Apologetics is Not an Apology
(1Peter 3:15) But give honour to Christ in your hearts as your Lord; and be ready at any time when you are questioned about the hope which is in you, to give an answer in the fear of the Lord and without pride;
Today we are going to learn how to better deal with skeptics and taunting. In this teaching today we should also be able to utilize the knowledge we gain for the cause of Christ which if we remember is to seek and to save the lost. Because those with out Christ are lost indeed and most of them do not even know it. First let’s discover where we get the term apologetics from.
For any of you who do not know The field of apologetics is the study of the defense of a position. The term comes from the Greek word which is in the above scripture verse translated here as “To give an answer.” The word is:
…answer (for self), clearing of self, defence.
Paul uses the Luke uses the word in the book of Acts when Paul is before King Agrippa:
(Act 26:1&2) Agrippa told Paul, "You may now speak for yourself." Paul stretched out his hand and said: King Agrippa, I am glad for this chance to defend myself before you today on all these charges that my own people have brought against me.
Here it is Paul defending himself. Another use of it is in Paul’s letter to the Philippians talking about the preaching of the gospel:
(Philippians 1:17) But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.
I love this passage because Paul talks about how even in being mocked Christ is being preached.
I believe it was Barnum of Barnum and Bailey Circus who said “any publicity is good publicity.”
(Philippians 1:12-18) My dear friends, I want you to know that what has happened to me has helped to spread the good news. The Roman guards and all the others know that I am here in jail because I serve Christ. Now most of the Lord's followers have become brave and are fearlessly telling the message. Some are preaching about Christ because they are jealous and envious of us. Others are preaching because they want to help. They love Christ and know that I am here to defend the good news about him. But the ones who are jealous of us are not sincere. They just want to cause trouble for me while I am in jail. But that doesn't matter. All that matters is that people are telling about Christ, whether they are sincere or not. That is what makes me glad. I will keep on being glad,
I love the strength of Character of Paul. That type of conviction can only come through he Holy Spirit. And because it does come through the Holy Spirit it is available to each of us.
But the fact is that we all can get caught off guard at times and not be ready to give a reason for the hope we have in us. The sad part is when we stumble to give an answer and we know that we have failed only to think later after the person and opportunity has gone of what we could of or should of said.
So today I want to give you some real simple defense for the hope you have in you. I realize that I have told you this story before but I am compelled to tell it again that you might glean from it and perhaps the next time you are confronted with the opportunity you will be able to employ it.
I was training a new driver and the conversation quickly got around to faith. This man was a Unitarian Universalist. I Don’t know if you know exactly what they believe… I’m not sure they do…. They combine Buddhism, and Christianity, with a little bit of New Age magic, and some American Indian lore…. A little of this, a little of that… Only the parts they like of course… They leave out the parts about sin and hell, and how by no other name but Jesus is there found salvation. To leave that in they would have to change their life style…. So they just change their religion… In other words they make it up…
So after some discussion this man asked me the question that you need to remember today. He asked me, “What if?” He wanted to know what if after I died that I discovered I was wrong. What a foolish question to be asking me. Because the what if works out great for me. What if I am wrong?
Well let’s look at it for a minute. I know that if I had not come to the loving knowledge of Jesus Christ and had not accepted him into my heart most likely I would be dead already because of the wild life style I was living. So not only did Jesus save my soul, he really saved my life. He also gave me a wonderful family. I would not have my family with him. Without my faith I would not know the forgiveness of sin…. Without my faith I would have nothing to look forward to. Without my faith life would be empty and my life would have been without purpose.
So, what if I am wrong? If I am wrong I have lived a most wonderful life full of love and joy and a peace that passes understanding. If I am wrong it wont really matter then will it because I am even right now living the abundant life in Christ.. With joy unspeakable and full of glory.
But now the thing you need to ask is;
What if you are right and they are wrong? Now that is a different story. Not only have they spent their entire life alone with a loving God, not only have they lived with no forgiveness, no real lasing peace, no purpose, no true deep down joy, but when they die they face the judgment without Christ.
And the wages of sin is death! Eternal separation from God. Eternal suffering. Do you know that feeling of emptiness? Have you ever felt that deep down loneliness? Have you ever felt totally lost and alone? That is not even the beginning of the darkness you would face for all eternity without the saving grace of Jesus Christ.
