Date written: August 5th, 2007
Scripture ref: John 20:30-31
TITLE: Why Believe?
PROPOSITION: Why ought we to believe? 1) I want to believe. 2) There is good reason to believe. 3) Because of the consequences of not believing. 4) Because of the rewards of believing.
Objectives: That each would be motivated to believe and to live their life based upon that motivation.
1. Read: John 20:30-31
2. About the Text:
1) Many scholars believe that John wrote in the 90s A.D.
2) This would have been long after most of the apostles and many of the eyewitnesses had died.
3) John's gospel was written to persuade the undecided to believe that Jesus was the Son of God.
4) John relies mainly upon his testimony of the miracles that he witnesses Jesus do as well as his testimony of the resurrection.
5) He concludes in these verses that he has written these things so that those who read it may believe.
6) Perhaps one thing, however, that we should consider before we think about John's testimony is the question, “Why Believe?”
7) Let's consider some answers to this question in our study tonight.
3. Ref. to S, T, P, O, and A.
DISCUSSION: Why believe?
I. Because I want to believe.
1. To not believe implies certain things that I would have to accept.
1) That there is no God.
2) That there is no right or wrong.
3) That friends and family are unimportant.
4) That life is essentially without meaning.
5) That life really isn't worth living.
6) That death is the end.
2. I want to believe because.
1) I am an optimist.
2) I want to believe God exists.
3) I want there to be right and wrong.
4) My friends and family are important.
5) Life is worth living.
6) Life has meaning.
7) I don't want to believe that death is the end.
3. These are reasons not for believing, but for wanting to believe.
4. Why is wanting to believe important?
5. Because our attitude toward believing makes a difference in an honest evaluation of the evidence.
II. Because there are good reasons to believe.
1. In the existence of God.
1) There must be a great cause to describe the great effect of the Universe.
a. Something didn't come from nothing.
b. Something came from something.
2) An intelligent design requires an intelligent Designer.
3) There must be an Ultimate Arbiter of what is right and wrong.
2. In the Bible as the word of God.
1) All other world religions imply self contradictions.
2) Because of the fulfilled prophecy in scripture.
3) Because of the accuracy of the scientific knowledge found in scripture.
a. The medical knowledge found in Genesis through Deuteronomy.
b. Hydrological knowledge.
c. Historical knowledge.
4) Because of the lofty moral standard set forth in the scriptures.
a. The golden rule.
b. Sexual standards.
c. Obey Government
d. Love family and one another.
3. In Jesus as the Son of God.
1) Because the testimony of the witnesses is credible.
a. John 19:35 “And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe.”
b. 2 Peter 1:16 “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.”
2) Because of the willingness of the witnesses to suffer and die for what they believed.
a. Stephen was put to death.
b. James was put to death.
c. Paul suffered many things.
d. Tradition says that all of the apostles except John were martyred.
3) Because the greatest enemy of Christianity was converted to Christianity (Saul/Paul).
a. Saul was the greatest enemy of the church.
b. He wreaked havoc on the church (Acts 8:3).
c. Yet he became a Christian after Jesus appeared to him. Why?
III. The potential consequences for not believing are harsh.
1. To fail to believe the great moral standards of the Bible brings harsh consequences upon my life.
1) Sexual disease.
3) Child abuse.
5) Always involved in physical conflict.
6) Early death.
2. To fail to believe the great spiritual truths of the Bible.
1) No reason to live life.
2) Life has no meaning.
3) Ultimately, if wrong, one spends an eternity in hell.
a. 2 Peter 2:9 “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:”
b. Matthew 25:41 “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:”
IV. The rewards for believing are great.
1. In regard to morality.
1) One lives the best possible life that one can live on earth.
2) Freedom from disease.
3) Have great relationships with family and friends.
4) In good standing with the government.
5) Live a long peaceful life.
2. In regard to spirituality.
1) There is a reason to live life. Ecclesiastes 12:13.
2) Life has meaning. 1 Corinthians 6:20 “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
3) God will reward the faithful with heaven.
a. 2 Timothy 4:8 “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”
b. James 1:12 “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.”
1. Why believe?
1) Because I want to believe.
2) Because there are good reasons for believing.
3) Because the consequences of not believing are harsh.
4) Because the rewards for believing are great.