A Threefold Testimony That Demands Your Verdict
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- Format: Folded Flyer Tract
- Size: 3.5 inches x 8.5 inches
- Pages: 8
- Version: KJV
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Jurors in a court of law are called upon to consider facts and weigh evidence, utilizing their faculty of reason. Of course, you are an individual with the ability to reason. Possibly you’ve been called up for jury duty and actually had to reason through facts and evidence in order to render a verdict in a particular case. In these few short pages, you are asked to do just that.
“To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead”
Thomas Paine - 18th Century English/American writer and political activist
The Case in Short
King David, who reigned as the king of Israel approximately 3000 years ago wrote, “The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God.” Now the claim of the scriptures (really the Bible in a nutshell if you will) is that the Creator is holy, all of mankind (and this includes you) is in violation of His laws and is therefore guilty before Him, and therefore every person is in need of being reconciled to their Creator. This reconciliation can only occur through His Son, Jesus Christ. Since “it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27), this reconciliation with a holy and just God must occur before one leaves this life. This again is the primary revelation of scripture. So, consider yourself a juror of sorts for a few minutes as you weigh the threefold testimony concerning these claims.
The testimony of creation
The Bible opens with the words, “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). The statement is made simply, and almost as if stating the obvious. The verses that follow in Genesis chapter one similarly describe the creation of everything in that realm, including mankind. In Romans chapter one of the New Testament, the Bible states the following: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold (or suppress) the truth in unrighteousness; because that which may be known of God is manifest in them, for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.” Notice the words “clearly seen.” Again, the idea is that what we see about us in the world and universe at large obviously reveals a Creator, and that God says an individual will be without excuse in the day of judgment when they, in essence cry, “we didn’t know—how could we know!” God says the evidence is clear and people will be without excuse. King Solomon, who was world-famous at the time of his reign in Israel for his wisdom, writes in Proverbs 20:12 “The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the LORD hath made even both of them.” Really, need anything more be said? We might use any number of illustrations here, but consider, for example, the cell phone. A person of reason could never look at a cell phone and conclude that it always existed or happened into existence. Apart from intelligent design and manufacture it would not exist. Now, your body far exceeds the most advanced cell phone in order and complexity, therefore, to say that it evolved is to ignore evidence and throw reason out the window. Reason says the human mind designed and manufactured the cell phone and therefore exceeds its complexity. Furthermore, pause and consider that, physically, we are nothing more than organic material that ultimately will return to dust, and yet, we are living, breathing, emotional, volitional beings that think and act. The brain isn’t even completely understood by the most exceptional neurosurgeons, but there it is, a mass of “grey matter” residing in your head that controls every function of the body! The fact is, we are just so used to “being” and going about life, we ignore the astounding miracle that it is. The passage from Romans 1 above says in part, “because that which may be known of God is manifest IN THEM, for God hath showed it unto them.” In other words, deep down, we know we are the creative work of one, eternal, self-existing, unchanging God, yet mankind suppresses that truth, because they will not subject themselves to God. Will YOU refuse to reason and look at the facts and evidence?
The testimony of Scripture itself
The Bible itself is the second witness in this case. Many point to the Bible scoffingly and proclaim it to be the concoction of men, nothing more than a hodge-podge of fairy tales, generally untrustworthy, and the opinions of men. Consider that the Bible had approximately 40 different authors, rather than one or two conspirators. Many of these human penmen wrote in different ages and places, separated in time by hundreds and even thousands of years and were from varying walks of life. Yet, anyone who casually reads through the 66 books of the Bible can readily see that there is a perfect unity in what is revealed about God and His attributes, who and what He is, and His dealings with the physical and spiritual world. People are revealed for what we are, which is consistently shown to be much less than what we typically think of ourselves. There is a consistent revelation concerning future events. For instance, there are an abundance of specific prophecies concerning the person of Jesus Christ, recorded hundreds and even thousands of years before He walked the earth that were perfectly fulfilled in His birth, life, death, and resurrection. All of these are marks of divine authorship. Consider the fact of the historical accuracy of the Bible. Though it is not primarily an historical book, the Bible is full of history. Only recently in archaeological excavations around Jerusalem (Google “city of David excavation”), there was a discovery made of a seal with two names inscribed on it, apparently in and around an ash layer from the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem 6 centuries before Christ. These two names are found in the book of Jeremiah, named together in one verse at the time of Babylon’s attack. Archaeology continues to verify the historical accuracy of scripture. People groups named that were once thought to be mythical have been proven factual through archaeological discovery. Again, will you refuse to reason and look at the facts and hard evidence?
