Rabbi Schneider - Witness With History
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Last week we talked about how do we respond to an atheist. I want to read now from the book of Romans chapter number 1. I'm beginning there in verse number 18, Yedidim, beloved ones. Hear the Word of God. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, here we go now, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them, for God made it evident to them. What is Paul saying? He's saying that men deep inside know there's a God. I want to read these two verses again because I really want you to understand, as I said on last week's broadcast, that when people tell you they're atheists, they're lying. Deep down inside, they knew there was a God.
Now, they may have been denying it for so long that they've forgotten about it, that they've seared their conscience to the place that they've really convinced themselves that they believe there's no God. But they knew. Listen again, beloved. Verse number 18, For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and the unrighteousness of man. What is this ungodliness and unrighteousness? It's this, beloved. Of men who, get it now, suppress the truth in unrighteousness. What is the truth that they're suppressing? What is the scripture referring to here when he says that these men are suppressing the truth in unrighteousness? The unrighteousness, beloved, is because they're denying there's a God. That's the truth that they're suppressing. They're suppressing the existence of God, which is so prevalent in our scientific community today.
Let's continue on in verse number 19. Because that which is known about God is evident within them. What is Paul saying here? They're denying the truth that they know inside. That God made it evident to them in their heart that deep in their heart, beloved, they knew inside there was a God. God's made it evident to every man that's ever been born. The Bible says of Yeshua, In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God, and the Word was God. In him was life, now listen now, and that life was the light of men. And the Bible says, All things were created through him, and apart from him nothing that's been created has been created. What does this mean? That Jesus is the agent through whom God created everyone through. And when they were created, Yeshua, the Father, too, put a light. The Father and Yeshua are one. They put a light within the men that they created, and the light within them caused them to know, beloved, inside that there was a God. In their conscience they knew.
Let's continue on. Because that which is known about God is evident within them, for God made it evident to them. So when the atheist tells you there is no God, he's lying. He knows there's a God. Or he knew. He may have forgotten. Let's continue on. 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. What is the Lord saying? He's saying in verse number 19 that they know because God made it evident inside them. They have a heart and a conscience that caused them to be aware that there was a God. And the scripture also teaches that not only did they know inside because God put it in them, but when they look at creation, they can also see that there's a God. His invisible attributes, his eternal power, his divine nature are seen when they look at creation.
So let's continue on. His eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so they are without excuse. For even though they knew God. Listen again. So what am I saying? That the atheist is lying. Because deep inside, when he was a child or she was a child, they knew there was a God. This is what the scripture says. Why am I making such a big point out of this, Yedidim, beloved ones? It's because I don't want you to be thrown when someone comes to you with such hostility and such aggressiveness, telling you they don't believe there's a God. They're lying. They knew. Look at verse number 21. For even though they knew God. This is everybody. Everybody's born into this world, beloved, knowing there's a God. For even though they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks. So they didn't respond properly. They knew, but because of rebellion, sin, pride, hurt and a multiplication of reasons, they began to deny him and not give him honor. They knew, but they didn't respond correctly. They denied. They suppressed that knowledge, but they had an unrighteousness. This is what Paul's telling us here.
So what happened when they suppressed the truth in unrighteousness? Their conscience got seared. They forgot there was a God. And now they are, beloved, being energized by a demon, suppressing the truth in unrighteousness, denying God's own existence. You know, the scripture says, Will the thing say to the one that made it, thou hast not made me? This is what men are doing today. Let's read that last verse again, verse number 21. For even though they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations. All these theories about God didn't create the world, but it came from some big bang that had nothing to do with God, these are foolish speculations. Instead, they went into foolish speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. And the scripture continues on. So this is the plight and this is the condition of atheists. They knew there was a God, they denied there was a God, and then they became darkened and they got into speculation, and many have even forgot there was a God, and now they're just fueled by rebellion and pride.
Now, on last week's broadcast, I talked about two ways to respond to people that take this atheistic position, those that are denying there's a God. I talked last week about the argument of intelligent design. I'm not going to go into great detail again. You can get last week's broadcast in the series. I simply said, beloved, that we can say to the atheist that, listen, when you look at creation, there's intelligence built in creation. When the human body overheats, it automatically perspires to cool it back down. That's intelligence built into the human body. Birds know when to fly south. If my body gets sick, it automatically creates antibodies to combat the sickness. There's divine intelligence built inside the human body.
