Tag Archives: 20 reasons

Understandable Truth | 20 Reasons

Have you ever heard someone say, “I just can’t understand the Bible!” Or maybe this one, “Well, that’s just your interpretation. Ask 10 people what a verse means and you will get 10 different answers.” I’m sure you have either heard these comments or maybe even made them yourself. Truthfully, they are bogus. That’s right, nonsense. Don’t you think that sometimes those are just convenient crutches to avoid a teaching or conclusion that people do not like? I think so.

My thesis is that the Bible can be understood. Let me make my case.

Truth Comes from God

To some this is a truism that really doesn’t need repeating. To others it is hogwash. We have previously talked about the inspiration of the Bible and have argued that the inspiration of Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16) is so important because it means the words of Scripture are from the very mind of God.

But for our purposes now we understand that any communication from God can be understood. God is not the author of confusion in spiritual matters (1 Corinthians 14:33). He seeks to be understood. Even in the early days of the church the Christians were reminded not to speak in tongues unless someone was present who could interpret (1 Corinthians 14:27, 28). Since the Bible comes from God it can be understood. If God created us then he can communicate with us.

Think about it. If you can read the manual and understand how to program a DVD recorder, you can certainly understand God. God is all-knowing while the DVD people are not. He knows you personally, the DVD people do not. The issue really boils down to a single question. Can God communicate with his creation? The answer must be “yes!”

It is God’s desire that we all speak the same thing and stand in the same mind or agreement (1 Corinthians 1:10). Divisions are opposed by the Lord ( 1 Corinthians 1:10-18). If these things are true – and they are – God would play no role in creating or contributing to religious misunderstanding and division. Truth comes from God. Men are the source of confusion.

Confusion Comes from Men

If we are correct that the Bible can be understood and if God is able to communicate with us, then why all the confusion? That’s a really good question. Hundreds of denominations and sects, each teaching something different makes for an embarrasing religious landscape. It is the not the Bible’s fault.

We struggle with understanding the Bible because of one of four reasons:

  1. We have not yet studied enough to come to an understanding;
  2. We do not like what it says;
  3. We have been taught wrong by someone else who does not like what it says;
  4. We are too lazy to study for ourselves and have entrusted a mortal to teach us what we should learn on our own.

Pretty harsh assessment? You are correct. But argue against it and please leave your comments here so they can be seen by all readers. Keep in mind a few key verses as you comment. (To my facebook friends I invite you to comment here if you like. On FB is fine too.)

“Knowing this first, that no prophecy is of any private interpretation.” (2 peter 1:20)

You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” (John 8:32)

“…so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been taught.” (Luke 1:4)

God’s word can be understood. While there may be some questions that are not answered in Scripture God has given us all we need for our salvation. Let us all try to speak the same truth and stand on the same ground so that the unbelieving world can be saved.

I Am A Christian Because God Exceeds My Expectations | 20 reasons

Have you ever though of what you expect from God?

Some people see God as a magical genie just waiting to grant some wish to his “master.” They expect God to be at their beckon and call. Of course others expect God to be an angry old man just waiting for you to step out of line – kind of like your old elementary school principal from back in the day. I’m not sure either one of those fits my expectations.

Truthfully this isn’t something I have really considered until just recently. But I do have some things that I have thought of which seem to be Biblical. Let’s see what you think.

I Expect God to be Much Smarter than Me

That seems like a truism but I’m just not sure everyone would agree with that. It’s so common that we try to out-think God. Have you ever heard someone say something like: “I just can’t figure out why God would do so and so.” Maybe, “It doesn’t seem fair that God will do this or that.”

Job couldn’t figure out why God seemed so angry at him and why he suffered so terribly. God really set him straight didn’t he? Continue reading I Am A Christian Because God Exceeds My Expectations | 20 reasons

Inspiration | 20 Reasons I Am A Christian

BibleI asked some university students to define “inspiration.” While some gave the correct answers, others were just confused. Some said that inspiration is what enables you to write a beautiful poem or paint a memorable portrait. Others thought it was what happened to you when you hear powerful music and you are lifted higher by the chords and harmonies. I guess some of that is true – at least in our present culture – but the word is much more important than that.

It is very important for the Christian to understand and, as much as possible, fully appreciate the meaning of inspiration in Scripture because it is the underlying foundation of all Scripture.

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16).

