Archive for April 26, 2019

5 Reasons to Believe the Bible, Resurrection of Jesus

Posted: April 26, 2019 by David Fiorazo in David's Blog

5 reasons to believe jesusIf Jesus was not raised from the dead, then the Bible isn’t true, heaven isn’t real, and this life is as good as it gets. But thank God the evidence proves otherwise. Christianity stands or falls with the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and for over two thousand years, no one has proven it to be false.

Jesus once said the truth will set you free. It’s not that people can’t know the truth, the problem is they don’t like what they find because they don’t want to change how they live. Let’s look at a fraction of the overwhelming evidence supporting the historical resurrection of Jesus as well as the accuracy and reliability of the Bible.

1. Minimal Facts Agreed Upon

First, even liberal scholars and historians agree on these basic facts:

  • Jesus was publicly executed and died by crucifixion
  • His tomb was empty; the body was missing
  • His disciples believed he rose and appeared to them
  • James, former skeptic and half-brother of Jesus, was suddenly changed.
  • The church persecutor Paul was suddenly and radically changed

How do you explain the fact Christianity rapidly expanded in the first century? Within one generation of the death of Christ, this movement spread from Israel to Europe, Africa, and Asia. Where did it start and is there a way to know for sure?

In Luke 1:4, he gives the reason for his gospel;

“…so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been taught.”

Christianity is the only religion which bases its faith on a verifiable event.

2. Extra-Biblical Sources

Second, if you’re not a believer yet and are skeptical about the Bible’s claims, consider a few ancient historians.

  • According to Thallus, there was a darkness during the day for three hours followed by an earthquake that occurred at the point of Jesus’ crucifixion.
  • Jewish historian, Josephus lived in the first century and wrote about events surrounding Jesus in more detail than any other non-biblical source.
  • Roman historian, Suetonius wrote about new levels of punishment Nero inflicted on Christians, and described Jesus as having had immediate impact on His followers.
  • Tacitus confirms Christianity was founded by a man named Christus, whom he said was “put to death as a criminal by Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea, in the reign of Tiberius.”

Some used to claim Pilate and Caiaphas never existed. A first-century inscription discovered at Caesarea in 1961 confirms Pontius Pilate was indeed procurator of Judea from 26-36 A.D.

Jesus was on trial before the high priest, Caiaphas before He was taken to Pilate. The tomb of the Caiaphas family was discovered in Jerusalem in 1990 and inside were the very bones of the infamous high priest mentioned in the Gospels! History and archaeology are very inconvenient for mockers and skeptics.

3. Eyewitnesses to the Resurrection

Third, this is one of the most compelling proofs of the resurrection of Jesus. Thousands of people saw Jesus’ miracles, at least hundreds of people were eye-witnesses who saw Him after being raised from the dead, and many were mentioned by name in the Bible. You better make sure you have your facts straight if you name names.

The eyewitnesses include:

  • Mary Magdalene (John 20:10-18),
  • the other women at the tomb accompanying Mary (Matthew 28:1-10),
  • the Roman guards (Matthew 28:4),
  • the Eleven disciples (John 21),
  • two others on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35),
  • over five-hundred people at once (1 Corinthians 15:6),
  • James, and then Paul (1 Corinthians 15:7-9)

Jesus lived on earth another forty days before ascending to Heaven so it’s safe to suggest there were many more eye-witnesses.

The disciples truly saw the resurrected Christ. Only an event of this magnitude could turn scared, scattered, and skeptical disciples, with no prior concept and expectation of a crucified and risen Messiah, into courageous proclaimers of the gospel willing to suffer and die for their belief that Jesus rose bodily from the grave.

4. Early Dating of New Testament Manuscripts

Fourth, this is such an important point regarding the resurrection of Jesus: we have books in the New Testament that were written during the period when eye-witnesses were still alive! At least two books may have been written within fifteen years of the resurrection. The earliest documents include James, Galatians, 1 Corinthians, 1 Thessalonians, Romans, and perhaps Mark or Luke. No wonder the Jews and Romans couldn’t refute the facts.

The Bible includes both primary and secondary sources of reference. Primary means the books were written by eye witnesses while secondary means other books were written by men who interviewed eye witnesses – those who saw the actual events. Fortunately for truth seekers, there’s an abundance of historical manuscript evidence in both categories.

5. Missing Motives

Fifth, if it was a lie, what were the motives of Jesus’ disciples? Certainly not popularity! Experts suggest when a conspiracy is formed, the basic motivating factors are:

  • Money or greed
  • Power or fame
  • Lust or sexual passion

Most of the disciples were killed for their faith. Christianity faced huge obstacles because it was a brand new movement. They had no money, they taught about love, sacrifice, and self-denial, and they were subject to intense hatred and persecution.

Why then, have so many Christian martyrs through the centuries been willing to go to prison or even die for their faith instead of deny Jesus? The only logical reason to believe the gospel is because the resurrection actually occurred. 

The Jews and Romans did not refute Jesus’ resurrection and stop Christianity from spreading. Why? Because they could not.

Anyone living around Jerusalem could have examined the empty tomb for themselves, and thousands probably did go to the tomb of Christ to look for His body. The historically indisputable fact is that something happened to the body.

