8 billion people. That's how many countless numbers of Legos are made every year. And the name Lego actually means play well.

Isn't that something? But he was bankrupt after the Second World War and in the 40s. He envisioned the idea for a little toy for children, an interlocking block. And today it's a household word.

It's one of the most recognizable products in the entire world, Lego blocks. But he almost went out of business, almost quit, but he hung in there. And today his perseverance, even through years, years of bankruptcy and hardness, one of the most ubiquitous products in the world. And we love those stories of overcomers folks. You and I can be overcomers. You and I can stand strong for Christ. You and I can help lead people to Christ, but we don't quit. We hang in there. And so coming to you from a front porch in a stormy place of North Carolina, we've got to take a brief break and Angie and I will be back to talk more about John 14, 11 and believing and trusting in Jesus. Say we'll be right back. Angie will be right back. Angie Fox News and CNN call Alex McFarland, a religion and culture expert.

Stay tuned for more of his teaching and commentary after this. In recent years, our nation has suffered greatly and we seem to be on a rapid moral decline. We've rejected God, morality, and we've almost completely lost our sense of patriotism. It's no wonder that many are asking the question, is this the end of America? Hi, Alex McFarland here, and I want to make you aware of my book, The Assault on America, How to Defend Our Nation Before It's Too Late.

You know, our nation has seen politicians that are corrupted by greed and they've got a vested interest in power, and many of our elected officials seem to care little about the country that they've been appointed to serve. Read my book, The Assault on America. We can stand up for our great nation and defend America before it's too late.

It's available everywhere. You can learn more on my own website, which is alexmcfarland.com. Read the book, The Assault on America, How to Defend Our Nation Before It's Too Late. He's been called trusted, truthful, and timely. Welcome back to The Alex McFarland Show. In 1411, Jesus said, believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me, or else believe for the work's sake. I'll explain in just a moment why we're going over that verse.

We're talking about the legitimacy of apologetics. But I'm with my wife, Angie. This is a rare treat to have Angie on the program. And as I said in the first segment, we're recording outdoors on the phone because we don't have electricity. But that's okay.

This is a minor inconvenience. But Angie, apologetics. You've heard me speak. You've been with us in 49 citywide conferences. Josh McDowell, Lee Strobel, Gary Habermas, Norm Geisler. I think about Charles Coulson, James Dobson, Johnny Erickson-Tada, Dinesh D'Souza, Oz Guinness, Frank Turek, and Ham. We've been privileged to be with a lot of incredible thinkers. Crawford Laritz of Campus Crusade, Dr. Erwin Lutzer. What has apologetics meant, as you've heard all these speakers over the years? And I give God the glory. We were organizing apologetics conferences with several thousand attendees before it was a household word for sure.

But some people don't need that. I mean, it's good when a Gary Habermas can give us all of the historical proof of the resurrection. But then there are a lot of people that they are predisposed to believe in Jesus, and persuasive proof is not really necessary. You've watched over 25 years, and what have you thought as we've interacted with all of these apologetics teachers? I was going to say that I appreciate apologetics.

I have never needed apologetics to believe in the Lord. I came to faith at an early age. I was eight years old. I was in third grade. And a child evangelism fellowship leader came to our Sunday school class. Our community was so small, she was having difficulty finding a church that would house a CEF good news club after school. And anyway, she came to Sunday school and was just telling us about the Lord and talking about how He sticks closer to you than a brother, and He's just great, and who doesn't need a friend like that?

And I thought I could use a friend like that. So at a very young age of eight and third grade, I said, I need a friend like that. And I raised my hand, and I accepted Jesus into my heart at that age. And I just grew up knowing that there was a God. I saw it in my mom and dad's life.

I saw it in our family, in our home. I knew there was a God. My father, my mother had reverence for the Lord.

They believed in God, and I never doubted that there was a God. So I appreciate apologetics, and I appreciate apologists. I'm married to an apologist. I didn't need that.

That's been a blessing, hasn't it? I didn't need an apologetic to believe in Jesus Christ. And for those that do, though, that's okay too. You know, I've thought about it, that I've been in churches where people would come up and they would say they don't like apologetics. First of all, let's lay this on the table, that the word apologetics in no way means apologizing. We're not saying like, oh, I'm sorry for being a Christian.

Please like me anyway. This is not apologizing. The word actually is an ancient legal word, and like in 1 Peter 3.15, where it says, set apart Christ as Lord in your heart. Be ready always to give an answer to everyone who asks a reason for the hope that you have. The word answer and the word reason is the word apologia, from which we get apologetics, and it means to speak in defense of something. In other words, to defend what you believe.