How do you explain this, except that there's an intelligent designer, an intelligent Creator that built this intelligence into creation? You don't get order out of chaos. You don't get intelligence out of unintelligence. This is what the apostle says here in Romans that I just read when he says that God's invisible attributes, his eternal power and divine nature are clearly seen in creation so that men are without excuse. When they're in this world that God created and they're looking at all the intelligence that's in it and then they deny that there's a God, beloved, it's total foolishness. That's why the Bible says it's the fool that says in their heart there is no God. It's total preposterousness.
Now, the second response that we talked about last week for the atheist -- and beloved, I've engaged many atheists in discussions, and this logic is so tight that, beloved, it cuts to the heart. They can deny, but it cuts right to the heart. And if there's a sincere atheist out there, in other words, someone that's open, I'm telling you, God will use these arguments because they're scriptural to level the lies that demons have put up to break down the walls of resistance and to make entrance into their heart. Let your Word run swiftly through your people, oh God, we say. Amen. The second response or argument that we talked about last week, Yedidim, beloved ones, for the atheist was the response that we called moral absolutism. In other words, we're saying that all over the world, man knows inside the difference between right and wrong. We know it's not right to steal from people.
Now, the atheist will say there is no such thing as moral absolutism. But all morality they say is relative, it's culturally defined, it's individually defined. But as soon as that atheist that believes in moral relativism, meaning that there's no such thing as absolute morality, it's all relative, it's all the way the individual or society defines it, but there's not really such a thing as right or wrong, you take that same atheist that takes that position, and as soon as you steal something from him, what does he want? He wants justice. And if he gets fired unfairly, what does he want? He wants justice. And so deep inside, you take the atheist that argues moral relativism, and then something bad happens to them, and all of a sudden, they want it to be made right. Well, beloved, if there was no such thing as absolute right or wrong, things couldn't be made right. It's called justice. And our God is a God of justice. Amen, amen, amen, amen.
Now we're going to pick up today on the third response to the atheist, and it's called, beloved, the law or the response of first cause. The response of, listen now, first cause. If someone is an atheist and they claim that we came from some big bang that happened in outer space billions of years ago, you always have to ask yourself the question, well, where did the big bang come from? I mean, I believe there was a big bang, too. When God said, Let there be light, there was a big bang. When God speaks, there's a bang. But you always have to ask yourself the question, well, where did that come from? Where did this bang come from? And if they want to say well, you know what?
Human beings began as some single-celled something that was swimming around in this cosmic soup, and after a million years went by, the single cell, it developed other cells and it became a multi-celled organism and then it began to wiggle around and grew fins, and it swam around for another million years and then decided that it wanted to crawl out of the cosmic soup, and so it grew legs and then it crawled out onto the dry ground. And pretty soon, it decided it wanted to stand up, so it stood up and become a monkey, and then it climbed trees but decided it didn't want to be a monkey anymore and became a human being. That's in a nut shell, obviously a way over-simplified version of evolution. And obviously, we could say many things about that. The position is preposterous because you always have to ask yourself the question, where did the single cell come from? It had to start somewhere. And the only explanation, beloved, is that there's a first cause whose name is Elohim, God, God the Creator.
In the beginning Elohim, Genesis 1:1, Bereshit 1:1, In the beginning, Elohim, God created the heavens and the earth. There's no other explanation for existence in creation unless there's a first cause. Otherwise, you have to ask the same question for infinity. Well, where did that come from? Well, what was behind that? Where did that come from? Well, what was behind that? Where did that come from? It had to start with a cause that had no cause. It had to start, beloved, with a cause that had no cause. And that is God. Now, you and I, we can't grasp this. It's too wonderful for us to grasp. Have you ever sat and just asked God, God, where did you come from? And it's like your mind, my mind, it just melts. It's just like overwhelmed. I just can't comprehend it. And it's like I have a meltdown, and I just feel the love of God, how there's a God that's always been. But it's the only answer, beloved, for creation. It had to start somewhere, and that is God.
