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Is Christianity a Hoax? - Life of Christ Part 32

So What? / Lon Solomon
The Truth Network Radio
May 26, 2023 3:00 pm

Is Christianity a Hoax? - Life of Christ Part 32

So What? / Lon Solomon

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Encouraging Word
Don Wilton
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The question I want to answer this morning is this, is Christianity really a hoax?

Is it? We want to talk about that a little bit this morning. Now, can you ever think of a time where you stuck your foot in your mouth royally? Anybody ever done that? Man, I do that. It seems like I'm always doing that.

The most recent time that I really did it bad was this past summer. I have a good friend named Paul Miller. Paul's an admiral down in Norfolk, and he's an admiral over all bunch of stuff.

I can't even say all these acronyms that he's an admiral. But anyway, his wife, Becky, had a chance to go down and christen a ship that was being built in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Say, Pascagoula, Mississippi, where is that? Well, I've been there, and I don't even know.

I'll be honest with you, and I don't really care that much. But anyway, it's way down the middle of Mississippi somewhere. It's hot, and it's muggy, and it's sticky, and it's yucky. And I don't care if I ever go back there.

But I went once to Pascagoula, Mississippi, because she asked me to go down and to be the one that did the invocation for this ceremony. And this is a big thing. It's a big deal. I mean, I didn't realize what a big deal this is. I mean, her parents are coming. All her relatives are coming. I mean, it's a big deal. The Navy doesn't launch a ship that often.

And when they do, only one person gets to hit the champagne bottle on the thing. So she said, will you come down to Norfolk, and we'll all get on the admiral's plane, meaning her husband. She calls me admiral.

We'll all get on the admiral's plane, and we'll all fly down together. And I said, okay. So I drove to Norfolk, and I got out at the house there on the base, and I walked up towards the house. And she came out of the house, and she greeted me. And right behind her came this woman who looked just like her.

I mean, just like her. And so the other lady walked up to me and shook my hand. She said, Lon, it's so good to see you. She said, we met once before.

I was at the church up in McLean, where we met months before. And I said, Oh, I remember you. I said, you're Becky's mom.

It's so great to see you again. Yeah. She said to me, Lon, I'm not Becky's mom. I'm her sister. And I said, I'm not Becky's mom then too.

Oh, no. Then I find out when I get back, Richard Park called this lady her mom too when she was here. So I just wanted to crawl in a hole and cover myself with dirt. I spent the first half of the trip apologizing to this woman. I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry.

You really don't look that old. I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry. No, I didn't say that. I'm not that stupid. But say, yes, you are.

Yes, you are. Well, anyway, if you've ever been in a situation like that where you just want to die, you're so sorry, you opened your mouth, then you'll appreciate what happens to Peter in our story for this morning, because that's exactly what happens to him. And I want us to look at the story and then answer the really important question, which is so what?

Right. Okay, so let's look beginning Luke Chapter nine, verse 27. I tell you the truth, Jesus said, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God. And about eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him, and they went up on a mountain to pray.

And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. Remember, Peter just confessed to Jesus, you are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God. And in response, Jesus says, Now, Peter, you're right. And there are some of you standing here who will not taste death until you see the kingdom of God coming.

Eight days later, takes him up on this mountain. And as he's praying, the Bible says he was changed. Now, two of the other Gospels, Matthew and Mark's gospel say that he was transfigured before their eyes.

And if you know anything about the Bible, you know that this passage is all about what's called the transfiguration. What does it mean to be transfigured? Well, the Greek word metamorpho is the word from which we get our word metamorphosis. To be transformed means to undergo a metamorphosis and metamorphosis as Esther says, means a complete change in appearance and form a complete change in appearance of form. Metamorphosis is like tadpoles becoming frogs, and like caterpillars becoming butterflies and like teenagers becoming humbled metamorphosis. And so Jesus was completely changed in his appearance and in his form, right in front of their eyes.

Now how so? Well, the Bible says that the appearance of his face changed. Matthew chapter 16 says that his face shone like the sun, which is quite a statement because the sun shines pretty bright. And it says here that his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning.

What was happening here? What was happening is that Jesus Christ was pulling back the curtain on his divine nature. He was allowing these three disciples to get a glimpse of the glory that belonged to him as the second person in the Godhead. It was veiled, it was muzzled, if you will, by the fleshly body that he was in. But for a moment, he pulled that veil back and allowed them to see who he really was in all of his glory as the second person in the Godhead. That's what they were seeing. If you look in Revelation chapter one, where John the Apostle on the island of Patmos sees Jesus Christ after he's been resurrected, after he's gone back to heaven, and you read the description, it reads exactly the same as the description here. That his face shines so brightly, John couldn't look at him and his clothes were bright as light.

