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October 28, 2021 9:00 am
Today on Summit line compelling evidence for the truth of the gospel from pastor Jeannie Greer skeptics have a hard time explaining how Christianity really got started.
The question is what made 11 ordinary men, fishermen and other blue-collar workers and all sworn enemy who hated Christianity. With every fiber of his being what transformed them into such dedicated and unrelenting advocates for the gospel light after Jeannie. I'm your host Molly benefits you doing today in the book of Galatians and let me just start with a question that you may have heard before. How do we know that the gospel we find in Scripture wasn't just a clever conspiracy that the disciples came up with that. They didn't just write whatever came to mind what the word gospel literally means good news is good news that we are saved by Jesus's blood alone, not by anything that we gotta do or nice but we really know that the gospel message is true.
That's what pastor Jeannie is going to address today. So grab your Bible and see what God has to say to all of us about only relationship one mutual fund where there since becoming a Christian I school. I have probably gone through about 20 different courses on how to share your faith.
Each of these courses was different, meaning they were suggesting different verses that you would use her different approaches metaphors for explaining the gospel on the churches that I grew up in high school and college particularly were fond of these tools evangelistic tools that we called gospel tracts and I remember those things you track with me there and so we had all different varieties and kinds of shapes and colors that help disengage people of the gospel and over the years. I just A little collection of them my favorites that I have a file in my office and I made you well recognize some of these. Here's one I remember get out of hell free monopoly wage witness was a easy conversation starter was one of my favorites wanted Americans in heaven.
Not sure what conception you have of Jesus of Nazareth, but he never really look like that in my book, and so I had to keep all about 11 of the churches that I was part of growing up was pretty hung up on the King James version of the Bible being the only version of the Bible that could be considered God's word so I member this track. We had which was to deadly viruses, HIV and NIV I want to make sure that we've got the message out about balance. Then there was also this one seems web rock music.
Are you caught we were made a pretty big deal out of the fact that rock music was Satan's tool for getting into the hearts of your children, so we had that one all these ingenious strategies for getting these tracks in the people's hands to leave them in bathrooms and leave them in library books and the Blockbuster video HS tabs that you would turn back yeah just all these are ways had a guy actually come to our church and one part of his presentation was explaining how you could take a track and hold by the saw your car you were driving 35 miles an hour how to hold it.
The angle and how to let it go so that it would get the wind caught and later somebody sleep. It was stated on the side of the road on this is the kind of evangelism training that I can park grew up on.
As part of what led me to be your pastor here today okay something I want to know the worst ones I ever saw was this one. One side of it was $20 bill and on your folded and decide how you put this on a like a restaurant table for a waiter or waitress usually be excited with what they're like, nope, don't be fooled.
The real tip is used to try Jesus and their stressors greater in heaven. I told you that I would believe in purgatory, but I'm pretty sure that if there is a purgatory, you will directly go there for putting that down on a table and if you can do that put $100 bill with it. That is a real hundred dollar bill that show your appreciation, but that was part of what they evangelism training I got but almost all the training that I received said that at some point, you should share your personal story about Jesus and that for me was always the most useful part of the training that I received. Often our most persuasive evidence for Jesus's existence is the story the personal story of what he has done in our lives will see I share that because in the last half of Galatians 1. Paul is going to use his story as is evidence of the truthfulness of his gospel peers always starts that section in verse 11, he says I want you to know brothers and sisters that the gospel preached by me is not of human origin. I did not receive it from a human source, and I was not taught it.
It came to me by a direct revelation of Jesus Christ's. If you remember last week we sold Paul's primary concern in this letter to the Galatians was that the Galatians and started to believe different. A perverted gospel. Paul wants to show these Galatians that there is in fact only one true gospel and that is the gospel that he Paul is preaching and so part of this case for word for that is that there is that only a resurrected Jesus with real resurrection power could have changed Paul's life the way that Paul's life changed to really resurrected Jesus will real power to change me like that. Paul seems to be responding. By the way to a specific rumor going around Galatia that he had plagiarized bits and pieces of the gospel that you heard from other apostles just you taking little scraps and Reese reassembled it into a brand-new gospel without the apostles permission and that Paul's gospel was different than that of the other apostles and he was twisting it to his own selfish agenda and Paul says Galatians why submersible.
I was never even around the other apostles for about 17 years to be able plagiarized plagiarized somebody you have to read the worker listen to what they're saying.
