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July 14, 2022 6:00 am
If you were to study many of the world's notable scientists, writers, medical professionals, and educators. You notice that there was one belief they all have in common one absolute conviction that collectively drove them to be the greatest. We now know stay with let's discover together. Thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Living on the Edges of international discipleship ministry daily Bible just a minute will pick up where we left off last time series Jesus skeptic taught by our guest speaker John Dickerson society continues to drift further from the truth of God's word realizes finally turned to publicly grounded voices like John Fisher a different viewpoint for what were experiencing in our world. We believe that through his insight and the wisdom of our teaching team we can utter encourage and support Christians to really live like Christian. So if you're ready, let's join John down for part two of his message. Jesus you and healthcare. In my own doubtful study of Jesus. My logical approach was first. This did Jesus actually live, but Jesus skeptic, you'll see a number of chapters about I've chosen in the series not to do a whole message on it, because the evidence is overwhelming that there are not serious qualified historians who even doubt it. But if you doubt it, that's okay I did for a while. That's how skeptical I am and I did the evidence for that is just clear. If you believe Plato or Socrates or any other historic figure lived there way more evidence that this Jesus of Nazareth lived with the second question.
My logical approach was this, do we know what he actually said. I mean Christians have this book called the Bible.
They say it's God's word.
They say we have Jesus words, how do we know. I mean, I remember thinking this is how skeptical I am. What if one guy woke up one day as I can write this blog and say it's from God and tell these people to follow is not that crazy because Mormonism and Islam. There are religions that essentially that's what it is. One guy said that God talk to me here at all is you guys go to when I looked into where does the Bible come from.
I was surprised one. It wasn't just one person but the thing that most surprised me when I dug into the study of ancient manuscripts was this reality that there are more ancient manuscripts of the books of the Bible than any other ancient literature in the world is over example, if you read Socrates or Plato or Aristotle today your reading in English translation of one of about 12 to 30 documents that purport to be from them, and usually there's about a six or 700 year gap from one Plato live to the oldest copy that we have, but that's normal it with all historical documents because most of more parchment and it doesn't do well in the weather. The New Testament is radically different for books of the Bible and the New Testament like the Gospel of John, we don't just have 12 or 20. We have like 2000 or 5000 or 6000 ancient copies and what's fascinating about these ancient copies. Here's a picture of one this is a papyrus of acts.
This was dug out of the desert sands in Egypt is that researchers have for hundreds of years now at the best universities in the world gathered all these and put them side-by-side tons of Europe's libraries have these and now many in the US as well. And here's what the researchers started to find they could take a Gospel of John. That was dated from within 100 years of when Jesus lived, found in the desert sands in Egypt they could find another Gospel of John, that was written on leather and buried in a cave in Italy with them side-by-side in the 98% agree with the 2% being things like spelling, punctuation, stylistic things, and this is been researched by I mean thousands of the smartest people over hundreds of years and if you really look into it. You can't help but come to the conclusion. Well if I believe that what I'm reading is Plato's is Plato's than I have to believe that what these words of Jesus are Jesus now if you want to reject that. No, those are possibly the words of Jesus. That's okay, but to be logical you have to say that I never believe anything that I didn't see the person write it down myself. If you want to live that way, you're free to so he lived. We know what he said next is what did he say and that's my biggest encouragement to you is to start reading the words of Jesus for yourself because we all want to influence people right. How how many people right now want to be an influencer and have as many followers as possible.
Jesus wanted that game he has one out of three people in the world today, following him, he has to point some billion followers more than the number of all the people on Facebook. How did he do it. If nothing else, just an honest curiosity says what did this man say will here's one of the things he said in acts one verse eight he said to his first followers are about 120 at the time, you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, that's where they lived. Judea that's like central Indiana, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
One radical prediction. I mean who says my followers are to spread to the ends of the earth. This is before airplanes before steam locomotives. Ms. followers don't even know that North America exists. This is a radical prediction when I came across this as a journalist. I loved it because I can measure this.