Same description. That's Jesus Christ in his glory, and he gave them a glimpse of it. Now, two other people were there too. Verse 30. And two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus.

And what were they talking about? Well, they spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem. If you look at Jesus Christ through the Gospels, you will find that the transfiguration is the fulcrum of his life.

Before the transfiguration, all of Jesus Christ's ministry was just going in general around the nation of Israel, talking to people, preaching to people, healing people. After the transfiguration, all of his life becomes a single monolithic mission to go to Jerusalem and complete his mission, which is die on the cross. In fact, look down at verse 51. Same chapter, verse 51. It says as the time approach for him to be taken to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. The Greek word literally means he set his face like a flint to go to Jerusalem. And the rest of Luke's gospel from this point on is all simply things that happen on this last journey to Jerusalem from which he would never return because he was going to be crucified. You understand this is a fulcrum in his life. Now, Jesus Christ was God, yes, but he was also man. And as a man, he was facing the most difficult and demanding test of his entire life, the cross. I don't know how you are when you've got tough things ahead, but I'm this way.

And I'll bet you are, too. A lot of times it just helps to talk to some friends if you got tough things that you're facing. And so Jesus had two of his best friends, Elijah and Moses. Come meet him on the mountain, have a cup of coffee with him and sit and talk about what was ahead for him, encouraging him, I believe, urging him to keep going and complete his mission.

This is what was going on here. Well, what were Peter, James and John doing all this time? Look at verse 32. It says that Peter and his companions were very sleepy.

They climbed to the top of the mountain. Jesus had said, Let's all go pray. So he went and prayed and they fell asleep.

That sound familiar? Sounds like my prayer life. I'll get sometimes get on my knees and I'll start praying about 10, 15, 20 minutes later, I'll wake up and I'll say, God, it sure is a good thing. The Spirit of God prays for me with groanings too deep to know because I didn't groan anything out loud. I passed asleep.

Does that sound like your prayer life? I'm the only person that does that. Well, all right.

Well, maybe I am. But anyway, they fell asleep. And suddenly, however, they realize something's going on and they pop awake. And with their hearts pounding, they begin to cry.

They begin looking around and they realize something's going on. And just as Elijah and Moses were leaving, Peter and James and John run over to them. Verse 33. And as the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to him, Master, it's good for us to be here.

It's so good you brought us up here, Lord. Let us put up three shelters, three cottages, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah. And Peter did not realize the Bible says what he was saying.

He didn't realize what he was saying. We teach our children at home, never enter a room, mouth first. We're making some progress. We teach them, enter a room, look around, survey the situation, figure out who's on first. And then if you're gonna open your mouth, open it then when you can make an intelligent comment.

Do not enter a room, mouth first. We're not doing so well. We're working on it. Brenda keeps telling me we'd do better if I'd learn to live that way.

But besides that, we're working on it. But in the meantime, Peter entered the room, mouth first. He didn't stop to think. He didn't look around. He didn't survey the situation. He got nervous. He didn't know what to do. So he did what most of us do.

He opened his big mouth. And what he said was, let us build a tent up here, a cottage up here, one for you, Lord, one for Moses, and one Elijah. Now question, how did Peter know that this was Moses and Elijah? He said, well, he'd seen their pictures hanging on the synagogue wall, you know, the photograph.

No, no, not that. I don't know how he knew. Maybe divine intuition. Maybe God just revealed it to him. I think most likely he probably had heard Jesus refer to them by name. And that's how he knew. And he rushed over and he said, let me build a tent for each one of you.

Let me build a little cottage up here for each one of you, one for Moses, one for Elijah, one for you, Jesus. And the Bible says he didn't realize what he was saying. Now, what is it that he was saying? That he was saying that he didn't realize what he was saying? Well, by offering to build each of them an equivalent tent, Peter had, in essence, just put Jesus Christ on an equal par with Moses and Elijah.

Do you understand? He had said, look, all three of you guys are about the same. So why don't we just build each one of you a little house up here? We'll build one for you, Jesus. We'll build one for Elijah.

We'll build one for Moses. You know, you guys are all kind of about equal in this whole thing. That's what he had said. Now, he maybe didn't mean to say that.