I just wasn't even exposed to the ears only explains that verse, verse 15 but when God knew from my mother's womb set me apart and call me by his grace on the road to Damascus was pleased to reveal his son in me so that I should preach among the Gentiles, watch I did not immediately consult anybody. I didn't go to Jerusalem to those who become apostles before me. Instead I went to Arabia read that the desert by myself and then I came back to Damascus. Verse 18 that after three years I did go up to Jerusalem and got to know Cephas that's the nickname for Peter and I stayed with Peter about 15 days, but I didn't see any of the other apostles while I was there except for James Ward's brother got to meet him and I declare to you in the sight of God. I'm not lying what I write to you then. After 14 years, but the three of them at 17 I went up again to Jerusalem and presented to them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles first time 17 years and I really spent any time with the apostles as a group. It is just impossible for me to plagiarize from them about what even around them for the first 17 years. Paul labored and basic obscurity having Jesus personally teach and reveal the gospel to his soul. By the way, I always use that back whenever I'm talking with seminary students were dissatisfied with the seminary portion of their lives like oh I should have more responsibility. So I should be out there saving the world, so I should be in a higher position. I might look. God took 17 years to train Paul before he really established him in the ministry. I wouldn't complain about your four years, we have a new intern. Here's like when do I get the priest to the whole church on Mike about 17 years from now, based on what I see from Paul, the point is, Paul said I wouldn't around the other apostles plagiarize from them. No, he says, he said my gospel can straighten Jesus Christ. So it is the real one. And then you can offer three lines of evidence to try to prove that his gospel is divine now. Two of these pieces of evidence are what we call objective evidence in one piece is what we would call a subjective evidence that you understand what I mean in the difference between objective and subjective evidence. I objective evidence is usually is about verifiable facts subjective on subjective evidence is where you talk about the effect that the experience had on you. Paul's going to give us two pieces of our objective and one piece of subjective and the reason I explained that is because it is really really important that you learn that you master both types of evidence when it comes to talking about the gospel, walk you through the two objective and one subjective and after a walk you through that I've got a really cool story of a modern-day Paul who is right here in our church that I want to share with you is as another evidence of the subjective evidence for the gospel okay.
I objective evidence piece number one, Paul makes this makes this claim, only an actual vision of a resurrected Jesus could explain the conversion of Christianity's number one enemy into its number one emissary is to say this in verse 13.
He's going to say you know you know about my former way of life.
In Judaism you know that I was a Jew of the Jews you know that I hated Christians and I now he says, verse 23 promote the faith that I once tried to destroy Paul says, how else could you explain the conversion as dramatic as mine, except that I actually encountered a resurrected Jesus. I was a hater and now I'm a promoter, skeptics have a hard time explaining how Christianity really got started.
The question is what made 11 ordinary men, fishermen and other blue-collar workers, and Paul a sworn enemy who hated Christianity. With every fiber of his being what transform them into such a dedicated and unrelenting advocates for the gospel. Every single one of these apostles including Paul would die a martyr's death and it's like I've often explained to you.
People are not willing to suffer and die for something they know to be alive. Now this is true is true. Lots of people die for a lie 900 people.
For example, drink the Kool-Aid at Jonestown. That was a lie, but people don't willingly suffer and die for something they know to be alive. The best illustration of ever heard of. This is Chuck Colson was known as Richard Nixon's hatchet man. He was one of chief staff. Therefore, Richard Nixon, he was a former Marine Corps Col. and Pres. Nixon trusted to do in his ministration. What nobody else would do. Mostly the illegal and the dirty stuff Chuck Colson was the mastermind of the King fan behind the Watergate wiretapping scandal, he teamed up with five other guys. All of them former soldiers hardened veterans from the Marine Corps, the FBI and the CIA.
When the wiretapping operation went south. They all got caught and as soon as the press broke the story. These five guys got into a room and they came up with false narrative that came out alive to explain the events and they swore to each other that they would all maintain this narrative, so that they wouldn't get each other in trouble.
Chuck Colson said do you know how long it took for every single one of us to break under threat of prison we started pointing fingers at each other to try to get ourselves out of trouble in less than a week in less than a week. Every single one of these battle tested hardened CIA, FBI, Marine Corps soldiers, all of us cracked.
He said that's what Marine CIA and FBI agent and you're going to try to convince me to become a Christian later. By the way you try to convince me that a bunch of untrained fishermen and blue-collar workers maintain their story unbroken, saying they had seen Jesus resurrected from the dead when it was a lie. They maintain that to the end. As each was tortured and executed. There is no possible way and I just consider what happened to Paul himself because of his testimony.
We know that on five separate occasions. He was given 39 lashes with a whip because he was preaching every single time he got up and kept preaching.
