What would convince a skeptic that the claims of Christianity are true: that the Creator became a man, died for our sins, was buried, and rose from the dead? And that he offers eternal life to all who believe in him.
Joe believed that the Gospels were legends fabricated long after Jesus died. He bought into the radical beliefs of the Jesus Seminar. “They’re eye witness accounts,” I countered, “written within sixty years of Jesus’ death. Do the research.”
Gary Habermas did the research and found that most critical scholars (skeptical, liberal, and conservative) regard twelve facts about Jesus as historical, including these four facts:
Jesus died by crucifixion.
His tomb was empty.
His disciples believed they saw the risen Christ.
His Church exploded on the scene.
While Joe was doing research, church exploded on his scene. Once a month on a Saturday morning Bob would join a group of men for breakfast at church. Joe asked if he could tag along. The men celebrated the miracle of new life in Christ. There was no pretense or façade. They acknowledged chaotic histories, relationships gone wrong, dark cravings, unrealized dreams. They shared how Jesus changed them, restoring relationships, rebuilding families, filling their lives with hope, meaning, and purpose. “Why do you drag me to these things?” Joe would ask Bob on the way home. Bob's expression told Joe that he loved him.
Joe’s story was messy. Unlike people from his past, when the men learned of his story, they were not accusatory, or judgmental, or vindictive. They saw him as God sees him, a person of infinite value and worth. They also didn’t justify his past. All need the forgiveness of a Savior! The Creator died for him, too, offered him forgiveness and new life.
Christianity began to ring true to Joe. And then … (From the album “This & That - A Little Bit of Everything” this video is scrolling playback of the song.)
|Amazing Grace by John Newton
Click here and here to read the facts of Jesus’ life that critical scholars consider historical.
You can get print (PDF – lead sheet format) and/or digital (MusicXML™ for praise band) sheet music for Watermark.
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