by Mike Winger
When people ask for evidence for God are they putting up a smokescreen? Is there such a thing as "blind unbelief"? It's remarkable to me, how much the Pharisees in this story are like many today who reject the evidence for Jesus while asking for evidence for Jesus. Now, please listen carefully to this message because I am NOT trying to say that everyone who doesn't believe is the same as these Pharisees. I am saying that a lot of people are, and while I know that some will find this offensive I ask that they be open-minded enough to consider the possibility that what happened to Hume, Atkins, Dillahunty, and Flew could be happening to them as well. This is part 27 in the ongoing series through the whole Gospel of Mark. Here's the whole playlist. Here's the link I mentioned where Atkins admits to his atheism that not even evidence can refute. If you want to support this ministry and my continued production of free content please click here

this is about the danger of seeking to  disprove Christianity I I really mean  that I want to take this in have a  nuanced view of this topic but the  danger basically in seeking to disprove  Christianity is that you find what you  want people often just find what they  want now I'm not talking here about  people who have sincere questions and  they're genuinely seeking like I really  am trying to find truth I'm talking  about a different person when you add on  to that an element of and man I really  don't want this thing to be true that is  a spiritually dangerous position and  we're going to talk about how Jesus  responds to those who ultimately are  pretending they want evidence maybe they  even think they want evidence they think  it's real that this is what they're  seeking but this is like a plague on the  Internet I don't know if you've noticed  but I've been plenty of witnessing and  sharing those people where when they ask  tough questions and then they get good  what are really are good answers not  just Pat answer it's good answers to  tough questions and you realize they  liked the question better than the  answer and so they just change the  subject right when I get a questioner  who gets a good answer in there they're  actually more bothered with an answer  than they are with silence that that's  what I'm like okay what's going on this  is giving us an understanding of  stubborn unbelief and what we can do  about it and not because I'm amazed as I  read this passage this thing 2,000 years  ago Jesus this conversation here with  these guys that it's so relevant today  in our culture right now today it's  radically relevant I'm always amazed by  that I'm not surprised by how relevant  the Bible is but I am always amazed by  it it just blows me away I appreciate it  I appreciate how it applies to my  marriage it applies to my anxiety it  applies to my prayer life it applies to  my interactions with friendships and  everything else so here we go mark  chapter 8 verse 11 Jesus discussion with  the Pharisees it goes like this  the Pharisees came out and began to  argue with him seeking from him a sign  from heaven to test him sighing deeply  in his spirit he said why does this  generation seek for a sign truly I say  to you no sign will be given to this  generation the first thing I want to  notice with this little encounter is it  says the Pharisees came out  they came out the implication here is  that there they're not just with the  crowds there they're not like part of  the crowd kind of going when the crowd  goes to see Jesus they're part of that  crowd they're always seen as someone  like a group that's sort of separate  from the crowds they're not kind of  going with the people to check out Jesus  and they seem to always come with  animosity they come to cause problems to  come to challenge him in some fashion or  another or to expose some error in other  words they're not seekers they show up  occasionally and they show up  adversarially when they're encountering  Jesus in mark three six it tells us that  already we learn this that they were  plotting to destroy him with the  Herodians like they're actually planning  already to destroy Jesus so when they  ask these questions  you know what sign you know do you do to  prove that you are who you say you are  these this is not a question that's  meant like really we like to see we like  to know it's rather meant to challenge  to refute or to push against Christ so  the request for a sign is actually  recorded in all four Gospels so it's one  of those rare moments that all four  Gospels does talk about it's combative  it's not actually testing Jesus and  that's key to understanding why Jesus  has such an extreme response why he's  like no sign for you I mean this is a  really extreme response from Jesus but  it's extreme for a reason and we can  learn from it okay first twelve sighing  deeply in his spirit Jesus says why does  this generation seek for a sign truly I  say to you no sign will be given to this  generation now here's how some people I  think have misunderstood this verse and  I think that they've applied it wrongly  so let me try and clear the air from  that because this is not about everyone  asking for proof show me Christianity is  true ha you fool no sign for you no  evidence for you that's not like a good  Pat response to people who are asking  for evidence that's not the right thing  to do some people use this phrase from  Jesus no sign for you to say that  looking for signs is bad in and of  itself like it's inherently bad to ask  for evidence but that's that's a little  confusing because then we have stories  in the Bible where like Mary she's like  how will I know right and then you know  she's given a sign you hackerized when  he's like how will I know and he you  unbeliever he's struck  right he can't speak so we have we have  people asking the same questions but  with different hearts and they're  getting very different answers so it's  not like a one-size-fits-all thing if  looking for evidence or proof is bad  then I'm in trouble because I spend a  lot of my ministry trying to add the  evidence in the proof and their  affirmations and the confirmations of  the truth of Christianity into  everything I do and here no sign will be  given okay so don't give it you signs  but I don't think that's really the case  I think that evidence helps people lots  of people have come to Christ through  evidence but lots of other people can  see all that evidence and it doesn't  make a lick of difference because it's  not just evidence that's the issue here  and that's what we're gonna get tonight  evidence is not enough so I need to see  here to understand this passage I need  to see why Jesus in context in context  isn't saying that evidence is bad and so  I disagree with those who come against  apologetics come against offering  evidence for the truth