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Best of Series- ”Apologetics”

Words of Life / Salvation Army
The Truth Network Radio
January 8, 2023 12:43 am

Best of Series- ”Apologetics”

Words of Life / Salvation Army

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January 8, 2023 12:43 am

We are starting off the new year by sharing some of the most listened to episodes of 2022. This first episode is from our series "Pathways" with Major Mike Harris. In this series he discussed the Christian thought-life. In this message he discusses how we as believers should have meaningful conversations with unbelievers.

Check out the rest of the series here


Words of Life
Salvation Army
Words of Life
Salvation Army
Words of Life
Salvation Army
Words of Life
Salvation Army
Words of Life
Salvation Army
Words of Life
Salvation Army

Hi, this is Bernie Dake. You're listening to The Salvation Army's Words of Life. Hey, this is Chris, the producer of Words of Life, and Happy New Year. We really hope you guys enjoyed our Christmas series, which just ended last week. To start off the new year, we're going to take a look at three of the top 10 most listened to episodes throughout 2022. In our first episode, we're going to share a message from the series called Pathways.

This was a series done by Salvation Army officer Major Mike Harris, and he did a series based on Christian thought life. So he wanted to help us learn how to better take captive every thought, as the scripture says. What do we spend the most time thinking about? How do we think about ourselves? How do we think about God? How do we think God sees us?

And so he did this beautiful series that began in October of 2021. In this episode, he discusses apologetics. If you're not familiar, that's basically just being able to defend your faith. It is what is what is it that you believe? And Mike takes apologetics and evangelism. And since they go hand in hand, he has a conversation about how do we as believers have meaningful conversations with unbelievers? So if you want to hear the rest of the series again, this began on October 17th of 2021. Visit and go to your favorite podcast store.

Scroll back to October of 2021. Enjoy. Founded by our actions. As we wait for you, let our lives be set apart. Through you. We believe.

Well, hello again. This is, again, Major Mike Harris on the sixth of our sessions on pathways. That is the the idea or the importance of thought life and our ability to check our thoughts and internal philosophies. And today I want to talk a little bit about apologetics, its ability for us to explain and to back up and to justify our belief system. A few years ago, an Australian salvationist was interviewed on a radio talk show. The radio talk show interviews done their homework and they post some really, really tough questions for this Salvation Army officer on the Salvation Army belief system. The person doing the interview said to the Salvationist, according to the Salvation Army, sinners deserve death. How do you respond to that doctrine? When challenged with this question, the rather unprepared Salvationist replied, well, that's part of our belief system. So we should die, responded the talk show host to which the Salvationist retorted. Well, you know, we have an alignment to the scriptures.

Yeah, that's our belief. Let me tell you something. That misrepresentation of scripture was terrific in this exchange. I mean, what an opportunity to talk about grace and love. But instead, the talk show host had just got this guy to say sinners should be killed. Now, I don't know this guy from Adam.

I can tell you one thing for sure. For a man defending the Salvationist stance on scripture, this man sure did not know his Bible. But increasingly, people are defending their beliefs with little knowledge of what scripture really says on the matter. And scripture is wise to that problem, by the way. Listen to this from 1 Peter chapter 3. But in your hearts, revere Christ as Lord.

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. Friends, know me what you believe and why you believe it is critical if you're going to be an ambassador for Christ.

In verse 15 of 1 Peter chapter 3, Peter starts by saying, revere Christ as Lord. You see, too often we fail to talk about Christ in our beliefs and we fear men. We don't want to offend people. We don't want to cause ways. We don't want people to think ill of us. We are fearful of people.

Whereas the reverse should be true. We should have a greater respect for God than man. We should have that holy fear, that sense of awe when it comes to God. So to protect ourselves from the wrath of man is foolishness when it comes to the things of God.

So once our respect towards God is in place, then we have to be prepared. And here's where reason and knowledge begin to clash. Because we've done a very good job of creating a belief system based on reason.

Even a casual Facebook user will be given enough one-line thoughts to form some kind of worldview response. And such responses end up deconstructing our faith until our belief system is a series of philosophies based on everybody else's opinion. Now as with all mainstream Christianity, the Salvationists should be ready in season and out of it. We must understand what we believe and why we believe it. And to this we must have a relationship with Jesus Christ. And we must have a knowledge of the Bible.

And this brings me back to a subject I've mentioned previously in this series. And that's biblical illiteracy. In my opinion, one of the most important parts of learning about God and about His Word is to question it. Question God's Word.

Don't be afraid to ask a question. But make sure that you look for a biblical answer. Because I've found throughout my life, Scripture is always ready to back itself up.

The answer to your question will be found somewhere else in Scripture. Allow your mind to be curious. Allow it to be inquisitive.