Three times he was beaten with rods, which is like you know a step up from from a whipping more than once, he was publicly stoned. The baseball size rock swirled into my body was dead every single time both or both of the times that we know it did it on time. Good to be healed of any kept preaching he was shipwrecked, not once but three times. By the way, how many times yet to get shipwrecked before you assume that going on mission trips is not God's will for your life right. However, this he travels for you, but every single time. Paul kept going. What would make Paul willing to endure that time and time and time again only a vision of an actually resurrected Jesus again. People sometimes will suffer for what is false, but they will not willingly suffer for something they know to be false unless there is something to be gained from it, like money or power. But what Paul came from his lie year after year he embraced a life of suffering to spread the gospel he formally had hated and that simply rules out the idea that he was using his apostleship as a cover for a con game as he didn't get money and power because of it. He only got death and suffering persecution. So Paul offers himself as evidence. Number one that the gospel is true, saying that it really was revealed by resurrected Jesus to him just like you said, objective evidence, number two is to be this. He said my message perfectly aligns with that of the other apostles and the prophets like this might be the primary proof that the apostles pointed to as proof that what they were saying was from God. Is that what they were saying perfectly lined up with what all the previous prophets had predicted. That's why all through your New Testament. You can find phrases like, as it was written or according to what prophet so-and-so said or these things were written in order to fulfill some Scripture.
Even Jesus himself pointed back to what the previous Scripture said as a validation that he really was. He said he was. For example, one on the Pharisees were arguing with Jesus about something that he said no you don't really know you talking about me ask you a quick thing about it.
If you were Jesus and somebody was challenging what you were saying. How would you prove that you were telling the truth. I would levitate slowly to me develop my Goya challenge now what do you think the matrix where Joy's mouth is like Mr. Anderson.
How we talk on the phone got your WP view of amalgam. Betsy, that's what I would do. I would do that for her and I would say see you you shut up. But what Jesus did what Jesus did is when they challenged him he said this is a search the Scriptures, for in them you think that you have eternal life.
These are they which testify of me or beginning with Moses and the prophets. He explained to them that what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. Maybe you get that Jesus is proof that what he was saying was true with how well it lined up with the previous revelations last week I talked briefly about Islam and Mormonism to religions that both claim to have received additional revelation from God that corrects the previous revelation. Miss you that know me know that I used to live and work among Muslims for the beginning of my ministry. First two years were in unreached people group in Southeast Asia and Muslim priests. Their Muslim imams would often tell me that the reason I should become a Muslim is that Mohammed received the Koran from the angel Gabriel in a cave and that the Koran he received corrected all the revelation that had gone before it is you Muslims believe in four holy books, three of which you would recognize the Torah that is board of the NGO and then the Koran is the port the taught writings of Moses bore the writings of David and the prophets that in jailers the teachings of Jesus and they say that that that the Koran, the fourth book is the book that goes back and corrects all that the previous three books got wrong will that was incomplete and what time they had taught and they say the reason I should become a Muslim is because Mohammed is the seal of the prophets, and he changes what had gone before, and corrects what was in error whenever they would say that to me I would always point out that band that none of the other biblical prophets ever talk that way about previous prophets. Instead, they all grounded their claims to authority on how they stood in continuity in agreement with what the previous prophets of said at the end of the day all I don't reject the messages of Mohammed and Joseph Smithies with Mormonism. I don't reject them because of deficiencies in their characters.
I don't reject them because Mohammed was a violent warrior because Joseph Smith was a polygamist.
I reject them because what they teach stands in opposition to what came before and God wasn't wrong previously right and so is so elusive that can be wasn't. This is one of the reasons that you need to learn your Bible because if you don't know the Bible you can know when some slick talking preacher is saying something that contradicts what God already said you don't know the Bible. You are a sucker for saying which feed you need to be checking and verifying what you hear and I just listen to somebody because they smile well because there are charismatic and they capture attention but a way that includes me smile and I catch your attention, but I mean you need to be checking what I'm saying by the blast.
What did you bring your Bible you have your Bible.
Funny how you want on exactly in their when I tell you this is what it says you that's exactly what it says when I say something is out of says you need a very quiet so that is not what it says okay which you need to base what you believe not on what your pastor tells you but on the word of God, and that's what Paul says uses a motel you believe this because it's me until you believe it because this was given once for all. All the apostles Paul says it's amazing.
It's miraculous. Even when I finally got to confer with the other apostles. After 17 years when I was saying and what they were saying exactly the same usually says that chapter verse two. I went to Jerusalem presented in the gospel that average among the gentle. This is amazing.
