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A message which can be read in one minute
In fact we would be delighted if you do read it in one minute
We lead busy lives. We don't all have time
to read all we might want to read. For this reason, this message has been
designed so that you can read it in one minute flat. In fact
I hope you can finish it in less time than that.
What is life all about? Each of us is born
and then goes to school, gets a job, gets married, has a family, continues
to work, retires and dies. Is this all there is?
What is life's purpose? What is my destiny?
How can I be fulfilled and have the emptiness in my life filled with true
meaning? The following will help answer these questions, and give a clearer
understanding of how the true meaning in life is found in Jesus Christ
What do you believe about the existence of God?
If you believe that
God may or may not exist
- click here
If you believe that God
- click here
If you think God doesn't exist
- click here
If we gathered religious experts from all
over the world from different faiths and different backgrounds and we asked
them, 'Who is God?' we would have many different definitions. Some would
say God is personal. Some would say that God is impersonal. But if we believe
that truth is not relative, we would have to conclude that God cannot be
both personal and impersonal at the same time.
When we examine the questions about God,
'Who is He?' and 'How can I know Him?' we encounter the limitations of a
finite mind as it attempts to understand an infinite being, person or God.
Because of our limited and finite minds, mankind has developed many different
To demonstrate how spiritual and eternal
issues are beyond experimental rationalisation, ask yourself or any learned
scientist this question. 'Where were the stars and the entire universe before
they existed ?'. In answering this we are constrained by our own limited
understanding. This is further illustrated by the people of 'flatland' in
the picture to the right. No amount of flatland research will help the flatlanders
discover 'up'. Even if it is explained to them, they would only comprehend
'up' by faith.
The stars above, their order and magnificence
are a testimony to the existence of God. When you open the bonnet of a
car and look at the complexity of the engine, obviously it just did not
happen. It was designed. What about a flower or a new born baby? The chance
that life forms emerging unaided is comparable with the change that 'a tornado
sweeping through a junk-yard might assemble a Boeing 747 from the materials
therein' said Fred Hoyle professor of astronomy at Cambridge University.
Even, when a person says there is no God,
that person violates a basic philosophical principle. He is a person with
a finite understanding making an absolute statement about the nature of
infinity. It would be like asking how much total knowledge mankind possesses.
Albert Einstein, the Nobel Prize Winner in physics has said that mankind
grasps less than one percent of total knowledge, would it not be possible
for God to exist in the other ninety-nine percent?
You can see that it is impossible for a
person with a finite mind to make an absolute statement that there is no God
because to do so would need to possess total knowledge; therefore, it is
very difficult for people to think about what God is really like and be confident
that their opinions are correct. It is not possible to say 'I am an atheist'
and agree that humanity has less than one percent of total knowledge. Most
atheists are really agnostics who disclaim any knowledge of God.
one can prove that God does not exist
The following conversation between a man
and a lady provides further insight into the world of the agnostic.
I am a definitely an agnostic.
And that is where we must start, with
the question, 'Is there sufficient evidence for me to conclude that there
is a God, and that I can have a personal relationship with him?'
Are you a hard agnostic or a soft agnostic?
What do you mean?
A hard agnostic says, 'You can't know if there is a God' and a soft agnostic
says, 'I don't think there is a God'.
OK I am a hard agnostic.
So, you say for certain there is absolutely and definitely no God?
No, I suppose I can't say for sure, that there is definitely no God.
So you are really a soft agnostic?
All right, yes, I guess that is true - I don't know if there is a God.
You just don't have evidence that there's a God.
That's right. I haven't seen any evidence that there is a God.
Is it also true that you have never seen any evidence that there is no
life after death.
OK I suppose that's true also.
Now back to our panel of religious experts.
Suppose someone in this group stood up and said, 'I am God Almighty -
I am the Creator of the heavens and the earth. I made you and if you are
ever to experience true meaning in your life you must know me in a personal
way and have a relationship with me.' If this happened, we would at least
have a place to start. We could look at the evidence of His life to determine
the truthfulness or falseness of that statement. And that is exactly what
we have in the person of Jesus Christ.
I agree that it is not possible to scientifically
prove that God exists in a test tube experiment, but fortunately there
is a large amount of evidence regarding his son Jesus.
As you will see, there is more evidence
regarding the existence of God, through the life and death of his Son Jesus,
than there is evidence of the non existence of God.
During his earthly ministry two thousand
years ago, Jesus said that He was the maker of the heavens and the earth
and that only through Him could mankind experience true peace and be given
eternal life. He not only issued this dramatic declaration. He had the
credentials to back up those claims. The record shows that Jesus was not
crucified because He raised the dead or because He made the blind to see
and the lame to walk. Jesus was crucified because He claimed to be the
Son of God. That makes the question of His relationship to God of utmost
Buddha simply said, 'I am a
teacher in search of the truth.'
Jesus' statements force the listener
or reader to a choice. What you choose to do with Jesus Christ is the most
important decision you will ever make.
Jesus said, 'I am the truth.'
Confucius said, 'I never claimed to
Jesus said, 'Who convicts me of sin?'
Mohammed said, 'Unless God throws his
cloak of mercy over me, I have no hope.'
Jesus said, 'Unless you believe in
me, you die in your sins.'
Your decision about Jesus Christ is
more important than your ideology. It is more important than your career.
And it is more important than the mate you choose. If Jesus is the Son of
God, then you must decide what to do with that information. If he is not
God then we should have nothing to do with him.
I hope that when you have finished
reading this, you will not continue to say that Jesus was just a good man.
If you wish to be honest in the interest of intellectual integrity you cannot
assume neutral ground. Jesus is either the Son of God or He is a liar.
You may conclude that Jesus is not the Son of God and choose to dismiss
Him, but as Professor Lewis said, please do not say He was just a good moral
One day Jesus asked some of His followers
two questions, 'Who does the world say that I am?' and 'Who do you say
that I am?'
Those two questions are our starting
point. First, who does the world say that Jesus Christ is? If you have already
investigated Jesus Christ, you probably agree with most thinking people
that Jesus is the most unique personality the world has ever known. Jesus
is not simply a great man among men; He's the greatest man who has ever lived.
The more you study His life, the more you are impressed.
Rousseau, another French thinker, compared
Jesus with Socrates, saying, 'If the life and death of Socrates were those
of a sage - the life and death of Jesus were those of a God.'
Napoleon said, 'I know men, and Jesus
Christ was no mere man.'
Renan, the French thinker has said,
'Whatever surprises the future may bring, one thing is certain, Jesus will
never be surpassed.'
More recently one writer described
His influence in this way: 'That of all the armies that ever marched and
all the navies that were built, and all of the parliaments that have ever
sat, and all the kings that ever reigned put together, have not affected
the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as has that one solitary life,
Jesus of Nazareth.'
So Jesus Christ, according to the sceptics
and people who knew His life, is considered the most unique person who ever
Remember our question: 'Who does the
world say that Jesus Christ is?' Some people say that Jesus was a legend
or a myth, that He never really existed.