That's what he just said. You know, what's really interesting is in this world of ours, this is exactly the way our world wants us to categorize Jesus Christ. They want to put him in with a long list of other people who were all founders of religions. That's the way our colleges and universities want to bill him.

That's the way our society wants to bill him. They want to lump him in with Buddha and Mohammed and Moses and Joseph Smith and many, many others as another founder of a religion. See, this is how Peter ranked him here. Moses was the founder of Jewish religion, and Elijah was the great establishment of the school of the prophets. And so Peter just lumped him in and said, we've got Moses who wrote the Torah, the Old Testament law. We've got Elijah who headed the prophets. And now we got you, Jesus, all three of you together here.

Jesus Christ, my friends, is different. He's not the founder of a religion. By the way, let's define religion. What's religion? You say, what do you ask dumb questions like that for? Religion is, I don't know, it's God going to church. I don't know. What's religion?

See, try this definition. Religion is a bunch of rules and regulations aimed at trying to make people right with God. Is that a reasonable explanation? Religion is basically a self-help scheme. My own effort in some way, shape, or form aimed at somehow getting me right with God. That's religion. Now, in that sense, Jesus Christ did not found a religion. And matter of fact, in that sense, Jesus Christ is against religion. You say, I'm going to leave here and go tell the people in my office that my preacher said on Sunday, Jesus Christ is against religion.

Yep. If that's how you define it, he's against religion. Jesus Christ is not for religion because Jesus Christ didn't come to establish religion at all. Jesus Christ came to do something for you and me that no amount of religion, no amount of self-help effort, no amount of schemes could possibly do for us. Jesus came to die on the cross to pay for our sins, which you and I, no matter how much religion we've got, can never do.

And so in that sense, Jesus Christ is against religion. Interestingly enough, look back at verse 27 here. Remember what it says?

It says, I tell you the truth. Some of you who are standing here will not taste death before they see, now look, before they see the kingdom of God. And then he took them up on the mountain and what did he show them? What's the kingdom of God that they saw?

What they saw was Jesus Christ revealed in all of his glory. So am I wrong in making the connection that the kingdom of God is not a bunch of self-help human effort, sugar coated with a bunch of Bible verses or Quran verses or Book of Mormon verses or Hindu chants? That's not the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is Jesus Christ revealed in all of his glory.

That's the kingdom of God. And folks, when I came to Jesus Christ, I lost my religion. I sometimes get forms to fill out, you know, and it says religion. Well, if it's a form, I write Christian. But if somebody asks me, what's your religion?

And I don't think it'll be too offensive. I say to them, I don't have a religion. Oh, you're an atheist. No, not an atheist, but I don't have religion. I got no religion. What I have is a personal relationship with Almighty God through Jesus Christ.

That's not a religion. That's a personal relationship with God. And Jesus Christ came and did something for me that my religion could never have done for me.

He died on the cross to pay for my sins, which no amount of self-help could ever have done. You understand what I'm saying? You understand the mistake that Peter made? Peter said Jesus is just another part of religion.

No, not at all. He missed the whole point. And if you're here and you've never trusted Christ in a real and personal way, may I say to you, the best thing could ever happen to you is for you to lose your religion.

Best thing ever happened to you. Get rid of your religion. You don't need it.

It doesn't help you. And get Jesus Christ. That's what you need. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who loved you enough to die on the cross to pay for your sins, join the family of Jesus Christ. Walk with the living God in real personal experience. Forget your religion. Junk it. You don't need it.

You need Christ. Now, Peter was sorry he ever opened his mouth. Take a look. Verse 34. And while Peter was still speaking, a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. And a voice came from the cloud and said, This is my son whom I have chosen.

Listen to him. Peter, this voice said, What's wrong with you? How could you stand up a week ago and proclaim that Jesus Christ is the Messiah and now a week later stand up and make such an incredibly stupid statement?

What is wrong with you, Peter? My son is the one you're dealing with here, and he's above Moses, and he's above Elijah, and he's above everybody who's ever lived. Don't build three cottages up here, one for Moses, one for Elijah and one for my son.

You just build one for my son and listen to him. And this is the message, my dear friends, that Peter and James and John and the rest of the disciples went around the world proclaiming after the resurrection of Christ. Don't listen to Buddha anymore. Don't worry about your religion anymore. Forget the Roman gods. Forget everything.