I know the guy live. I know he said this 1900 years ago, at least, probably 2000 years ago.
Let's measure the same that I know Napoleon claimed he would take over the world. He didn't. Alexander claimed he would and he didn't. The Soviet Union claimed that what I mean no one is actually done this, chances with 120 followers for a peasant prophet to say you're gonna spread my message to the ends of the earth.
Here's a visual of where Christianity was in the world at that time. If you look for the blue. You can see, there were only hundred and 20 people worldwide were Christians. That's it. Keep in mind this is before Gutenberg's printing press. Another follower of Jesus this before so many technological advances that can spread things around the world. This is so long ago. This is before the flip phone even before dial-up modem. How old this is as a researcher I didn't want to ask Christians how many Christians there are.
I wanted to ask an objective secular groups.
I went to the pew research Center is the gold standard in sociology today. Here's their map of Christianity worldwide today. Just look for the blue.
The darker the blue the more Christians there are the white areas. If you look at the bottom there it says no data. That's because the white areas are areas where it is illegal to be a Christian we know for a fact there are Christians in those countries.
In fact, we have missionaries who help the Christians in some of those countries, but their countries were Christians get beheaded and physically stone so you can't exactly send a demographer a researcher and there to be okay will take a survey you know are you a Christian.
So even those ones that are white and then of course you got Antarctic at the bottom. I was a one skeptic is a God about that giant one at the bottom that is Penguin land. Okay now the point is this just be objective.
Who else in history is done any no one outs. No one else is done this. And so, if for no other reason, the words of Jesus deserve your attention because he said that hell exists in heaven exists. He said that eternal life exists.
He claimed that he is God. He claimed that he made you and can fix things in you that no one else can fix so if these rights, the stakes are way too high to just brush it off.
The stakes are way too high. Why does this movement keep growing is another thing I as I looked into the growth of Christianity. It's not like some franchise or thereabouts, bluster, location, hearers are it's this organic thing that people like me place their faith in Jesus when he said come to me, you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest for your soul and it sold changes us. It soul transforms us that we can't help but just go tell other people see you've got to give this a try, and that keeps happening every year it happens in countries where people go to jail or lose their lives were being Christian, but they still say like this is worth it and it just keeps spreading what you think back to that story of my daughters and their little doll village being ransacked by their older brother and his dragons you know Jesus said that there is an enemy of your soul.
There is an unseen realm.
There's more to you than your body and in that unseen realm, this enemy of your soul.
He came into this world to kill and steal and destroy.
He started with our ancestors long long ago and were now born into a world that has been destroyed, just like my daughter's little doll village. That's why we have cancer. That's why we have racism and inequality and injustice.
That's why we have genocide and war and death is just really smart people could fix it. It would be fixed by now because there's plenty of smart people in the world. Jesus came into this world to rebuild the village with a different kind of claim that we need someone who can change human nature from the inside out. We need someone who can transform our hearts.
We need someone who can reconnect us to God, and that's who he claimed to be the hero of the universe of maybe your thing okay John what is this look like someone believes in Jesus and they follow Jesus, then what is this big difference in the world that you're talking about. Want to start right at the beginning very soon after Jesus ascended into heaven. His followers started living out what he said keep in mind that most global cultures at this time. If a child was born with special needs. They would just discard it with throat in the trash heap, or they would throw it in the river.
In many cultures at that time and this is all well documented.