Historian Phillip Schaff says, 'The
certainty of Jesus Christ is as certain as my own identity.'
Dr F F Bruce has said, 'Some people
play with the myth, legend, ideal of Christ; those who do so, do not do so
on the basis of historical investigation!' Even secular historical sources
such as Cornelius Tacitus, the Roman historian of the first century, speak
in detail of the person of Christ.
Flavius Josephus, the well known first-century
Jewish historian, speaks of the life and death of Jesus and how He went
about claiming to be the Messiah and performing great works.
Sceptic H G Wells, in The Outline of
History, devotes over 20 pages to Jesus Christ, substantiating His life and
death from a historical perspective.
Before we continue about the life of
Jesus Christ, it is important to examine the authenticity of the Bible because
the Bible is the major (but not only source of information) about Jesus.
Is the Bible reliable?
If you think the Bible is not reliable
- click here
There is more secular evidence for the
historical reliability of the four Gospels than for any other piece of
If you believe that
the Bible is reliable
- click here
In The Evidence for Classical Literature
, Professor Barnes lists three standard tests used to determine the reliability
of historical documents: A bibliographical test, an internal test, and
an external test.
The Bibliographical Test looks
at the number of manuscript copies of the original and the length of time
between the writing of the original and the writing of the existing copies
when none of the originals still exists.
The Internal Test looks at internal
consistencies and inconsistencies within the manuscript.
The External Test looks at other
historical materials to determine if they confirm or deny statements within
the manuscript, ie, archaeological evidence.
Here is how the bibliographical test
works: Caesar wrote his history of the Gallic Wars between 100 and 44 BC.
The earliest copy that we have is one produced 1,000 years after his death,
and we have only ten copies of that document. Plato wrote from about 427
to 347 BC; the earliest copies of his writings that we have were produced
around AD 900, nearly 1,200 years after the original. And we have only
Aristotle lived and wrote between 384
and 322 BC We have only five copies of his manuscripts today, the earliest
copy being produced around AD 1100, over 1,400 years after the originals.
Tacitus, the Roman historian, wrote in the first century. The only copy
we have of his writings is from around AD 1100, over 1,000 years after the
Number of copies
||Thanks to bibliographical
testing, experts confirm the authenticity of documents by Caesar, Plato,
Aristotle and Tacitus and the reliability of the authors. So let us apply
the same test to biblical writings, to New Testament documents. The books
of the New Testament (Bible) were written from about AD 40 to AD 90. The
earliest manuscript copies date from about AD 130 to only 40-50 years after
the originals. More than 13,000 copies exist. Applying the bibliographical
test of veracity to the New Testament, therefore, should make us think twice
before we say that biblical literature cannot be trusted. When we apply the
internal and external tests, one will see even more clearly why the Bible
is a reliable document and inspired of God.
The New Testament Greek scholar J Harold
Greenlee adds: 'Since scholars accept as generally trustworthy the writings
of the ancient classics even though the earliest manuscripts were written
so long after the original writings and the number of exact manuscripts is
in many instances so small, it is clear that the reliability of the text of
the New Testament is likewise assured.'
Did Jesus exist or was he a legend?
If you believe Jesus was just a legend
- click here
'Only a relative few hard-nosed atheists
take the view that he never existed. All Christians and the great majority
of non-believers are satisfied on the evidence that the man actually existed...'
The Secret Life of Jesus Robert Macklin (1990) Pan Books (Australia)
Pty Ltd Chippendale Sydney
If you believe that
- click here
Remember our question: 'Who does the
world say that Jesus Christ is?' I often find that the intelligentsia tend
to say that spiritual and religious interests are only to help the less
educated people, that only ignorant and unlearned people are interested
in how they can know God and are the only ones who need God.
Let me just share what some of the
leading intellects of our past and present have said about their pursuit
to find God through the person of Christ.
Perhaps the most sophisticated of the
German literary figures, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the German poet and
dramatist, called Jesus 'The Divine One ... the Holy Man,' and wrote, 'If
ever the Divine appeared on earth, it was in the person of Christ.'
Nobel Prize winner Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn,
recognised by the world for his great literary achievements, talks openly
about his faith in Jesus Christ and how, while he was in the Gulag, a
Jewish doctor won him to Christ.
Writers like Leo Tolstoy, have described
the work of God's Spirit in utterly transforming their lives. Leo Tolstoy,
the famous Russian writer, lived most of his life as an atheist but made
this statement toward the end of his life: 'For 35 years of my life I was,
in the proper acceptation of the word, a nihilist - not a revolutionary
socialist, but a man who believed in nothing. Five years ago my faith came
to me. I believed in the doctrine of Jesus, and my whole life underwent a
sudden transformation - life and death ceased to be evil. Instead of despair,
I tasted joy and happiness that death could not take away.'
Probably the greatest literary genius
of all time, William Shakespeare, before his death said, 'I commit my soul
into the hands of God, my Creator, most assuredly believing in Jesus Christ,
Professor Ambrose Fleming, voted England's
most outstanding scientist and professor emeritus of electrical engineering
at the University of London, said as he talked about his faith in Christ,
'There's nothing in the Bible that would cause a man of science problems
with Jesus Christ.'
Karl Barth, one of the leading intellects
of this century and known as 'The Great Swiss Thinker', was asked what
was the most profound thought he had ever had. His reply was, 'Jesus loves
me. This I know.'
Professor Charles Malek, former Secretary
General of the United Nations, speaking of his faith in Christ, said,
'We must eliminate the division between Christ and the universe, between
the intellect and faith.'
Christmas celebrations, Easter time
and the date on the coins in our pocket all testify to the profound impact
of a single life 2,000 years ago.
So please do not say that Jesus never
existed and that He was just a myth. And please do not think that it is
only ignorant and unlearned people who are interested in who Christ is. I
do not think you will be fair to the pursuit of truth if you do.
Was Jesus just a good man?
If you believe that Jesus was just a good man
- click here
The sixty-four thousand dollar question
is, 'Who do YOU say that Jesus Christ is?' Before you can answer that question,
I will provide some evidence and facts to help you respond.
If you believe that
Jesus is more than a good man - that He is the son of God
- click here
We have to ask ourselves if there is
sufficient evidence to warrant an intelligent belief in Jesus Christ as the
Saviour of the world. You see, my heart cannot do something that my mind
rejects. So before we are through this evening, you will have to answer
the question, 'Who is Jesus Christ?' with your heart. Many times in my own
experience I have encountered some mental obstacles that had to be worked
through before my faith could have the intelligent foundation that God
desires. If God is there and not silent - if Jesus Christ is the answer
to the needs of the human heart - God wants me to understand with my mind
His plan to bring man into a relationship with Himself. Christianity is built
upon the solid foundation of knowing and being able to substantiate the
claims of Jesus Christ.
SOME OF HIS
Allow me to review some of the statements
of Jesus as we set the stage to look at the implications of one specific
claim. This is no ordinary man we are considering.
When Jesus made a blind man see, He
said, 'I am the light of the world' (John 9:5).
