04262015TheUltimateProofOfGodsExistence2DonRuhl

The Ultimate Proof of God’s Existence 2 

If the Gospels are reliable, Jesus is the Son of God, and therefore, God exists

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • April 26, In the year of our Lord, 2015

Scripture Reader and Reading: Wayne Duncan – John 20.30–31

Song Leader and Song Suggestions: Phil Joseph – Songs on Jesus

Prelude

  1. Can we know that there is a God? 
    1. I believe the Gospel Accounts,
    2. which we know as Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John,
      1. show that we can know beyond any reasonable doubt
      2. that there is a God.
  2. In 2010, I addressed this with a message of the same title as this one. 
    1. At that time,
      1. I showed you ancient writers referencing Jesus, and
      2. that the sudden appearance of the church in the first century,
        1. both show that a man known as Jesus the Christ existed.
        2. Why do some atheists deny His historicity?
          1. They do not deny the Roman Caesars of the New Testament.
          2. Jesus demands something from atheists and
            1. holds them accountable,
            2. something that other historical figures do not require.
              1. Therefore, it becomes a matter of submission.
              2. Some just do not want to submit to God.
    2. I also showed you that Jesus invites us
      1. to investigate His life and ministry
      2. as revealed in the Gospels.

Persuasion

  1. Investigate the Message of the Gospels 
    1. John 7 shows people debating whether He was good or not.

      12 And there was much complaining among the people concerning Him. Some said, “He is good”; others said, “No, on the contrary, He deceives the people” (John 7.12).

      1. Do you believe He was good, or
      2. do you believe He deceived the people?
    2. John 7 again shows people asking a good question,

      31 And many of the people believed in Him, and said, “When the Christ comes, will He do more signs than these which this Man has done?” (John 7.31).

      1. What else should He have done to persuade you that He came from God?
      2. If you list something, would that truly convert you?
    3. John 9 makes us think about His power,

      33 “If this Man were not from God, He could do nothing” (John 9.33).

      1. That is, Jesus could not have done miraculous things without God.
      2. If Jesus did come from God, then He could do miracles.
    4. John 10 shows people disputing both His words and works,

      19 Therefore there was a division again among the Jews because of these sayings. 20 And many of them said, “He has a demon and is mad. Why do you listen to Him?” 21 Others said, “These are not the words of one who has a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?” (John 10.19–21).

      1. Not just could a demon open the eyes of the blind, but
      2. would a demon open the eyes of the blind?
        1. Yet, Jesus opened the eyes of physically blind and the spiritually blind.
        2. He was the opposite of a demon, He was divine.
    5. John 10 shows that He knew that some would have problems believing Him,

      37 “If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; 38 but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him” (John 10.37, 38).

      1. If you have trouble believing His words,
      2. examine His works.
    6. What does it mean that Jesus is the Son of God?
      1. It means that there is a God.
      2. It means that Jesus came from God.
      3. It means Jesus is God.
        1. What we can say about God,
        2. we can say about Jesus.
          1. What we can say about Jesus,
          2. we can say about God.
            1. Philip did not understand this,

              8 Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us” (John 14.8).

              1. Jesus, just let us see God, and that will do.
              2. Philip did not yet understand fully
                1. in whose presence he had been
                2. for the past three and a half years.
            2. Therefore, listen to Jesus open Philip’s eyes,

              9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves” (John 14.9–11).
            3. Truly, if Jesus had shown the Father,
              1. Philip would not have endured the experience, besides
              2. Jesus will show us the Father at the Judgment.
  1. We Go from the General to the Specific 
    1. We develop arguments for the existence of God,
    2. which truly argue for the existence of any god, but
      1. we hope that once people have seen the existence of the supernatural,
      2. that we can then make a connection with the God of the Bible.
        1. Sometimes this scenario works and
        2. sometimes it does not.
          1. I certainly do not want to imply
          2. that we cannot reason in this manner.
            1. In Acts 17 at the Areopagus (Mars Hill),
            2. Paul reasoned from the general to the specific.
              1. Do not forget that with His Great Commission,
              2. Jesus taught us to go from the specific to the general,
                1. talking about Him and
                2. the Good News connected with Him.
  2. Go from the Specific to the General 
    1. Do not discount the power of the Gospels.
      1. Do you know how many people have changed their lives
      2. after reading or hearing teaching from the Gospels?
        1. I do not know the numbers, but
        2. I do know that it has to be in the millions, perhaps billions,
          1. since the writing of the Gospels.
          2. People live and die because of their belief in the Gospel Accounts.
    2. Let people hear the words of Jesus.
      1. In so doing, they will hear from God Himself.
        1. Do you think words from the Creator of the heavens and the Earth
        2. can challenge people?
      2. I may have told you before of the atheist/agnostic
        1. who claims that the Golden Rule is the best way to live.
        2. I asked him if he knew who spoke it and where it is found.
          1. He said yes.
          2. He heard from the Creator of all things, and
            1. could not resist the reasonableness of it,