Just build one cottage. Listen to Jesus Christ. Now that's the end of our passage, but it leaves us with the question and you know the question. So what right this week I was out and having lunch with a fellow who's an expert on people from 18 to 30 years old. Now we can call them baby busters. We can call them Generation X. We can call them the lost generation. I don't know what you call them, but they're still between 18 and 30 years old, and we were discussing some of the unique characteristics of that generation. And here's what he said to me. He said, Lon, there's a very high level of cynicism and suspicion in people in this age group regarding leaders and regarding the integrity of leaders, whereas a baby boomer who's 30 to 48 might say, we're not sure we can trust the church. A baby buster from 18 to 30 will say, Lon, we're not sure we can trust you.

That's the difference. Now, I got to thinking about that, and I thought, does this generation have the right? Do they have any good reasons for feeling this way? You bet they do. For distrusting people in leadership, you bet they do.

Now think for a second. The president of the United States authorizes an illegal break-in at Watergate and has to resign. Are they going to impeach him? Catholic priests are resigning in record numbers due to sexual crimes and abuses. Jimmy Swaggart blasts Jim Baker on national television for an affair with Jessica Hahn, and then we find out Jimmy Swaggart's out hiring prostitutes himself. People at UB Plasma Products in Germany, officials there distribute blood all over Europe that they knew was possibly tainted with HIV virus, and they distribute it anyway. Then did you read about these people down at Time Warner who went to get their flu shot last week? And there was a doctor there who began reusing syringes as many as five times on five different people because he was running low on syringes, and he never told anybody, you're getting a reused syringe until after it was over?

This is a doctor. When asked later, he said, I guess I didn't use good judgment. I'd say, that's an understatement, wouldn't you? And how about these six guards at the D.C. jail that were just arrested this week for smuggling dope into the jail in exchange for money and dope for themselves? And Judge Lambert here in the D.C. U.S. District Court here in Washington, Judge Lambert said, and I quote, if we can't trust the guards, then who can we trust?

I think that's a pretty good question. Who can we trust? Can't trust the president, can't trust the Catholic priest, can't trust the televangelist, can't trust the doctors, can't trust the guards. Who can you trust? Do these people have a good right to be suspicious of people in leadership?

You bet they do. Actually, Judge Lambert asks a very good question for us, even as Christians, who can we trust? And I want to ask you a radical question. Have you ever wondered if you can really trust Christianity? Have you ever wondered if this whole thing was a hoax? I mean, what if Jesus Christ never really did rise from the dead? What if the disciples stole his body and hid it the way that some people think they did and then made the whole rest of this thing up? What if they were cheap opportunists who just saw a chance to embellish the story of Jesus Christ and make a quick buck out of the thing? What if the Bible really isn't trustworthy?

And what if your personal faith in Jesus Christ isn't any more a ticket to heaven than your personal faith in Buddha or Mohammed or yourself? Huh? What if the whole thing's a fraud, a first century gimmick? You ever asked that question? Well, you ought to.

You ought to. Because, friends, we got a whole lot riding on this. We're playing for pretty high stakes here. I mean, we've got our whole eternal destinies riding on this thing and the eternal destiny of our children.

If we have children and of our friends, if we've brought friends to Christ and many of us have paid an awful big price in this life and continue to to stand up for Christ and follow Christ. We've got a lot riding on this. How do we know this is not a big hoax? So a lot. Yeah, I've asked myself that.

What's the answer? What proofs can you give me? Well, let me give you a couple. Number one, I can give you the Dead Sea Scrolls, which confirm the integrity of the Bible that we're reading. Number two, I can give you archaeology, which time after time after time has confirmed the historical accuracy of what those texts say. I could give you the testimonial of changed lives of people who believe what the Bible has to say about Jesus Christ.

And as a result, their life has been radically transformed and there's no human explanation for it. Number four, I could give you the proof of answered prayer. I met a lady out in the foyer after the first service who came up to me and she said, you know, she said when we were talking about making some kind of commitment to help pay off this building. My husband and I said, we think we're going to do it, even though we're so already financially up to the gills.

We don't see how, but we're going to do it. And Lon keeps saying, trust God and God will come through. And she said, we made a commitment on a monthly basis. And she said, you will never believe what happened. She said, I got a notice a week later from my mortgage company that they were reducing the amount of my monthly mortgage by four dollars more than the amount we have pledged to give every month.

And she had tears running down her face. She said, can you believe that? Can you believe that? I said, yeah, I can believe it. And the neat thing is, you might tell other people and they might not get all excited, but you know, God did something for you, don't you? She said, I do. I said, all right, now she's a young believer. I said, now don't forget what God's done. Keep following him.