And so we're not apologizing. But Angie, I've also had people that said, look, all of this archaeology and manuscripts and history and prove the Bible stuff, it's not really necessary. You just have faith. I think the John 1411 verse where Jesus says, believe that I'm in the Father and the Father in me, or else believe me for the works' sake. The works Jesus did, I mean, he did the miracles. He walked on water. He healed the sick. With five loaves and two fishes, he fed the 5,000. He was born in Bethlehem as prophesied, born of a virgin, had no sin nature.

I think it's like this. Ideally, human beings would be like you were, and just you believe God because it's the right thing to do, and you believe because it's undeniable that God made us, and we know he's here. We know he's with us. But for those that say, show me, prove it to me, it's almost like Jesus at least made allowance for belief through apologetics by saying, or believe me for the works' sake. Having that faith of a child as you did and as you do, that's wonderful.

But for the people out there that have struggles and skepticism, I think about 2 Peter 1.16, we have not followed cleverly devised fables, but it's real. By faith or by persuasion, as long as people come to know the Lord, Angie, isn't it exciting to see lives changed as people open their heart and receive Jesus into their life? Oh, there's nothing greater than people coming to Christ.

In this day and age, I mean, Christ is the only thing that gets me through my day, and the more people that know him, the better off it is, and they are. In the end, end of the day, what did you do for Jesus? Did you give somebody a cup of cold water in Jesus' name? Did you make a difference in someone's life? Did you tell somebody about Christ? Did you show someone Christ?

I mean, that's all that really matters. If somebody asks you, Angie, why should I open my heart to the Lord, what would you say? Life is just going to be so much better, so much fuller, so much richer. You can't imagine life after Christ. It's like turning on a light switch.

It's turning on a light in a very dark room. It is so revealing, and things make sense. Even the hard times. Hey, we've got to take a brief break. We're going to come back more, John 14-11, and why apologetics matters, and why, yes, even in the challenging times, Jesus is real, and we can trust him at all times. Stay tuned. We're back after this. Fox News and CNN call Alex McFarland a religion and culture expert.

Stay tuned for more of his teaching and commentary after this. Are you tired of liberal agendas ruining our country, but you don't know what to do about it? That's why Truth and Liberty Coalition was founded. We want to equip you to take back our country and impact the world. Here's how we do it. We educate through broadcasts, conferences, and our website with resources that inform, equip, and motivate. We unify by collaborating with like-minded organizations like the Family Research Council, the Family Policy Alliance, and My Faith Votes. We mobilize by providing practical tools you can use to impact your local community.

As Christians, we are called to make disciples of nations. Together, we can change the course of our country for good. Join Truth and Liberty to connect with believers and organizations who not only want to see a change in our nation, but a community that is actually doing something about it. Join us online for our broadcast and subscribe for relevant updates on our website, truthandliberty.net.

He's been called trusted, truthful, and timely. Welcome back to The Alex McFarland Show. We're back, everybody. As I said, if you hear the bugs, the sun's going down.

We're outdoors. We don't have electricity, but that's okay. We do have cell phones, and we're recording this week's broadcast on cell phones. You know, the apostle Paul would have been so thrilled to be able to record the message of the gospel on a device, just a battery-powered device that would take it to the whole wide world. And, you know, in summer, winter, electricity or not, Jesus is still risen. Jesus is still the Lord.

And Jesus is still worth talking about to everybody, isn't he, Angie? Amen. Amen.

Well, I'm holding in my hand something. And before I tell you what I've got in my hand, I want to tell you about our website, alexmcfarland.com, and also viraltruth.com. Now, the one that's just my name, alexmcfarland.com, we've got a lot of content, and also my tour schedule for the fall. We've got a lot of incredible things going on. I'm in Mississippi this weekend, Arkadelphia Baptist, the anniversary, the homecoming, Pastor Keith Lovett. This is a church that works so hard to send teenagers to one of our seven youth camps, 1250 teenagers in seven youth camps, several hundred salvation decisions, many, many young people committing to pray for this country, committing to pray for their schools. And then also we're going to, at the end of September, be in Stuttgart, Arkansas for an evangelistic crusade. I'll be at Liberty University for Spiritual Emphasis Week for Lynchburg Christian Academy, and then at Thomas Road Baptist Church on a Wednesday night in September, speaking to the youth. And then, of course, I'll be teaching at Keras Bible College, the church of one of our board members, New Salem Church. Pastor Chris Gambus, I'll be there November 3, 4, and 5 for an apologetics weekend.

A lot going on. Please go to my website, alexmcfarland.com, and also please be in prayer for our youth clubs all around the nation, viraltruth.com, and of course radio and television through events, publishing and broadcasting. I and our staff are working to bring the gospel to this generation. One last thing, and then I want to give some concluding thoughts about apologetics.

In October, my 20th book comes out. I completely give God the glory. 100 Bible questions and answers. It will be the premium in the fall shareathon for the American Family Radio Network, and so really we are not going to do a big rollout on that until after the shareathon with AFR, but we've got 100 more questions from actual listeners. We appreciate that.

