Posts Tagged ‘Apologetics’

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Attention Funnel: This or That

 Introduction:

  • Perhaps one of the most common AND most difficult objections to the Christian faith is the problem of evil.
  • Bad things happen in this life. Painful things happen in this life. And they often cause us to ask where God is or why he would allow such things.
    • A pet that you loved dies. A girlfriend or boyfriend breaks up with you unexpectedly. The sport you love to play is suddenly taken away by a bad injury. You get abused by someone you love. You come home one day to find that your Dad has walked out. Your parents sit you down to tell you that your mom has cancer. A close friend commits suicide. These are only some examples… not to mention large scale things like hurricanes, famines, genocides, and war.
  • How in the world can we believe God is all-powerful and a good Father in the midst of all of this?
    • Because if he is really a good father, then he would want to get rid of all this evil, right?
    • And if he is an all-powerful God, then he would be able to get rid of all this evil, right?
    • Take your pick… it’s a this or that. Either he can be all-powerful OR he can be good, but he can’t be both. He can’t be the God of the Bible, right?
  • This is not simply an intellectual question… it’s a personal one.
    • This is a problem WE ALL have to deal with when things go wrong in our life or we witness horrible suffering in the world.
  • This is by no means a new problem. It’s a problem that people have faced since the dawn of the world.

Big Idea: God doesn’t work how we expect him to.

 Read John 11:1-6

  • Notice the sisters don’t invite or ask Jesus to come. It assumed that as soon as he hears his friends are suffering he will be on his way. To think otherwise is inconceivable.
  • Which is what makes Jesus’ response so shocking… He stayed where he was for two days. Why???
    • Because he loves the sisters and Lazarus… that makes no sense to us. God doesn’t work how we expect him to.

Read John 11:28-32

  • “Jesus if you had just been here this wouldn’t have happened. You could have prevented it.”
    • The hidden questions behind the statement is “Why weren’t you here???”
    • Don’t you care? Were you unable to come? Why weren’t you here?

Read John 11:33-44

  • There are many things this passage as a whole teaches us about evil and suffering… I want to draw out several of them.

 Main Points:

  • Christianity allows us to see evil for what it is.
  • Our pain is not pointless.
  • God got his hands dirty with evil.
  • Evil and suffering have a deadline.

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Attention Funnel: Greatest Enemies/Rivalries

Introduction:

  • We started a series last week called Faith Inspection. We said that in this series we want to take a closer look at some of the common questions/objections surrounding faith.
  • Tonight, I want to look at the Question: Doesn’t Science disprove Christianity?
  • At the core of this question is the idea that Science and Faith are rivals and enemies. Either you are a scientific person dealing with facts and evidence or you are a person of faith dealing with beliefs and old holy books.
  • I believe this is a false disagreement that has been painted.
  • My goal tonight is to point out that Christianity and science should go hand-in-hand and that what we believe is based on good evidence.

 Big Idea: Christians have good reasons for what we believe.

Main Points:

  • Christianity and science aren’t enemies.
  • The existence of God makes more sense of the facts.
  • There is evidence that Christianity is true.

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Attention Funnel: What Things Look Like Under a Microscope

Series Introduction:

  • When you put something under the microscope, you take a closer look at it in order to better understand it.
  • That’s what I want to do in this series. I want to take a closer look at some of the common questions/objections to the Christian faith in order to see if there is something wrong with what we believe.
  • I want to do this for two reasons…
    • 1) I want to encourage you to ask questions about what Christianity says is true.
    • 2) And I want you to be better equipped to engage and reach those around you who don’t believe in the gospel.

 Lesson Introduction:

  • What is the worst punishment you’ve received?
    • Dad who were jean shorts all around town in response to his daughter wearing clothes her mom and dad didn’t approve of.
    • Dad who shoots daughters computer in response to something she posted online.
    • The second one is clearly an over-reaction. It’s giving a punishment that seems so far over the top that it’s ridiculous.
  • I wonder if when we think about Hell, we picture God in this way? As the out of control Dad whose punishment seems harsh and unfair.
  • The question I want to look at tonight is: “How could a loving God send someone to hell?”
  • It’s a very serious and very good question to ask.
  • Especially if we may not personally be a Christian or if some of the people that we know and love are not Christians.
  • And my initial response in the form of a Big idea might shock you, but stick with me and I hope you’ll see why I believe the following statement is true.

