(Photo: Dan Delzell)
The need for Christian apologetics in the world today is growing. This is due largely to the fact that so many people have essentially been brainwashed in their beliefs about Jesus Christ, the Bible, heaven, hell, and the immortality of the soul. But even after all the intellectual evidence is presented, many hearers still choose to reject the Gospel. Their moral resistance outweighs whatever intellectual ground they may have conceded.
The mind of unconverted man is certainly capable of considering the history of the Bible and the fundamentals of God's plan of redemption. But when it comes to yielding one's life to Jesus Christ....and turning away from your sin and your perceived "right" to set your own agenda....and accepting Christ as your Savior....well, that moves things into a realm that is deeper than just the mind....into the realm of the spirit.
At his core, man is absolutely opposed to having anyone but himself as the king of his universe. That predisposition manifests itself in a multitude of ways from an early age. Man is by nature selfish, arrogant, and self-reliant. This does not bode well for his spiritual health.
For the most part, children tend to be pretty open to the Gospel message. But as young people grow into their teen years and beyond, it becomes increasingly tougher to convince them to "surrender self" and "kneel at the mercy" of their Creator. Man tends to be too proud for such a thing. That goes against the grain of our faulty thinking and our stubborn will.
Oh yes....the will....is there anything more powerful on earth than man's will? Is there anything man won't do if he sets his mind to it? The decisions of man's will are based on his thinking....and his understanding. This is the very point at which apologetics is aimed....at the intellect....and the reasoning....and the walls.
Apologetics can help to knock down some of the walls which have been constructed in the mind between man and Christ. But even if every wall were to come down, man would still be left standing face-to-face with Christ....with the One is who is the King of Kings....and man would be left with the ultimate decision: "Do I want to continue to be my own king....or do I desire Christ to be my King, my Lord, my Savior, and my friend?"
At that point, many say "no way." They refuse, with their will, to submit to this King. They refuse to believe that He is who He claimed to be. They refuse to surrender their "right" to be their own guiding light....and their own means of spiritual enlightenment. They walk away unsaved....hardened in their heart....and convinced that they made the right decision. Such is the plight of multitudes of people on the planet today.
It is very sad to see how many people never get past the walls....and never come face-to-face with Christ. They have no idea what their life would be like if only they knew Jesus as their best Friend....and eternal Redeemer. They think they know what "all that religious stuff" is about....but they don't have a clue. And they fail to recognize how their rejection of Christ is keeping them from the One Person who would be able to forgive their sins....and fully prepare them to stand before the Lord on Judgment Day without blame and free from punishment.
You may or may not realize that "God commands all people everywhere to repent." (Acts 17:30) You are part of "all people everywhere." You are only one....but God loves you dearly....and it is not His desire that you pay for your own sins. "God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him." (John 3:17) You are either going to be condemned by Christ on Judgment Day....or saved by Him during your time on earth. There is no middle ground. It is either one or the other. And every time you tell God "no" or "maybe later," you are hardening your heart that much more.
If you are one of those who remains blind to Jesus, then please hear this: The Lord is giving you an opportunity today to repent....and believe the good news....and have the scales removed from your eyes. By choosing to laugh it off....or intellectualize it away....you are resisting the very Person who died on a cross to save you. You are rejecting the One who created you....and the One before whom you will be accountable one day.
Having said all of that....this might be your day when everything changes. This might be your day when you "drill down deeper" than just the mind....and the intellectual debates....into the realm of the spirit, as you stop rejecting....and begin accepting....those things which God tells us in His Word.
What would it hurt to pray the following prayer, and mean it? Go ahead....read it first....meditate on the meaning of the words....and then, if you believe it....and want it....just pray it. This is your time....coming face-to-face with the Lord.
"Jesus....there is much I don't know about You....but I know I am a sinner. I am far from perfect, and have disobeyed your commands....and I desire the forgiveness of my sins, and eternal salvation in heaven with You. I believe you gave your life on the cross to forgive my sins. Come into my life....wash away my sins with the blood which You shed for me....and fill me with the Holy Spirit. Change my heart O God. Make it pure, like You. Change my desires. Make them holy, like You. And remove the scales from my eyes to see what so many others already see about your love and your free gift of eternal life. I need you Jesus. I surrender my heart....and my life....to your purposes. I kneel at the foot of the cross as one in desperate need of pardon. Hear my prayer O Lord. Have mercy on me. And receive me into your eternal family. In Jesus' name. Amen."