Leaving Laodicea
449 - The Limitations of Apologetics

449 - The Limitations of Apologetics

February 18, 2020

As the Scriptures claim, one of the greatest signs of the end is the mass defection or apostasy from the Christian faith by those who once claimed to be believers.  Paul, in his letter to Timothy, warns that the "Spirit expressly says that (when) in latter times (who) some (what) will depart from the faith, (how) giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons" (1 Timothy 4:1).  This great apostasy is characterized by a rebellion or revolt against God and His Word.  And it is promoted by those who once claimed Jesus as Lord but are now "giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons."  Peter says "scoffers will come in the last days" (2 Peter 3:3-4).  Jude calls them "mockers" (Jude 17-19).

So what are we to do in the face of this great apostasy?  How do we answer skeptics when they demand we "prove our God exists?"  How do we defend our faith in the unseen God?  What are we to do?  Historically, the answer has been to study up on apologetics and be prepared to go toe to toe with those who demand answers from us void of faith.  But is that the real purpose of apologetics?  I'm not so sure.

For the message (or, preaching) of the cross is foolishness (mōría - folly, absurdity, moronic, stupid, senseless, foolhardy, insane) to (who) those who are perishing (or, being destroyed completely, to render void), but to (who) us who are being saved (to deliver, make whole, preserve safe from danger, loss, or destruction) it (the message of the cross) is the power (dúnamis) of God - 1 Corinthians 1:18.

Our faith in the cross of Christ is moronic to those who are perishing.  Period.  And apologetics won't change that fact.  Think about it, our God doesn't need defending.  He can take care of Himself.  And you cannot lead someone to Christ by logically answering all their questions about faith and the Scriptures to their satisfaction.  Why?  Because faith in Him is a gift from God and, before God imparts faith to the individual, the lost are incapable of believing the Gospel.  To them, our faith in the cross of Christ is moronic.

So, is apologetics important?  Absolutely.  But not necessarily in the way you think.


Apologetics

The purpose of apologetics is for you to have all your questions answered about God and salvation and to allow your faith to grow strong.  It is not for the direct benefit of the lost.  This is what 1 Corinthians 1 and 2 shows in graphic detail.  It has always been God's plan to thwart man's wisdom by revealing Himself through something man considers foolish.  He does this to bring to nothing the wisdom of this world and, in turn, exalt faith in Him as the key that opens the door of salvation.  Consider the following from 1 Corinthians 1:21-22:

Question:  Where is the wise (or, respected, learned philosophers and experts)?
Question:  Where is the scribe (or, writers, scholars)?
Question:  Where is the disputer (or, debater, reasoner, influencer) of this age?
Question:  Has not (who) God made (what) foolish the wisdom of this world (kósmos)
Answer:  Absolutely!

But why?

For since, in the (what) wisdom of God, the world through (its) wisdom did not know (ginōskō - or choose to know) God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached (foolishness to those who are perishing) to save those who believe (faith).

The reason for apologetics is for you to be secure in your faith and not necessarily to convince someone by the power of your arguments to receive Christ.  That is a sovereign act of God alone.  And prior to the impartation of faith in the elect, our most important argument is foolishness (stupid, ridiculous, moronic, insane) to those who are perishing.  Jesus never gave signs for others to believe in Him. So let me ask you just a few questions about your belief vs. God's wisdom.

  • Do you believe in the creation account in Genesis?
  • Do you believe in the virgin birth?
  • Do you believe in the floating ax head?
  • Do you believe in the lion’s den or the fiery furnace?
  • Do you believe in the fall of Jericho?
  • Do you believe a good God sometimes does things that don’t seem so good to us today?
  • Do you believe God rewards faith and punishes unbelief?

Are there parts of His Word that you don’t believe?  If so, you are on very dangerous ground.  Why?  Because Jesus said the deception in the last days would be so great that, if it was possible, even the elect would be deceived (Matt. 24:24).  And that includes you and me.

As we see the day of His return approaching, it is vital to know what we believe to be true.  For help in securing your belief against apostasy, keep listening.

The following is a study on the Limitations of Apologetics as found in 1 Corinthians 1:18-31.