of Christianity  and use a verse like this but I want to  show why in the context you can't use  this verse because ultimately I don't  disagree because I like apologetics or  because I like evidence but because the  context so this is a good principle of  ours right we don't we don't read into  the text our opinion but we read out of  it what it's already there so Jesus one  major reason why we should think  evidence is acceptable to Jesus  evidences liked by Jesus is he's already  given a ton of evidence in the Gospel of  Mark evidence that affirms who he is  right he's cast out demons he's healed  the blind the Deaf the mute he's  actually raised the dead already he's  done a whole bunch of things to kind of  prove who he is and as we read mark we  see that the context of these things is  it's supposed to show you who Jesus is  right Jesus does something in the  audience's like who is this man that he  can do this and how that even ties into  his his nature as God with us so we see  evidence being offered regularly in mark  chapter 3 jesus heals a man with a  withered hand right in front of the  Pharisees so he's giving them signs he's  giving them signs right we've read about  how he says so that you will know the  Son of man has authority on earth to  forgive sin get up and walk what is he  doing he's like here  proof hears apologetic approve of of the  claims that I'm making so um there's  another public miracle that Jesus did  very recently in the Gospel of Mark and  that is he fed the multitudes he fed the  multitude he actually did it twice right  and when he feeds the multitude  obviously there's tons of witnesses of  this great miracle that would tie  directly into Jesus as the new Moses as  the new Moses so then this is like  fulfilling the Pharisees request before  they ask of it really Jesus did this two  times so Jesus does a bunch of signs  even in the Gospel of Mark he does a  bunch of signs to show who he is there's  another reason why signs or evidence is  not bad Jesus actually encourages people  to look at evidence to prove who he is  so he does the evidence to prove it but  he also tells you hey look see the  evidence that'll prove to you who I am  I'll give you a few places where we see  this in John 10 verse 37 and 38 listen  carefully to the words of Jesus see if  you can comprehend the logic of what  he's saying right he says if I'm not  doing the works of my father then do not  believe me if I'm not doing the works of  my father then do not believe me but if  I do them even though you do not believe  me believe the works that you may know  and understand that the father is in me  and I am in the father so he's like even  if you're not just taking my word for it  is he because he's God with us like he  has the authority to say I am Who I am  believe me just take my word for it  but on our human side how do we know  right like anyone can say that so how do  we know that Jesus is who he says he is  so he's doing these works and so he even  meets us there and says if you don't  believe me  just on his own authority believe  because of the works so he points to the  works as evidence in john 14 11 we get  it again believe me that i am in the  father and the father's in me or else  believe on account of the works  themselves so he's doing all these  miracles in the first century that they  had access to a knowledge of in Luke  chapter 7 we have another example of  this this is where John the Baptist is  in prison and he seems to go through a  bout of serious doubt serious doubt  about whether Jesus really is who he  thought Jesus was going to be so he  sends his disciples to Jesus he's  are you the one who was to come or  should I look for another and he's  confused he said now he's willing to  trust Jesus just at his word  Jesus could say yep I am but instead as  you read in Luke 7 jesus heals a bunch  of people right there on the spot  and then he tells the disciples of John  go back to John and tell him what you've  seen and then he quotes Isaiah write  that the blind see and the Deaf hear the  mute speak and the the poor of the  gospel preached to them and so he's  telling this is really neat because we  have his miracles and fulfill prophecy  two of my favorite apologetics for the  truth of Christianity Jesus is giving  these to John as evidence to prove who  he is now if you took what Jesus says to  these Pharisees like as a blanket rule  for everybody then Jesus would have to  say to John no sign for you a wicked and  adulterous John asks for a sign or for  some sort of confirmation of Who I am  but and John think what he had already  John had not only did the Old Testament  did he how about you know testimony of  things that Jesus had done he saw the  Holy Spirit descend on Christ with his  own eyes he had God you don't have this  generally right God directly revealed to  himself hey when you see this one and  the Holy Spirit descends upon him you'll  know he's the one  so John it seems to me has more reason  to believe than most humans have and he  doubts but it's sincere and Jesus meets  him right there give some evidence give  some reasons all that stuff so sincere  doubt evidence let's let's give people  help they're confused they're struggling  they're looking for help  let's point to publicly-accessible  miracles as evidence of who Christ was  I've say there's death and resurrection  of fulfilled prophecy in the scriptures  let's let's give people something to  hold on to for those times where they're  struggling right that that's a good  thing that's a I think it's a Jesus  thing I think I think Jesus did  apologetics right there in Luke chapter  7 so Jesus is not against showing signs  this is something else this is something  else and there's three indications for  that right the use of science by Jesus  that's the first one we already talked  about but then there's two more and that  is in this passage itself in the context  he sighs deeply in his spirit meaning  he's bothered by something they asked  for a sign and  it's like really bugging him he didn't  do this with John he didn't do this with  other people at other times but now it's  really bothering him and in the context  right they've already got all these  signs all this evidence for Jesus and  they're rejecting him then of the third  reason of course is where he says this  generation that this generation comin so  I'll come back to that in a minute but  just remember he's like why does this  generation seek a sign we'll come back  to that so why did Jesus I though why  does he sighed deeply in his spirit  there in verse 12 I think the idea is  disappointment he silently uh this is  disappointing he's living in the moment  with the people he's engaging with them  and he's sighing in disappointment their  request for another miracle or another  sign is problematic because he just