SO if someone asks you, Why do you think God would love you? Answer them with a what if. What if I am right and God does love me. Then I can live a full and wonderful life in peace and security knowing that all of my sins are forgiven and I have an eternal home in heaven. Then gently,,, without pride but with fear for them…
“Now what if you are wrong and God has been there for you this whole time and you have denied him you whole life.”
Because the sad truth is He has been there form the foundation of the world, with His arms spread wide waiting for each of us to acknowledge Him and run into His loving arms.
Now I want to talk about the skeptics. I believe that the biggest plague that we have in this country now and throughout the entire world is not Islam, It is Buddhism, It is not even Scientology, it is skepticism.
The humanistic world view wants you to not believe in anything but them. Faith is the only thing standing in the way of a one world order. And so, through the use of government education system, mass media, any and every avenue that can be used humanism and skepticism creeps into our lives and we accept it willingly. Willingly we think that it is good not to believe anything. Why who would want to be duped. So the enemy who is bigger than the new world order plays the masses and little by little they get them to be skeptical of their faith, skeptical of their religion, skeptical of God’s existence and anything super natural.
There has always been skeptics. I have a list of some of the great quotes of the skeptics throughout our history:
Well informed people know it is impossible to transmit the voice over wires and that were it possible to do so, the thing would be of no practical value.
- Editorial in the Boston Post (1865)
[W]hen the Paris Exhibition closes electric light will close with it and no more be heard of.
- Erasmus Wilson (1878) Professor at Oxford University
Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.
- Lord Kelvin, ca. 1895, British mathematician and physicist
There is not the slightest indication that [nuclear energy] will ever be obtainable. It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will.
- Albert Einstein, 1932.
And the list goes on and on. It is not your faith, or even your difficulty defending your faith that should concern you. What should concern you is the lost soul of the poor skeptic who is taunting you about your faith.
But it would be unfair for me to leave you with just such a simple argument but I will return to it before we are finished because if you can only remember the one thing today remember “What if!”
So what is it exactly that we believe? We believe that Jesus Christ was the Son of God and he died upon the cross so that our sins could be forgiven and He rose form the grave and gave us eternal life with Him. We have a home in heaven waiting for us. We believe that God loves us with a never ending-everlasting love. Be believe that the Bible is the unfailable word of God.
But let’s just take one at a time. First the wonderful truth of who Jesus is. There should be no doubt that the man Jesus lived and died upon a cross. There is enough historical accounts to prove this. The question is, is He who He said He is. Because He either has to be God or else He was a liar or a lunatic. Too many people will simply be satisfied with the idea that He was a good teacher. A good teacher could not be a liar. If He was a good teacher then you have to believe everything He said. He said that He was The way, the Truth and the Life, No one get’s to the Father but By Him. He said that if you have seen Him You have seen the Father. He said that He and the Father were one.
That was the reason he was killed because he said He was God. So He was either who he said he was or her was a liar or a lunic or both. The proof would be in the things he did. He said if you don’t believe me because of what I said then believe him because of what He has done. He brought people back from the dead. He calmed the sea with a command. He waked on water. He gave sight to the blind and caused the lame to walk…. And most of all He rose from the grave…. Some 500 people saw him in His resurrected body and most of them gave their lives, they would rather face death then recant of what they were first hand witness of.
But maybe that is going to fast for some people because a lot of real skeptics will not even believe in God. So let’s touch on that? Because if there is no God then it is all a big cosmic wild random anomaly. We are just basically a mistake of nature. There is no rhyme or reason, no purpose, No real truth…. And some people will declare that as the truth.
They don’t believe in an ultimate truth and that is the ultimate truth!????
One argument they will throw at you is actually called Ad huminem
That is where they will attack your intelligence. Trying to make you feel inferior to them because you believe in God. In that they are also attacking some of the greatest minds in the world. Here are Just a few:
Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur, The Wright Brothers, Charles Darwin, Galileo, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R Tolkein, Martin Luther King Jr, Mother Theresa; Ralph Waldo Emerson….
So if someone says you must be stupid to believe that there is a God feel good knowing that you are in the company of the of the brightest stupid people this would has ever known.
Does God exist? Well, What if?