Monday, September 21, 2009

Prove It #4 Miracles and Science

So the Jews said to him, “What sign do you show us for doing these things?”
Throughout the Gospels we see Jesus performing many miracles. These miracles were "signs" pointing to something other than the miracle. In other words, miracles are not an end in themselves, but point us in the direction of Jesus Christ.

On one occasion, Jesus performs a miracle and the author tells us of two different interpretations of the one event. Jesus casts out a demon and here is the latter response from Mark 3.
And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “by the prince of demons he casts out the demons.”
So why does this take place? Why would some see Jesus as the Messiah and others see Jesus as a false prophet? Jesus offers us an explanation with Lazarus and the Rich man recorded in Luke 16.
“There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20 And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, 21 who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man's table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. 24 And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ 27 And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father's house— 28 for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’”
If you remember, Dan Barker wanted Dr. White to prove the existence of God using Dan's presuppositions that don't allow for the Christian God to exist. Basically, Dan wanted a miracle done in front of him that he could scientifically verify (yet if he could verify it using the scientific method, then how could it be a miracle?). Yet several times Mr. Barker explained that everything has a naturalistic explanation. In other words, Mr. Barker has defined the existence of God to be impossible because his worldview can not allow it. There is no room for God's revelation to us in Dan's world.

Jesus teaches us from this text that man is not morally neutral. Miracles will not convince those who "are not of God". The Word of God is united. If a man rejects Moses and the prophets, then he will not be able to accept Christ. In other words, if a man will not accept God's revelation through His prophets, then neither will they accept the ultimate revelation of God in Christ. All of God's revelation is united and points to Christ.

The basis for Christianity's Good News is the resurrection from the dead. We primarily know as Christians that the Gospel is true because Jesus was raised from the dead. As Paul explains to us in Romans 1.
Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ...
If you are looking for a miracle, then God has provided. God has raised Jesus of Nazareth from the dead. God has demonstrated that Jesus is the Savior of the world through His resurrection. If you will not believe Jesus was raised from the dead, then neither will you believe if one of your own relatives were raised from the dead.

So I plead with you dear sinner to abandon your prideful man-made world of limited reason and look to the Words of Moses and the prophets and the Apostles. See your true need and repent and turn to the resurrected Christ.

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