gave  them a whole bunch of good reasons and  they're rejecting him for things that  have nothing to do with those reasons  it's not just fear it's not just doubt  it's not just I'm struggling it's rather  a will to reject the truth of God a  choice to reject God's truth it's a  spiritually dangerous thing I get this  for instance in video comments on  YouTube I'll sometimes get comments from  people and I'm not angry about it I just  I'm just pointing it don't don't I'm mad  at y'all just say if I'm just it happens  where the comments on YouTube are in  videos where it shows that the person  didn't actually watch the video or pay  attention because they're like I'm gonna  refute you and then they put a comment  down and I'm like I dealt with that like  you know all I gotta do is watch a whole  hour video to know what I dealt with  alright just I know my videos are long  but but yeah you know I just I dealt  with that I dealt with that specifically  in this video how is it that you're  asking and a lot of times I'm thinking  they did watch the video and they just  it just doesn't click like some there's  a brain block keeping things from  clicking so I'm in a video I have where  I'm dealing with some atheist propaganda  type stuff and I explained you know how  history works how historians treat  topics and issues and I have quotes from  a historian to refute some a tip to you  know typically atheist comments about  history showing that this is not a  history works and the comments are like  Mike you still don't get it I'm like  okay you know I don't really know what  to tell you I don't know what to say at  that point when the Pharisees come up  and they're still asking for evidence at  this point with that heart it has  nothing to do with evidence  evidence is a distraction from the heart  issues so for Jesus to present them with  more evidence doesn't fix anything it  just gives them one more thing to  explain away Jesus could heal the guy  right there on the spot oh yeah get up  and walk and they go that guy was a  plant I think it was a plant show us  another sign all right I feed the  multitudes again I think his disciples  were smuggling food in while he was  doing that right leg hip walking away  and coming back with more food I think  that's what probably happened here and  it's just all we're really doing is  giving them more truth to reject at some  point and that's what Jesus is dealing  with he was to do with the heart of the  issue he disapproves of their motives  because it's like they're building up an  immunity to evidence an immunity to  proof and sometimes that's what I see  from people who are really aggressively  against the truth of Christianity is  they build up an immunity to discovering  the truth of Christ and it's a very sad  situation as someone who does a lot  outreach and does if it you know  apologetics evangelism kind of stuff I  don't really know the right way to  respond I'm certain as I'm like should I  just do what Jesus did no sign for you  why because your hearts all messed up  because then they're like yes finally  you said my heart was messed up now I  gotta play my victim card and you talk  about how mean you are and how you're  trying to judge me and all and I'm just  like I don't even there's it's like that  conundrum in songs like answer the full  of course is folly or don't in don't  answer the full of corny it's like  either way it's gonna be a problem is  that is the issue there so now we get to  the idea of why does this generation  seek for a sign Jesus says that why does  this generation this generation what's  unique about this generation well it's  good to know in the Bible when you read  the phrase this generation it's not  talking about now we sometimes  unintentionally do that right like I  read this generation know it's talking  about 2020 but it's talking about today  know this generation was the generation  when Jesus was walking the earth after  Jesus was right there in their midst  doing signs and miracles all over the  place proving who he was to thousands  and thousands of people demonstrating  the truth of who he was and now he's  like this generations asking for a sign  what  the problem the problem is they've  already received more evidence than most  people ever will and they're still  rejecting Christ Jesus's own presence  fulfilling prophecy meeting messianic  expectations doing miracles when people  with the most evidence are asking for  evidence that's the problem that's when  it you start to go okay something else  is going on here something else is  happening here evidence doesn't matter  here it's a distraction from the real  heart issues that are going on so here's  some wisdom we get from this signs are  good and some people are really impacted  by signs or evidence I think signs are  just evidence in this case what sign do  you do to show who you are if that's  what they're asking is that science is  evidence so so evidence is good but  evidence doesn't do it for everyone and  those people will often just keep asking  for more signs or more evidence and  they'll say things like one of the  common atheist comments I get or  agnostic comments I get is there is no  evidence for God and you're like well  like how about I give you here's here's  one whole line of reasoning carefully  defended argument for God's existence  using different evidence from philosophy  and science there is no evidence for God  okay well let's take the teleological  argument we're gonna take this we're  gonna we're gonna argue this down using  the design in the universe and the  intricacies how about molecular biology  and just show that this is clearly  there's an intent going on in what's  happening how about the existence of the  human soul and they go there is no  evidence  okay fulfill prophecy in the scripture  and that they go there is no evidence  and so after a while it's like the  reverse of the emperor has no clothes  it's like they're running out there are  no clothes on anybody ever you know and  they start to see things that way and  this I think is a heart issue and it's  sad it's not good it's a sad thing it's  a heart condition that's going on I'm  gonna give you one more reason why Jesus  supports evidence and it connects to  this like I said this passage is  recorded in four Gospels let's look at  the parallels of this Matthew Matthew  and Luke in particular we'll look at  Matthew we'll also look a little bit at  Luke here but Matthew chapter 16 it  gives us another reason why why we  should think Jesus does support evidence  and that what he's really targeting is a  heart issue and that heart issues  actually vary  I would imagine more people more people  are from my personal experience more  people are turning their back on God  because of heart issues than evidence  issues I think that's probably the case  so