When He fed 5,000 people with two fish
and five loaves of bread, He said, 'I am the bread of life' (John 6:35).
When He was appearing before the man
who would have executed Him and was asked if He was the Christ, the Son
of God, Jesus said, 'Yes, it is as you say' (Matthew 26:63, 64).
Thomas, the disciple who had doubted
that Jesus really had risen from the dead, responded, 'My Lord and my God'
when he saw Jesus and felt the wounds in His hands and side (John 20:28),
Jesus said, 'He who has seen Me has seen the Father.' (John 14:9). And after
He had raised a man from the dead, He said, 'I am the resurrection and
the life. He who believes in Me will live even though he dies.' (John 11:15).
So Jesus' claims of being the Saviour of the world and the uniqueness of
His ministry and work are very clear. Probably one of the most important
aspects of His claim is His right to forgive sins on earth, a claim that
was reserved for God alone. Listen to one of the accounts that addresses
A few days later, when Jesus again
entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. So many gathered
that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached
the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by
four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd,
they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it,
lowered the mat the paralysed man was lying on.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said
to the paralytic, 'Son, your sins are forgiven.' Now some teachers of the
law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, 'Why does this fellow talk
like this? He's blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?' Immediately
Jesus knew in His spirit that this was what they were thinking in their
hearts, and he said to them, 'Why are you thinking these things? Which is
easier: to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get
up and take your mat and walk'? But that you may know that the Son of Man
has authority on earth to forgive sins...' He said to the paralytic, 'I
tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.' He got up, took his mat and
walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised
God, saying, 'We have never seen anything like this!' (Mark 2:1-12).
Jesus was not a legend. He was more
than a good man and must have been either a liar or a lunatic to make the
claims he made. For instance consider one of the most profound statements
that Jesus ever made. He said, 'I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life;
no one comes to the Father, but through me' (John 14:6) .If this statement
is true, you are confronted with the decision about how you choose to live
life - either with Him or apart from Him. This is so significant we will
come back to it later.
In response to the claims of Jesus
Christ we have only four alternatives:
He is a Legend
is a Lunatic
is a Liar or
is the Lord
Outside of the legend (which has been
shown as historically not factual), there are only three possibilities
concerning the person of Jesus Christ: either He is a liar, or He is a
lunatic, or He is the Lord. The question at issue here is this, which is
the most probable of these three options?
C S Lewis lived many of his years
as an atheist, but he came to grips with Christianity based upon the case
of Christ and the truth of His claims. For many years he was professor of
medieval and renaissance literature at Oxford University and later at Cambridge
University. Commenting on Jesus' claim to be God, he said that either that
statement was true or it was false. If Jesus is God and that is true, then
you have a decision to make about what you want to do with His claims. But
Professor Lewis said, suppose that Jesus claimed to be God and that statement
was really false.
There would then be two opinions: Jesus
knew that it was false, or He did not know that it was false. Lewis then
said that if Jesus claimed to be God and that statement was false, Jesus was
a liar. Not only was he a liar, he was a fool because he got himself killed
for it. And not only was he a fool, he was a demon of hell because he told
people to put their faith in him for eternal life. Lewis concluded that to
consider that the greatest influence for good the world has ever known could
live such a colossal lie was not a rational position to hold. C S Lewis emphasised
that one cannot be neutral with Jesus Christ.
Lewis wrote: I am trying here to prevent
anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him:
'I am ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept
His claim to be the Son of God.' That is one thing we must not say. A man
who is merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a
great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic, on the level with a man
who says he is a poached egg or else he would be of the devil. You must make
your choice. Either Jesus was and is the Son of God or else a madman or worse.
You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon
or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come
with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He
has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.
Commenting on the idea of Jesus being
a liar and living a lie, the nineteenth-century historian W Lecky, who was
certainly not a believer in revealed religion, nevertheless wrote of Jesus:
'The character of Jesus has not only been the highest pattern of virtue,
but the strongest incentive to its practice, and has exerted so deep an
influence that it may be truly said that the simple record of three short
years of active life has done more to regenerate and to soften mankind than
all the disquisitions of the philosophers and all the exhortations of the
But remember we have another option.
If Jesus' claim to be God was false but he really thought that he was God,
that would make him mentally unbalanced with a diagnosis of schizophrenia.
Yet none of Jesus' characteristics indicates schizophrenia.
Most psychiatrists tell us that if
the world would just live by the teachings of Jesus we would have no war
or murder or hatred. That does not sound like schizophrenia. Psychiatrist
J T Fisher summarised the problem well saying
'If you were to take
the sum total of all the authoritative articles ever written by the most
qualified psychologists and psychiatrists on the subject of mental hygiene
- if you are to confine them and refine them and cleave out the excess verbiage
- if you are to take the whole of the meat and none of the parsley, and
if you are to have these unadulterated bits of pure scientific knowledge
concisely expressed by the most capable of living poets, you would have
an awkward and incomplete summation of a Sermon on the Mount. And it would
suffer immeasurably through comparison. For nearly 2,000 years the Christian
world has been holding in its hand the complete answer to its restless and
fruitless yearnings. Here rests the blueprint for successful human life
with optimum mental health and contentment.'
As John Warwick Montgomery has so pointedly
observed, 'But one cannot very well have it both ways. If Jesus' teachings
provide 'the blueprint for successful human life with optimum mental health,'
then the teacher cannot be a lunatic who totally misunderstands the nature
of his own personality.'
The next issue of His statement is the
key to the other two claims.
Jesus said, 'I am the way, and the
truth.' And then He said, 'And I am the life.' This is the most important
aspect of Jesus' claims. Jesus' claim to be 'life' implies that He must
live for eternity if He is to give me eternal life or life everlasting. This
claim had to do with His resurrection, the most important aspect of the
credibility of Christianity. If Jesus Christ did not rise from the dead,
He is not the truth and He is not the way. The whole basis for the credibility
of the life of Christ is found in the resurrection.
If Jesus Christ did not rise from the
dead and conquer death, Christians are the biggest fools in the world. If
Jesus Christ did not rise from the dead, I am communicating nothing but lies
to you. If Jesus Christ did not rise from the dead, your faith and my faith
and the world's faith is useless and in vain.
The whole focus of the life of Christ
related to substantiating his claims was His statement that He must be rejected
and 'must be killed and after three days rise again' (Mark 8:31).
Historian Philip Schaff, who wrote
The History of The Christian Church, said, 'The infinite test
question to Christianity is the resurrection. It is either the greatest
miracle or the greatest delusion which history records.'
Dr William Lyon Phelps of Yale University
has also said, 'The test question for the life of Christ is the resurrection'.
Even well-known atheist H L Mencken said, 'There is no way to reconcile
theology and science'. But he added, 'If Jesus Christ rose from the dead,
that makes Christianity possible.'
Did Jesus rise from the dead?
If you believe that Jesus did not rise from the dead
- click here
We are left with a question: Did Christ
rise from the dead? If so, what proof, what evidence, exists to reach that
conclusion with intellectual integrity?