That's no accident. But let me give you one more proof. And that is the proof of human nature. Say, Lon, I'm not sure I get it. Well, stick with me.

You will. Have you been reading about this thing in England, about these two 10 year olds that beat this little kid to death? That's one of the most tragic things I've ever read. They kidnapped a little two year old in London, took him out down to the rail yard. These two 10 year olds dragged him through there, beat him with bricks and clubs and rails, and then left his body on the tracks.

And the train came along and cut his body into pieces. And these were 10 year old kids that did this, two of them. In fact, it's so sickening. I have to put it aside when I start reading it, because you start thinking what they did to this little poor two year old.

And it's just sad. But anyway, when they were asked about it, we're talking human nature now, when they were asked about it, they both denied it. They both said absolutely. Child B, which is they're only known as child A and child B, child B swore to his mother in the name of God that he had never seen this two year old.

The paper said. Then they brought in a bunch of eyewitnesses who said they'd seen these two 10 year olds dragging this kid through the rail yard. And all of a sudden, child B decides he did see this kid. He did do it.

And how can he cop a plea and get away with the least amount of punishment? That's human nature. Human nature will go along with a lie or deception as long as it's to your advantage.

As soon as it's not to your advantage, man, immediately you abandon it and cut your best deal. That's human nature. Now, folks, human nature has never changed. It's never changed. Adam said it wasn't me. It was the woman. And it's never changed since.

It's been that way the whole time. And I don't care whether you're Christian or non-Christian. I don't care whether you're a male or female.

I don't care what color your skin is. Human nature is the same. And human nature only goes along with a hoax long enough that it benefits you as soon as it stops benefit.

You human nature gives it up. Now, how does that relate to what we're talking about? In 64 A.D., Emperor Nero arrested Peter, the same guy that was up on the mountain. And he said, Peter, I got a deal for you. Renounce Christianity, renounce Jesus Christ as the son of God, and I'll spare your life.

Now, you know what? Christianity had been a good thing for Peter. Think of what it had done for Peter. I mean, it had taken him from being a poor fisherman to being a person of worldwide fame. It had allowed him to make a living without having to do the hard and grueling work of those nets around the Sea of Galilee. He'd had a chance to travel. He had a chance to see the world.

He had lots of frequent flyer miles all built up. I mean, Christianity had been good to him. But here he is looking the emperor of Rome right in the face and his life's on the line. And if Christianity is a hoax, if they stole the body of Christ, if this thing is not for real, this is a pretty good time to give it up. But you see, as the church historian tells us, rather than giving it up to the contrary, Peter said he wouldn't give it up and asked to be crucified upside down by Nero because he didn't consider himself worthy to be crucified in the same position that his Lord had been crucified in.

And that's exactly what Nero did. He crucified him upside down. And that's how Peter died. Friend, do you think Peter would have agreed to be crucified for a hoax?

Nothing. Peter was a confirmed yellow belly. He was a complete chicken. And there's no way that man would have gone to that kind of a death for a hoax for something he believed to be a hoax.

There's no way it defies every law of human nature. And human nature is the same then as it was now. Something had happened that had convinced this man that this was no hoax. And you know what had happened? It was what he saw up on that mountain.

I want you to read about it. Let's turn back to Second Peter, Chapter one. If you're using our copy of the Bible, it's page 860.

Eight hundred and sixty. Second Peter, Chapter one, towards the end of your New Testament. And I want you to see Peter say it himself. Second Peter, Chapter one. Going to begin in verse 16. Second Peter, Chapter one, verse 16. Here's Peter writing.

And this is what he says. He says, We have not followed cleverly devised or invented stories. In fact, the King James will translate it, cunningly devised fables. We have not followed, Peter says, cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and the coming of our Lord Jesus. But we were eyewitnesses of his majesty, for he received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came saying, This is my son whom I love with him.

I'm well pleased. We ourselves heard this voice that came out of heaven when we were up with him on that mountain. Do you understand what he's saying?

Let's take it backwards. He says, I was on that mountain. You may not have been there, but I'm telling you, I was up on that mountain and I heard that voice come out of heaven. And I was in the middle of that cloud and I heard God the Father say to me, this is my son in whom I'm well pleased.

And I saw Jesus's face shining like the sun and I saw his clothes transform and shining brighter than lightning. I was there. I saw it. And this is no hoax. I know what I saw.