For the most part, that's what the disbelieving world is. They simply want to understand what we believe and why we believe it. So ask questions. Ponder.

Wonder. But also look for the answers. Because we need to know what we believe before we can share it with anybody else. And a very important part of Peter's words are always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks to give the reason for the hope that you have.

Here's another problem we have. Too often when defending God's Word, we could offer a very negative view by concentrating on why God doesn't allow certain things rather than what He has given us. So our conversations in defense of our beliefs should always be an opportunity to express the hope that we have. Also when defending our beliefs, Peter tells us to do it with gentleness and respect. We don't do apologetics to win an argument. We do it to express why Christ died for us and the hope that we have as a result. And all we want is for the listener to accept Christ.

But as is often the case, we could often leave simply planting a seed with no indication of change. And don't be afraid of that either because that seed is important. I have two sisters. My youngest sister, Susan, went to college in the north of England in Manchester. And while she was there, she very quickly met a young lady by the name of Justine. And Susan and Justine became firm friends.

The connection initially was they simply came from the same city of Coventry. But although they were firm friends, they had one huge difference. Susan, staunch salvationist, lifelong Christian, has certainly heard a testimony and a half to tell.

Justine, staunch atheist, never been to church in her life, raised by an atheist mother. And so through their time at college, this difference of opinion when it came to faith, often showed itself. Not in an unkind way, though certainly there were jibes and there were jabs and there were jokes, usually at Susan's expense. But it was often a topic of conversation that came up.

And Susan would always take those opportunities then to share her faith. To say to Justine, you might joke about that, but this is the case, or this is what it means to me. And it's wonderful through the years that they were at college together that they remained firm friends. They were in each other's weddings when they both got married.

So some years later, Justine by now was married to a Turkish gentleman, but living in England. And one day her daughter came home from school. The daughter says, I've been invited to church. A friend of mine has invited me to church. Justine was a bit nervous about this.

Let me go with you. She, again, had never been to a church. She was an atheist.

She'd been raised an atheist. So Justine went with her daughter to church. When she got back from church, the first thing she did was to call up my sister, the Christian that she met all those years ago. And she said to Susan, I just had the most wonderful experience. I just went to church for the first time.

I didn't know. Why did my mother never allow me to experience what I've just experienced? And she went on to talk to Susan and tell Susan that all the things that she said were true. All those years ago, Sue had planted a seed. That seed had sat in there and germinated. It came to fruition through a casual invitation from her daughter's school friend.

But when the Lord got hold of her, Justine realized that what Sue had said all along was true. Friends, don't allow differing views to stand in the way of your relationships and friendships. Be sure of what you believe.

Never waver. But if we dismiss or do not befriend people who don't believe, then there is no hope for them. We are their hope.

Friends, be ready in season and out of season. Know what you believe and make sure that you're telling the unsaved what you believe. Because at the end of the day, that seed that you planted could save that person's eternity. Gracious Lord, give us a burden for the world. Put it heavily upon our hearts that out there, there are people who are dying. And quite frankly, Lord, are in danger of not entering into your eternity. We have to believe with all of our hearts that there is a spiritual warfare going on and that warfare is over souls, over people's lives. And Lord, we live in a world that is becoming increasingly intellectual.

A world where the mind seems to rule over everything else. Lord God, there's nothing out there that is stopping us from reasoning with these people. You've given us everything that we need. We need to make sure we're armed with it. We need to make sure that when we encounter people who don't know you, that we don't go before them in a judgmental capacity but in a loving capacity. That we come before people, Lord, and express our faith, tell them our testimony, answer their questions, and show a genuine concern for them.

And the only way, Lord, we can do that if it's genuinely heavy upon our hearts. May we desire this world for you. May we never doubt your ability to change a heart, to change a life, to save a soul. And may we never, Lord, diminish our part in all of this. May we always recognize, Lord, that we're your tool. That you living inside of us is the most persuasive thing of all. And that we should never be scared.

You did not give us a spirit of timidity. Lord, you've made us strong. You've made us brave. And you've allowed your Holy Spirit to dwell within us. Take us to the world that we might save the world, I pray in Jesus' name. The Salvation Army's mission, Doing the Most Good, means helping people with material and spiritual needs. You become a part of this mission every time you give to the Salvation Army. Visit to offer your support. And we'd love to hear from you. Call 1-800-229-9965 or visit to connect.

Tell us how we can help. Share prayer requests or your testimony. With your permission, we would love to use your story on the show. You can also subscribe to Words of Life on your favorite podcast store. Or visit to learn about more programs produced by the Salvation Army. And if you don't have a church home, we invite you to visit your local Salvation Army worship center. They'll be glad to see you. Join us next time for the Salvation Army's Words of Life.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-08 02:26:36 / 2023-01-08 02:32:02 / 5

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