Thur Recap 5/25/2011 Military Ministry, apologetics 101

Posted: May 27, 2011 in Army, Harvest Military

-How many people knew the world was suppose to end on May 21st?

-well… it did not. There was a pastor who prophesied that Jesus was coming back and the rapture was going to happen. We are not going to talk too much about the rapture because that is open to interpretation. Some believe in the rapture, some do not. The thing I always say is that you have to believe in Jesus Christ, and many other things are open to interpretation.

-For example, I have my own set of personal practices and beliefs that are relevant to me. I do not attempt to push things on other people that do not matter to them and may not be relevant, I preach Christ.

1 Cor 1:23a
23 but we preach Christ crucified

-That’s what we preach, not doctrine; but Jesus.

-Also, I was really happy that that man made the prediction about Jesus, because it got people talking about Jesus. If that guy had not spent over $100,000 dollars we would not have had so much buzz going out. I don’t care what it takes to get people to talk about Jesus really, and neither did Paul of the NT.

Phil 1:15-18
Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will.16 The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel.17 The former proclaim Christ out of rivalry, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. 18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice

-The question I want to discuss is, what would have happened if He (Jesus) came back? Where would you go and why?

-There was an agnostic I know and am good friends with in the Army, and he kept saying, “I can’t wait to go up to heaven.”

So of course I asked him, “do you think you are getting in?”
Fred, “Yes.”
“Why?”
“Because I am a good person, and I try to do good things.”
“By what standard”
“My standard.”

-Then we talked a lot about moral law. I asked him where did he learn what was right and wrong. He said that it was passed down to him by his parents. I asked where they got it from and so on.

-I asked him, what if I grew up in a tribe where I was taught that you had to murder someone to get into heaven, and that to commit murder was a great thing to do. The knowledge came down that to murder was right, so I think when Jesus comes back that I will get in because I murdered allot of people. That is ridiculous right? So is trying to be your own moral standard.

-So my first point to him was that if there is a moral law, there had to originally be a moral lawgiver. We did not just inherit these ideas of right and wrong from nobody; there had to be a moral lawgiver.

-Second, we talked about how it is very humanistic to think that we can just make up a standard. I used this example. I said, “lets say I think it is ok to sleep with all the wives at the get together, shoot someone and go rob the liquor store, what makes me wrong if I do not think any of those things are wrong?” I mean if we literally make up our own standard, why can’t I do those things? Humanism is saying it is all about you, so what or who makes the standard. To that he said society. But once again, what if the society says that murder is the ultimate thing you can do… is that society justified? And if some societies are justified and some are not, what makes the ones we say are justified right? To these questions he had no real good answer.

-Third, I talked about the legitimacy of the Bible, and how science continues to prove it right time after time. I said to him that the world was probably about 6500 years old, to which I got a blank stare. He talked allot about evolution and how carbon dating proved that the world was millions of years old, even though carbon dating has been proven to be unreliable.

The proof I used was the worldwide flood. There are mass graves found at the bottom of the sea that can only be accounted for by some sort of worldwide flood. So, I told him that the earth appears to be older than it is because all of those particles and such were smashed together, and that explains the young earth theory. That also explains why everything seems to be older than it is. If the earth is young, and Noah’s ark happened, then it is no stretch to believe in Adam and Eve. The more we can prove in the OT, the less skeptic people will be.

We also talked about the fact that it takes more faith to believe in evolution than the Bible, because in order for life to just happen, there would have to be 300 proteins that line up perfectly in DNA and such. That means that the LIFE JUST HAPPENED theory is a one in a trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion’s trillion. It is virtually impossible and no scientist has been able to make it happen ever.

-Then of course the question came up, “well what makes you so good that you get in?”

DISSCUSSION: I want to ask the same question to you; “what makes you so good that you get in?”

My fourth point of discussion was about how none of us are good. Romans says that no one is good, not even one. I said to him that I was actually worse in theory than him, because I know the right things to do and do not do them. Paul talks about this he says that he does not do what he wants to do and what he does not want to do he practices.

