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Apologetics Does Not Mean

Saying You're Sorry

The Caffeine-Free Diet Church, Part 2 of 3


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Many Christians are skittish when it comes to apologetics, especially as it pertains to contrasting false religions with the truth of the gospel.  Some feel uncomfortable with “judging” or being “critical” of others.  However, these people are neglecting some crucial points.  Jesus taught of love for others, but not acceptance of false faiths or religious beliefs.  He constantly challenged the Pharisees and false prophets.  Jesus also told us there would be false prophets and false messiahs (Matthew 7:15; 24:11, 24).   He warned us about them.  Jesus taught us that the only way to the Father was through Him (John 3:16, 14:6).  Jesus taught of a narrow path that leads to salvation, and a broad path that leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13-14).  Paul continually warned of false teachings (2 Corinthians 11:13-15; Galatians 1:7-8; 1 Timothy 1:3-4), and urged us to respond with the truth (2 Timothy 4:2-5).  Jude told us to “contend for the faith” (Jude 3,4). 

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW

 

When Jesus left us with the Great Commission, He told us to “go and make disciples of all nations…” (Matthew 28:19).  The majority of people in this world hold to some spiritual belief system.  Presently only 15% of the world’s population claims to be non-spiritual atheists or agnostics.  I sincerely doubt that Jesus wanted us to only target that 15%.  When Jesus said He was the only way (John 14:6), He excluded all other ways.  This is not a popular notion in today’s pluralistic and ecumenical society, but truth is not based on popularity.  That’s what the gospel is – truth.  While many have difficulty fathoming the concept of absolute truth, it exists independently of our belief or unbelief.  The quirky thing about absolute truth is that it is, by nature, exclusionary.  Christian thinker Ravi Zacharias said, “If truth does not exclude, then no assertion of a truth claim is being made; it’s just an opinion that is being stated.  Any time you make a truth claim, you mean something contrary to it is false.  Truth excludes its opposite.”  If Jesus is THE way, and the ONLY way, and THE TRUTH, then all other ways are false, and will ultimately lead to destruction.  People that are being duped by a system of false beliefs are in peril.  Jesus wants them to come to Him, and we are His instruments to that end. 

Jesus said that the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few (Luke 10:2-3).  We are the workers, and we have been entrusted with a Great Commission to win souls for Christ.  Presently most churches are not equipping their congregations to be effective witnesses to 85% of the world!  The harvest is plentiful, but it is replete with false doctrines and beliefs.  If we are to hold to the Great Commission, we are going to have to associate with people that have various (false) religious beliefs.  If we are to be an effective witness to these people, we must understand their beliefs, and be prepared to present the true gospel of Jesus Christ to them.  We must be able to present the truth, but we must also be able to expose lies and heresy.  Paul instructed us to expose the deeds of darkness (Ephesians 5:11).  This is not a call to congregate together and be right.  This is not a call to bask in the warmth of our own redemption, while ignoring the souls in this world that are lost.  This is a call to proactively expose the lies of the evil one, and present the radiant light of the true gospel of Christ Jesus. 

Imagine two people, each holding a crisp, new twenty-dollar bill.  The problem is that one of these people is holding a brilliant counterfeit.  It looks real, feels real, and it even smells real; but it is completely worthless.  People who are trained to spot counterfeit currency train extensively on what real currency is supposed to look like and feel like.  They are intimately familiar with real money, and are then able to spot a counterfeit.  As Christians, we need to become intimately familiar with the true gospel of Jesus Christ, as presented in the Word of God.  However, it is not enough for us to merely guard ourselves against counterfeit doctrines and beliefs.  We are called to expose them, for the sake of people’s eternal souls.  This does not always earn us points in political correctness, but we each have to decide what is more important – social acceptance, or fulfillment of the Great Commission. 

Christians must be equipped with more than stock answers.  We must always be prepared to give an answer for the hope that lies within us (1 Peter 3:15).  We do not attack people – we attack the spirit of darkness that has deceived them with lies, and blinded them to the truth.  Many feel that it is more loving to “live and let live.”  If we as Christians believe that Jesus is the truth, then “live and let live” is more accurately stated, “live and let die,” and that is the least loving attitude we can have.  As Christians, we must prepare ourselves for this battle, and our churches must be willing to equip us as we expose the lies of the Prince of Darkness. 

Part I - The Caffeine-Free Diet Church

Part III - The Prophecy Angle