And so we begin in our discussion, beloved, about how to share our faith with dealing with some Biblical responses to atheism. What we're going to do now is we're going to move into our position of Yeshua HaMashiach being the only way, truth, and life to God. We've already argued for the existence of God. Now what we're going to do in defending our faith is I'm going to give you some apologetic, it's called, some apologetic. We're not apologizing, we're defending. The field of apologetics is the defense of our faith. So now we're defending our faith. We're moving from the existence of God now to defending our position that there's only one God and that Yeshua HaMashiach, Jesus the Messiah is the only way to God.
Now, the claims that Yeshua made are very, very strong. I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, he said, no man comes to God but by me. Jesus said to the people of his age, he was looking right in their eyes, he said to them, Unless you believe that I am he, you will die in your sins. The New Testament tells us there's no other name under heaven by which men can be saved but the name of Yeshua HaMashiach, bless the name of the Lord. So the claims of the New Testament are that Jesus is the only way to God. Now, we could go into a multiplication of arguments concerning this, but I want to begin today, beloved, with this statement. Earlier today, I went over to a Starbuck's, and I was having a glass of hot chocolate, and I was sitting at a table that accommodated I don't know if it was six or eight people. I was the only one there at the table. It was the only table left for me to sit down at.
So I'm sitting at the table alone, and some man, he comes up, he asked me if he could join me at the table. I always pay attention to these types of encounters because how do I know if maybe God didn't bring this specific man to sit at this table because he wanted me to share the Gospel with this man. And I think you and I need to approach all of our relationships and all the different people that we cross through life like this. The Bible says go and make disciples of all nations. That means as we're going through life, we're using the relationships and the connections that the Lord brings us into to lift up Jesus and to share the Gospel. So we should always be paying attention. Because we don't belong to ourselves, beloved. We belong to him. We're his servants. We're not in this world to make ourselves comfortable. We're not in this world to get along with everybody. We're not in this world to enjoy ourselves. We're in this world, beloved, to serve Jesus, hallelujah.
So whenever somebody comes into your life, whether it's somebody in the department store, whether it's your mailman, whether it's somebody in a restaurant, whether it's somebody that you meet at the school, whether it's a neighbor, you always are looking for the opportunity, Lord, maybe you've brought this person across my path at this point today for me to share the Gospel with them. We need to be paying attention. So this man sat down at the table. And he was nice. He said to me, I hope it's okay. I said absolutely. I said God bless you. Sit down, please. So for whatever reason, I just felt like the man was kind of drawn to me a little bit. I was working, he just kind of made a couple of comments, and he asked me what I did. I told him I was a Messianic rabbi, and then I followed with a question. I said to him, what do you think of Jesus?
We're going to talk about that exact question, because the Holy Spirit gave me that exact question to ask people. What do you think of Jesus? That's why I wear this arm band right here. It's WDYTOJ. You can get these on our web site or through the 800 number. It reminds me to ask people what do you think of Jesus? So I asked him the question, what do you think of Jesus? And he said to me, well, I believe in God. Well, that was the wrong answer. I mean, if you know Jesus, if you know Yeshua, you're not just going to respond to that question, well, I believe in God. You're going to say I love him, he's my Savior, he means everything to me. You're going to say something that's going to show how much you love him and how endearing he is to you and how precious he is to you. But he just said well, I believe in God.
And I said well, you know, I said this is what Jesus said. I began to quote scripture to him. He said I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes to God but by me. Jesus said, Unless you believe that I am he, you'll die in your sins. I said this to him, I said, listen, I said if you don't respond to what I'm saying and I'm wrong and you die, no big deal. No problem. I said, but if you don't respond to what I'm saying and I'm right and you die, I said, you're going to go to hell. And his eyes got as big as saucers, and then he turned around and looked this way. I noticed that. When you say something to somebody that's really shocking, it's like they turn around and look the other direction. That's what he did. And I began to share with him a little bit. And when I left, said don't forget what I told you. I said God may have had you sit down here today just so that you could have an opportunity to receive him. Read the Gospel of John.