I wanted to be sure that I was not running and had not been running in vain even after seeing the resurrected Jesus. Paul said if what I've been saying it contradicted what the apostles were saying that I would've known even after seeing the resurrected Jesus I would've known that I got some wrong. Why because Jesus had given the apostles the keys to the kingdom. Matthew 1619 keys of the kingdom meant that he gave to them the authority to lay out the path of salvation that would unlock heaven and pulsate of what I'm saying is in opposition to them and I got something wrong. He promised them. John 1426 that he would give them his Holy Spirit who would accurately guide them in the recording of Jesus's message for the church so that what they said about what Jesus said what Jesus actually said. You see there's this idea promoted out, thereby guys like Dan Brown and the da Vinci code or Bart Arminda Prof. of her UNC that there were all these differing gospel accounts. They came out of the first Jesus is found first followers in the fourth century, the Roman Emperor Constantine selected his favorite of all the different versions of Christianity and that he just destroyed all the different accounts. But that's just not historically accurate always is not complete. The Gospels that are in your New Testament Matthew Mark Luke and John. They were the only ones that came out of the apostolic community and they were spread literally all over the world and a bunch of different languages. By the time of Constantine, there is no way that Constantine could've collected up all the different winds and destroy them. What we see from the first century apostolic church is one unified witness agreed on by all the apostles said well I want to special about Jesus on CNN the other night and it talked about the loss Gospels like the Gospel of Peter, Thomas or Judas or Rob Mary or Casper the friendly ghost or whoever. And they got messages in these Gospels that contradict what we see in Matthew, Mark, Luke, John yeah I saw that special to not everything that comes on CNN is the absolute truth. I would lesson from uncle JD. But these Gospels that are talking about all show clear evidence of being written a couple hundred years after the time of the apostles's house and we can only dispute that, whereas Matthew Mark Luke and John were written in the first century by the apostolic community.
What comes out of the apostolic community is one unified message believed and affirmed by all of the apostles and by Paul and they all recognize each other's legitimacy that listen to what Peter says about Paul. The end of his second letter. I love this fall. Talk of this, Peter talking about Paul. Our dear brother Paul also speaks about these things in all his letters, in which there are some matters that are hard to understand women then taught in the unstable twist them to their own destruction as they also to the rest of the Scripture to do things. You see, there one discouraged as you find the book of Romans and Galatians sometimes hard to understand. We encourage you to wrong whichever not even give me bring us to what I don't know how to make a bill that second thing was seeing is that Peter considered Paul's letters to be Scripture Peter recognize that the letters that Paul was writing were not just the letters of a Christian zealot. They were the word of God itself.
There is one unified witness that came out of the apostolic immunity was a gospel that was exactly the same preach by all the experiencing true freedom begins with thinking thoughts about ourselves and write thoughts about God you're listening to Summit life and we're in a steady and Galatians titled free and in the in between certain JD since we can trust God's word. We should dig into it regularly.
Right mean, how else do you get to know but it's not like we just open the Bible blindly hold it out and point to a verse yeah well usually doesn't work like that the same God can do miracles let me live on the story about the person is like oh you know God what you want me to do and the reopens of the Bible points diverse and diverse. His finger lands on his or Judas one hung himself.
As I lacking the rights of the couple pages, any length in a verse in exercise go down the likewise you that's not that's not how God is speaking to you and I know a lot of people are not that extreme.
That's how the person I think Bible lottery, you know, but that's not me there's a way that God speaks best to use when you get the accurate sense of what he is saying the original audience and what it means for your life. So sometimes there are things in the Bible that are just stories being told mom I will. This is a warning doesn't want me to do this so so one of our RR burdens Summit life is not just on earth random phrases and promises and what you come up with ways to apply these worse your life is see what is in the original context we use a method here and we talked about her some align here highlight this is where you take promises and your responding is examining that's the aspect of like how does this fit into the overall biblical picture with a history or what was going on a is applied. That's where you bridge the gap in your life and ours. This Bible that we are offering small compact take charge for your personal backpack. It will help you with the examination and application. It will enable it will help fill the gap of those two things so that you can read and understand the Bible better and ultimately help you know God and his will for your life. We'd like to get your copy of our new custom Summit life Bible today and it comes with our thanks and you donate to support this program on the radio and online by listeners like you and we need to name another listener to give to someone else might only give today and remember to bring your copy at this time in my thing. 335-2929 let me remind you that you are quick and easy to sign my leave event inviting you to join us again next titled freedom only come from Friday night