So many things have changed. Technology, society, culture, denominations, jobs, friendships, communication. Since the Great Recession, roughly 10 years ago, I myself have changed. Lost my job, lost a daughter, lost some of my health… I’m sure I could go on…
But also in these last 10 years I’ve found a new job, I’m on the verge of adopting a new daughter with my wife and our other 3 children, still trying to figure out the healthy living… and yet through it all, I never lost my love for Apologetics. My love for Jesus, his kingdom, and his church remains steadfast by God’s grace alone. “Yahweh gives and Yahweh takes away, blessed be the name of Yahweh.” (Job 1:21, translation mine)
Yahweh gives andJob 1:21, translation mine
Yahweh takes away,
blessed be the name of Yahweh.
In accordance with Apologetics, God gives the good gift of his word to his people and the answers we need are always found within it. The Christian Bible stands firm, in all its wonderful translations, and does not flinch when you come to it with questions. And those answers form the basis of all apologetic discourse for the Christian, who desires to say that “Jesus is Lord” and tell others that the whole goal of the creation is found only in him (1 Peter 3:15; Colossians 1:16). But is that old Bible still applicable today, they will ask. Can you really stand firm in what it says?
The world really has changed, hasn’t it? Here in the States, American society went from having our first black president to our first reality TV star being elected to the same high office. We went from merely tolerating sodomy to affirming sexual preference and gender identity as the unquestioned law and absolute rule over everyone in society. Every marriage is now a gay marriage, as far as the government is concerned. Freedom of speech and religious liberty are on the cusp of being ‘old fashioned’ and simply ‘outdated’ for modern American standards. They truly are on the chopping block of progressive history. Social Media went from being a cool new way to keep in touch with friends and share news and information, to being something that many believe shifted the outcome of our elections through ‘fake news’ and ‘foreign interference’. The world really has changed.
The world really has changed.
But God doesn’t change.
He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
But God doesn’t change. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Or as the preacher to the Hebrews tells us, “Jesus, the Messiah, is the same yesterday, today, and forevermore!” ( Hebrews 13:8, translation mine) Or as Buzz would tell us, “To infinity and beyond!” When the world and humanity are faithless, God remains faithful. (2 Timothy 2:13) And, as always, let God be true though every man a liar. (Romans 3:4)
The saying is trustworthy, for:2 Timothy 2:11-13, ESV Bible
If we have died with him,
we will also live with him;
if we endure,
we will also reign with him;
if we deny him,
he also will deny us;
if we are faithless,
he remains faithful—
for he cannot deny himself.
Don’t shoot me, I’m only the messenger! Oh wait, that’s right, that’s why Jesus sent us out… “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves.” (Matthew 10:16, ESV) “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you… If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.” (John 15:18-20, ESV) Unlike the prosperity ‘gospel’ preachers (who really have no good news, except for the money they can put in their bank while their hearers lay unconscious on the ground), faithful Christians know what God has called them to and that our calling is irrevocable and full of glory beyond all comparison! (2 Corinthians 4:17)
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.2 Corinthians 4:16-18, ESV Bible
We were made for moments like these. When the world feels like it built all its foundations on sinking sand (due to ‘man-made’ climate change, of course) and they are all convinced that they can save their sinking ship by using bio-degradable duct tape and spare baby parts… Christians remain firm in their faith, built on the reign of King Jesus, who sits in the heavens and laughs, holding them all in derision. (Psalm 2:4) No matter the cost, no matter the consequence, Christians around the world stand ready to give an answer for why they have any hope at all, and particularly, why they have all their hope in this man named Jesus of Nazareth, the son of David, the son of God, who died and was buried, but is alive never to die again.
So what is the state of Apologetics in 2019? Well, it really is no different than it was 1000 years ago or 2000 years ago… it really is no different than it was when Seth was born after Cain killed Abel, or Harry met Sally, or Bob Ross taught all of us that everyone can learn to paint. The Scripture says:
But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.1 Peter 3:14-17, ESV Bible
And that is where I will leave you. Doing the same thing Christians have been doing for the past 2000 years. Apologetics is a simple discipline, with a big thirst for God’s word and a big heart for loving the world, even while the world hates you. Don’t be surprised when the trial comes upon you, to test you, as though something odd were afoot… instead Rejoice! Rejoice in the fact that you are sharing in the sufferings of Jesus and that this is full proof that you belong to him and are filled with the Spirit of Glory. (1 Peter 4:12-14) Amen!