For those of you who have followed our Veritas project through the years, you know that one of the primary objectives of Veritas has been to help especially young adults, but actually to help all of us, know how to give an answer to anyone who asks us a reason for the hope that is in us (1 Peter 3:15). One of our major goals is for young adults to be equipped to share the evidence that God has seen fit to leave us–evidence that enables us to know why we believe what we believe is true.
As secularism continues to advance in our culture, I would like to suggest that, more than ever, Veritas needs to be an important feature in our efforts to fulfill the Great Commission as we do the work of evangelism.
When I was young, if I pointed someone to something that the Bible said, almost no one would question the statement. Virtually everyone in my personal world recognized that the Bible is God’s Word and that God always speaks truth.
Today, thanks to the secularizing influence of many parts of our culture (schools, news media, entertainment, many politicians, etc.), more and more people are doubting that the Bible can be trusted at all.
But it turns out that God has left us a great deal of evidence that can be shared with others that points us to the truth about Himself and His Word–evidence that will definitely get the attention of many secularists and can help them decide to take the Bible more seriously. Unfortunately, many Christians have not yet equipped themselves to share this evidence, and so we may miss many opportunities to help others find God’s truth.
Of course, the Bible teaches that God Himself, in the person of the Holy Spirit, is the One who draws people to Himself, grants us repentance and faith, and places us into His family and His kingdom.
But, of course, God has chosen to use us to share the Gospel with others–hopefully in effective ways. Sometimes, He draws people to Himself because a Christian friend demonstrates the love of Christ on a personal level. Sometimes, He draws people to Himself after a presentation of the Gospel in a VBS service, or in a revival service, or in a morning worship service. Sometimes He draws people to Himself after a one-on-one presentation of the Gospel. But more and more, in our secularized culture, He is drawing people to Himself after a presentation of the Gospel that includes the sharing of evidence that what we believe really is true.
Actually, God gives us a model in the book of Acts. When Paul spoke in Synagogues (which he normally sought to do first), he could start with truth from the Old Testament, which his hearers would quickly recognize, and then show how the Old Testament Scriptures pointed to Christ. Sometimes they would respond positively to that, and sometimes they didn’t. When he spoke to the Athenians, however, he knew that they would not accept the teaching of the Old Testament, so he started with evidence that pointed to the Creator God and with their own recognition that there really must be an unknown God who was behind many of the blessings that they enjoyed. Some wanted to hear more. Others didn’t. And many people we try to share the Gospel with today are more like the Athenians than like the Jews in the synagogues.
God has graciously left us with lots of evidence: evidence for the resurrection of Christ, evidence from archaeology, evidence from fulfilled prophecy, evidence from early church history, evidence from manuscripts, and evidence from science (e.g. molecular biology and the Second Law of Thermodynamics) to point us to Himself. We need to be at least familiar enough with some of these evidences that we can help skeptics who might be seriously willing to consider the truth, if they only knew the evidence that God has so graciously left for us.
In recent years, when I find myself with a little conversation time with a stranger, I often ask him or her, “Do you happen to be a Christian?”
If they say “Yes,” (which many do), I realize that it’s very possible that they are defining the word “Christian” very differently from the way I might define it. But I still say, “Well, I have something that I’d like for you to help me pray about. May I take a minute to share it with you?” If they give me permission, I begin to share some of the reasons why I think it’s important for us to be able to obey 1 Peter 3:15. And the conversation goes from there. I think, in many cases, people who identify as Christians–who may, or may not, really be Christians–may be pleasantly surprised to learn that God has left us so much evidence. And if they happen to be Christian in name only, God may use that conversation to help them have a genuine encounter with the truth about Himself and His Word. Before I leave them, I usually give them a card with my phone number and a link where they can learn more online.
If they say, “No, I’m not a Christian.” I say, “Well, I’m working on a project that you might be interested in.” And I proceed to tell them about Veritas and some of the evidence God has left for us. After some conversation, if they seem open, I will encourage them to commit their lives to Christ. If they don’t seem ready for that yet, I again give them a card with my phone number and a link.
I’ve also noticed that YouTube has more and more testimonies of people who have come to Christ after someone shared the evidence for the reality of God, evidence for the trustworthiness of the Scriptures, and evidence for the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. I have a few links to some of these on our web pages.
I would be happy to share some of this evidence that I’m talking about with your church, your class, or your small group. I share it in the form of PowerPoint slide presentations. If you are interested in checking it out, go to aboundingjoy.com, then scroll down and you’ll find a link for information about the live veritas presentations. You’ll also find ways to get in touch with me. I’ll be happy to work out a way to share one or more of these presentations with your church or group if that is at all possible. I do not charge for the presentations. If you’d rather send me a text or give me a call before you check out the web pages, that works too. My cell phone number is 423-261-5562.
We just need to be keenly aware that there are many sweet, but very secularized, people out there who need to know how we know that what we believe is true. I’m asking you to help me make sure that more and more of us believers are getting equipped to tell them.
Stay in the battle!
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