422 - Christ + One = Enough

422 - Christ + One = Enough

November 2, 2017

When we look at the turmoil in the world and the lukewarmness of the church, sometimes it feels natural to get depressed and throw up our hands and see the problem as too big and the solution as too small.  We long for others to step up and stand in the gap against the rising tide of sin in our land.  And we'll gladly support those that do.  But they seem so few and the enemy seems so many. What are we to do?


One Man is All God Needs

But there are some encouraging words for us in the Proverbs.  Consider the following:

Proverbs 28:2 - Because of the transgression (rebellion) of a land, (result) many are its princes (ruler, official, chieftain); But (what) by (through) a man (one, singular, individual) of understanding (biyn - to discern, to pay careful attention to, to consider diligently) and knowledge (yāḏa) right will be prolonged.

Did you catch that?  It only takes one man, one single man of understanding and knowledge for God to prolonger what is right in a land.  Just one man.  That's why the Lord continually addresses the remnant in His letters to the church at Thyatira and Sardis.

Revelation 2:24 - "Now to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira (the remnant), as many as do not have this doctrine, who have not known the depths of Satan, as they say, I will put on you no other burden."

Revelation 3:4 - "You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments (the remnant); and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy."

Do you want to be part of the remnant?  Do you want to be the man, the single man the Lord can use to change the face of our culture?  Do you want to know Him more than you do today?  Then keep listening.

The following is a study on the Lord’s letter to the church at Thyatira in Revelation 2:18-29.

417 - Do the Next Right Thing

417 - Do the Next Right Thing

September 17, 2017

You want some great advice?  Good.  Then "do the next right thing."

When we're faced with depression, chilling disappointment, or numbing loss, what are we to do?  What happens when all our dreams come crashing down around us like Jenga pieces scattered on our dining room floor?  What happens when the intimacy we once felt with our Lord evaporates right before our eyes— and we don't know why?  What do we to do when the only voice we hear is our own doubt and paralyzing fear?  What happens when our pain compels us to sleep 18 hours a day, and we forget who we are and Who we serve?  What are we do to then?

"Do the next right thing?"  Simply stumble forward.


Stumbling Forward

Do you realize that if your goal was to run 5 miles and all you could do was stand and then fall flat on your face, eventually you'd get there.  One body length at a time.  That's exactly what our Bible heroes of old did.  They stood on their feet and did the next right thing.  They chose to not doubt in the dark what they believed in the light.  After all, truth doesn't change.  But our circumstances do.

What did Moses do when decades passed and it looked like God had forgotten and forsaken Him?  He did the next right thing.  And remember Elijah, who was struggling with self-doubt and depression to the point he wanted to die.  What did God say to him as they met at the mouth of the cave?  Essentially this, "Do the next right thing."  How about David when he learned his son was dead due to his own sin with Bathsheba?  What did David do?  The next right thing.

The Scriptures are full of those, just like you and me, who stumble forward in the dark faithfully doing the next right thing, even when they didn't know why or how.  They just did what was right.  And they made sure it was the next thing they did.  Do you want to know more about putting one step in front of another and doing the next right thing?  Then keep listening.

The following is a study on being faithful and doing the next right thing, no matter what.

369 - Vote for Those Being Led to the Slaughter

369 - Vote for Those Being Led to the Slaughter

October 24, 2016
This has been one of the most contentious election seasons I can remember.  Good people have been dragged into the mud with lies and character slander for the sole purpose of trying to win an election.  Which raises a few questions for the Christian.

How does a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven, who is also a citizen of the United States of America, reconcile their responsibility as citizens to both?  Especially in this election.

What is the purpose of human government?  And what is our duty towards that government?  But what if that government is oppressive?  Are we to obey a government that commands us to sin?  Then what are we to do as Christians when we are appalled by the corruption in our own government?

Have you ever asked yourself these questions?  I have.  To find the answers from Scripture, keep listening

The following is a study on the Kingdom of God and human government.

338 - Take this Job and Love It!

338 - Take this Job and Love It!

March 6, 2016
In Colossians 3 we find the hands-on practical teaching of Paul that hits us right where it hurts: in our job, our profession, and in our sense of value and self-worth.  No area of our life is more open to hurt and confusion for a man that what he does for a living.  In fact, most men identify themselves by their jobs and not by their families or heritage or faith.