If you believe that
Jesus did rise from the dead
- click here
Evidence leading to proof usually is
gathered in one of two ways. First is the scientific method - an experiment
conducted in a controlled environment, usually a laboratory. This means
exact circumstances may be recreated and the experiment repeated. Scientists
form hypotheses from the data gathered.
Historical events, on the other hand,
occur at one moment in time and may not be duplicated. We cannot use the
scientific method to prove that Julius Caesar existed. So we apply another
method of proof, the legal historical method. It is used in courts of law
to prove guilt or innocence. It is also used to verify the reliability of
reported historical events. To safeguard our intellectual integrity, we should
not be afraid to apply this method to our study of Jesus Christ, to help
us to substantiate the claims He has made of being the Saviour of the world
and the personal Saviour and Lord of them who receive Him. After all, His
life, death and His resurrection are reported in historical documents.
The New Testament was written within
70 years of Jesus life so there would have been people still living who
lived during the time of Jesus crucifixion and resurrection. (If it
were not true, it would be as equally convincing as a newspaper story today
about Robert Menzies rising from the dead.)
Professor Wolfhart Pannenberg of the
University of Munich says, 'Whether the resurrection of Jesus took place
or not is a historical question, and the historical question at this point
is inescapable. And so the question has to be decided on the level of historical
If our knowledge of the past is always
based upon evidence and testimony from the past, then the next logical question
related to that premise is whether the testimony is reliable. Is testimony
regarding the resurrection reliable?
When testimony is being evaluated,
it must be open to both verification and falsification for those evaluating
it. If I say it is snowing outside, that statement is open to verification
or falsification. So when I begin to deal with the testimony regarding
the resurrection, those same principles must be applied as in a court of
law or the examination of the reliability of any historical evidence. Listen
to what some legal experts whose thinking is guided by these principles have
to say about the evidence related to the resurrection.
Professor Thomas Arnold, for 14 years
the Lord Master of Rugby University, author of The History of Rome, and
holder of the Chair of Modern History at Oxford University, was well acquainted
with evaluating evidence to determine historical fact. After carefully
sifting the historical evidence for the resurrection of Christ, this great
'I have been used
for many years to study the histories of other times, and to examine and
weigh the evidence of those who have written about them, and I know of no
one fact in the history of mankind which is proven by better and fuller
evidence of every sort, to the understanding of a fair inquirer, than the
great sign which God has given us that Christ died and rose again from the
John Capeley, a professor at Cambridge
University, who rose to the highest office in the judgeship in England and
was recognised as one of the greatest legal minds in British history, has
said, 'I know pretty well what evidence is, and I tell you, such evidence
as that for the resurrection has never been broken down yet.'
Lord Darling, who was another chief
justice of England said, 'there exists such overwhelming evidence positive
and negative, factual and circumstantial, that no intelligent jury in the
world could fail to bring in a verdict that the resurrection story is true.'
I wish that everybody would try to
refute the resurrection of Christ because that would mean that each would
conduct his own investigation. I think of some sceptics in history who started
out to disprove the resurrection but when confronted with the evidence
came to faith in Christ.
One was Professor Simon Greenleaf.
He was professor of law and head of law department at Harvard University,
one of the finest universities in the United States. He had written the
famous legal volume, A treatise on the law of evidence, considered by many
to be the greatest legal volume ever written, and three of his students
challenged Professor Greenleaf to take his book and apply it to the resurrection
of Christ and investigate the reliability of the evidence of Jesus rising
from the dead. Professor Greenleaf accepted their challenge being determined
to expose the myth of the resurrection once and for all. After thoroughly
examining the evidence he came to the opposite conclusion. He wrote a book
entitled, An examination of the testimony of the four evangelists
by the rules of evidence administered in the courts of justice in which
he wrote, 'There's no better documented historical evidence than that for
the resurrection of Christ.' And he added, 'I am convinced that you can
convince any jury in England or America that Christ rose from the dead.'
I think of two others who were professors
at Oxford University. One was Lord Lyttleton and the other was Dr Gilbert
West. They wanted to destroy the 'myth' of Christianity. They knew that
they must disprove first the resurrection of Christ and, second, the changed
lives of the disciples. Dr West intended to show the fallacy of the resurrection
and Lord Lyttleton was to explain away the radical conversion of Saul
of Tarsus who had tried to destroy first century Christians. One year later
both men had become Christians. West then wrote about their investigation
in the book, Observations on the history and evidence of the resurrection
of Jesus Christ. Gilbert West concluded, 'Reject not until you have investigated.'
Frank Morrison, a British lawyer who
set out to write a book repudiating the resurrection of Christ, did write
a book, but it was not the book he had meant to write. As he examined the
evidence for the resurrection of Christ, this sceptical lawyer found it
so overwhelming that he was forced to accept it and became a believer. The
book he did write, Who Moved the Stone?, sets forth the evidence for
the resurrection of Christ.
Lew Wallace also set out to write a
book disproving the deity of Christ and His resurrection and ended, instead,
defending it in his famous book, Ben Hur.
I think I need to say that there are
some people who, no matter what the evidence presented, would refuse to
believe it. Many people reject the claims of God and the person of Christ
based not upon intellectual investigation but upon philosophical presuppositions.
Often on the university campus one can find that a person says he does
not believe in the resurrection because he does not believe in God, or
in the supernatural, or in miracles. Instead he adheres to a closed system
The philosophers Spinoza and Hume said
that even if presented the evidence for the resurrection, they would not
believe in it. Why? Not because of a lack of evidence, but because they already
believed that there is no God, no supernatural, no miracles. I need not add
that such thinking is not intellectual integrity, but philosophical myopia.
'Even if all evidence says 2 + 2 = 4,' the closed mind argues, 'I choose
to believe it can only be three. So my appeal is to earnest seekers, those
with genuine desire to know God. I appeal to your intellectual integrity,
like that of earlier sceptics who set out objectively to disprove God.
Here is a quote from the Book of Acts
in the New Testament, which Sir William Ramsey, the well-known archaeologist,
called one of the most accurate histories of the first century:
'In my former book,
Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until
the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the
Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. After his suffering, he showed
himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He
appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom
of God (Acts 1:1-3)'.
Jesus was crucified on the cross around
AD 29. He was taken down from the cross and was laid in the tomb of Joseph
of Arimathea. Historical documents state that a large stone weighing between
one and two tons was placed at the front of the tomb.
And on that stone was placed the Roman
seal, which had a psychological effect, much as if the KGB put their seal
on a door. They say, you break that seal, and we will break you. A Roman
guard was then placed in front of the tomb to make sure nothing happened
to the body. That Roman guard consisted of between four and sixteen well-trained
military men. Yet the tomb was empty three days later. Some sceptics,
attempting to explain the empty tomb, present theories that actually require
more faith to believe than the resurrection itself.