Girls were often discarded because many dads wanted boys because they could do more physical labor. It was not uncommon at that time in history. For girls to be discard in the Christians starting to live out what Jesus said became this radical group. It was also very racially divided world they became this group or there was people of different ethnicities and languages, loving each other and then with this group would come across an orphan. They would help the orphan, or a widow. There was no Social Security, they would take care of the widow. There are stories from secular historians of when pagans would throw their babies into the river of the Christians waiting into the water and rescuing those babies out the Romans around the year 200 had this practice that when some kind of plague or sickness would hit their city that the rich people would just leave. They didn't understand immunology, but they knew if we stick around will probably die they would just abandon the people who are sick. The Christians would stay and they provide the care that they could with their very rudimentary understanding of science over time. This continued all the way up to stories like Mary Moz who you heard about and want to tell you just one other story like that. It was recently as 150 years ago if someone was born with what today we would call special needs or atypical learning the way of the world and forgive me that this sounds brash, I'm just reporting on history here. I'm not saying this, the common language was to call those people idiots. They were called idiots or lunatics and poor families would often discard them sometimes wealthy families would lock them away in an asylum would hide them because they were embarrassed of them in that world. There was a young follower of Jesus John Langdon down. He was raised going to Sunday school and church every Sunday and in his teen years he had an interaction with a girl that today we would call special needs God just ignited in his heart. This compassion for her from his understanding of a God who makes all people in his image, who so loved the world that he laid down his life for every single person thought. What if we could have a place where people who have this condition are treated with dignity and respect.
So he went to medical school and then in medical college. He actually one a prize for an essay he wrote you know the title of that essay, the wisdom and benevolence of the create tour that is God was his whole view, God has made humanity and there is a student one time proofreading. One of his profound essays he met a young woman who would become his wife. They got married and together they decided that instead of him pursuing a career to make as much money as he could, as a doctor that they wanted to create something that had never before existed a special home for people with special needs where they could wear nice clothes, eat healthy food be treated with dignity and respect at a time when corporal punishment that is beatings was still the norm where that would be disallowed over there would be arts and literature and they spent their lives creating this environment that had never before existed, where really the things that today we call occupational therapy or a person who is atypical or has some disabilities is taught is much as they can doctor down and his wife really laid the foundation for that and in the process doctor down identified this syndrome in that sexy where we get the term today, down syndrome.
I love that he called each one a patient and where other places would kinda lock them away to address them in the nicest clothes make sure they were bathed and cleaned feed them a healthy diet, and most people special needs at that time were never photographed, but he would photograph them and as you can see photograph from in the nicest clothes of that era. So here we are hundred and 50 years later and were born into a world where if anyone called someone who's different an idiot. We would all look at them like what is wrong with you and that change has come about, not by accident and the fact that if you get sick today.
There's a hospital you can go to that changes come about, not by accident. If you remember, Kevin, Byron, he's a firefighter here in the Brownsburg area. I want to introduce you to his son Aiden. Here's a picture of Aiden.
If you've never met Aiden. Aiden is a bright light.
He will bring a lot of joy to your life is 19 years old. He was born with a syndrome called levator VA TER syndrome. It means that he was born missing a number of organs missing some vertebrae in his spine, missing a lot of things and as a result, Aiden's a little different is really special, something I didn't know about Aiden until a week ago today, when I was hanging out with him and Kevin. Is this starting at age 3. There's a woman in our church named Stacy ticket who said to Kevin and his wife.
You need to be able to come to church and enjoy being in church and Aiden Yoho kinda blurted out things in. She said any Sunday that you guys show up at church I will walk the halls with Aiden during the entire service sing with him.
I'll talk with him. I'll keep him entertained from age 3 to age 19 that 16 years times 52 weeks a year.
That's more than 800 Sundays that Stacy has said I'm gonna serve a family. I'm gonna love Aiden who is made in the image of God as the point is this.
This man Jesus lived his words have inspired people to do good in the world that we can empirically measure good that I would argue based on the whole of my research that if we were to withdraw the universities.
They found it in the hospitals they started we be living like were camping in the dark ages but continues today. See, God uses ordinary people who truly believe the words of Jesus to do extraordinary things, and I want to encourage you church that where, sadly, there are some quote Christians and sometimes they even meet in a building that has a steeple on the roof and says church on it but they don't actually live this out. I want to encourage you that you are a movement of people who are doing this and want to save you. Let's keep doing this. Let's follow Jesus so that our sons and daughters and our neighbors to see a light shining in the darkness. Listening to Living on the Edge chipping. John Dickerson has been our guest teacher for this program.