I know what I heard. This is no story. This is no fable.

This is for real. It was the transfiguration up on that mountain that convinced Peter that Jesus Christ and the New Testament and Christianity and salvation by faith was for real. And he backed it up with his life.

Listen, my dear Christian friend, there's a lot of things in this world that let us down. But Jesus Christ and our personal faith in him is not one of them. Peter saw something on that mountain that convinced him he could trust Jesus Christ with his life, with his death, with his eternal destiny. And Paul, the apostle, did the same.

You remember on the road to Damascus where he saw Jesus Christ in all of his glory and was knocked off his horse? He came away from that experience with the exact same confidence and attitude as Peter. He said in the Bible, I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that he's able to guard what I've committed to it. And what is it that you committed to him, Paul?

My life, my death, my eternal destiny. Paul says, I know whom I believe and I know he can guard what I've given him. And Paul backed it up in the same way.

Nero killed him in Rome and Paul refused to deny the faith. Folks, in a world like ours, there's so little we can trust. You ever wonder if there's anybody for real in this world?

There's so much smoke and mirrors. It's everywhere you go. I talked to a gal who bought a car right down here. I won't tell you the name of the Ford dealership, but she bought one right down here at the Ford dealership. And she asked, look, the salesman right in the eye. And she said to him, is this car ever been in an accident? He said, no, ma'am, it never has. She said, you're absolutely sure because I don't want to buy cars in an accident.

He said, no, ma'am, I promise you it never has. She took it in to get some work done on it about a year later, which just happened recently, and they put it up on the rack. And the first thing the mechanic said to her is, ma'am, this car has been in a terrible accident.

The frame's been welded. She came over my house and she said, I looked at that salesman right in the eyeball and said, has this car been in a wreck? And he looked me right in the eye and lied to me and said, no, ma'am. You ever wonder if you can believe anybody out there? But I want to tell you this. Paul said, I know whom I believed and I'm convinced that he can keep what I've committed to him, that this isn't smoke and mirrors with Jesus Christ.

This is for real. Now, these people saw Christ in all of his glory. It made sense for them to believe. But I'm reminded when I think of this, of what Jesus told the apostle Thomas. He said, Thomas, because you've seen me, you believe. Blessed are those who've not seen me with their physical eyes.

And yet they still believe. Now, I've never seen Jesus Christ with my physical eyes, never seen him appear to me. And I don't imagine I ever will. I mean, if he does, that'd be nice. But I'm not counting on it.

I'm not asking for it. But I'm glad I can be part of the second category. The first category is, Thomas, you saw me, so you believe.

Great. But blessed are those who've never seen me. And yet they're willing to believe. I'm prepared to accept the eyewitness account of Peter as being right, that Jesus is really who he said he is, because nobody backs up something like that with their life unless they believe it. It was the transfiguration that convinced him. So my question to you is, are you able to stand and face life and say, I know whom I have believed and I'm convinced that he's able to keep what I've put in his hands. And I got nothing to worry about. Blessed are those who've not seen him and yet still believe.

And, you know, life's a pretty tough thing. But if you know Jesus Christ and you've got it all rested firmly in his hands, it's amazing how much easier life is when we've got that level of confidence that he's running the show. And I hope you do. If there's any doubt, I hope this morning has helped convince you. Nobody pays with their life for a hoax.

This was no hoax in Peter's mind or in Paul's or in John's or any of these other guys. And I'll throw my lot in with them and take my chances. And I hope you will, too. Let's pray. Heavenly Father, I want to thank you for the word of God this morning, and I pray that you would use it to confirm our faith, to strengthen our faith. I want to pray for people who are here that maybe have never trusted Christ in a real and personal way, that, as we've mentioned this morning, you would help them junk their religion and exchange it for Jesus Christ, who died on the cross to pay for their sin. And, Lord, for those of us who've done that, but who, from time to time, our faith is tested and it's shaken and we wonder and we question and we feel insecure because we're human. I pray, Lord Jesus, that you would use the example of Peter this morning, the example of the Apostle Paul, the word of God, to give us a sense of confirmation and assurance that this is not smoke and mirrors, but this is real, eternally so. And, Lord, deepen our faith and help us be able to say with absolute conviction and confidence we know who we've believed and we're convinced that he's able to guard what we've put in his hands, our life, our death, our eternal destiny, against the day of judgment. We pray these things in Jesus' name. Amen. ...
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-26 17:19:21 / 2023-05-26 17:33:22 / 14

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