Beloved, what I'm talking about today on this broadcast is bringing people to a point of crystallization in their mind that they have to make a decision about who Jesus is, who this Yeshua HaMashiach is, and what they're going to do with him. So we're going to talk about bringing people to this place of thinking clearly about who Yeshua is. We live in a culture today, beloved, that is more secular than ever. I am so amazed when I go out and ask people that question, what do you think of Jesus, how many people have no opinion of Jesus. I mean, obviously I've got some opinion, but I mean, I was kind of under the perception, I mean, I'm Jewish, born Jewish, raised Jewish, didn't know the Lord until I was 20 when the Lord appeared to me in the vision. Many of you know the story. I was kind of the opinion that all Christians knew who Jesus was.
But beloved, you know what? There are so many people today in this society, in America, and throughout the world, they have no idea who Jesus is. Well, I've really never thought about Jesus much. I mean, you know, I know the person on the cross is Jesus, but I never read the New Testament, and I don't really know what the Bible teaches. And I think he's a pretty good guy, I think he was cool, I hear them say. I think he was maybe a prophet or something. They really don't know. So what we have to do is we have to confront them with the truth in such a way that it becomes so crystal clear to them that they have to make a decision that they're put in a position that they have an opportunity, beloved, to respond to Yeshua. Here's how we're going to do it. We're going to say this is what Jesus said about himself.
Well, let me back up for a second. Let me back up. The first thing we need to do, beloved, is we need to find out, before we begin to quote scripture to them, we need to find out what do they think of the Bible. Do they think of the Bible as just written by men? Do they think that the Bible is not really historically accurate? Do they think the Bible can be trusted? So probably it's a good idea if you have time to begin to dialogue with them about the Bible at this point. And here's some of the things that we can say about the Bible, beloved. The Bible has been documented archaeologically to be historically accurate. All you need to do is go to Israel today, and they've unearthed so many archaeological artifacts testifying to the reality to the people and places in the Bible as being accurate. It's amazing.
I remember there was a trend in archaeology some years back, they said well, you know what? We can't verify this person that's written about in the Bible ever lived. And so this must just be a myth. One of the people that archaeologists were saying that about was the figure described in the Brit Chadashah, the New Testament, called Pontius Pilate. And they said you know what? The only place we have any record or testimony whatsoever that there was someone that lived name Pontius Pilate is in the New Testament. And since we can't verify it anyplace else, it must just be a myth. It must not be real. Until guess what? They found a stone with Pontius Pilate, a description of him written on the stone, and they have it on display in Israel today.
And when that happened, there was a shift in archaeology that began to take place. They said you know what? We've got so many historical artifacts that we have unearthed that verify the historical accuracy of the Bible, we have to look at the Bible in a new way. And so the Bible, beloved, has been proven by archaeology to be historically accurate. Now, moving this forward, and I'm going to have to continue this next week, so you're going to want to make sure and join me, and you're going to want to make sure and join a friend. When we look at the New Testament specifically now, what are some other things that bring to bear to help us understand how historically accurate the New Testament is?
Here's how we do that. People, beloved, ancient historical people and ancient historical documents were considered absolutely valid if they were written even a hundred years and sometimes even longer after the person's life. For example, Alexander the Great, the earliest piece of literature, the earliest document that we have telling us about Alexander the Great and his exploits, the earliest document that we have about him, beloved, was written a hundred years after his life. On the other hand, the New Testament was written, beloved, by a multiplication of eyewitnesses. Matthew, Mark, John. These were eyewitnesses of Yeshua.
And so, beloved, when we have historical documents like we have in the New Testament that was written by eyewitnesses, you know John said in the book of 1 John chapter 1 in the first few verses there, 1 John 1, 1 through 3, John said, That which I have seen concerning Jesus. That which I have seen, that which I have heard, that which I have touched he said I proclaim to you. Peter said these aren't cleverly devised tales. Peter said we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. So we're going to continue this discussion next week, beloved. I pray that you'll sow into this ministry. Help me to train people, beloved, around the world, how to share their faith with both Jew and Gentile. Without you Jew and Gentile. Without you partnering with God through this broadcast, beloved, I can't do it. We can't do it alone, we're partners. God bless you, Yedidim, and shalom.