1 Peter 3:15
It’s VBS time again, & the THEME for this year is “Belle Aire Agency D:3,Mission Possible.”
The D3 stands for:
DEFEND the TRUTH that is the GOSPEL.
Therefore, we pray that our VBS children will:
DISCOVER the truth – i.e., they will have the GOSPEL PRESENTED & EXPLAINED to them.
DECIDE – one must DECIDE to BECOME a Christian; one must CHOOSE to BELIEVE the gospel.
DEFEND – to DEFEND the truth, I must KNOW it & BELIEVE it.
As Tim Keller explained, “It is no longer sufficient to hold beliefs just because you inherited them. Only if you struggle long and hard with objections to your faith will you be able to provide grounds for your beliefs to skeptics, including yourself, that are plausible rather than ridiculous or offensive.”
Some REALITIES, therefore, must be kept in mind:
Our children need to know WHO – WHAT – WHY they believe.
A Christian who cannot ARTICULATE & DEFEND his faith:
Doesn’t have the KNOWLEDGE he should have (he is on a milk vs. a meat diet);
Doesn’t have the DEFENSE he must have: 2 Cor. 10:4-6.
May “LOSE” his faith: Matt. 13:20-22.
Cannot OBEY the Great Commission.
1 Pet. 3:15:
I cannot DEFEND what I do not KNOW.
I cannot give an EXPLANATION or a DEFENSE of my faith if no one ASKS for it.
And no one will ASK for it if they are not IMPRESSED or at least CURIOUS about the supposed DIFFERENCE that JESUS has made in my life.
Therefore, I must “honor the Messiah as Lord” in my heart – i.e., my HEART must become a SANCTUARY in which my Lord is WORSHIPED, LOVED, & OBEYED.
Here are the DAILY POINTS that the kids will be studying:
“Is Jesus really God’s Son?” What does SCRIPTURE say? Matt. 3:13-17; John 1:29-36.
Much of the WORLD, though, does NOT BELIEVE this basic tenet of our faith.
Consider, for example, the religion of ISLAM:
There are approximately 1.6 billion Muslims in the world today, or about 23% of the population.
Islam is the SECOND LARGEST & FASTEST GROWING religion in the world.
The TEACHINGS of Islam, with its key points of DISAGREEMENT with Christianity, REPRESENT what our kids are FACING in terms of DOUBT & OPPOSITION to the gospel.
Very basically, DOUBT & DISBELIEF come from:
Other RELIGIONS (including Christian CULTS like Mormonism);
Militant ATHEISM, which is NURTURED in many of our UNIVERSITIES.
Dr. Albert Mohler wrote that “The New Atheists are, in their own way, evangelistic in intent and ambitious in hope. They see atheism as the only plausible worldview for our times, and they see belief in God as downright dangerous . . . They see science as on their side and argue that scientific knowledge is our only true knowledge . . . They know that the most important audience is the young, and they are in a position to reach young people with their arguments.”
The DISINTERESTED – those who DON’T KNOW the gospel & DON’T CARE that they don’t know it; they’re BUSY & they’re basically FINE WITHOUT it.
They’re not OPPOSED to the gospel – in fact, many of them are OPEN to at least HEARING what we have to say – IF;
The DEFENSE of our faith is SOLID, &
The DEMONSTRATION of our faith is COMPELLING.
Going back to our question, IS JESUS REALLY GOD’S SON; what does ISLAM have to say?
James R. White writes, “Muslims often say they are part of the second-largest religion that teaches people to love Jesus . . . in Islam one must believe a man named Jesus, a virgin-born, miracle-working prophet sent by Allah, existed at the beginning of the first century in the environs around Jerusalem . . . Jesus is one of the messengers Allah sent with the singular message of monotheism. He may have been virgin-born, worked miracles, even raised the dead, but the Qur’an’s message is that on the level of being, He was a messenger just like Abraham and Moses and the others.”
The Qur’an says, “O People of the Book! . . . The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only a Messenger of Allah . . . So believe in Allah and His Messengers, and say not ‘three’ . . . Far is it removed from His transcendence that He should have a son.”
Therefore, IS JESUS REALLY GOD’S SON?
“Was Jesus more than just a good man?”
Mark 6:30-56 – the feeding of the 5,000; Jesus walking on water; Jesus healing the multitudes.
But “The Qur’an sees the servanthood of Jesus the Messiah as an argument against belief in Christ’s deity.”(White)
The Qur’an states, “The Messiah son of Mary was none other than a Messenger, before whom Messengers had passed away. And his mother was a saintly woman.”
Both of these claims CANNOT be TRUE! HOW, then, do we DEFEND our belief that Jesus is the SON of GOD?
“Was Jesus’ death real?”
Mark 14:22-28 (the Last Supper, & the prediction by Jesus of His death & resurrection); & Mark 15:22-47 (the death & resurrection of Jesus).
But “Muslims . . . deny that Jesus died on the cross. In fact, most believe He was taken up to heaven without dying at all.” (White)
The Qur’an states, “They slew him not, nor crucified him, but it appeared so to them . . . certainly they slew him not.”
Therefore, “The Christian must recognize that, for the Muslim, the cross of Christ is a scandal.”
1 Cor. 1:22-25
“Is Jesus alive?”
Luke 24:1-48 (the resurrection of Jesus; His appearance on the road to Emmaus; His appearance before the apostles; His ascension).
White says that “Many Christians are shocked to learn that Islam has a doctrine of the second coming of Jesus. It most assuredly does . . . The Messiah returns as a Muslim and prays with the Muslim armies.”
“What do I do with the evidence about Jesus?”
Acts 2:14-42 (Peter’s Pentecost sermon): vs.22-24, 32-33, 36.
V.37 – what will YOU do?
Will you BELIEVE it?
Will you SHARE it?
Will you DEFEND it?
Will you LIVE it?
Our MISSION is POSSIBLE!
Will we ACCEPT it?