There is a notion that someone believes the gospel or not, but there can not be any evidence of it. In fact the proof of the gospel is integral to the presentation itself. On the Day of Pentecost Peter stood before the people and reminded them of the miracles Jesus had done among them which they knew.
I recently heard Tim Keller tell about a man who told a pastor he would believe if he could be shown airtight proof. The pastor said, “”Read the New Testament.” “Will that show me an airtight argument?” he asked. “No, but God gave us an air tight person.” It is difficult to read The New Testament without being impressed with Jesus.
Peter went on to declare that God raised Jesus from the dead, “and we are all witnesses.”
You may be familiar with Vince Vitale, now the Director of The Zacharias Institute in Atlanta.Vince has a PHD from The University of Oxford. He went off to college as a secularist, believing all truth claims were equal. But there his thinking was challenged for the first time. Someone gave him a Bible and invited him to read it. For some time he read skeptically, labeling things he thought unscientific with “b.s.” But as he came to the resurrection of Jesus and studied a little, learning that the resurrection was confirmed early, publically, by multiple witnesses. The testimonies of the witnesses went against their culture. It radically transformed their lives. They willingly, even joyfully gave their lives maintaining their testimony.
This was too much. How could he explain these testimonies? He made an appointment with the two leading New Testament scholars at Princeton where he was studying. Neither were believers, so he was sure they would explain away this problem. But one of them half-heartedly posed the theory of mass hallucination, which, incidentally does not exist. There is no such thing as mass hallucination. The other simply said, “As an historian, I'm not interested in the question.” What was he to do? While still at Princeton Vince gave his life to Christ.
In Acts 2:32 Peter declared,
“This Jesus God raised up, and of that we are all Witnesses.”
Who were the witnesses included in that declaration? Peter was referring to those believers who were present. That included Thomas who would not believe if he could not touch His hands and side pierced by the soldiers. It probably included James, the brother of Jesus who didn't believe until Jesus rose from the dead. It may not have included Stephen who was later martyred asking God not to count the sin of those stoning him against them, and crying out that he saw Jesus seated by the Majesty on High. It did not include Paul who met Him on the road, and it could not have included all 500 people who saw Him at one time.
But there are still others who are witnesses of the living Christ working in their lives. Are you among them? Has He made a radical difference in your life? If so you too are a witness of His resurrection. You know he rose from the dead because of the difference He has made in your life. Others will see that evidence in you. And that means you know that He is Lord.
Acts 2:36 reads,
Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.
This is the last of several blog entries taken from a sermon I preached at Crosspoint Church in
, NV. You can find the recording and other good things on their website. http://crosspoint.org/index.php/2016-06-01-08-45-06/274-now-to-him-who-is-able-listen-carefully