After thousands of years of attacks, opposition, and scrutiny by critics − warfare that no other work has ever seen − the Bible has withstood the onslaught, has gained credibility, and the Christian faith has continued to thrive throughout the world. No other written work has the power to convict people of their sin, the ability to change human nature, and offers a permanent solution to man’s greatest problem.

There are no second chances after you die. You can ignore the evidence and deny the truth – or acknowledge the resurrection of Jesus, believe in Him, confess your sins and be forgiven, and have everlasting life. This could be the most meaningful Easter season you will ever have!

BELIEVE THE GOSPEL! 1 Cor. 15:3-8, Romans 10:8-10, John 3:16-18, Ephesians 2:8-10, Titus 2:11-13

Video courtesy of Freedom Project Media

Hope in the Resurrection and Return of Jesus Christ – teaching by David Fiorazo

Hollywood, Dems Deaf to Heartbeats in the Womb

Posted: April 26, 2019 by David Fiorazo in David's Blog

heart beat ekgGeorgia Governor, Brian Kemp, has been under pressure from the left including Hollywood celebrities and feminists because he promised to sign a bill protecting human babies when a heartbeat is detected. Then there’s Virginia Governor and supporter of infanticide, Ralph Northam who recently signed a law that would make animal cruelty a felony – just months after legalizing abortion on demand, up through the birth process.

So, killing babies is acceptable, but harming animals is illegal. This is the moral disconnect with conscience Democrats such as Northam seem to have. Now, I don’t know anyone who supports animal cruelty, but here’s a far left Governor who seems to be out of touch with the people he represents.

More than seven thousand people descended on the Virginia State Capitol April 3 and marched for Life to stop ‘pro-abortion extremism.’ Do you think he’ll get the message?

A few states away, Georgia Governor, Republican Brian Kemp promised those who elected him that he would sign what is known as the heartbeat bill this week. Life begins at conception and a heartbeat is detected at around six weeks. The “fetal heartbeat” bill, (HB 481) sent to the governor’s desk Friday, would reduce abortions when a heartbeat is detected, and give the state one of the most restrictive laws of its kind in the nation.

But Hollywood doesn’t approve!

Struggling actress, Alyssa Milano, is leading the pack of liberal celebs using their influence to create outrage over the Georgia bill. Milano admitted that she doesn’t even live in the state, but she delivered a protest letter to the Governor’s office and pointed a finger at a state representative saying,

“These are the men that are voting on what goes on inside my uterus.”

The list of activists includes Alec Baldwin, Rosie O’Donnel, Sean Penn, Mia Farrow, and Ben Stiller.

Kemp responded by saying he’s not going to govern based on what Hollywood thinks about him.

Meanwhile, pro-life actress Ashley Bratcher, who stars in the new film “Unplanned,” has been defending Georgia for trying to protect the unborn. The movie is doing exceptionally well despite lack of support from the liberal media, of course. She said:

“I’m incredibly proud of my home state for taking a stand in the fight for life amidst backlash and dubious threats,”

The god of Hollywood is obviously not the one true God. Abortion is a moral issue, not just a political one, and every church should be vocal about defending life. Ashley Bratcher asked why Milano, a women’s rights activist, refuses to also speak up for the rights of the unborn woman or girl in the womb:

The extremes to which liberals are willing to stoop shouldn’t surprise us any longer.

Last month’s viral video asking the question ‘Should a Christian support the Democrat Party?’ really hit a nerve; and rightly so. Every single Democrat who voted against a recent bill that would allow care to babies born alive in botched abortions received money from Planned Parenthood.

Once again, the radicals are ignoring the will of the people. And according to a recent Marist poll, 71 percent of Americans strongly oppose abortion after 20 weeks.

Moreover, during the past decade or so, more pro-life legislators have been elected on the state level who are working to limit abortion procedures and laws. Though there’s much work to be done in the fight for life, the results are encouraging:

  • Some 27 states have enacted waiting periods
  • Another 18 mandate some kind of pre-abortion counseling
  • More than 40 states have laws limiting how far along in the pregnancy an abortion can be performed
  • Nearly 300 such measures have been passed since 2009.
  • At least eleven other states are now considering “heartbeat bills” like Mississippi, Kentucky, and Georgia.

Just last week, a federal appeals court handed pro-life groups a major victory, upholding a Kentucky law that requires abortion doctors to let women hear the unborn baby’s heartbeat and see images of the baby on an ultrasound. Studies have shown a majority of young women then change their minds and keep their baby!

Also, Ohio joined a growing group of states that have moved to cut Planned Parenthood funding after a court ruling upheld a law blocking our tax dollars to the abortion corporation. So keep encouraging our pro-life representatives and let’s vote more into office. We must protect the most vulnerable, lives formed in the image of God, and promote the value of every single human life.

Let’s also work to make abortion unthinkable as well as illegal. But above all, remember that Jesus is the only answer for a sin-stained world; hope and forgiveness are found in Him alone. People need to hear the gospel and be saved that their hardened hearts can change. Then perhaps their minds will also change about abortion.

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