We need to take a moment and drink in this verse because it teaches an incredibly important lesson. In fact, until you understand what Paul says here you will never fully appreciate the vast importance of the Bible. Continue reading Inspiration | 20 Reasons I Am A Christian

I Am A Christian Because of Fulfilled Prophecies

The tabloids always carry end of the year predictions. Usually beginning just after Christmas you can read what will happen in  the coming 2 months. At least,  that is the claim. Truthfully any claims that do happen to come true are so vague that anyone could have created them. When something does come true the medium is given a lot of glory and a complete pass on all of other prophecies that did not come to pass. It’s a racket – you know it and so do I.

The Bible is different for at least two key reasons. It is these reasons that give confidence to my faith and help me to live the Christian life. Now let me say at the beginning that this discussion of the prophecies of the Bible will not do justice to the topic. There are too many prophecies to focus upon. But if someone has a specific prophecy of interest I will gladly talk about it. Just let me know.

I Am A Christian Because of Specific Prophecies

God’s word claims to be inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16). With that claim comes a mighty authority that Scripture does not hide from. Unlike prophecies from modern soothsayers an ancient mediums like Nostradamus, the Holy Scriptures are quiet specific in their nature. Consider a couple of examples.

Jesus Would Rise from the Dead

This is perhaps one of the most stunning claims ever made. The Psalmist writes in Psalm 16:10 that the Holy One of God would not see decay in the grave. A thousand years before Christ, a stunning claim was made that he would come forth from the dead. Then, Jesus himself added to the prophecy when he said that he would suffer and on the third day rise from the grave (Luke 24:46). There is really no way to be more specific than that. It is clear and cannot be misunderstood. In fact the statement was so well known that the Jews were afraid the disciples would come and steal his body away (Matthew 27:62-66).

The fulfillment is stunning but true. He was quickly buried on Friday to avoid a conflict with the Sabbath day and then arose on the first day of the week (Sunday) as he said he would.

Now some skeptics might charge that all of this was just made up. It was added to the Bible to make it look good and convincing. To those we would ask a simple question: Why? What value is there in a counterfeit faith? What could the disciples hope to achieve?

More to the point, and absolutely destructive to the skeptics claim, is the secular history of the apostles after the resurrection. All of them except John died a horrible death at the hands of executioners. Why would they die for something they knew to be fake. We might accept that one deranged man might believe so intently that he could deceive himself but 13 (12 apostles +Paul)?

The fulfillment of this prophecy is further proven by Paul’s near taunting of the people of Corinth whom he challenged to interview living eyewitnesses of the risen Christ (1 Corinthians 15:3-11, esp. vs. 6).

Jesus’ Bones Were Not Broken

Psalm 34:20 says not one of his (Jesus) bones would be broken. John 20:31 both confirms that his bones were not broken and links the lack of fractures to the prophecy of Psalm 34. This is especially remarkable when we think that the two crucified with Jesus both suffered the deliberate braking of their legs as was the custom of the day.

Again, this is a specific prophecy a thousand years before the coming of Christ!

I Am A Christian Because of Fulfilled Prophecies

It is not enough to make claims. Prophecies must have been fulfilled every time without a single miss. That is the claim of the church. In the Old Testament, God’s people were warned of false prophets and were expected to execute those who prophesied falsely (Deuteronomy 13:1-5; 18:20; Jeremiah 29:21, 22; Zechariah 13:3). In other words, the stakes were high for a false prophet.

As one peruses the pages of Scripture you must be impressed with the detail and accuracy of prophecies. Of course, when you consider that God is behind ever prophecy made and you further consider that God created all that is, it becomes a little easier to accept the prophecies.

Above we have listed just two or three of the specific prophecies concerning Jesus. There are many many more. Christians rejoice because those prophecies verify the truth of Scripture and the promises of God.

Prayer is Always Answered | 20 Reasons

One of the greatest gifts God gives his people is the privilege of prayer. Like a beneficent father bending his ear toward his child, God listens to our prayers and responds appropriately. I am a Christian because I believe in the power of prayer in my life.

When we worry that God is not answering our prayers we really mean that he did not say “yes” to our request. It is often true that we are better off when God says no than when he says yes. God answers prayer – it’s just not always the answer we want.

God Hears the Righteous

The Bible is clear that God hears the pleas of his people. In Exodus 3:9 God told Moses that he had heard the cries of his people in Egypt who were in slavery. He sent deliverance in the form of plagues that caused Pharoah to release them. Later Moses would often be found praying to God on behalf of the Israelites (c.f. Numbers 11:2).

