Mike Novotny - Where's the Evidence the Bible Is True?
What evidence can we offer someone who believes the Bible is fictional? Ooh, lots! Here's the best way to convince someone the Bible is the word of God: Challenge them to read it. C.S. Lewis, a famous Christian from the 1900s, once said, "The best way to show people how fierce a lion is is to open the cage," right? This actually happened to a good friend of mine. I was a brand new pastor, like six months in, and we had this really, really complicated, messy situation at our church that was like an email fiasco, replies, replies, replies.
Like, I used to get anxious just opening my email; it was such a mess. I had no clue what I was doing my first six months and this woman came up to me who was a, whose daughters were in our preschool and she said, "I don't know, I'm not a Christian, I don't know what you believe, but you need to change cause it's wrong." And you know, I replied to her and I said, "Hey, I totally get why this is confusing to you if you're not a Christian person. Like, here's why I love the Bible, here's why I try to follow it, cause I know all the stuff that I mess up and I see how Jesus saved me and so I trust him and I trust the book that Jesus trusted."
And she did not reply until 18 months later. Bing! Email shows up, "RE:," my email subject line. And someone in her life had just died and she had no answer for death and so I met with her and she would later say, because I was so transparent about my own like messiness and sins, that she was willing to give it a chance. And I said, "Hey, I'd love for you to read the Bible; let me know what you think of it."
And so we read Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, and then we got to Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi. We got to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and I think it was around John, if my memory's right, when she became a Christian. Faith comes from hearing the message so whatever we can do to like bring people to church before they even believe church is a good thing, share Bible passages before someone is a Christian, and the Holy Spirit, like a lion out of a cage, will do things that you can't.
Now if your friend or family member says like, "Yeah, no, I don't want to hear some myths and fairytales. I don't want to hear your Bible passages. I don't want to come to your church." Like what do you do then? My shortest answer would be have them read with you Isaiah 53. In Isaiah 53, the death and resurrection of Jesus is predicted with stunning accuracy 700 years before it happens. He'll be pierced; like a prediction of his crucifixion. He'll be laid in a rich man's tomb, which actually happened. Joseph of Arimathea. He will see the light of life; he will rise from the dead like, I would take them to Old Testament passages that predict things that happened historically and just ask them how do you think that happened? How in the world did Isaiah know that?
In Psalm 16, King David predicts the crucifixion of the Messiah before crucifixion was even invented. "They've pierced my hands and feet," the Psalm says, I'm sorry, Psalm 22, not Psalm 16. The Persians invented crucifixion around the 700s B.C., so I'd say to my buddy, "How do you explain that?" My explanation is that God wrote the Bible and God knows all things so how do you explain it? And just put a little pebble in someone's shoe. Now, how do I explain it? So that's my answer. Old Testament prophecies that came true and, man, open that cage and let the Holy Spirit do what only he can do.