The testimony of the resurrection
We know, not only from the testimony of the witnesses of the New Testament, but also from those who were secular historians of the day (like Josephus), that Jesus, who was called the Christ, born in Bethlehem and raised in Nazareth, was a genuine, historic figure, and that He died by Roman crucifixion. There have been a number of authors, lawyers included, who have written on the subject of the empty tomb from an evidential perspective (Hank Hanegraaff—“Resurrection”, Val Grieve—“Your Verdict”). Either book is recommended if you want a fuller discussion, but let’s just consider a few facts here.
The main fact is that the tomb of Jesus was empty on the third day following the crucifixion, and this after a Roman guard had been posted to prevent any abduction of the corpse by his closest disciples and a subsequent spread of a story that He rose from the dead. What of a stolen body as the explanation? Does the evidence support this explanation of the empty tomb? The fact is that the disciples of Jesus were cowering in an upper room in fear for their lives. They had all forsaken Him when He was arrested in the garden of Gethsemane where He had been betrayed to the Roman authorities by Judas Iscariot. Additionally, a trained Roman guard had been posted outside the tomb to ensure the security of the body. The disciples were in no shape, emotionally or physically, to carry out such an act against a trained guard, men who would die if they failed in their assignment to protect the body of Jesus. Luke chapter 24 describes their condition as sad, dejected, confused, and very afraid. Additionally, the Jewish leadership who called for His crucifixion had every opportunity and ample ability to produce the body and squelch the entire account of His rising from the dead, but could not. Some have suggested He never was buried but left to the dogs on Golgotha in a shallow grave. Isaiah, writing in the 8th century BC said of the coming Messiah and Savior of the world, that “he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death” (Isaiah 53 ). This is a dual prophecy, fulfilled when He was crucified and put to death between two criminals, and His body placed in the newly hewn tomb of one Joseph of Arimathea, an extremely wealthy and influential Jewish official. It is likely this is the reason the story was spread that the disciples stole the body. Everyone knew Joseph and where that tomb was, and that Joseph himself had “begged” the body from Pontious Pilate. All facts surrounding the empty tomb point to one conclusion; the man Jesus, called Christ, or Messiah, rose from the dead as He said He would, and was therefore God manifest in the flesh.
Finally, we must consider the man Saul of Tarsus. Saul was a leading Jewish Pharisee and had been trained up by Gamaliel, one of the greatest religious teachers of his day. By Saul’s own testimony of himself, he was “a Pharisee of the Pharisees.” He was zealous in his faith, and when those who had claimed that Jesus Christ was indeed the Messiah of the Jews and the Savior of men because He had risen from the dead, Saul became incensed and set out to destroy Christians and Christianity itself. Saul’s life was transformed as he was on his way to the city of Damascus in Syria to locate and arrest Christians where he was met by the risen Christ. His name became Paul, and he is responsible for a majority of the books of the New Testament. Paul had been a lawyer, and in 1 Corinthians 15 he lays out a witness list to the resurrection when he says, “he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve. After that he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep [dead]. After that, he was seen of James, then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time…” Paul said the witnesses to the resurrection (hundreds yet living at the time he wrote the above words, and who Paul invites his readers to cross-examine) were alone overwhelming evidence to the fact of the resurrection.
