Evidences of Revealed Religion
It should not surprise anyone that the religion of Christ has, for all practical purposes, lost its appeal to the majority of the world’s population. Religion has become its own worst advocate. In fact, I believe there is evidence that most of what is considered religion today is the primary enemy of the religion of Jesus Christ. As the cartoon character, Pogo, said, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”
This has become a great advantage to the godless portion of mankind. Atheism, humanism, and skepticism flourish where modern day churches abandon the principles of the Bible. As a “this worldly” focus grows ever larger, and the “world that is to come” gradually vanishes, modern religion feeds modernism and the social gospel concept of religion. When modern day religion seeks to entertain the world on social programs and disregards the spiritual values of salvation through the Gospel of Christ, they rely on the broken reed of human wisdom and forsake the power of God to save.
Modernism seeks to discredit religion on two fronts. One is the loose adherence most religious organizations (called churches) give to divine revelation. The other is to openly attack the Bible as the true and inviolable word of the Living God. When the Bible is relegated to a book of myth and legend the religion it reveals is likewise discredited. Many so-called Bible believers rely on their tradition or experience in accepting the Bible and the revealed religion of our Lord. This is hardly satisfactory. Experience and tradition are unreliable and certainly not the bases on which to rest one’s hope of eternal happiness.
There are those who claim to believe, but could not, in a rational manner, tell anyone why. Some are willing to investigate beyond the historical evidence for Christianity. This strengthens and give assurance. Bible believers should always be ready to give an answer (from credible evidence) for the hope they have in their hearts (2 Pet. 3:15). It is to that end, and to that class of folk, we devote a few lessons on the evidence that validates the revealed Religion of Christ Jesus. It is to the earnest inquirers who find themselves perplexed with the difficulties which they hear urged against the gospel, and which they find themselves unable to solve in a satisfactory way these lessons are directed. We begin asking, “What is the religion of Christ?”
The religion of Christ is no mere ideology. The philosophy of Plato and Aristotle are mere ideologies. These rest on the thinking and wisdom of a mere man. Christianity, on the other hand, rests on historical fact. There is, in reality, only one salient fact on which the entire system of revealed religion rests: Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
One passage known by nearly everyone who has shown an interest in the Bible is, “For God so loved the world tha the gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have ever lasting life” (John 3:16). The appearance of the Son of God in human nature came a series of inexplicable works, a body of matchless teaching, a perfect life, and the selection and education of a group of men known as apostles. Through these men, the Lord Jesus Christ established his church (Matt. 16:18). All this is a matter of reliable history and divine revelation.
Paul, the apostle “born out of due time” (1 Cor. 15:8) wrote, “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Tim. 1:15). Everything the Christian believes is based on this one historical fact: God sent his son into this world for the salvation of all mankind. Destroy this fact and everything connected with is crumbles. There can be no God -- for if he did not send his Son, the only book revealing God to us is false. If Jesus did not come into this world there is no reliable source of information as to the past and nothing to look for in the future than annihilation. You can see how important this one grand fact is to revealed religion.
The coming of the Son of God into the world validates the Old Testament, for his coming was in accurate compliance with the scriptures of the Old Testament. Jesus said to people of his day, “And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not. Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me” (John 5:37-39). One of his great utterances was, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil” (Matt. 5:17). Jesus said again, “All thigns must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the Psalms concerning me” (Luke 24:44).
The connection of the historical facts concerning Jesus, of Nazareth, with Old Testament scriptures, serves to make the Bible one unit, an indivisible whole. From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible is a supernatural revelation given by God Almighty to all mankind. It is the only such revelation from God to man. I quote E. P. Barrows: “As such, it embraces not only supernatural teachings, but supernatural facts also; and the teachings rest on the facts in such a way that both must stand or fall together.” (Companion to the Bible, American Tract Society.)
Back to Bulletin Fodder