here's the fourth reason Matthew 16  verses 1 through 4 I'm just gonna reach  3 through this it's our parallel passage  the Pharisees and Sadducees came up and  testing Jesus they asked him to show  them a sign from heaven but he replied  to them and this is the longer  explanation it's not the shortened  version we get from Ark when it is  evening you say it will be fair weather  for the sky is red and in the morning  there will be a storm today for the sky  is red and threatening do you know how  to discern the appearance of the sky but  cannot discern the signs of the times  so he's offering an analogy he answers  them with an analogy he's like look you  can tell the weather by looking at the  sky but you can't look at all the stuff  going on right now in my ministry and  see that I am the one but you can  discern the weather that and this is  this is actually what gets at the heart  of skepticism modern skepticism has two  sets of rules one rule for proving  things normally to be true and another  set of rules when they deal with  religion or Christianity and they all of  a sudden become super skeptical right  everything's you have to have crazy  amounts of evidence it's like this sort  of above the board above any sort of  logical like if they took these rules  and apply them to the rest of life they  would never know what the weather is  they would never know much of anything  they would just be like there's no  evidence for anything so here's for  anything that would be the response and  so one of the things you can hopefully  do to help people is you just say hey  look you're being inconsistent it's just  hard to be consistent as as a real  skeptic or even an atheist you'd apply  the same things that make you an atheist  to everything else in life for you  suddenly realize you have no  justification for hardly anything you  believe because you're making an  impossible rule for Christ or for God so  he says to them yeah you know the  weather but you don't know the times  verse for an evil and adulterous  generation seeks after a sign and a sign  will not be given it except the sign of  Jonah and he left them and went away  except the sign of Jonas so now we get  there's more to the whole story here  what's the sign of Jonah what is he  talking about well Matthew chapter 12 we  get more info on the sign of Jonah so  Matthew 12 38 through 42 it says then  some of the scribes and Pharisees said  to him teacher we want to see a sign  from you but he answered and said to  them an evil and adulterous generation  craves for a sign yet no sign will be  given to it but the sign of Jonah the  prophet and then he explains for as just  as Jonah was three days and three nights  in the belly of the sea monster so will  the Son of Man be three days and three  nights in the heart of the earth and  that's interesting translation  seamonster it just it's just the the  term is indeterminate it's a sea animal  we say whale or fish well they didn't  have these terms there's like a more  generic term for some big thing in the  ocean it would refer to a whale or  octopus or something you know it's just  like a big thing in the ocean so so this  is giving us the idea that Jesus is  really referring to his death and  resurrection what's the one sign I'm not  gonna give you a sign here I am in my  ministry at this point I'm done proving  myself to you you've already rejected me  you're stuck in that rejection your  last-ditch effort will be when I die and  rise we'll see how you respond to that  that's kind of what he's telling him the  ultimate sign the resurrection of Christ  interestingly enough the evidence for  the resurrection is one of the best  arguments for the truth of Christianity  still today after 2,000 years because we  have enough historical evidence still I  think that's so exciting so let's look  at some Jonah parallels because this is  really interesting when Jesus gives us  himself in the Old Testament so to speak  that's fun stuff Jonah was spit out of a  fish of some kind and that was a sign to  the people that God was speaking through  him it was it was like his condition  whether his he was looking crazy or  whatever there was something about this  situation with Jonah that caused the  people of Nineveh to be more likely to  listen to him and so with Christ when he  rises from the dead  you should listen to his words that's  the idea it's a verification of the  truth of his claims so how can how can  someone say Jesus rose from the dead but  Christianity is not true it just doesn't  really follow logically now I've heard  some people try to say it no heroes but  you know that doesn't mean Christianity  is true so maybe people just  sometimes like okay no sign will ever  please here you know at that point you  can't follow the logic where it's  supposed to lead you that's sad but  obviously if Jesus rose we have all of  Christianity being true hanging on the  back of his resurrection Jonah was sent  to undeserving Gentiles this is  interesting because of all the prophets  of Israel he was sent to undeserving  Gentiles he didn't want to go he's like  I want those Ninevites to die there are  really really bad people that's why God  was gonna judge them Jonah didn't want  to go he fled away from the presence of  the Lord to not have to go to Nineveh  because he just wanted them to die he's  like if I go and preach they have a  chance to repent and you're gracious and  you might forgive them I'd rather just  see them go down so he flees right the  undeserving Gentiles Jesus brought  salvation to people that these very  Pharisees would rather see burn they  prefer to see those people burn Jesus  brings them salvation so God's heart in  sending Jonah is the same as God's heart  in sending Jesus and it wasn't  understood by even Jonah's so here we  have you know legitimate leadership and  the people of Israel not understanding  God's ultimate mission for the salvation  of the world interesting parallel with  Jonah with Nineveh judgment was already  on its way and believing Jonah and  repenting was the only way to escape it  and with Jesus it's the same judgments  already upon us it's already coming  because of our sins God's delaying it  delaying it delaying it right but if you  trust in Christ and you repent you could  be forgiven of your sin and so it's neat  because Jonah didn't go and say you all  Ninevites y'all got to obey the Old  Testament law and then you could be  saved right it was just repent believe  me and repent and Jesus is like believe  me in repent turn from that godless life  to follow me trust and that's it it's  not a law thing that's I think that's  pretty interesting  so with Jesus it's the same Jonah was in  this sea creature whatever kind it was  for three days and three nights it would  really take a miracle for him to survive  wouldn't it I think people are