One theory is called the 'Swoon Theory',
set forth by Venturini. It suggests that Jesus did not really die on the
cross; He was taken down off the cross, and when He was put in the tomb,
the dampness of the tomb revived His body. He moved the large stone, tiptoed
around the guards, appeared to His disciples as a triumphant God, and then
went off and died somewhere. Even most sceptics do not embrace that, but some
use it to try to reinforce their positions that Christ did not rise from
Another theory says the women went to
the wrong tomb. If the women went to the wrong tomb, that means the Roman
guards also went to the wrong tomb. That means the Jewish leaders went to
the wrong tomb. Otherwise, Jesus' body would have been found in the right
tomb. The alternative to these and similar theories is the empty tomb and
the disciples proclaiming, 'He is risen! Jesus is alive! He forgives sins
and gives eternal life to those who believe.' If this had been a lie, the
Jewish officials had only to go to the tomb, get the body, and display it
in the middle of Jerusalem, saying, 'There is your risen Saviour,' and the
Christian movement and resurrection proclamation would have been over. But
they were unable to produce the body. The tomb was empty.
John Warwick Montgomery, Christian
apologist and former dean of Simon Greenleaf School of Law, writes, 'It
passes the bounds of credibility that the early Christians could have manufactured
such a tale and then preached it among those who might easily have refuted
it simply by producing the body of Jesus.'
Paul Althaus of the University of Erlangen
in Germany adds, 'The resurrection could not have been maintained in Jerusalem
for a single day, for a single hour, if the emptiness of the tomb had not
been established as a fact for all concerned.'
The explanation for the empty tomb
can be that it was either natural or supernatural. If Christ was truly raised
supernaturally from the dead by God, I can rightly and truthfully call
you to repent of your sins and trust Christ as your personal Saviour and
Lord, for that is the logical response. But if the explanation is natural,
someone had to remove the body. But who? The Roman soldiers? No, the Roman
soldiers were placed there to keep the body in the tomb. The Jewish officials?
No, they would just have brought it out and declared, 'There's your 'risen'
Saviour,' to refute the disciples' claims.
Perhaps the disciples removed the body
and perpetrated the lie that Jesus was God and rose from the dead. But evidence
found by those who investigated suggests the opposite. First, the disciples
did not expect Jesus to rise from the dead. Jesus had told them over and
over that He would die and three days later rise from the grave, but they
did not understand Him. Once Jesus died, the disciples were eleven fearful
men, hiding, running for their lives. Their leader was dead and their dreams
Yet, within several days after the
resurrection this same group became bold, courageous and visionary. What
caused such a great change? It was not because they had seen an empty tomb
- it was because they had seen Christ alive from the dead.
What would the disciples have to gain
by fabricating a story about Christ's resurrection? Prestige? Wealth? Power?
Position? Let me tell you what they gained. All but one died martyr's deaths.
Some were decapitated. Some were crucified. Some were stoned to death or
beaten to death, all because they claimed Jesus was alive and offers forgiveness
of sins and eternal life. Here is a list of what the eleven apostles and
early Christian leaders gained by holding on to the declaration that Christ
Crucified on a cross.
Stoned to death by Jews
Beaten to death with clubs
James - brother of Jesus
James, son of Zebedee
Killed by the sword
James the Less
Thrown from a pinnacle of the temple and beaten.
Hanged on an olive tree
Dragged through the streets by his feet and then burned to death
Killed by the sword
Stoned and beheaded
Scourged, beheaded and hung upside down
Scourged and crucified
Killed by arrows
Thrust through with a spear
There are options, you can have
||If this story of the
resurrection were a lie, they would have known it was a lie. For them to
live a lie is certainly inconsistent with what we know about their moral
In his history text, Harold Mattingly
writes, 'The apostles, Peter and Paul, sealed their witnesses with their
blood.' Tectallin wrote that no man would be willing to die unless he knew
he had the truth. It is true that a lot of people have died for a lie, but
only when they believed it to be the truth. People do not die for a lie that
they know is a lie. If the disciples did lie, they were deliberately deceiving
the whole world, but this certainly is not in line with their teachings
and writings in Scripture or with the moral conduct they were telling people
to live by. They taught honesty, integrity, and truthfulness.
Edward Gibbon in his book, The Rise
and Fall of the Roman Empire, lists five reasons for the spread of Christianity
in the first century, one of which is 'the pure, honest, sincere and truthful
behaviour of the disciples.' The whole message of Christ is to love one another,
to be kind and to speak the truth. Could they have been lying a colossal
lie? No, I believe they had seen the risen Christ, their lives were radically
changed, and they went to the world to tell the 'Good News' of Christ's love
for each person, of His death as their substitute, of His resurrection that
conquered death, and that He was and is now alive. He stands ready to give
life - because He is THE WAY and THE TRUTH to all who trust in Him.
Paul Little asks in his book, Know
Why You Believe, 'Are these men who helped transform the moral structure
of society consummate liars or deluded madmen? These alternatives are
harder to believe than the fact of the resurrection, and there is no shred
of evidence to support them.'
As I stated earlier, the other option
of explanation for His resurrection is supernatural: God raised Him from
the grave and He lives today. That I believe to be not only the truth but
What are the ways to get to Heaven?
If you think there are lots of paths to Heaven
- click here
Jesus did not say, 'I am
a way'; He said, 'I am the way.' A
lot of people think that God is sitting on top of some mountain, and the
people of the world have all these different ways to climb up this mountain
and get to God who lives on top. They think that it really does not make
any difference how they get up to the top where God is because everyone is
climbing to get to the same place. And so they conclude that any way that
they get to the top is fine, or any belief they choose will get them to God.
If you believe that
the only path to Heaven is through Jesus
- click here
Any path is legitimate because we are
all climbing the same mountain, right? Not if you consider a principle of
logic called, 'The Law of Non-Contradictions' which states, If 'A' contradicts
'B' or 'B' contradicts 'A', then either one is right and the other is
wrong, or they are both wrong. For example, if I say all pens on this
table write with black ink, and you say some pens write with blue ink,
both of these statements cannot be true. Either I am right and you are
wrong; or you are right and I am wrong; or we are both wrong.
Many people think that they can get
to Heaven by:
This is not what God's word the Bible
says. The only way to Heaven is to accept Jesus Christ as your saviour.
(In this context, you might read and consider Ephesians 2:8-9)
- always being kind and helpful
- being a nice person
- being a better person than your
- always being sincere
- giving to charity
- being a church member
- regularly attending a church
- paying your taxes
- being religious
- keeping the ten commandments
- not being as bad as a really
- regularly giving financially
to a church
- doing lots of good works
- being thoughtful of others
- being always ready to help others
- being generous and/or
- doing something similar.
Here is another example. The Muslim
says, 'Jesus was just a prophet; he was a good moral man. But he did not
die on the cross, and he did not rise again on the third day. To get to God
one must obey Mohammed.' The Christian agrees with Jesus who said He is
the Saviour of the world. The Christian believes that Jesus died on the cross
and three days later rose again from the dead. Both of these positions cannot
be true; either one is right and the other is wrong, or vice versa, or they
are both wrong. Furthermore, Jesus said, 'I am the way.' not 'a way,' and
that is an exclusive statement. If Jesus' words are true, He eliminates all
other paths up the mountain to God. If Jesus is the way, the only way that
I can come to God, then no one else - not even Mohammed, Confucius, Buddha,
or self is a way to God.
