Why should they listen to our God?

Person 1:

Please see [information] about the upcoming ‘Family Project’ – it is a film being produced by Focus on the Family to discuss God’s true design for marriage and family. I thought you would find it of interest.

Person 2:

Thanks. I hope this leads to Christians spending more time talking and working to make Christian families God pleasing and less time talking about gay families. Given that Christian families statistically are no better than secular families, why should they listen to our God?

James:

Just out of curiosity, which statistic are you referring to?

Person 2:

Divorce, but I’m sure if I did a little research there are more.

James:

Your rhetorical question suggest that they shouldn’t listen to our God if their Christian counterparts lives aren’t God-pleasing.
 
You asked: “Why should they listen to our God?”
 
Well for one, persons who’s excuse for not following Christ hinge upon the behavior of their Christian counterparts better be prepared to have that excuse ridiculed on the day of judgment. They should listen to our God because His Word, which is the basis for all proof, convicts the world of sin and promises judgment. They should listen to our God because He created them and His revealed Word offers them eternal life. They should listen to our God because in Him they live and move and have their being. Why should the unbeliever’s duty to believe rest upon the behavior of others?
 
The virtuous or God-pleasing behavior of Christian families will not convince the unsaved to suddenly become Christians. The Pharisees saw Christ who lived the most virtuous life of all but that didn’t convince them to become godly. In fact, if the “good” behavior of Christians led people to become believers, we should be concerned since other worldviews and faiths not only promote similar forms of morality,  but also have adherents that are equally capable of leading ostensibly good lives too. In other words, we would have some competition in that arena.
 
The goal of evangelism is not to convince the unsaved sinner that our actions or lives are virtuous (it may be helpful for the listener to conclude this but it is certainly not necessary). Unbelievers are not saved (or persuaded to be saved) by believing in our “good” lives, rather; they are saved by understanding and assenting to the biblical propositions that we profess and are found in the Word of God.
 
 
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Textual Criticism: When mere men become arbiters of truth

Last year (2012) fall, at the behest of a friend of mine, I attended a men’s bible study called Solomon’s Porch at Immanuel Bible Church. The person leading the study, Andrew Potter, I recall as a very smart and knowledgeable person. Andy was going through a study on the book of Romans. I remember him asking the class how we could be certain that Paul in fact was the author of Romans especially since Tertius in Romans 16:22 writes: “I Tertius, who wrote this epistle, salute you in the Lord.” My friend raised his hand and answered the question by saying that God in the bible has promised to preserve His Word therefore we have confidence that Paul in fact wrote the letter. Andy brushed this reply aside with a “yes, but …” so it was obvious that he was looking for a better answer than what had just been offered. Continue reading