like how  do I survive in the three days and three  nights and I'm like that's kind of the  point that's what makes it a sign  because Jesus didn't survive he died he  spent three days and nights well that's  the idiom  and then rose again as far as the idiom  I'll mention this real quick we have and  I have a video on this on the supposed  contradictions in the Bible the phrase  three days and nights is used multiple  times in the Bible we can absolutely  demonstrate this to mean even when it's  just part of a day they would just use  the phrase three days and three nights I  know that sounds weird to us because we  don't have that idiom but it's an idiom  in their culture so Jesus probably died  Friday Rose Sunday but they they would  call that so they have times where like  Daniels like I mean I somewhat a former  who was they were fasting for three days  and three nights they go I was fasting  for three days and three nights and  behold now it is the third day wait you  were if you fasted for three days and  three nights now it's the fourth day  right but they're like behold and now it  is the third day but they talk about it  like it's already been accomplished  because that's just what they would do  any section of the day was treated like  a whole day anyway so there's the the  timing of it all it would ultimately  take a miracle Jesus would be buried for  that same amount of time in Luke 16:31  though we get a revelation of from Jesus  of the problem with even the  resurrection why even the resurrection  of Jesus might not change people and  have them following Christ even if they  become convinced that he really rose  Luke 16:31 says if they do not listen to  Moses and the prophets they will not be  persuaded even if someone rises from the  dead  the issue with following Christ isn't  just about the truth of Christianity  it's about whether you want to follow  Christ or not and the constant requests  to see more evidence and see more  evidence and see more evidence there's a  there's a point at which Jesus is just  like there's no more for you this isn't  an evidence issue this is a heart issue  now I don't really know when to do that  with people I really do I feel rude I  don't know their hearts Jesus actually  knows their hearts he's got like this  skill that I do not possess he could be  call people out hypocrite you know and  I'm like I don't know for sure what's  going on in that person's heart you know  they're asking for evidence I'll try to  give them evidence but there's but I'm  sure I've banged my head against the  wall many times trying to give people  reasons and reasons and reasons when it  had nothing to do with reason and had  everything to do with desire  and the Lord knows the Lord knows when  the when to do that or when not to do  that I really don't know but Jesus does  offer his death and resurrection with  this Jonah example his death and  resurrection is like the ultimate  miracle the ultimate sign to prove who  he is this is like the ultimate sign and  I think that like I said the beautiful  thing is we have the evidence for it  today so let me tell you let me tell you  a story about Gary Habermas how you guys  know Gary Habermas familiar with the  name Gary Habermas he's a scholar he's  actually a very well respected  historical Jesus scholar highly  respected around the world Gary Habermas  decided he wanted to build a case for  the resurrection of Christ using using  history except he realized that when he  was trying to prove Jesus rose to  non-believing even thoughtful guys even  scholars or historians that they would  want to dispute every little detail  about the life of Christ and so as he's  trying to gather all his evidence they  would want to pick apart each piece of  the evidence and so at least as I  understand it my understanding of how  this how this happened is he's like well  what if I only take the pieces of  evidence that historians have a a  consensus on over 90% agreement and I  and I even if something's true but if I  don't have over 90% of historians  agreeing on it I won't use it as  evidence  so he'll only gather like the most solid  the most absolute confident things the  historical bedrock about Jesus and so he  gathers these historical bedrock pieces  and then he builds what he calls his  minimal facts case minimal factor  doesn't mean this is all that's true  about Jesus  it just means hey can we at least agree  that the consensus will hold - and then  say what happened what explains these  facts like Jesus being crucified under  Pontius Pilate the his he actually had  real disciples who believed that they  saw him alive from the dead that James  and Paul who were who had rejected  Christ during his life and Paul who was  an enemy of Christ became converted  after thinking that they had seen Jesus  alive from the dead that they seemed to  be sincere in these beliefs based upon  the lives they lived so they just Hearst  a piece together these kind of minimal  facts actually has a number of minimal  facts but he gathers them together and  then says now let's talk about  historically as historians what's the  best  the nation for these facts well Jesus he  had a twin brother  okay well that falls short for all sorts  of historical reasons I don't know how  his twin brother convinced James his  brother that he was the risen Lord but  James didn't follow him when he was  alive yeah that's a little confusing  okay Jesus he didn't really die on the  cross right he swooned  well historians have really thrown this  out the swoon theory is mostly dead  right it's most mostly bad that's what  it is and and people don't pay attention  to it and for the most part so that  swoon theory seems to be out we have  wild theories that come up some people  say well when Jesus was buried in the  tomb there was an earthquake right we  have that in the text and then the there  was a crack in the tomb and Jesus's body  rolled down into the crack and so later  when they opened the tomb they were like  he's gone they didn't notice like a  human body sized crack in the wall and  look down it or anything they just like  he's God and then the disciples must  have what hallucinate it and in fact  hallucination is the number one promoted  theory in response but most historians  when they look at this minimal facts  case they won't even present an  alternate hypothesis they just go yeah  we don't know what happened now it's  sometimes when you say we don't know  what happened I think that's totally  legit but when you have a number of  pieces of evidence that are all best  explained that's you know the  explanatory power of the resurrection  they're best explained by Jesus's  resurrection and the other the other  explanations fall way short then you  have explanatory scope as in it explains  all these pieces of evidence as opposed  to only explaining