I did not come to you with that statement.
Jesus said it. If there exists any other path to God other than through
Jesus Christ, then Christ's death on the cross loses all meaning. If there
exists more than one path to God, He did not need to send His only Son Jesus
Christ to die on a cross in your place.
Does that seem too narrow? Exclusive?
Rigid? Perhaps so, but God said it clearly and no ambiguity because it is
very important. There is another way to view Jesus' statement that He is
'the way'. When you consider that God is perfect, the overriding reaction
is amazement that we can have a relationship with Him at all. That there
is any way to this holy and righteous God is what is unbelievable to me when
I consider the state of man.
Look at mankind's precarious position.
We have violated the standards and laws of a perfectly holy, perfectly
righteous and just God. How? In the words of the Bible, we have all sinned
and fallen short of God's standards (Romans 3:23). Those of you who know
Greek, know the graphic origin of the word 'sin'. Originally 'sin' was
an archery term. When an archer fell short of the target, a checker on
the archery range called back 'Sin', meaning he missed the mark or target.
God who is perfect must have perfect
righteousness and perfect holiness in His presence. Those are His standards.
That is the mark we must hit. And because we all fall short of that standard,
we are all sinners. If we are honest, we must acknowledge that our lives
are not perfect. We have lied, stolen, coveted, envied, we have been jealous,
angry, full of lust and greed. We have not been perfect in any relationship.
We may compare our lives to someone else to feel better - certainly we
have not committed the crimes of Stalin or Hitler. But that is a futile
exercise. No matter who we are, the best of us morally have fallen short
of the perfection of God's standards. And because of our sin we are completely
separated from God who loves us. When God says 'yes', we say 'no'. When
God says, 'no', we say 'yes'. Most people, if they are honest with themselves,
will agree that something deep inside is wrong and missing. That emptiness
and aloneness we have is because we are separated from the one who made us.
And He alone can give us peace, purpose and joy for living.
Let me put it another way. Most people
think in terms of earning our way to God on the points we get for doing
good. Certainly that is how people think in Australia. If I work hard, I
get promoted. If I study hard in school, I get good marks, if I work hard
at football practice, I make the first team. We reason that we can reach
God in the same way. Because He is a good God, mankind must work hard at
doing good things to get to Him. But that is where the logic breaks down.
God is perfect goodness, and our good works can never raise us to His level.
Here is a mental picture of what I
am saying. Suppose God is in New Zealand and God says to everyone in Canberra
that , 'If you want to have a relationship with me, you must swim from Batemans
Bay to New Zealand across the Tasman Ocean.'. So everyone dives in. Some
people can swim only one kilometre. Some, ten kilometres. Some strong athletes
may get as far as 100 kilometres. An Olympic swimmer might even cover 300
kilometres. But no one can swim all the way to New Zealand, it is impossible.
Like the different levels of swimmers,
we can compare our goodness to that of those around us. We can say, 'I never
cheated on my wife' or 'I rarely lie' or 'I'm no murderer'. But ultimately
we are not ranked in comparison to others. We are judged against the perfection
of God's goodness, and we fall short of the mark - we cannot swim the
distance. We are sinners according to the standards of the God who made
us. And because of our sin, we can anticipate nothing but separation from
God. Even though our goodness when compared to other humans may be like
the Olympic swimmer, who will fall short (or drown) when trying to swim
to New Zealand or meet God's perfect standard of holiness and righteousness.
Now it stands to reason that if swimming
from Batemans Bay to New Zealand is impossible by my own power, I do not
need swimming lessons. Instead I need another way to cross. I need a lifeboat
or a bridge.
Well, Jesus said He is the bridge that
brings a holy God and a sinful mankind together. That is why Jesus Christ
died. That is why the cross of Christ is the focal point of human history.
The New Testament says in 1 Timothy:
'For there is one
God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave
himself as a ransom for all men - the testimony given in its proper time'.
That is why reaching God requires more
than a random path up a mountain. We can never offer God perfection - the
mountain cannot be scaled. God said that He alone determined how people would
come into His house. Jesus said, I am the way. I am the door, and entering
the door takes you into God's house.
The second thing that Jesus said was,
'I am the truth.' Pretty narrow, isn't it? The truth, by definition, is
very narrow. You may say, 'that may be true for you, but it's not true for
me.' But that is not the way truth works. Our Prime Minister, John
Howard was born in Australia. That is true for me. It is true
for you. It is true for the rest of the world. It can not be
"not true" for you.
If Jesus Christ is 'The Truth', then
it is true not only for me but for the world. You may say that as long as
you just believe something to be true, then it will be true for you. Believing
that 'What is true for me is true', is not rational either. Just believing
something does not make it truth. Even if a person believes with all his
heart that John Howard was born in New Guinea, that does not make it true.
And just not believing something does not make it a lie. My belief does
not establish truth or destroy truth. The key is what the truth is.
Suppose there is a thin sheet of ice
over Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra, but I believe that the ice will hold
me so I will be able to cross the lake. I begin walking across the lake
with great faith in that ice. But I am believing a lie. No matter how strong
my belief, if I walk out there on thin ice, it will break and I will end
up in the water. My faith in that ice will not establish what I believe
to be true, that the ice will hold me up. Conversely, the person who walks
on thick ice that covers the river may have only a little faith but be
able to walk on the ice safely. It is their faith that creates the safety
or a lack of it.
The issue is whether my faith is in
the truth or in a lie, the thick ice or thin ice. If my faith, even though
it is small, is in the thick ice, I will experience the reality of a safe
walk. And even though I may have great faith in the thin ice, I will experience
the reality of destruction. And so it is with Christ. If He alone
is my way to a holy and righteous God and that is the truth of the universe
and God, all I need to do is to trust in who He is and what He did to know
God's love and forgiveness for my life.
Jesus said that He was the only way
to a relationship with God and the only truth that could set men free. He
is the only path up the mountain. Only through Him can man become whole
and know the true and living God. And only through Jesus Christ does man
gain life - Jesus said He was 'the life' conquering death on your and my
You may know, Pascal was a brilliant
sixteenth century French mathematician, a prodigy who dazzled Europe with
sophisticated mathematical equations when he was yet only sixteen years
old. By age thirty-one Pascal had penned the now classic truism: 'There is
a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every person. And it can never be filled
by any created thing. It can only be filled by God, made known through Jesus
That statement by Pascal made an impact
on my life. I recognised that vacuum in my life. I was asking questions
such as, 'Who am I?', 'Where am I going?', 'What am I doing here?'. And no
matter what I accomplished, my life was still void of meaning. I gave my
life to intellectual pursuits, but no matter what I accomplished there at
the university, I had a sense that there was something missing in me.
You see, my friend, God has made you
and me in such a way that we will never have a sense of completeness and
fullness and meaning until we come to know Him in a personal way. God has
made us in three parts. He has made us physical beings and He has given us
our mental capacity. He has also given us a spiritual capacity. Yet most
of us go through life as only two-thirds of a person. We develop ourselves
physically and mentally, but not spiritually. We will never be complete until
we come to know God personally, and that is through the person of Jesus Christ.
