Presentation on theme: "+ CONTENDERS FOR CHRIST. “Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to."— Presentation transcript:
+ CONTENDERS FOR CHRIST
“Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ, our only Sovereign and Lord.” Jude 1: 3-4
TO CONTEND = TO COMPETE IN ORDER TO WIN
“ALWAYS BE PREPARED TO GIVE AN ANSWER TO EVERYONE WHO ASKS YOU TO GIVE THE REASON FOR THE HOPE THAT YOU HAVE. BUT DO THIS WITH GENTLENESS AND RESPECT,” 1 PETER 3:15
LET US ADDRESS SOME VERY CHALLENGING QUESTIONS THAT ANY OF US IS LIABLE TO FACE ALONG OUR EVANGELISM SERVICE …
SINCE EVIL EXISTS A LOVING GOD CANNOT
HOW CAN ONE BELIEVE IN AN ALL-POWERFUL, ALL- GOOD, ALL-WISE GOD WHILE EVIL EXISTS IN THE WORLD!!!
A LOVING GOD WOULD NEVER TORTURE PEOPLE IN HELL
ITS OFFENSIVE TO CLAIM THAT JESUS IS THE ONLY WAY TO GOD WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN JESUS AND ANY OTHER PROPHET!!!
GOD AND EVIL
Christians believe 5 things that seem to be somehow contradictory: God exists God is all-good God is all-powerful God is al-wise Evil exists
God created everything and it was GOOD Man was created in accordance to God’s image God created man with the potential of CHOICE There had to be two things to choose from Those two are Good and the no good God didn’t create the no good … Rather he left the potential to the no good
Evil is not a substance Evil is the lack of substance Light exists Darkness is the lack of the existence of light
God didn’t create evil HE created THE POSSIBILITY OF EVIL PEOPLE ACTUALIZED THT POTENIALITY The SOURCE OF EVIL IS NOT GOD IT IS MAN’S FREEDOM
SO WHY FREE WILL IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!
Well … it would have been without evil … without suffering … but also without love Coz love is a FREE ACT Real love must involve a CHOICE Creating a world where there is free choice and no possibility of sin is self-contradictory
Because God is ALL-KNOWING … He knows very well that good will come out of evil The ultimate evil can and always results in the ultimate good Here God lifts the curtains and let us see …. Elsewhere he just says “TRUST ME”
Suppose you are the devil … you are the enemy of God and you want to get rid of him … but you cant.. However, he has this ridiculous weakness of creating and loving human beings, whom you can get at … aha…. Now you have got hostages … So you simply come down into the world, corrupt mankind and drag some of them to hell…
When God sends prophets to enlighten them you kill those prophets Then god does the most foolish thing of all … he sends his own son and he plays by the rules of the world… You say to yourself … I can’t believe it … loves has done something wrong to his brain All I have to do is inspire some agents – Herod Pilate Caiaphas the Roman soldiers and get him crucified … And that’s what you do …. So there he hangs on the cross – forsaken by man and seemingly by God … bleeding to death and crying … “my god my god why have you forsaken me ….” Now as the devil you must feel triumph and vindication …
But alas The devil couldn’t have been more wrong … it is his eternal defeat and our lord’s great victory for all humanity
AT THE TIME OF THE CRUCIFIXION THE DISCIPLES COULDN’T SEE HOW ANYTHING GOOD COULD RESULT; SIMILARLY, AS WE FACE STRUGGLES AND TRIALS AND SUFFERING, WE SOMETIMES CANT IMAGINE GOOD EMERGING. BUT WE VE SEEN HOW IT DID IN THE CASE OF JESUS, AND WE CAN TRUST IT WILL IN OUR CASE TOO. FOR INSTANCE THE GREATEST CHRISTIANS IN HISTORY SEEM TO SAY THAT THEIR SUFFERINGS ENDED UP BRINGING TEM CLOSEST TO GOD – SO THIS IS THE BEST THING THAT COULD HAPPEN – NOT THE WORST” (GREEFT)
“NOW IF IT IS NOT A FREAK OCCURRENCE, BUT IT’S A PARADIGM OF THE HUMAN SITUATION, THEN WHEN WE BLEED AND WHEN WE SUFFER, AS CHRIST DID, MAYBE THE SAME THIG IS HAPPENING. MAYBE THIS IS GOD’S WAY OF DEFEATING THE DEVIL” PETER JOHN GREEFT
GOD IS ALL GOOD
God is wise enough to foresee that we need some pain for reasons which we may not understand but which he foresees as being necessary to some eventual good. Therefore he is not being evil by allowing pain to exist Dentists athletic trainers teachers and parents all know that sometimes to be good is not to be kind We know that moral character gets formed through hardship, through overcoming obstacles, through enduring despite difficulties. (the hunter and the bear)
The role of Faith It is true that something seems to be counting against God ONLY IN A WORLD WHERE FAITH IS DIFFICULT THAT FAITH EXISTS I don’t have faith in two plus two Or in the noonday sun Those are surely beyond question But our Scriptures describe God as “a hidden God” You have to make an EFFORT OF FAITH to find Him
There are CLUES you can follow If there weren’t so … if there were something more or less than clues, it’s difficult for me to understand how we could really be free to make a choice about Him If we had absolute proof instead of clues, then you could no more deny God than you could deny the sun.