Jesus you and healthcare, which is from his series, Jesus skeptic, Chip and John will join us in just a minute to share some application for this message. If someone were to ask you how you know Jesus actually lived or can we really trust the Bible, what would you say in this new series pastor and journalist John Dickerson answers those questions using evidence from multiple reliable sources in the well documented impact of Jesus followers throughout history jungles are credible case for the Christian faith or hope is that this series will help you confidently say Jesus is real.
The Bible is true and I can prove it. For more information about Jesus skeptic go to LivingontheEdge.org or the chipping roadmap or call AAA 333-6003 will trips with me in studio know and Chip were in the middle of this new series from John Dickerson and you're always hoping you take a minute and talk to those people were saying out there, why is all this history important. I mean, what can we really learn from it. Why be glad to Dave, and I think some of our listeners might say oh gosh, there isn't a lot of actual Bible verses in teaching right now and what I would remind them is much of the entire Old Testament is history and history matters. The book of acts is basically history and the facts that John is digging in talk about how we got our biblical worldview. Why we can trust the Scriptures. What foundational things have happened. You know we live in a culture where people talk about how prejudiced is wrong, and social justice is important and we want you know medical coverage and opportunity for all people everywhere. What many of them don't understand all those grew out of a history of Christians that were faithful to the text faithful to God and use their gifts because they had a worldview that said, Jesus cares all people matter infects social justice racially quality education for all medicine that's available scientific discovery and literacy for the masses have all grown because of a Christian worldview in context and I will tell you what. It's just so encouraging to me for someone who's an academic but speaks her language to set the record straight. This book will help parents, grandparents, and young people that have really big questions about their faith to know that it's on solid ground and they need to check this out for themselves. I was a skeptic myself and I so appreciate John's work because I went through the same process.
I just really wondered can I really believe any of this. In fact, I rejected it early and it was my firsthand journey in some books like John's that help me come to realize I can trust the Bible. I can trust the claims of Christ. The impact of Christianity. Despite our flaws has shaped the world for good books. Chip will to order your copy of Jesus skeptic visit LivingontheEdge.org or call AAA 333-6003. Through this book. John reveals a convincing evidence for Jesus and opens our eyes to the tremendous influence, Christianity has had on history so the get your hands on Jesus skeptic by John Dickerson go to LivingontheEdge.org or call AAA 333-6003 hapless nurse Special offers over that. Here's Chip and Joan to share some application from today's message.
Thanks Dave John you shared some pretty hard evidence today. Not just the existence of Jesus.
But the profound impact on culture and science and actually the welfare of the world. What do we as believers do with this me.
What is your hope by helping us understand kind of our roots and the impact of Christian thought in the Christian worldview and how that's been applied to history yet. Thanks Chip, you know, really. My hope is to activate everyone who's listening to this who's a follower of Jesus to not just believe, but also to obey the people who've change the world for the better as followers of Jesus were not merely people who had accurate theology and I'm sat in a locked room or church. It was the people who went out and did what Jesus says to do to love our enemies, to pray for those who persecute us to feed the poor to spread the good news.
And so as a follower of Jesus. Today I want to encourage you, especially if you see things in the world that grieve you are upset you revisit the words of Jesus in the Gospels and really ask yourself, am I really obeying this I know for me as an American Christian.
It is so easy to get comfortable in our middle-class lifestyles and homes and just kinda live a life for ourselves living the American dream, while believing in Jesus, but the people who change the world.
The people who expand the kingdom of God are the people who are not only hearers of the word, but doers also the people who trust and obey who go and do so on. Encourage everyone you listening join me today.
Join me this week and being a follower of Jesus who doesn't just believe what Jesus says who goes and does what Jesus did for Ekstrom as we wrap up this program just a quick but important thought Living on the Edge depends on listeners just like you to help us continue to encourage Christians to live like Christians.
So, would you consider partnering with us on a monthly basis so others can benefit from the Ministry of Living on the Edge to set up a recurring donation policy a triple late. 333-6003 or go to LivingontheEdge.org listeners Donate. Thanks in advance for doing whatever God leads you to do well for all of the services they truly say thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge