Vintage

Something Different for Joomla!

Gatherings

  • Sunday
    9:30am Sunday school
    10:25-10:45 am Fellowship break
    10:45am Worship Service
  • Sunday Evening
    6:00-7:30pm Bible Studies (all ages)

Locations

Contact Us

P.O. Box 398
Acton, CA 93510

(661) 269-2515

Send an Email

  • Give Online
  • Click here to get started with online giving.
The Best News Ever

Several people have asked for an outline of my short message at Vasquez Rocks on Easter morning. It contained a simple, three point argument for the truth of Christianity at a common-sense level. If some found the points helpful in sharing the Gospel, I thought I'd offer them here. Each point could have book-length support under it, but even at the surface I think the three together make a strong case. Before I explained the three reasons why I believe, I stated the Gospel in simple terms: humans are hopelessly sinful, God became a man, Jesus, to redeem lost humans by giving His life for them, and by His death and resurrection we are reconciled to God.

As I said there, this is the best news ever! I did admit, however, that the beauty of the story of God humbling Himself to save rebels in His universe may not, by itself, persuade everyone. Some will doubt. It is beautiful... but is it true?

To that I say, first, it's not just a beautiful story, it's the best story. It's the best story imaginable — revealing such a loving God and answering man's greatest need. There is nothing like it in all the stories and literature in the world.

It is unique in that it perfectly explains the human condition... why we are in such trouble, and reveals such a powerful, unexpected, and astonishing solution. The story is such a wonderful thing to even contemplate... that, if it's not true...it makes the world a much emptier and sadder place. Perhaps history is going nowhere. Perhaps there is no plan, no purpose, no final justice, no redemption, and no salvation. I suppose it could be just an amazing story that is not true.

But there's something else...even more wonderful. Jesus. It's not only the best story, but He is, by far, the best person who has ever lived. He is the most compelling, fascinating human being in history. There has never been anyone like Jesus. Perfect humanity. Uncompromisingly good. Perfect in love. Unmatched in wisdom. Who even begins to compare with Him?

And who could have invented Him? And if someone could, why hasn't anyone invented His equal since? Who could have invented the King of the Universe, the Creator, washing the feet of sinners? Isn't it just a bit odd...just in terms of probability, that the best story by far should appear with the best man... by far?

Is it some kind of accident that we have the best story, and the best man, who taught the highest moral teaching ever known... and lived it? Am I to believe nameless people made up the most insightful explanation for the human condition -- made up the most amazing story of God's love, and invented the best and wisest man who ever lived?

And then there's the history. What we know about Jesus is too well grounded in primary historical sources. It's not a myth, or a legend. It takes many, many decades, even centuries, to shape a legend or a mythology. There was no time. The New Testament writers were very close time-wise to the events. They were eye-witnesses or knew eye-witnesses.

Consider this from Paul's letter to the Corinthians:

Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved...For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also.

 

Paul wrote that about AD 55, less than 24 years after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, reminding the Corinthians of what he told them several years before... less than 20 years after those events. That's a very short time. I have been the pastor of Acton Faith Bible Church longer than that. And Paul "received" these facts even before then! The facts had already been firmly established. Christ died for our sins, He was buried, He rose on the 3rd day, and Paul gives a detailed list of those who saw Him risen....

There wasn't enough time for invention. It was already a set of known facts with living eye-witnesses.

Then there's Luke, who wrote the Gospel that bears his name. What does he say about all the information he wrote about Jesus?

Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things accomplished among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, it seemed fitting for me as well, having investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order, most excellent Theophilus; so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been taught.

 

There is no ancient myth anywhere in ancient history that begins that way. Luke did historical research... investigated eye-witness testimony... was deeply concerned to get it exactly right.

Isn't it reasonable to believe that people who were convinced that God visited mankind would be concerned to tell his story correctly? Wouldn't you tell it correctly?

We have the greatest story ever told. It reveals, by far, the best man who ever lived, and it has all the marks of a profound interest in historical accuracy in telling that story about Him. Familiarize yourself with these points. Think about them, and be ready to share them. No doubt the Lord will give you opportunity!

Yours in Christ,

 

Pastor Wayne Wilson

Originally printed in The AFBC Pony Express. Vol. VII, No. 5, May2014.

 

“Give ear and come to me, hear me, that your soul may live.”

– Isaiah 55:3