If we had no evidence at all, you could never get there … God gives us enough evidence so that those who want him can have him … Those who want to follow the clues WILL The bible says Seek and you shall find … It doesn’t say everybody will find him; it doesn’t say nobody will find him.
Some will find Who Those who seek Those whose hearts are set on finding him and who follow the clues.
THE EXISTENCE OF EVIL … A PATH TO REJECT ATHEISM AND ACCEPT FAITH
The very presence of the idea of evil means that the world is not a perfect place ….
But maybe we have to learn from peasants (Leo Tolstoy) who wrestled with the problem of evil … he was tempted to kill himself … but he said … wait a minute … most people do endure … most people have a harder life but they do endure not with explanations but WITH FAITH Leo Tolstoy learned from peasants to find FAITH AND HOPE
ATHEISM ROBS DEATH OF MEANING; AND IF DEATH HAS NO MEANING HOW CAN LIFE ULTIMATELY HAVE MEANING? ATHEISM CHEAPENS EVERYTHNG IT TOUCHES – look at the results of communism the most powerful form of atheism on earth … Look at How many atheist philosophers and literary figures committed suicide … And in the end THE ATHEIST DIES AND ENCOUTERS GOD INSTEAD OF THE NOTHINGNESS HE HAD PREDICTED … HE THEN RECOGNIZESTHAT ATHEISM WAS nothing but A CHEAP ANSWER
THE ONY REALITY THAT’S NOT CHEAP = THE GOD OF INFINITE VALUE
Another argument … If there is no Creator and therefore no moment of creation then everything is the result of evolution. If there was no beginning or first cause, then the universe must have always existed. That means the universe has been evolving for an infinite period of time – and, by now everything should already be perfect. There would have been plenty of time for evolution to have finished and evil to have been vanquished. But there is still evil and suffering and imperfection – and that proves the atheist wrong about the universe….
ATHEISM is SNOBBISH It claims that 90 percent of the people who ever lived on earth are mistaken coz they believed in God The objective evidence just looking at the balance of pleasure and suffering in the world would not seem to justify believing in an absolutely good god. Yet this has been almost universally believed Are they all crazy!!!
HOW COULD A LOVING GOD JUST BECAUSE YOU DON’T DO WHAT HE SAYS OR OBEY HIM TORTURE YOU FOR EVER?!!!
Problems with the Question God does not torture people in hell God is not a child that is only concerned with his rules, and if you don’t obey them then you are doom. God is the most generous loving wonderful attractive being in the cosmos If mankind continuously chooses to reject God and everything He has to offer then we deserve what we have asked for all our lives – separation from him … that is hell
Though God is loving he is just moral and pure – God’s decisions are based on WHO HE IS and not on rules and laws Laws are not a mechanism to enter into heaven they are standards or benchmarks to show we all have a sinful nature
What is hell? It is a natural consequence of a life that has been lived in a certain direction Hell is a separation or banishment from the most beautiful LOVING Being in the world – God Hell is punishment but not punishing it is a place of shame anguish and regret People in hell will deeply grieve all they have lost
Imagine a situation where I have been on a lovely relationship with someone – enjoying his/her company and getting along so very nicely together … WE agree on certain ethics for the relationship but it so happens that I CHOOSE TO cheat on this person – s/he tries to warn me several times that this will lead to ultimate separation – but I still persist in my behavior I insist on (MY blaspheming behavior التجديف علي الروح )
a day will finally come when the decision is we cannot continue this relationship see how devastated I will be when I realize I will separate forever … that is going to be MY HELL!!!
Why did God create hell Hell was not there at the beginning … When God created everything He said that it was good (Gen 1:31) It is not a place as much as it is a STATE Hell is a state of utter heartbreak – a loss of everything – the worst possible situation that could happen to anyone …
Our relationship and daily experiences and growth in Christ is preparing us to be with him for eternity If we are not preparing to live in heaven … then with our choices … we are preparing to live in hell Hell is a state of existence where one is the centre of the universe and not God Hell is not only a sentence but a CHOICE that has started in this life on earth – day by day That is exactly why some people decide to take their own lives ….
God is patient … grieves … God is patient and desires all to come to come to repentance “ … is patient not willing that anyone would perish but that all would come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). God derives no pleasure in the death of the wicked “Do I have pleasure at all that the wicked should die? Says the Lord God and not that he should turn from his way and live?” (Ezekiel 18:23). God continually calls and exhorts the wicked to come to repentance, but he will not force that decision upon anyone.
Let us end up with the same verse … “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,” 1 Peter 3:15