to with this theory  three with that theory one with that  theory you have all these weird  patchwork things going on she have  explanatory scope explanatory power it  doesn't it's not ad hoc it's not just  made up on the spot like the crack in  the wall someone says well maybe the  rock had special properties and his  bodies dissolved super fast someone said  that and I'm like how dumb do they think  people were back then apparently pretty  dumb so so we have these these these  reasons to believe Jesus rose from the  dead  exploratory power explanatory scope less  degree of ad hoc eNOS all that kind of  thing  well that's not and I don't know  situation that's a this is the best  explanation for the evidence situation  and so he presents this but I would  suggest to you guys this that there's  plenty of people who don't care what the  historical evidence is no matter what  you bring it's not relevant so bard  Airmen who is a historian he says about  this that it doesn't matter how much  evidence you bring historians are not  allowed to say that a miracle occurred  now what if I was against black holes  and I said it doesn't matter how much  evidence you bring of black holes  physicists aren't allowed to say the  black holes happen or exist  wait that's that's dogma that's not like  evidence that's just Dogma it's what it  is and that's what we get sometimes let  me give you some more examples Jesus  gives us his ultimate miracle we can  build a case even today even using even  stripping us of all kinds of true things  just to show you the minimal facts and  try to show you that Christ rose but  often you find out here that evidence  would not convince anybody here's some  examples Peter Atkins well-respected  atheist thoughtful guy brilliant man he  was recently in a debate on unbelievable  the unbelievable is a really interesting  Christian debate well Christians and  non-christians debating online and  Justin Brierley the host of the show  asked him Peter Atkins what sort of  evidence could science or the physical  universe present to you that would  convince you that there is a mind behind  the universe Peter Atkins says I find  that a very difficult question Brierly  says if the stars lined up to spell  Peter please believe in me  Peter Atkins says I put it down to  madness then Hugh Ross the guy he's  debating in this particular discussion  says it sounds like Peter that there's  no evidence that would persuade you away  from atheism and then Peter Atkins says  well to be honest I think that's  probably the case think about this there  is no evidence that could persuade you  away from atheism it's not possible  there's no such thing as evidence in any  yeah I think that's probably the case  then how does this discussion make sense  when the whole discussions about  evidence for God and he's like there is  no evidence that could convince me  there's a God something's wrong here  well Peter Atkins is then asked a  question by Justin Brierley he says in  that sense do you even have an  evidence-based view if you're committed  to atheism a priori or before the fact  before you look at evidence then Atkins  says I suppose even if I died and was  confronted with st. Peter saying welcome  to heaven  I'd probably think I was dreaming those  are you can check it I'll put a link in  the video description you want to see  that conversation you can check it out  yourself Gary Habermas had a  conversation with Anthony Antony flew an  engineer Tony flew right Antony flew was  like one of the most famous atheists of  the twin of the 20th century the last  century hugely famous very influential  brilliant man at the time he was an  atheist when they had this conversation  later he became a theist or a type of  deist I don't really know what he  believed at the point in which he died  but he wrote a book about how he changed  his mind because of molecular biology  he thought it provided real evidence  forgot but at the time back then in this  debate with hammer mass he was not open  to the evidence here's their some of  their conversation however mass versus  flu he was asked what would count as  good evidence and he couldn't come up  with a good answer so then however  master asked him is your view  unfalsifiable now to a thinking mind or  scientific mind to have a view that's  unfalsifiable is kind of a negative  right like you can't prove it wrong and  then he started to kind of philosophize  about things and he says well the  unfalsifiable 'ti of unbelief is somehow  a different problem than the  unfalsifiable 'ti of belief different  set of rules for dealing with belief  versus unbelief right then finally he  was pushed and pushed and pushed kind of  like Peter Atkins was and he finally  says this I suppose I have an almost  unfalsifiable disinclination to believe  the resurrection story he's like I guess  I just I'm in disinclined I'm just  disinclined regardless of the evidence  then why are they talking about evidence  right this is what Jesus did when he was  like look no sign will be given to you  this is a different issue  these are leading Athey  thinkers I'm talking about Hume he wrote  his wrote his book argument against  miracles all that kind of thing he said  that no testimony of a miracle is ever  to be believed and he became hugely  influential in the thinking of  philosophers in our time even Hume David  Hume this guy said no evidence no  testimony of a miracle is ever to be  believed that's just a rule where you  don't believe no matter the evidence  whose closed-minded at least Christians  were like hey at least follow the  evidence where it leads they're like  yeah but what if it leads to God  no no evidence can lead me they're  barred Airmen again I mention him he  said his historians aren't allowed to  conclude a resurrection happen because  it would be a miracle so no matter what  the evidence you're not allowed to say  that it's not that hard to see the  problem with this thinking Matt  Dillahunty had he's a leading online  atheist he's not a scholar thinker but  he's a really influential online guy he  had a conversation with Mike like oh no  where Mike like Kona offered him a  hypothetical said hey Matt Dillahunty  would you believe in God or at least not  even blood he says would you believe in  that afterlife if on stage in front of  you someone came and chop my head off  and you saw it happen you knew I was  dead and then you see me later  my head's back on I'm alive again and I  have a special message from your  deceased aunt or loved one that only you  and them knew about and I tell you the  message and he goes now would you  believe there's at least an afterlife  and his answer can you guess he says no  because it's stubborn unbelief it's not  about evidence here not about evidence  so I want to be careful here with  Jesus's words you see how applicable  