How do we know that Christianity is true instead of Islam or Buddhism, or Hinduism?
I. TRUTH ABOUT REALITY IS KNOWABLE
II. THE OPPOSITE OF TRUE IS FALSE
III. IT IS TRUE THAT THE THEISTIC GOD EXISTS
Romans 1:18-20 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse
A. Whatever begins to exist has a cause
B. The universe began to exist
C. Therefore, the universe has a cause
IV. SINCE GOD EXISTS, THEN MIRACLES ARE POSSIBLE
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth
V. MIRACLES CAN BE USED TO CONFIRM A MESSAGE FROM GOD
Exodus 4:1-5 Then Moses said, “What if they will not believe me or listen to what I say? For they may say, ‘The Lord has not appeared to you.’”2 The Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” And he said, “A staff.” 3 Then He said, “Throw it on the ground.” So he threw it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from it.
4 But the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand and grasp it by its tail”—so he stretched out his hand and caught it, and it became a staff in his hand—5 “that they may believe that the Lord, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you.”
Exodus 4:8-9 “If they will not believe you or heed the witness of the first sign, they may believe the witness of the last sign. 9 But if they will not believe even these two signs or heed what you say, then you shall take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground; and the water which you take from the Nile will become blood on the dry ground.”
1 Kings 18:21 Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people did not answer him a word.
1 Kings 18:36-39 At the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, Elijah the prophet came near and said, “O Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, today let it be known that You are God in Israel and that I am Your servant and I have done all these things at Your word. 37 Answer me, O Lord, answer me, that this people may know that You, O Lord, are God, and that You have turned their heart back again.” 38 Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. 39 When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, “The Lord, He is God; the Lord, He is God.”
VI. THE NEW TESTAMENT IS HISTORICALLY RELIABLE
A. The manuscripts were accurately copied
B. The content recorded was true
- There is early testimony
1 Corinthians 15:3-8 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; 7 then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; 8 and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also.
2. There are multiple eye-witness accounts
Luke 1:1-4 Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things accomplished among us,2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, 3 it seemed fitting for me as well, having investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order, most excellent Theophilus; 4 so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been taught.
Acts 1:1-2 The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach, 2 until the day when He was taken up to heaven, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen.
2 Peter 1:16 For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty.
3. There is authentic testimony
Matthew 28:5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified.
John 20:12 and she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying.
VII. THE NEW TESTAMENT SAYS JESUS CLAIMED TO BE GOD
Exodus 3:13-14 Then Moses said to God, “Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you.’ Now they may say to me, ‘What is His name?’ What shall I say to them?” 14 God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”
John 8:56-59: “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” 57 So the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” 58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” 59 Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple.
John 10:32-33 And they tried to stone Him again. Jesus answered them, “I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?” 33 The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.
Mark 14:60-64 The high priest stood up and came forward and questioned Jesus, saying, “Do You not answer? What is it that these men are testifying against You?” 61 But He kept silent and did not answer. Again the high priest was questioning Him, and saying to Him, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?” 62 And Jesus said, “I am; and you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” 63 Tearing his clothes, the high priest *said, “What further need do we have of witnesses? 64 You have heard the blasphemy; how does it seem to you?” And they all condemned Him to be deserving of death.
VIII. JESUS’ CLAIM TO BE GOD WAS CONFIRMED BY MIRACLES
A. Jesus fulfilled many prophecies about Himself
Gen. 3:15 And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel.”
Isaiah 53:9 His grave was assigned with wicked men,
Yet He was with a rich man in His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.
B. Jesus had a sinless life and miraculous deeds
John 8:46a “Which one of you convicts Me of sin?”
Mathew 27:4a saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood
Matthew 27:19b “Have nothing to do with that righteous Man; for last night I suffered greatly in a dream because of Him.”
Luke 23:47b “Certainly this man was innocent.”
Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.
C. JESUS PREDICTED AND ACCOMPLISHED HIS RESURRECTION
Matthew 12:38-40 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.”39 But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet; 40 for just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
John 2:19-21 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews then said, “It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?” 21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body
- Fatal cross
John 19:34 But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.
2. Abandoned tomb
Matthew 28:10-14 Now while they were on their way, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all that had happened.12 And when they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, 13 and said, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came by night and stole Him away while we were asleep.’ 14 And if this should come to the governor’s ears, we will win him over and keep you out of trouble.
3. Conversion of the disciples
Acts 2:41 So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls.
4. Transformation of James
5. Saul became Paul
1 Corinthians 15:14-17 and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. 15 Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; 17 and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.
1 Corinthians 15:20a But now Christ has been raised from the dead,
IX. THEREFORE, JESUS IS GOD
Acts 17:30-31 Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, 31 because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”
X. WHATEVER JESUS (WHO IS GOD) TEACHES IS TRUE
XI. JESUS TAUGHT THAT THE BIBLE IS THE WORD OF GOD
Matthew 5:17-18 “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18 For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.
John 10:35b and the Scripture cannot be broken
Mark 7:13 thus invalidating the word of God by your tradition which you have handed down; and you do many things such as that.”
XII. THEREFORE, IT IS TRUE THAT THE BIBLE IS THE WORD OF GOD (AND ANYTHING OPPOSED TO IT IS FALSE)
“So I cast my lot with him—not the one who claimed wisdom, Confucius; or the one who claimed enlightenment, Buddha; or the one who claimed to be a prophet, Muhammad, but with the one who claimed to be God in human flesh. The one who declared, “Before Abraham was born, I am”—and proved it.” – Norm Geisler