That is the only way that the spiritual void of emptiness within us will
ever be filled.
In my closing remarks may I stress
the most important aspect. If you remember anything from this book, I would
like you to remember how you can know Jesus personally. First, you must
understand that God loves you. We are told that God loves the world so
much that He gave us Jesus Christ (John 3:16). God loves us so much that
He provided a way for us to reach Him. But to reach Him - and this is the
second point - we must acknowledge that we need Him. We must acknowledge
that because of our rebellion, there is a chasm between us and Him. That
brings up the third point: Jesus said, in Luke 13:3, 'But unless you repent
(or turn from your former ways) you too will all perish.' Repentance simply
means a change of mind. All of life you have moved in a direction away from
God. God desires to have a relationship with you; He wants you to turn
around and move towards Him. We do this by acknowledging before God that
we are sinners and that we wish to change our thinking about Him.
Then you must understand that Jesus
died on the cross for you. To illustrate the sin issue let's say you and
I each have a debt of sin. A debt means I have an impossible debt to God
that we cannot pay back to Him. I cannot pay your debt because I have my own
debt. You cannot pay my debt because you have your own debt. In Romans 6:23,
the Bible says, 'For the wages of sin is death.' In other words a wage is
something I earn - I work so I receive the wage of so many roubles. What
I have earned (the wages I receive) for my sins is - DEATH - eternal separation
It is as if you owe someone ten million
dollars, and you are paid only one hundred dollars per week. There is no
way that you can pay off that debt. You need someone who has the capacity
to pay your debt because the wages of sin have a consequence, that of eternal
separation from God.
When Nicholas II was Czar of Russia,
a father enlisted his son in the military, with the hope of instilling
discipline and direction in his life. Among other things, the young fellow
had a weakness for gambling, and the atmosphere of army life seemed to
hurt rather than help. His army job was bookkeeping. As his gambling debts
grew, he borrowed money from the outpost treasury to pay his debts. He
kept losing instead of winning and sank deeper and deeper into debt.
One night, contemplating his situation,
he added up his debts. When he saw the immense total, he wrote across the
ledger, 'It is impossible for me to pay this debt'. He took his army revolver
and while contemplating taking his own life, he fell asleep, the Czar
was inspecting the outpost that night. When he entered the bookkeeper's
office, he saw the sleeping man, the loaded gun, and the revealing ledger.
When the soldier awoke, he stared at the ledger and read under the words
he wrote, 'Paid in full, Czar Nicholas II'. You see the Czar had the resources
to pay the debt.
A debt is what I owe someone. A penalty
is what I receive when I can't pay my debt or when I break a law. If I break
the speeding law in my car, I receive a penalty, that of having to pay
so many dollars for breaking the law. If I kill someone I receive a more
painful penalty. The greater the law broken the greater the penalty. The
reason there is eternal separation from God (the wages of my sin being death)
is because of the severity of the law broken - that of not living according
to the standards of a perfectly holy and righteous God. The greatest violations
in the universe carry with them the greatest consequences.
Will you accept the salvation freely offered?
I am interested
in being saved right now
- click here
I know that I am
a sinner - I have already accepted Jesus and know my sins are forgiven and
know that I am saved though His finished work on the cross. I know
I will be going to Heaven
- click here
I am interested, but maybe later. However before you go, you
- click here
While I could talk about the signs of
the times so clearly predicted in the Bible and the closeness of the coming
of the Messiah, rather I will ask just one question.
If you die
tomorrow, what happens then - where are you going?
If you are can not answer that question,
with the greatest respect and love, I would encourage you to -
- click here
Tell me about 'salvation'
That is why God the Son became a man
and lived a perfect life. He had no sin. He had no debt. So what God did
with the debt we owe for our sins was to put it on Jesus Christ, and Christ
in His love for us paid our debt by dying in our place. God now can forgive
you and give you a new life if you choose to receive Christ. Romans 5:8
says, 'But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still
sinners, Christ died for us.'
Suppose your friend was dying of cancer,
and because you loved and cared so much for your friend you asked the doctor
to do a transfusion that would take the cancer cells out of his body and
put them in your body. What would happen? He would live and you would die.
Why? Because that which was causing his death was placed in you and you
would die in his place and he would live. That is what Christ did for you
at the cross. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, 'God made him who had no sin to be
sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.'
But just accepting your sinfulness
and Christ's death, and understanding it intellectually, does not bring
you into a relationship with God. You must make a decision. The Bible says
(John 1:12): 'But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become
children of God.' So each person individually must receive Christ in order
to become a member of God's family.
What we accept from God is a gift because
there is nothing we can give God in return. We cannot say, 'Here are my good
works. I want to cover my debt with my good works; they should get me into
Heaven.' The Bible says, 'For it is by grace (unmerited kindness) you have
been saved (made a child of God), through faith - and this not from yourselves,
it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast (Ephesians
2:8-9). The Bible also says that 'the wages of sin is death, but the gift
of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord' (Romans 6:23).
Suppose I say I have a pen that I wish
to give you as a gift. You may say it is a beautiful pen, and you may want
to have the pen. What must you do to have it? You must take it. You may believe
in the pen and personally have great intellectual information about the pen.
But the pen is not yours until you accept it.
Of course, you can stay where you are
right now, separated from God. Regarding that decision, He says the wages
of sin is death. Then He adds, 'But the gift of God is eternal life.' The
gift is free, but you must accept it to make it yours.
How do you receive the gift? You must
make a decision, a choice to reach out and take the gift. It is as if I
were to knock at the door of your home. You might choose to remain seated
and say, 'That's John, I don't want to see him.' I finally would go away.
Or you might choose to come to the door and say, 'John, I don't like you and
don't want to see you. Goodbye.' And I would leave. Or you could choose to
open the door and say, 'John, good to see you, come in. Join me in my home.'
And at your invitation I would come into your home. You made a decision to
receive me into your home.
That is exactly the picture Jesus Christ
paints of His relationship with you. He says, 'I stand at the door and knock.
If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with
him, and he with me.' (Revelation 3:20).
This decision is by faith. It is trust
in the truth of God. This faith in Jesus Christ involves three things. First,
you must have knowledge of the fact of what God did through Jesus Christ
because of His love for you. Second, you must believe that fact and accept
it as true. But third, and most important, to have true faith you must put
your personal trust in the facts and rely on Christ's work on the cross
to be the sufficient payment for your sins
If you would like more information
on any matter here please contact the people whose names are given on the
last page of this book.
True faith requires:
Look at it like this. Suppose that I
KNOW all about an elevator, and I BELIEVE in it. I believe that it will get
me from the first floor to the fifth floor. But I don't experience the elevator
until I get on the elevator, until I TRUST in the elevator by depending
- Knowledge of the Facts
- Belief of the Truth
- Personal Trust
IS ALIVE TODAY
Jesus paid a fantastic price so that
you and I could have a relationship with God. He loves you, and He offers
you forgiveness as a free gift. All you need to do is to thank Him for dying
in your place, to trust Him, and to make the decision to receive Him. You
must make the choice by opening the door of your heart and life to Him
who knocks and wants to come in.
