Examining the Evidence

I was listening to Chuck Swindoll recently and he gave an account of a conversation he had with an atheist who told him that there simply was not enough evidence to conclude that there was ever a person by the name of Jesus Christ who was the son of God, or that God even exists. He said the evidence was “too insufficient” to be believed.

“So…” Swindoll asked, “…..you’ve examined the evidence in the gospels?”

“Well no, not really.”  the young man admitted. And when he was pressed further, he admitted that he had never actually read the Bible, that all he knew about the Bible was from some stories his mother read to him as a child. But he had never examined the evidence that he claimed was so insufficient. And as Swindoll went on to share in his message that day, he said that by his estimate, the percentage of people who openly reject God (we’re talking about hard core atheists) without ever having read the word of God could be as high as 95%.

When I heard all of that, what immediately came to mind was two lawyers squaring off against each other in a court of law. In court cases, attorneys go through a discovery process whereby each attorney has the right to examine his opponent’s evidence. As any of you in the legal profession can attest to, after you examine that evidence, you’ll have to decide whether to advise your clients to settle or go to trial. Or if it’s a criminal case, you’ll either advise your client to go to a jury trial or take a plea. But you would never make any decision without first examining all the evidence. Yet, according to Swindoll, most people who reject God do so without ever examining the one key piece of evidence that reveals God to the world, the Bible.

Of course there are some atheists who do know the Bible quite well. So it’s hard for me to imagine how anyone can examine the evidence of scripture…….and still deny the existence of God. I say that because I know of dozens of people who accepted Jesus Christ after hearing just one or two verses of Scripture. Some I know personally. They came to believe based on the smallest shred of evidence, and were saved.

In John 14, Jesus said, The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me. Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or at least believe because of the work you have seen me do. So even if people don’t want to believe what’s recorded for us in the Bible, even if they don’t want to believe what the Bible says about Jesus and who He is, they should at least consider how the word of God has transformed people’s lives. That’s what Jesus meant when He said “believe because of the work you have seen me do.”  That “work” He spoke of is the salvation of souls, the transformation of lives. And the work we continue doing today is the work of telling lost people about Jesus Christ.

People can deny the evidence of scripture. They can deny the authenticity of the Bible. They can either refuse to examine the evidence like so many do, or they can choose to reject the evidence altogether. But there’s one thing they cannot deny and that’s power of a changed life. Atheists cannot explain it. It frustrates them to no end because they cannot refute or explain away the evidence. They cannot explain how the alcoholic no longer has the urge to get drunk. They cannot explain how that same alcoholic went through rehab numerous times and fell off the wagon every time, that is, until he (or she) accepted Christ and found the strength and will to beat their addiction in the power of God.

Likewise, they cannot explain away the conversion of people like the owner of a topless club in San Antonio, Texas, who went to a little park near his home one day to see why there was a group of people gathered there. He just went because he was curious. He wanted to see what was going on and what was going on was that a small group of Christians had gathered for an impromptu Bible study and prayer meeting, right there in the park! He listened for just a few minutes, but that was all God needed. He was convicted right there on the spot and when he returned home, he prayed to receive Jesus Christ. Within a week’s time, he came to realize that he could no longer do what he was doing to earn a living, so he closed the topless club he owned and eventually became a leader in his church.

There are countless untold stories just like those, stories of lives changed by the power of God. None of us imagined our transformation when we became Christians. None of us imagined the power that was at work in our lives when we found healing from some pain that had overcome us. In my own case, I found healing through Jesus Christ after the death of my three year old grandson in 2007. It frustrates non-believers to no end because they cannot explain it away or dismiss it as an over-active imagination.

They can deny God and His Holy Word all they want, but they cannot deny the power of a transformed life. And aside from God’s Word, a transformed life is the most powerful evidence there is for the existence of God!