they are today who are the modern  Pharisees in some ways it's atheism in  some ways it's agnosticism in some way  it's it's the I don't know but I'm not  always going to not know no matter how  much evidence there is that's that's  unfortunately in some cases what it is  so I'm not saying everyone has the same  evidence the Pharisees are in a  particular place for evidence they have  way more evidence than most people today  how but for those who do examine the  evidence and do consider the evidence  and you see what's there it should be  compelling belief at that point god only  holds us responsible for the evidence  we've actually been  those two in this life that's an  important thing to know we're not held  responsible as though we watched him  rise from the dead ourselves if we  didn't  we're just held responsible for what he  has revealed to us we're only  accountable for those times those types  of things we get this in scripture when  Jesus puts woe on corazon in visalia  he's like hey if the miracles done in  you were done in sodom and gomorrah they  would repent it it's gonna be worse for  you in judgment than for them because  they had way more evidence than Sodom  and Gomorrah had so god only calls us to  be accountable for what we have been  exposed to what we've been made aware of  so I'm not saying that everyone has the  same evidence or that everyone's held  accountable to the same as if they've  had the same evidence I am saying that  there are all kinds of spiritual issues  that factor into our requests for  evidence he calls him a wicked and  adulterous generation certainly the  Pharisees thought they were sincere  God's seekers I'm a sincere seeker how  dare you say that to me Jesus but Jesus  knows their art now I don't usually have  the courage or the wisdom to know when  to tell someone they're just being  wicked and adulterous against God you  don't really care about evidence but I  do sometimes ask one question which is  this let's suppose Christianity was true  would you follow Jesus follow him not  just acknowledge his existence would you  follow him would you yield your life to  Christ follow Christ  worship God and if their answer is no  then I say evidence isn't your problem  because even if it was true you still  wouldn't you wouldn't come in line you  wouldn't yield your hardened life to  Christ that's a different issue so I  have asked that question before and  found it to be something that helps  people realize because they don't  realize they're doing it usually in my  experience it's not self aware that  they're rejecting these things like that  but some people when they reject Jesus  and say I'm just being rational we can  compare that to even testimonies from  people who were non-believers who after  they got saved or they tell you man I  was not rational I said I was rational I  thought I was rational but I'm telling  you I was not there was all kinds of  other stuff going on I didn't want to  stop my lifestyle I didn't want to yield  to God I didn't want it to be true and  then you realize there's that there's a  different issue here John 7:17 Jesus  says if anyone is willing to do his will  he will know of the teaching whether  of God or whether I speak for myself  speaking again of the will is my will  desiring to yield to God then I'm in a  much better position to see the truth of  Christianity but if my will is rejecting  God that might be why I can't see the  truth of it either I my my vision may be  skewed by my will so the will is the  issue not the intellect in this case I  wonder if the Atheist said I really am  willing to believe in God if at least  more if you took a hundred atheist who  say no no matter what I'm rejecting God  and 100 who said no I'm really willing I  really want to see the evidence  I don't know how genuine their hearts  are they don't know how genuine how  often do we really know our hearts but  I'll bet more of them would get saved  you know a little bit more of them would  give their lives to Christ and respond  to the evidence  so not trying to be rude or mean or  cruel or anything like that but if  you're saying okay Mike that might be me  that might be me like I'm listening and  I'm thinking this is it's a will issue  I've been pretending it's evidence I  actually thought it was evidence issue  but I think you're right I think it  might just be my will what can I do and  I think the call in scripture is not to  condemn you the kahlan Scripture is to  make you aware of this so you could  humble yourself and start seeking the  Lord and start praying and asking God  Lord I think I'm just unwilling help me  with this please meet me here meet me  here help me out my heart is hard and I  don't want but maybe I want to want you  know I'd like to like help me here and  start seeking the Lord because if you  humble yourself God will draw near to  you he promises it in his word and  certainly there's no downside if you're  wrong if Christianity is wrong you  humble yourself and seek the Lord it's  not like something Bad's gonna happen  you why not just humble yourself seek  him and see if your eyes become open now  I want you get to give you as a contrast  though because I don't want to create a  one dimensional view of unbelief or  doubt so let's turn to mark chapter 9  we'll close on this this is a whole  different scenario Jesus encounters a  guy who's struggling with belief and he  and he deals of them completely  differently than the Pharisees you know  the passage but I think it's really neat  mark chapter 9 verse 14 we'll read all  the way through 27  and when you get there all right when  they came back to the disciples they saw  a large crowd around them and some  scribes arguing with them immediately  when the entire crowd saw him they were  amazed and began running up to greet him  and he asked them what are you  discussing with them and one of the  crowd answered him teacher I brought I  brought you my son possessed with a  spirit which makes him mute and whenever  it seizes him it slams him to the ground  and he foams at the mouth and grinds his  teeth and stiffens out I told your  disciples to cast it out and they could  not do it and he answered them and said  o unbelieving generation how long shall  I be with you how long shall I put up  with you bring him to me they brought  the boy to him when he saw him  immediately the spirit threw him into a  convulsion and falling to the ground he  began rolling around and foaming at the  mouth and he asked his father how long  has this been happening to him and he  said from childhood it has often thrown  him both into the fire and into the  water to destroy him but if you can do  anything take pity on us and help us and  notice what he says if you can if you  can I want help I don't even necessarily  trust that you can he's kind of  somewhere on the