Would you like to come to know Jesus
Christ today? I have presented, I hope, that the Christian faith is an
intelligent faith, that it has a rational basis. It is not a leap into
the dark; it is a step into the light. And I have told you that Jesus Christ
is alive. It takes a little faith to bring you and God's love for you together.
You don't have to understand everything. But once you say, 'Yes, Jesus,
thank you for dying for me; I ask you to come into my life,' then Christ
is free to come into your life. Then you will begin to experience what I
have been talking about. I stayed many years just on the intellectual level
before I ever understood how to receive Christ. But today I can testify to
you of God's love and forgiveness that can be found in Christ.
The Bible summarises the gospel in
1 Corinthians 15:3-5, 'For what I received I passed on to you as of first
importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that
he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve.'
What is God like? God is both
loving and perfect.
What are we like? We are
sinful and separated from God.
What did God do about the problem?
He gave His son Jesus Christ to die on the cross as a satisfactory payment
for our sins.
All have sinned and fallen short
of the Glory of God. (Romans 3:23).
A LIFE WHICH HAS
A LIFE WHICH HAS
SEPARATION FROM GOD
UNSURE OF ETERNAL DESTINY
CHILD OF GOD
The choice is yours
To the top
of the page
THE WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH BUT THE GIFT OF GOD IS ETERNAL LIFE
I would like to close by leading
you in a prayer. You may want to pray this prayer with me if you are ready
to trust Christ as your Saviour. Some readers may still be on their journeys
to learn more about Jesus Christ. But some of you know that God has done
something in your heart, and though you may not understand completely, you
know what I have shared is true.
This is a prayer that would allow
you to become a member of God's family and be given total forgiveness and
the gift of eternal life. Read it slowly.
God, I admit
that I am a sinner and I understand that my sin separates me from you. I
believe that I am a sinner and I understand that my sin separates me from
you. I believe that Jesus, being God, paid the penalty for all my sins when
He died on the cross and rose from the dead. Lord Jesus, thank you for dying
for me. I ask you to forgive me of my sins. I repent of my ways and want
to change the direction of my life. And now Lord Jesus, I open the door of
my life and ask you to come into my life as Saviour and Lord. I trust you
alone for the forgiveness of my sins and the free gift of eternal life. Amen.
GO BACK AND PRAY THAT PRAYER - JUST BETWEEN YOURSELF AND GOD
- click here to return to the above prayer
If you have now prayed this prayer,
I want you to read firstly in the Bible the third chapter of the Gospel of
John and then read the rest of John's Gospel.
names and addresses are on this web site, and I encourage you to write
or ring. We are very interested in your thoughts as you read this and prayed
the prayer of salvation. You may also have questions. We have additional
information to sent you that will help you grow in your relationship with
Christ. The following information is to clarify for you what
has happened in your life if you have prayed that prayer to receive Christ.
If you prayed the prayer above
asking Jesus into your life, you can be confident that you are a child of
God, part of His eternal family. I would like to add a few comments now
that may help you as you consider the decision you have made.
1 Jesus said in John
1:12 'that as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become
children of God, even to those who believe in His name.' To become a member
of God's family you must receive Jesus Christ into your life. You must understand
that you are receiving a gift.
2 Ephesians 2:8-9
says, 'For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of
yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one
should boast'. As you can clearly see, when you receive Christ you are
receiving the gift that God offers. It is not based upon your works. This
is so that no one can boast. After you have become a member of God's family
by receiving Christ as your personal Saviour, good works and changed life
will result - but good works cannot bring about that relationship.
3 Receiving God's
gift is simple. In Revelation 3:20, Jesus said, 'Behold, I stand at the
door [of your life] and knock: if any one hears my voice and opens the door,
I will come in to him and will dine with him and he with Me.' Jesus is saying
that He will come into your life in the same way that you would open the
door and invite someone into your house. This is what the Bible calls being
'born again,' which means that you are born into and become a part of God's
4 The Bible (in l
John 5:11-12) says, 'And the witness is this, that God has given us eternal
life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who
does not have the Son of God does not have the life.'
Did you receive Jesus?
Yes? Then the fact is, you
have eternal life. 'Truly, truly, I say to you,' Jesus said, (as recorded
in John 5:24), 'he who hears My Word, and believes in Him who sent Me, has
eternal life, and does not come into judgement, but has passed out of death
into life.' This clearly says that if you trust Christ for payment of your
sins and received Him into your life, you will not face judgement.
Go back and look at each
verb in the two verses just quoted:
'He who HEARS My Word ... '
Did you do that? If you reply
yes, then ...
And BELIEVES Him who sent Me
You believe what God said and
trust Christ as your Saviour.
'HAS everlasting life ...'
Does that mean later? No, right
'And DOES NOT come into judgement
It does not say, 'might not'.
'But has passed out of death
That says, 'You do not have
to worry about it.'
In other words, you now have
everlasting life on the truthfulness of Jesus' promise to you.
So when does our eternal life
start? For all of us, eternal life begins the moment we believe. And please
note: these statements are based upon the fact of God's Word, not on how
you may feel.
NOT DEPEND UPON FEELINGS
The promise of God's Word, the
Bible - not our feelings - is our authority. The Christian lives by faith
(trust) in the trustworthiness of God Himself and His Word. This train diagram
illustrates the relationship between fact (God and His Word), faith (our
trust in God and His Word), and feelings (the result of our faith and obedience)
The train will run with or
without the caboose. It would be useless to attempt to pull the train by
the caboose. In the same way, we, as Christians, are not to depend on feelings
or emotions, but instead we are to place our faith (trust) in the trustworthiness
of God and the promises of His Word.
The fact is, if you have received
Christ, He has come into your life whether you feel it or not. Your faith
must rest upon the assurance of God's Word no matter what your feelings
might say. The moment you received Christ by faith was an act of your will;
and the moment you did, many things happened.
CHRIST CAME INTO YOUR LIFE
'Here I am! I stand at the
door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come
in and eat with him, and he with me.' Revelation 3:20. 'To them God has chosen
to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which
is Christ in you, the hope of glory.' Colossians 1:27.
YOUR SINS WERE FORGIVEN
'For he has rescued us from
the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,
in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.' Colossians 1:13-14.
YOU BECAME A CHILD OF GOD
'Yet to all who received
Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children
of God' John 1:12.
YOU RECEIVED ETERNAL LIFE
5 YOU BEGAN THE GREAT ADVENTURE FOR WHICH GOD CREATED YOU
Jesus said, 'The thief
comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have
life, and have it to the full.' John 10:10. 'Therefore if anyone is in Christ,
he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!' 2 Corinthians
Yes I am absolutely certain I am going to Heaven
'I tell you the
truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life
and will not be condemned: he has crossed over from death to life.' John
We are looking forward to meeting in Heaven