Near the end of Job’s travails God instructs Job’s friends to turn to Job and to ask him to pray for them for, God says, “I will accept his prayer…” (Job 42:8, see also Genesis 20:7). This demonstrates that there are some people God will not hear Continue reading Prayer is Always Answered | 20 Reasons

Miracles Are Real | 20 Reasons

I believe in miracles, not the counterfeit kind you read about today but the real ones, the ones that are recorded in Scripture. I don’t know if you’ve ever thought about it this way but I am a Christian because of miracles. Let me explain.

The ancient Bible writers and prophets had something important to say. In many cases it went against the accepted norms of the day. Sometimes their claims were so fantastic that they bordered on unbelievable even to those people who wanted to believe. Think about it. God told Moses that he would cause the most powerful man in the world to release his valued slaves and that he would then take those slaves into a land where they would conquer 6 mighty nations. Such a claim was absolutely fantastic and it took a burning bush to confirm the message (Exodus 3). Soon Moses would repeat the claim to the enslaved Hebrews and would stand face-to-face with the Pharaoh and tell him to “Let my people go!” He would confirm it with miracle, after miracle. Miracles are real and Continue reading Miracles Are Real | 20 Reasons

20 Reasons: The Planning of Salvation

drafting tools2Jesus saves the church (Ephesians 5:23) which means he saves the people who make up the church. But Jesus did not appear on earth and did not offer himself as a sacrifice for sin until thousands of years after sin entered the world. Why did it take so long? What was happening during that very long period.

To make things even more curious, the Bible teaches that the plan of salvation was crafted before man sinned in Eden (Ephesians 1:3,4; 1 Peter 1:17-21). Much time elapsed between the entry of sin and the entry of redemption. There was a divine plan in mind and everything happened precisely according to that plan. Some people demand an explanation for this time lapse but they fail to appreciate that God works according to his own plan and his own methods. If we look closely we can see that Jesus came at just the right time (Galatians 4:4)

This exceptionally well planned and deliberately executed plan of events brings salvation to my doorstep. When I look at its divine precision I am convinced that God in heaven is working on my behalf. I am a Christian, in part, because of the way this special plan of salvation was brought about.

Continue reading 20 Reasons: The Planning of Salvation

20 Reasons: The Revealing of God

magnifying glass from Wikipedia Commons

I am a Christian because God has shown himself to me in many ways. It is because of his self-revelation that I not only know that he exists but that he cares for me. Bible stories that some call fantasy, fiction, myth or fairy tales are actually methods by which God shows his qualities and characteristics to his creation. Without a doubt,  the stories are fantastic; they are needed to demonstrate God’s power.

Taken by themselves, it might be hard to swallow but when one considers that the stories are contained within a book of extreme accuracy and verifiable truth, they become an understandable part of the Revelation of God. Each great event tells us something about God. For example, Continue reading 20 Reasons: The Revealing of God

20 Reasons:God Guides

Travel is always and adventure. Several years ago when I was flying I left a small airport in Hamilton, Alabama making a short hop to Tuscaloosa, Alabama. It was night time but the weather was spectacular. I reasoned that I could just set a lazy course to the south and watch for the lights of the city.  No reason  to bother with radio navigation aides or even a chart. There was only one city of any size south of Hamilton and that was Tuscaloosa. As I departed the runway and turned south I was immediately impressed by the serene scene of a rising full moon. The air was smooth and the flying was a piece of cake. I turned the C-172 onto a heading of south, climbed to about 3,000 feet and just waited for the Tuscaloosa lights to appear. They did not.

Continue reading 20 Reasons:God Guides

20 Reasons: Hell

Hell helps.

Strange as it may seem, Hell really does help the Christian understand much about God. People are often so disgusted by the thought of a place of eternal punishment that they try to discard the idea or block it out of their minds. Some go so far as to declare Christianity morally bankrupt because we would even consider such an idea. Let’s walk through what we know about Hell and then draw some conclusions.

The Bible Says Hell is Real

Everything we can know about Hell we must learn from Scripture. The reason is simple. None of us have ever been to Hell and therefore can offer no first hand account. Second, Hell lies outside of our present understanding. It is not a part of nature as we understand it. Since science is limited to the present reality, there is no knowledge of Hell that the scientist can offer.

The Bible has much to say about this dismal locale. Continue reading 20 Reasons: Hell