When I was 12 years old the minister at 9th Street Christian Church in Hopkinsville, KY, Pastor Roy Hulan, held a series of classes for those who were thinking about becoming Christians. Pastor’s hope, as well as that of my parents, was that by the following Easter we would decide to become Christ followers. I attended the classes and remember well struggling with the decision. Two things bothered me. One was that I had questions about the truthfulness of Scripture — could I really trust its accuracy. The second was that, even at that young age, I knew I would need to be a better person if I was to become a follower of Jesus. It wasn’t that I had done so many really sinful things at that time in my life — that came later. But, I did know that I had thought plenty of things that were unacceptable for a believer. And I did not know that I could or even wanted to conform to what I perceived as requirements for living life as a Christian.
With regard to the accuracy of Scripture my biggest stumbling block was the virgin birth. I didn’t know a whole lot about biology at that time but as a curious twelve-year old boy I was fully aware of the fact that children were born from the union of a man and a women. That being the case, how could the biblical account of Mary giving birth to Jesus without the benefit of a normal man-woman relationship be true? I had a difficult time with that until we spent a considerable amount of time studying the resurrection of Jesus — another troublesome area of Scripture. It was certainly far from the norm and would certainly qualify as a miracle. But, with the account of Jesus being raised from the dead there seemed to me to be a preponderance of evidence validating the event. I believed, and still do, that the resurrection of Jesus is a historically verifiable fact — at least as trustworthy as any other event of ancient history. So, my resolution of questions about the virgin birth of Jesus turned to faith — that a God who can raise Jesus from the dead could also, by the power of the Holy Spirit, miraculously create the God-Man in the womb of a virgin. That, in turn, led me to the conclusion that the God who, according to Genesis 1:1 created the heavens and the earth, was fully capable of producing the miracles, all of them, in the Bible. Strong evidence and faith then led me to become a follower of Jesus — my Lord and my Savior. I was baptized on Easter Sunday, April 5th, 1953.
Now, with respect to second area that concerned me about becoming a Christian, i.e., changing my life to be obedient to the teaching of Scripture. That is still something that I strive for. But, I do so out of love for my Savior recognizing that He has already given me a clean account; that because of what He did on the cross I am “holy in His sight, without blemish, and free from accusation,” according to Colossians 1:22 NIV. The Holy Spirit living within me convinces me of that.
So, with that background, I found the following article by Pastor Bob Russell to be informative with respect to those who do not believe in the resurrection. The article appeared first at: Bob Russell Ministries as: Why Some People Don’t Believe In The Resurrection. RMF
Why Some People Don’t Believe In The Resurrection
I watched the television special, “Killing Jesus” this past Thursday night. It’s based on the best-selling book by Bill O’Reilly and is well done. It’s good to see quality films that are Biblically accurate for the most part. I thought the movie helped clarify the reason the religious leaders were so determined to eliminate Jesus – they were envious of His popularity and threatened by His challenge to their traditional views of the temple worship.
I was disappointed, however, in the portrayal of Jesus’ resurrection. In the movie, the disciples never actually see the risen Christ. Three days after the crucifixion, they were perplexed to find His tomb empty. Later, while they were fishing in the Sea of Galilee they became convinced that He was alive when they received a miraculous abundance of fish in their nets. Continue reading