Now, I am going to tell you something so that you know I am not a hypocrite or think I am holier than thou. I was the platoon SGT all week at drill, and that meant I had 35 guys to keep track of, give details to and such. I had barely slept, because that’s just what happens, you have so many responsibilities and so much going on at all times you just do not get much sleep. One night I had 3 hours of interrupted sleep. I was on edge and really tired. I asked for 15 minutes of quiet time so I could take a nap, took my boots off and laid down. One of my guys decided it would be really really funny to mess with me while I was laying down. He was very disrespectful and after a couple times of me asking him to stop I got up and asked him what the F his problem was, yelled at him for about two minutes, almost punched him and took a 30 minute walk. Apparently I still have some salvation to work out… like all of us. So I told them that I was essentially ‘worse’ than them because I know the right things to do and I do not do them.

-But that is just it, we are all sinners, we all do things we should not do. Tell me a day that you did not make a mistake? Probably never right?

-What happens when you die, is that a blood sacrifice is required. Either you pay for it, or Jesus does. All of those little sins you commit, well they add up to a big debt. Someone has to pay for it, either you or Jesus.

-And that is not to say that we should go around loosely living and purposely sinning, I did apologize to that soldier and repent to the Lord for forgiveness. The point is that we will all sin until we go to Heaven, but there is a difference in that we are trying to please God and not Man or ourselves.

-That got us to the fifth point; “why wouldn’t I pay for my own sin”, one soldier said to me. He said that if he did it, he would own up to it. Unfortunately, that is a common held belief. People are prideful; we want to do everything ourselves. Once again we are back to humanism. I explained the principle of grace, and how it is a free gift we cannot earn. I said that one of things about coming to God is knowing you are not good enough, and that the pride has to die.

-Then we got to the most used argument against scripture (Sixth); all of the errors in the Bible, and the different interpretations.

-First off, I used this parable. If I wrote my wife a note saying, “Hunnie, please pick up some bread from the store,” and I come home to find she bought a steak. Not needing a steak, I’ll ask why she got it and not the bread. She would say, “I interpreted that you really wanted a steak from the note.”

Now, did the original meaning of the bread note change at any time? No. It did not. It said I wanted some bread. John 14:6 says I am the WAY the TRUTH and the LIGHT, nobody comes to the Father except through me. This means that we have to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, or else there is no hope. Someone could say that this verse means something else, but it doesn’t. It means what it means.

-So, I said to him that the Bible has one meaning, and that some people are confused about that, to which he replied, “what makes you right then?” At that point I used his testimony that he had never read it so how would he know if I was wrong or right, to which he replied, “fair enough.”

-Second, the Bible is not full of errors. Every time a part of the Bible is found all it does is legitimize the Bible. When the dead sea scrolls were recovered, we found out that the translations we had are correct all the way back to 2000-2500 BC. The more we find, the more we are justified as having the most accurately kept book ever. It is not full of errors as some would say; it is actually quite accurate.
-Now we have covered so much ground, I felt it was time to cut the conversation off. But, they kept asking me more questions.

-The seventh thing they asked me was why do people die.

-We know the answer to that is sin, but why do people sin? Because we are not good and when we are granted free will, we are going to sin because that’s what we do. When Adam sinned, he put a curse on all of humanity, but God put a rescue plan in place and sent His Son Jesus Christ to save us from our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

-We stopped talking about it, but I had a good hour or two with tentative ears and a whole host of listeners chiming in.

-Not attempting to brag about anything, but I was never stumped or confused, the Holy Spirit was with me.

Luke 21:14-15
Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer,15 for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict.

-I did not study all morning in preparation of this event, in fact I had barely had time to read the Word all week, but I let God use me, and the Spirit flow through me.

-The Bible says to be ready in and out of season (2 Tim 4:2-4); lets be ready.

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