              12 “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matt 7.12).
            2. First, of course, practice it yourself.
              1. Then when they ask why you live as you do,
              2. you can give them the teaching of Jesus.
                1. Do not be shy when they ask you, but
                2. with confidence show them the teaching.
    3. At that point they may only see Him as a great teacher.
    4. Then let people see the works of Jesus.
      1. His works will speak for themselves.
      2. They will testify of His nature.
        1. If they can see that,
        2. they will see His deity.
  3. Jesus Is God 
    1. If the Gospels recorded history accurately,
    2. we can conclude only one thing,
      1. Jesus is the Son of God,
      2. which makes Him God.
    3. Then a person has to decide:
      1. Does the supernatural exist?
      2. Did He create us?
      3. Will I see Him?
      4. What will happen when I see Him?
  4. What Accepting the Gospel’s Witness Does 
    1. People will reconsider the existence of God.
    2. All four Gospel Accounts highlight the resurrection of Jesus.
      1. The rest of the New Testament also points to this miracle
      2. rather than mentioning any of His other miracles.
        1. Why does this miracle standout?
        2. The New Testament
          1. builds doctrine and
          2. gives us hope,
            1. based on the resurrection of Jesus Christ, but
            2. not any of His other miracles.
        3. Also, Jesus singled out His resurrection, such as
          1. when some of the scribes and Pharisees wanted to see a sign,
          2. He would not do any for them,
            1. except He referenced His coming resurrection,

              39 But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matt 12.39–40).
            2. There is something about His resurrection.
        4. In my judgment, the resurrection is unique because
          1. it was a self-resurrection, and
          2. one that would be more impossible, but
            1. also, would show more of who He is than His other miracles,

              17 “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. 18 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father” (John 10.17–18).
            2. With His other miracles,
              1. someone else received the benefit, but
              2. with this one, Jesus received the benefit.
            3. However, to perform a self-resurrection, Jesus had to have
              1. authority from His Father, and
              2. the keys to Hades and Death.
      3. Listen to Jesus speak to John, and
        1. see the connection between
        2. Jesus affirming His resurrection and having the keys,

          18 “I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death” (Rev 1.18).

          1. Such a confession, if true, can only be said about God.
          2. No one else has the authority or the keys of Hades and of Death
            1. enabling them to go back and forth between the two.
            2. Jesus gave the authority to men
              1. who used it on others, but
              2. never on themselves.
      4. The resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth
        1. gives us hope for our own resurrection, and
        2. affirms His identity as the Son of God.
      5. We know the resurrection of Jesus happened, because
        1. of the reliable witnesses,
        2. in particular the Gospel Accounts.
    3. If Jesus rose from the dead,
      1. then all other recorded biblical miracles also happened.
      2. That would include the miracle of creation.
        1. If we are here by miracle,
        2. then there was/is a miracle-worker,
          1. whom the credible and reliable Scriptures testify
          2. is the God revealed in the pages of the Bible.
            1. That means God exists.
            2. Then when you consider
              1. all the arguments for the existence of God,
              2. they make sense.
    4. Therefore, do not shy away from presenting Jesus.
      1. Read the Gospel Accounts yourself.
      2. Refer to them.
      3. Live them.
        1. Then those living around you will have to deal with Jesus.
          1. If they accept Him for whom the Gospels present Him,
          2. those people will then see that God exists.
        2. If they reject Him,
          1. you can offer all the brilliant arguments in the world, and
          2. they will not see that God exists.
            1. Everything hinges upon Jesus.
            2. I have done this before.
              1. The atheist presents what he believes is the best way of life.
              2. I show him the teachings of Jesus.
                1. Every time the atheist has not been able to overcome
                2. the teachings of Jesus.
    5. We hope or think that moving from
      1. God’s existence in general to
      2. Jesus as the Son of God specifically,
        1. makes it easier for the skeptic to believe, or
        2. that he will not accept the specific if he does not accept the general.
          1. However, that is simply not true.
          2. The New Testament shows
            1. that people turned to God
            2. when they saw Jesus as the Son of God.

Exhortation

  1. In my next sermon on this topic 
    1. I will show you
    2. that you can count on the reliability of the Gospels, because
      1. the writers wrote them in the first century,
      2. later generations worked to transcribe the manuscripts precisely,
      3. the Accounts have endured the centuries,
      4. they show a Jesus consistent with unfavorable writers, and
      5. we can verify the Gospel Accounts to discover the truth.
  2. No reason and no piece of evidence exists 
    1. to deny the historicity of Jesus of Nazareth as the Son of God.
    2. That being the case,
      1. we have strong reasons and evidence
      2. to know and to believe that God exists.