Big Idea: Hell magnifies God’s love.

  • In other words, hell actually helps us to see, understand, and appreciate the depths of God’s love for us.

Main Points:

  • Behind every question is a set of beliefs.
  • A loving God is a God who judges.
  • Hell is life apart from God.
  • Hell should bring joy to our heart and urgency to our hands.

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 Attention Funnel: Insurance Commercials – We buy insurance because bad things happen.

 Introduction: Bad things happen in this life. We all know this, there are things that happen that cause pain and suffering in our lives or in the lives of others. This issue of suffering and evil in our world is one of the biggest arguments against God’s existence. It’s a problem.

Big Idea: The existence of suffering does not mean that God is unloving or weak.

Scripture: Romans 8:18-39; Revelation 21:1-4

Main Points:
Christianity provides a framework for understanding evil and suffering.
Christianity tells us that God suffered for us.
Christianity offers real comfort to those who are suffering. (more…)

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Attention Funnel: “Agree or Disagree”

Introduction:

  • Christianity makes a big exclusive claim.
  • Christianity claims that the only way to be saved is through Jesus Christ.
  • This claim is exclusive because no other religions believe this.
  • And by this basis Christianity says that all other religions are wrong. They may contain some truths in them, but as a whole they are wrong and offer a false path to salvation.
  • Because of this claim many people believe that Christianity is by nature intolerant.
  • I want to demonstrate to you tonight that claiming Jesus is the only way to be saved is not intolerant, and that Christianity should actually create people who are tolerant.

 Scripture: John 4:1-29

 Big Idea: The claim that Jesus is the only way to be saved actually promotes tolerance.

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Introduction:

  • Refresh from last 2 weeks
  • Reintroduce Series
  • Introduce Tonight’s Lesson
  • I want you to imagine that you are in a courtroom with me tonight. I want to put before you certain pieces of evidence, and I want you to ask with me, does this evidence point us toward a God or away from a God.

 We CAN’T prove that God exists beyond a shadow of a doubt.

  • That may sound like a dumb thing to begin with in a lesson on wrestling with doubt about God’s existence, but it’s true. I can’t offer you any single proof that God exists that will may you believe in God beyond any doubt.

But, there is evidence that we can weigh, and we can ask, “Does this point us to believe that God exists, or the opposite?

  • What I am trying to do, is to lay before you several things that we know about this universe and ourselves and to ask – does this point to a God who created the world, or does it point to a world that came about by chance apart from any creator or designer.
  • I’m going to do this through pointing out some of the things we know about this world, and then point out one thing we know about ourselves. I’ll finish by pointing out the hope that is found in Christianity alone.

 Big Idea: There are clues that point us toward the existence of God.

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Q.W.A – Questions Worth Asking?

  • Attention Funnel: Questions You Should ask on a First Date Video; Hobbit Office Video
  • Introduction:
  • It’s Okay to Have Doubts – Whether we would say we are a Christian or not, we all wrestle with doubts about Christianity. Sometime those doubts can be very strong and seem overwhelming. The good news is that it’s okay to have doubts! Jesus own disciples had doubts!
  • Wrestle With Your Doubts
  • Christians live by faith, but not by blind faith
  • Doubt your Doubts – Everybody lives by faith in some way.
  • In this series, we are going to look at several doubts that we all tend to wrestle with at some point or another.
  • NOTE – We are just going to touch the surface on some of these issues – believing and overcoming doubt is often a lifelong journey.

How can we know the Bible is true?

  • Introduction: Tonight we are going to at a question that comes up almost immediately when we begin to think about whether or not Christianity is true – and that is How can we know the bible is true?
    • What Christians know about God, themselves, and what God has done in this world primarily comes from the Bible. We can know certain things about God and ourselves apart from the Bible, but the main claims of Christianity are only found in the Bible.

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