Sceptics Among Us

“If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.  At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it.  For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.  See, I have told you ahead of time.
“So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it.  For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.  Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.”

  • Matthew 24:22-28

First, let’s take one example of how people have tried to prove the Gospels wrong – the question of Nazareth.  All four Gospels point out that Jesus’ hometown was a small place called Nazareth.  For many years, ‘scholars’ and sceptics argued that this was a fiction because the Jewish historian Josephus did not mention Nazareth in his writings.  Then, lo and behold, in the 1950s an ancient village on the traditional site was discovered.  That particular argument has been blown to pieces.  As indeed have many similar attempts to disprove the Bible.
“Secondly, the question of dating.  Hitchens argues that Jesus’ illiterate living disciples left us no record’.  This set me wondering how illiterate disciples could write.  Hitchens, of course, pronounces that they didn’t.  This is just prejudice and chronological snobbery.  How does he know that Jesus’ disciples were illiterate?  Matthew, a tax collector, would certainly not have been, neither would Luke the doctor.  Mark and John could clearly read and write.  The fact is that we have no substantive reason to doubt that the Gospels were written by those who were eyewitnesses of Jesus>  As John puts it: ‘That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched – this we proclaim concerning the Word of Life’ (1 John 1:1).
”Thirdly, the question of the other gospels.  This particular myth has been perpetuated by the truly dreadful,
The Da Vinci Code.  When we set up a debate on the film and the book, we scoured high and low throughout Britain to find any academic who would be prepared to defend the claims made by Dan Brown that the church just selected the gospels in the fourth century and rejected a whole lot of equally valid ‘gospels.’  No one was prepared to.  It is a fanciful myth and is taken seriously only by those who think that The Sun and The National Enquirer are reliable course of news.  I have spent the past year reading all these so called ‘gospels’ – at least those which have been translated into English.  If you are serious about this question, then all I would suggest is that you read them and compare them with the four Gospels we have in the Bible.  You will soon see the difference.  ‘Chalk and cheese’ would not be an adequate phrase to describe how vastly different they are.”

  • David Robertson, Magnificent Obsession

The Scripture and the quote do not, on the surface, speak of the same thing, but Satan will cast doubts into people’s minds every way that is possible.  For the sceptics leaning toward disbelief, they could easily be swayed by the “other gospels,” some as dreadful as Dan Brown’s novel which is pure fiction, but other authors have done the same thing.  I have a few authors that I enjoyed until they wrote a fictional story about “disproving Scripture.’  Even being fictional with no pretense of the truth, it can cast doubt into people’s minds.

For those who are sceptics leaning toward a desire to find “truth,” there are any number of charlatans willing to pretend that they are indeed the second coming of Jesus.

As the Scripture states, we will know.  Someone telling us to come to the community center to hear the Messiah give a speech, do not believe them.  Jesus will make Himself known to everyone in such a dramatic way that there will be no doubt.

Return to the Scripture.  Read it.  Study it.  And pray for understanding.  If Jesus is in your heart, the understanding will flow from the Holy Spirit.  And always anticipate with Hope, knowing that Jesus will return.

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

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