fence when it comes to  belief and Jesus said to him if you can  all things are possible to him who  believes  look at the guys response immediately  the boy's father cried out and said I do  believe help my unbelief  you just get to phrenic man like what's  wrong with you you do believe help my  unbelief I believe but I don't believe  at the same time now I think a ton of  people are like oh no I know exactly  what that's like I know exactly how that  feels and this is not the Pharisees that  Jesus is rebuked this is a different guy  isn't he he's like I believe lord help  my unbelief hears me I'm open Lord I'm  willing but man I'm struggling I'm  struggling I'm dealing with doubt I'm  not I don't have certainty but I'm  reaching out to you and look at what  Jesus says I do believe help my unbelief  when Jesus saw that a crowd was rapidly  gathering he rebuked the unclean spirit  and said to it you deaf and mute spirit  I command you come out of him and do not  enter him again after crying out and  throwing him into a terrible convulsions  it came out and the boy became so much  like a corpse that most of them said  he's dead but Jesus  took him by the hand and raised him up  and he got up  how did here's Jesus I can heal him if  you will believe  here's him I believe and I don't believe  at the same time help and here's Jesus  that's good enough and he heals him you  mean I don't have to have total perfect  certainty as a Christian to have faith  no no I mean it's good it's nice to feel  super confident and strong but you can  also be really staggering in week and  the Lord meets you there and he will and  he will accept you and embrace you  because belief and unbelief coexisting  is different than rejecting Christ and  that's that's something he accepts if  this is you then God meets you there if  your posture is like my arms are folded  prove it  pray about daming add that's good luck  with that that's an attitude issue  that's not an evidence issue but if  you're here I think that Jesus meets you  there there's one other example I'll  give to just I want to round this out I  don't want us to think of people as  two-dimensional or three-dimensional  people we go through all kinds of  different situations one week we're this  week we're that way you know in John 1  verses 45 through 51 we meet someone  who's kind of in the middle ground  they're a little bit like obstinate like  the Fleck doubting but then they see a  piece of evidence and they immediately  become convinced right so they're  they're a different scenario than the  Pharisees in John 1:45 had read about  that his name is Nathaniel right he's  one of the disciples in John 1:45 says  philip found nathanael and said to him  we found him of whom Moses in the law  and also the prophets wrote Jesus of  Nazareth the son of Joseph through Moses  in the law they all wrote of him he's  the he's the one right he's the Messiah  basically and Nathanael said to him can  anything good come out of Nazareth this  is like a scoffing mocking phrase it  seems that way to me right like he's  kind of like Jesus oh so you tell me  something like first century Jews so  even the world hard from our sin is that  what you're telling me like it's kind of  that attitude but there's an openness in  Nathanael because Philip says to him  come and see he asked him to be open to  the evidence right come and see come and  see come and check out Jesus verse 47  Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him  instead of him behold and is  light indeed in whom there is no deceit  Nathanael said to him how do you know me  you know me jesus answered and said to  him before Philip called you when you  were under the fig tree I saw you okay  this is obviously knowledge a human  couldn't have now this to a later - you  know 21st century audience you're like  well how do I know they didn't just  write that but look Nathanael wasn't  struggling with that at all right he's  there at the time Jesus is like I saw  you under the fig tree and he's like oh  and he realizes he is in the presence of  someone who he underestimated greatly so  Nathanael he responds and he says rabbi  you are the son of God you are the king  of Israel and he's like blown away it's  like coming across a king the the young  king when he pulls the sword out of the  stone  like oh you're the one I thought you  were just a scrawny little we were  watching a movie the other day so I  can't Oh Arthur right Arthur Richard I  forget I wasn't paying for a much  attention to it apparently so he's like  rabbi you are the son of God you are the  king of Israel jesus answered and said  to him because I said to you I saw you  under the fig tree do you believe you  will see greater things than these and  he said to him truly truly I say to you  you will see this the heavens opened and  the angels of God ascending and  descending on the Son of Man which is  actually passage we're gonna come to  really soon in our studies for the  Gospel of Mark so to them to the people  in sort of the middle ground I'm really  I'm open I'm skeptical but I'm really  open seek seek  but bet your heart that you aren't  resisting God himself because this is  not just information about the truth of  the world you're getting it's a it's a  response to the offer of relationship  with God through Jesus which confronts  my sin and I got to do with all my  issues the whole person responds to the  gospel not just the mind not just the  mind so evidence is there and evidence  is good the real issue though will come  down to my will so take care of your  will be willing to yield to God to give  your will over to him and you'll be in a  better position to find truth even if it  might be a struggle even if it might be  a season of struggle and a hard time  take care of your wealth let's pray  Lord we ask that you'd help us to see  our problems the issues of our own wills  where we might be coming proud we might  be proud we might be arrogant  inconsistent in the way we handle truth  causing us to reject things that we were  just altom utley we've come to a place  where we'd rather not believe that we'd  rather not yield to that lord help us  help us to not think that we're just  we're commander Spock we're just logic  choppers and we just always follow truth  wherever it leads but to realize we're  we're full people with all of our  influences and all of our issues and  it's so important for us to just be  yielded to you God so show us show us  where we have errors show us where we're  wrong help us to see the truth of God  help us to grow help us to be humble and  help us to be recognizing where our own  spiritual issues are being are the  things that are influencing us and we're  we're getting distracted by excuses and  we pray you'd help us Lord in Jesus name  Amen

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