If you want to contact me, if you've got a Bible question, your question might become the subject matter for a future radio show. You can contact us at alex at alexmcfarland.com, alex at alexmcfarland.com. I want to say thanks for all that support prayerfully, financially. It is making a difference, and if you would consider giving online, you can give securely online at alexmcfarland.com, or you can mail a check if you would.

A tax deductible contribution in any amount will help us, and you could just write your check to TNG, as in Truth for a New Generation. TNG, P.O. Box 10231, Greensboro, North Carolina, 27404. P.O.

Box 10231, Greensboro, North Carolina, 27404. Well, I've got a handful of questions from youth from all of our travels over the summer of 23, and lest you wonder, are kids really thinking about God, morals, truth, spiritual matters? Listen to some of these questions. These are from teenagers. How do you daily stay connected to the Lord?

How do you stay joyful? A child writes in, what about the LGBTQ trans community? Does the Bible speak about this? Now, here's a question.

This is from a teenager. Why did God choose the Levites to be the priestly tribe in the Old Testament? What about somebody who says they've chosen the gay lifestyle or any sinful lifestyle? What will we do in heaven? How do I know that God hears my prayers?

Why did Israel cease to be a nation before 1948? It's amazing questions. And back to our scripture, and we've got hundreds of questions from the summer of 23. Jesus said in John 1411, believe in me because I'm in the Father and the Father is in me. Now you see the incarnation of Christ, God in human form. See, many have claimed to speak for God. Jesus spoke as God. Many have claimed to represent the Lord. Jesus claimed to be the Lord, and he proved it by rising from the dead. In other words, I really think in John 1411 when he says, believe that I'm in the Father and the Father in me.

Ideally, we would accept Christ because the incarnation, virgin born, sinless life, miraculous deeds rose from the dead, absolutely unique. But if somebody is a skeptic and they can't or more properly won't believe, then Jesus made allowance to look at the evidence. He said, well, believe on me for the work's sake. In other words, folks, who else, their very birth fulfilled Bible prophecy? Who else did the miracles? Who else taught this amazingly unique message? Not salvation by works, but salvation by faith in the work that Christ did.

Who else has anything like the message of the atonement that the appropriate measure of God's wrath that you and I deserved? It was put on Jesus and then an empty tomb. By the way, folks, you realize that at one time skeptics thought there was no Roman census like mentioned in Luke 2.1, and yet we later learned that there was a Roman census every 14 years beginning with Emperor Augustus. For years skeptics doubted that there was an existence of a quirinius governor of Syria, and then we learned that he was governor beginning in 7 B.C. They didn't really believe that people would return to their ancestral home like the Bible says.

An Egyptian papyrus was found that talks about the protocols for conducting a census, and everybody would have to return to their ancestral home. And whether it, Pontius Pilate, for years skeptics doubted there ever was somebody named Pontius Pilate, and then in 1961 archeologists found an inscription referencing Pilate. Folks, like we've said, it's not fable, it's not legend, it's reality.

You can believe in Jesus because it's the right thing to do, or be persuaded by the works, the miracles, the evidence, the record of history, that he is who he claimed to be, and he rose from the dead. And as we always say, he's as close by as a prayer. Hey, Angie, it's getting dark.

The cicadas are getting loud. I want to say thanks for being with me tonight as we've recorded this on iPhones, but thanks for being my wife and for a quarter century plus, helping put on all that is the many moving parts of truth for a new generation. Your labor in the Lord is not in vain. Thanks, Angie.

You're welcome, Alex. Let's go to cookout and get a milkshake. That's really spiritual, so let's do it. Hey, folks, stand strong. Be encouraged. Jesus is with you.

Stay bold. Pray for America, and we'll catch up next time with more. Bless you. Alex McFarland Ministries are made possible through the prayers and financial support of partners like you. For over 20 years, this ministry has been bringing individuals into a personal relationship with Christ and has been equipping people to stand strong for truth. Learn more and donate securely online at alexmcfarland.com. You may also reach us at Alex McFarland, P.O.

Box 10231, Greensboro, North Carolina 27404, or by calling 1-877-YES-GOD-1. Thanks for joining us. We'll see you again on the next edition of the Alex McFarland Show.

Do you have a desire to deepen your faith, better understand Christian apologetics, or to get a biblical perspective on current events? Well, I've tried to make it simple for you to do just that. On my website, alexmcfarland.com, there's a new section called Ask Alex Online. It's simple, it's clean, and you can read my answers to common questions about God, faith, and the Bible. So visit the website alexmcfarland.com and look for the section that says Ask Alex Online.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-26 23:43:15 / 2023-08-26 23:54:08 / 11

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