Colossians 3:22 reads:

Bondservants (doulos – a slave, one who is in a permanent relation of servitude to another, his will being altogether consumed in the will of the other), obey (or, to listen, to be obedient, to submit, to conform) in (what) all things (who) your masters (defined as) according to the flesh, (in what way) not with eyeservice (or, service performed only under the master’s eyes, for appearance sake), as men-pleasers, but in sincerity (or, singleness, faithfulness, purity) of heart, fearing (or, being terrified or frightened) God.

Intrigued?  Want to find out more?  Then keep listening.

The following is a study on Colossians 3:22-4:1.

336 - Tough Words to Fathers and Children

336 - Tough Words to Fathers and Children

February 10, 2016
In Colossians 3 the Lord confronts us with a checklist that deals with the proper attitudes we are to have in our most cherished relationships:  wife to husband and husband to wife, children to parents and fathers to children, and employers to employees and employees to their employers.

In this lesson we're going to look at some of the tough words the Lord has to say to both fathers and their children about their relationship both to Him and to each other. 

Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.  Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. - Col. 3:20-21

To find out more, just keep listening.

The following is a study on Colossians 3:20-21.

311 - How to Prepare for the Coming Persecution

311 - How to Prepare for the Coming Persecution

July 6, 2015
We  know it's coming.  We can see the signs of it everywhere.  Persecution for the church has now come to our own shores and, quite honestly, we are ill prepared for it.  Which raises the all important question:  Is there something we can do now, before the persecution begins in earnest, to prepare for what is soon to happen?

And the answer is, yes.  

One, we can prepare spiritually by totally committing our life into the hands of the living Lord Jesus, come what may.
Two, we can prepare physically by disengaging from the world's system and begin to live in His Kingdom.
Three, we can prepare emotionally by embracing persecution as a means of furthering the Gospel by looking beyond our own circumstances and looking only at Him.

And we can begin to prepare today.  

The following is a lesson on Preparing for the Coming Persecution in America.

309 - Living in Two Kingdoms, Revisited

309 - Living in Two Kingdoms, Revisited

June 29, 2015
In Matthew, Jesus continually spoke about life in His Kingdom, the Kingdom of Heaven.  In fact He began His preaching the same way John the Baptist did, "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand" (Matt. 3:2, 5:17).  Which raises a couple of questions:

What exactly is His Kingdom, the Kingdom of Heaven?  And where is it?  Is it something we can see and feel? 
And how are we suppose to live in His Kingdom?
Are the realities in the Kingdom of Heaven the same as they are in everyday life?
And if not, how are they different?
And how can I be a citizen of His Kingdom when I'm a citizen of the United States of America?  How can I be in two places at the same time?  Is that even possible?

Possible?  Yes.  But also expected for the Believer in Christ.  Listen to find out more about what life is like Living in Two Kingdoms— at the same time.

The following is a study on Colossians 1:13-18.

200 - What Happened to Masculine Christianity?

200 - What Happened to Masculine Christianity?

April 8, 2013
Sometimes, when the tides of life turn against us, the church sounds like the Cowardly Lion from the Wizard of Oz:  

"Courage! What makes a king out of a slave? Courage! What makes the flag on the mast to wave? Courage! What makes the elephant charge his tusk in the misty mist, or the dusky dusk? What makes the muskrat guard his musk? Courage! What makes the sphinx the seventh wonder? Courage! What makes the dawn come up like thunder? Courage! What makes the Hottentot so hot? What puts the "ape" in apricot? What have they got that I ain't got?" 

Answer:  Courage!

Do you have courage?  Enough courage?  Overcoming courage?  If not, then keep listening.

The following is a study on Spiritual Warfare.
125 - The Faith of Just One Man

125 - The Faith of Just One Man

July 29, 2010
Often the Enemy tries to make us feel like we are nothing... just a single, lonely, isolated individual trying to faithfully stand against a massive and formidable Satanic kingdom. 

Did you ever feel like that? 

Maybe you've uttered some desperate words like, "What's the use?  Why resist."  Or maybe you've looked at the mountain in front of you and the small shovel in your hand and asked, "Why did you make life so hard, Lord?" 

Reality speaks different. 

Think about it: One man, in his nineties, literally changed a nation and caused a pagan king to offer praises to God.  How?  Listen and find out.

The following is a study on Daniel 6:1-28.