Over the past month or so my focus has shifted slightly. When I write an article on Facebook, it is met mostly with agreement and as such minimal dialog takes place. A stream of “likes” (or what we could call the “AMEN button”) follows and we all move on with our lives. My call into ministry was initiated and spurred on with a deep desire. That desire was to see revolutionary change. However, if I am only preaching to the choir and receiving their “Amens,” it doesn’t seem as though I’m challenging much….
Don’t get me wrong! In and of itself there is nothing wrong with this situation. I appreciate the unity and agreement within the Body of Christ. I appreciate the support through likes and particularly shares (as they increase the sphere of the message). Yet in all honesty, what I miss from the early days of the ministry God called me into is RESISTANCE.
It may seem strange that I would actually want to meet resistance in sharing the Gospel, but consider this: Where there is resistance, there is opportunity for change. Where there are opposing viewpoints, there is opportunity for truth to shatter the lies and for eyes to be opened. It is seldom easy, but it can be rewarding.
So, with these things in mind, I have embarked on a journey here in cyberspace that would bring me in contact with said resistance, and I have found it. I realize that what I am engaging in, is not for everyone, and based on the very limited success I’ve seen, I have been forced to question my choice numerous times. Yet the truth is the truth, and there is no lie of the enemy that can erase it. There is no argument that can nullify it.
What I have discovered is disturbing. There are so many darkened minds and darkened hearts. There is a world of manmade justification, denial and even judgment of God. Men stand with their fingers pointed in accusation toward God arguing, “It’s your fault. You made me this way!” They deny Him, less based on evidence, and more based on emotion. They have been hurt at some point by a person who claims Christ, or by the institutional church, and as a result they have formed theories as to why there is no God and even if there is, He is not worthy of receiving our humility, worship or praise.
At first, arguing in the midst of irrational arguments can be frustrating. The desire is to reach out, grab both their shoulders firmly and begin shaking vigorously while shouting, “Can’t you see the truth? What’s wrong with you?” Yet as time goes on and the arguing continues, frustration melts into sadness. It is clear that many are spiritually blind. Their eyes have been darkened by the ruler of this world and apart from the power of the Holy Spirit, there is simply no hope. This sadness dwells and as it persistently lingers, the prayers begin. “Father, open their eyes!” “Have mercy on them, oh LORD!”
The truth is, that we must intercede on behalf of those who stubbornly refuse the Gospel. We must allow the fruits of the Spirit to preside, lest the fruits of the flesh cause us to devolve into petty arguing and name calling. Behind it all there is understanding. I understand that I was blessed to grow up in a home where God was honored. I understand that I was blessed to be a part of a church that preached His word from the pulpit. It’s easy to take these blessings for granted and allow pride to puff us up. It’s easy to forget that many have never known such things, and so their understanding is largely based on their environment. Understanding these things, spurs kindness and self-control, even in the face of ignorant aggression.
In the end, all will stand before the throne of God to make an account for themselves and none will be with excuse. The words I have spoken and written will be at the forefront of the minds of many who have stubbornly continued their position of denying Christ. They will suddenly realize that every last word was true. An instant later, the rest of the sickening reality will become clear as they also realize that their time to make an election for their eternity has come to an end. Their answer will be final and their destiny sealed.
All of this was meant to be a brief introduction, but it has become a bit more than that. This is what happens when the Holy Spirit takes over my fingers!
My recent dialog with several Atheists did not produce the kind of fruit I would have wanted, but it did produce fruit. I was thrust into the role of an apologist and presented the kind of case I never thought I was qualified to take on. Yet these times are unique. Arguing prophecy is now arguing the headline news. The things which were written thousands of years ago in regards to the future have now come to pass. These recent historical events and current affairs serve to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Bible is true. They prove that it is not a book of fairy tales. It is the inerrant word of God.
What follows is a brief argument I wrote to a self-declared Atheist. It is one of many I made. I realize that while I am able to formulate such a case for God’s word, that there is one more critical element required. God’s Holy Spirit must remove the blindness from their eyes. So should you chose to share this in your own discussions, I recommend that you precede it with prayer.
This is but a small portion of prophecy that is being fulfilled in the present day. Yet this alone gives undeniable proof as to the accuracy of the Bible. Use it how you wish, so that it may put to use for the Kingdom of God.
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Amazingly, the restoration of Israel was predicted even before its fall. The prophet Amos spoke of it in Amos 9:11 & 13 (750 BC) Ezekiel 36:11 goes a step further in saying that Israel will prosper more than ever before. Isaiah 41:18-20 talks about the restoration of the land. Isaiah 51:3 says that LORD will make its deserts like Eden. Isaiah 27:6 says that Israel’s fruit will fill the world. Micah 4:1 says that Jerusalem will become the world’s most important religious site. Zechariah said in chapter 6:7-8 that Jews would stream back to Israel from all around the world.
There is no nation in the history of the world which has been rebuilt after such a long period of time. Israel is the first and dare I say the only (the feat will never occur again). Despite the constant tension (also prophesied) Israel is prospering. They have extensive natural resources and a booming economy even as other nations are suffering under economic woes. After the nation was overthrown and Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans in the first century Israel was almost uninhabitable. The land was nothing but an arid, barren landscape. Nothing grew there and no one even truly desired the land. Now it is a beautiful lush, green landscape with grasses, trees, pools of water. And in the higher elevations even pine trees grow (look back at Isaiah 41:18-20).
Since the re-establishment of Israel Jews have been streaming homeward from all around the globe. European, Russian and Middle Eastern Jews have been coming back in droves. Even the latest anti-Semitism in Europe is only serving to fulfill prophecy as the Jews facing persecution are packing up and leaving.
This is just one piece of prophesy. What about Daniel 12:4 which talks about an exponential increase in knowledge and that people would be traveling “to and fro.” I work in the technology industry. My company helped to coordinate a new wi-fi network for a major school district. One of the goals of the system was to completely replace textbooks with digital versions. The reason for this is that information is increasing at such a rapid rate now that by the time a text book is put into print it is already outdated. I can do more in 5 minutes with a Google search than I used to be able to accomplish with 5 hours spent in the library. As for travel, well I think that’s pretty self-explanatory. Planes can take us to any destination on the planet in hours where it may have taken days or weeks in the past… assuming the location was accessible at all.
What about this prophesy? Clear back in the book of Genesis (16:12) God prophesied over Ishmael and said he “will be a wild man, as untamed as a wild donkey! He will raise his fist against everyone and everyone against him.” Look across the Middle East to find the descendants of Ishmael. How would you describe them? Clearly the only thing that stops their quarrels from within is a common enemy. They are in a constant state of unrest and warfare just as was prophesied.
Although the list of prophecies coming to pass goes on, the point has been made. How can a book of fairy tales possibly predict so many things with 100% accuracy? In fact, there is not one prophecy written in the pages of scripture that has not, or will not come to pass. So while some choose to remain in a state of denial I hope you will not be one of them. I hope you will open your eyes to see the truth of the Bible and that it is in fact the written word of God.
In a time where Bible believing Christians are in the minority it helps to understand what we believe and why we believe it. Compassion must be at the core of our actions as we take to heart the words, “Be as wise as serpents and as gentle as doves.” (Matthew 10:16) Use the words above to your heart’s content in whatever way you see them as most beneficial. I pray that we can make an impact while there is still time. God is proving that He’s not dead even in this world that seeks to deny Him.
Mitch Salmon is a follower of Jesus Christ and proclaimer of the good news!