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Argue for Christ – June 18

18 Jun

What do you do if an unbeliever has questions or objections to the Gospel you are presenting? Hopefully, you don’t shout louder.

It’s dangerous to assume that the Holy Spirit works only through preaching. He can work through rational argumentation, too. Sometimes, we must appeal to the head and the heart. Jesus said “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind.” If an unbeliever objects that Jesus of Nazareth is simply a fictitious character, the answer is not to tell him to get right with God. The answer is to show him the overwhelming historical evidence confirming the life and death of Jesus—and then tell him to get right with God! Beyond that, It’s unscriptural to refuse to reason with an unbeliever. Look at the ministry of Paul. It was Paul’s standard procedure to present reasons for the truth of the gospel and defend the faith:

And Paul went in, as was his custom, and for three weeks he argued with them from the scriptures, explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead. . . . So he argued in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and in the market place every day with those who chanced to be there. . . . And he entered the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, arguing and pleading about the kingdom of God. . . . And he expounded the matter to them from morning till evening, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus both from the law of Moses and from the prophets. And some were convinced by what he said, while others disbelieved. (Acts 17:2–3,17; 19:8; 28:23–4 rsv)

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5 Comments

Posted by on June 18, 2012 in Apologetics, Daily Thoughts, Evangelism, June

 

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5 responses to “Argue for Christ – June 18

  1. LadyBlack

    June 18, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    Please let us know what historical evidence there is. I’d be fascinated to see it, since people have been looking for it for some considerable period of time in vain.

     
    • Jacob

      June 18, 2012 at 5:08 pm

      Hello Lady Black, thanks for reading. The “Jesus-myth” is not a common topic of debate even in the secular scholarly circles of today. Nevertheless, I hope my answer points you to a confidence in Jesus.

      I could simply point you to the multitude of early Christian writings available. These sources include the twenty-seven different New Testament Documents and the writings of the early Church Fathers (e.g. Polycarp, Eusebiusm Irenaeus, Ignatius, Justin and Origen). Most historians would agree that these sources are sufficient to testify to the existence of Jesus. After all, what we know about Alexander the Great could fit on only a few sheets of paper; yet, no one doubts that Alexander existed.But if that isn’t enough we have those outside the Church who wrote about Jesus of Nazareth.

      –Tacitus was a Roman historian writing early in the second century AD (112 AD). His Annals provide us with a single reference to Jesus of considerable value. The following is a full quote of the relevant cite, from Annals 15.44. Jesus and the Christians are mentioned in an account of how the Emperor Nero went after Christians in order to draw attention away from himself after Rome’s fire of 64 AD:
      “But not all the relief that could come from man, not all the bounties that the prince could bestow, nor all the atonements which could be presented to the gods, availed to relieve Nero from the infamy of being believed to have ordered the conflagration, the fire of Rome. Hence to suppress the rumor, he falsely charged with the guilt, and punished Christians, who were hated for their enormities. Christus, the founder of the name, was put to death by Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea in the reign of Tiberius: but the pernicious superstition, repressed for a time broke out again, not only through Judea, where the mischief originated, but through the city of Rome also, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their center and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind”

      –Josephus (born AD 37) was a Jewish historian. He became a Pharisee at the age 19 and in A.D. 66 he was the commander of Jewish forces in Galilee. After being captured, he was attached to the Roman headquarters. In Josephus’ Antiquities, there are two quotes that mention Jesus. Here is the first and smaller quote:
      Antiquities 20.9.1: “But the younger Ananus who, as we said, received the high priesthood, was of a bold disposition and exceptionally daring; he followed the party of the Sadducees, who are severe in judgment above all the Jews, as we have already shown. As therefore Ananus was of such a disposition, he thought he had now a good opportunity, as Festus was now dead, and Albinus was still on the road; so he assembled a council of judges, and brought before it the brother of Jesus the so-called Christ, whose name was James, together with some others, and having accused them as law-breakers, he delivered them over to be stoned.”

      If you would like to read more please check out the writings of Thallus, Pliny, and Lucian. After that, there are a few other sources still, most of which are marginally reliable but add further argument for the existence of the Biblical Jesus of Nazareth.

       
      • Christ Centered Teaching

        June 27, 2012 at 1:16 am

        I ‘d say that answer is good for a follow.
        Very well done.
        Thanks,
        C.C.T.

         
      • Jacob

        June 27, 2012 at 8:52 am

        Thank You CCT. I appreciate the kind words. God Bless You.

         

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