What is your verdict? God said through Isaiah, “Come now and let us reason together.…” All that we have briefly considered here is powerful testimony that the Bible is true, that Jesus Christ was God manifest in the flesh, and you must render a verdict. Our life on this earth is really, at best, a pitiful little existence. We live out our few short years here scraping for something more, but in the end, we come in with nothing and leave with nothing. The book of James declares that “your life is a vapor that appeareth for a little time and then vanisheth away.” Take time to give serious thought to what has been said here. Then draw a circle around yourself so to speak, and give thought to the following:
There are few places in the Bible that say anything about Heaven itself. The last half of Revelation 21 says, “And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth….” Heaven wouldn’t be what it is if God allowed it, in any way, to be defiled. This is significant because of what Jesus said to some very religious men in Mark 7. “For from within, out of the heart of men [this would mean all people] proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile the man.” Every individual is defiled because every person has a heart that is defiled. The world has been the way it has been for six to seven thousand years because of what lies in the human heart. I may never commit the act of murder, but I have hated without a cause. God looks at hate in the heart as murder. You may never commit the physical act of adultery, but you have lusted. Jesus said in doing so you have committed adultery in your heart. You—with all other humans—have lied and deceived and therefore are guilty of violating another of the Ten Commandments. Jesus is telling the self-righteous Pharisees in this passage that they are violators of God’s law. Jeremiah wrote “the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked, who can know it?” These things which Jesus said “defile the man” are called sin. 1 John 3:4 states, “for sin is the transgression of the law.” Lust, pride, covetousness, deceit, evil thoughts, etc. all dwell in your heart and defile you in the sight of a holy and righteous God, and God cannot allow anything into His presence in the place called Heaven that would make it unclean. You and I, in our natural state, are guilty of violating the laws or commands of God. Romans 3:19 plainly states, “Now we know that what things soever the law saith it saith to them who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped and all the world may become guilty before God.” Before you attempt to justify yourself and argue with God, the law says: GUILTY. So our predicament is we are hopelessly and helplessly defiled and guilty before our Creator and, in our natural state, banished from Heaven to Hell. Now if you have read this far, and God has given you a conviction regarding your terrible condition and need of help then there is ONE hope! God has provided the means whereby you may have peace with Him. God has provided the means whereby you might be cleansed or washed from the defilement of your sin and you can be prepared for Heaven today! Yes you can know that, should today be the last, should today be the appointed time, you are ready and at peace with your Creator and God. Earlier, we quoted from the book of Revelation, the last of the 66 books of the Bible. Remember that God will not allow anything to defile Heaven, yet we are defiled. The same book of Revelation says this however in chapter one: “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness and the first begotten of the dead [or first to rise from the dead] and the prince of the kings of the earth, unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.” When the Son of God shed His blood as He was crucified for you, He demonstrated His love for you personally, and He provided the necessary means for cleansing from all your defilement. Because of your sin, God can only declare you His enemy: “And you that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works…” (Colossians 1:21).
God has laid down the terms of peace, and you must accept His terms, not declare your own. He is the offended party. The blood of Jesus Christ makes that peace possible and is the only means of cleansing from the defilement of sin. He said, “I am the door. By me if any man enter in, he shall be saved” (John 10:9).
So what will you do? There is nothing left to do but receive! John 1:12 says, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” Trust Him now, acknowledging your sin and your need of salvation from the penalty of sin that only He provides. Receive Him and the promise above is that you will be saved, becoming a genuine child of God, prepared for this life and for eternity! Galatians 3:26 says “For ye are all children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” The Bible gives the account of the jailer at Philippi, in Greece in the mid first century who met the preacher, Paul the apostle. Paul was in his jail one night, and through a series of events this jailer was brought to his knees before Paul and his co-worker Silas, knowing his sin and guilt before God and cried, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” Paul told him, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” Considering all that’s been covered in these few pages, again, if you see your helpless condition before the holy creator God, simply trust Him; embrace Him as your Savior.
If you have taken that step of faith, receiving Jesus Christ as your Savior, now it is very important to find a biblical church. Get a King James Bible and study the book of Acts to get a good overall understanding of what this means. Jesus said in Matthew 16, “I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” You should see from Acts that a church is a local assembly of baptized believers. Believer’s baptism, therefore, is a critical next step to publicly display your allegiance to Jesus. Speak with the pastor about this. The “mission statement,” if you will, that Jesus gave that first assembly that was called out of the world to salvation in Himself, is found in Matthew 28:19-20: “Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Find a church that stands on the scriptures, believes in the importance of reaching those without Christ, believes and practices believer’s baptism, and is determined to help people be established and grow in the faith and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.