The Evidence From External Sources
is more evidence from external sources for why you should believe in Jesus
than any of us could absorb in a lifetime. Some of them are so well known
and easily taken for granted, that people don't grasp the evidence-value
start, you are probably aware that He is such a significant figure in
history that our calendar starts with Him. That should give us a clue
as to His positive impact on the world.
with only 12 believers, now more than 2.7 billion people consider themselves
followers of Jesus as He is depicted in the Bible.
currently has more followers than any other human being has ever had, by far.
you believe God does not exist, you might want to consider how far in
the minority you are. About 79% of the world's population believe in a
Most High God and claim to follow his ways.
have met a large number of people who are shocked to hear that the vast
majority of people believe God exists. Why are they shocked? Because throughout
their lives, they have been exposed mostly to people who are unbelievers
or are negative about the God they imagine might exist.
who identify as athiests, believing God does not exist, are in an extremely
of people living outside China or Russia believe in God or have not shut
the door to believing. About 3% of the world's population are atheists.
Of that 89% live in China or Russia. That amounts to 2.68% of the earth's
Russia, only 13% of the 36 million people are athiests. In China, the
percentage not believing in a religion is 67%. That leaves up to 462.6
million possible believers in China.
simple subtraction it leaves about 0.32% of the the world's population
other than in China and Russia self-identified as athiests. All of these
statistics indicate a relatively infinitesimal percentage of athiests
in the world.
(Wikipedia's statistics appear well-documented as of the date posted.)
Similarly, very few people outside China and Russia, can be counted as
agnostics. An agnostic is a person who holds that it is unknown whether
God exists, at least to them personally.
agnosticism is a well-known stance, there are so few agnostics in the
world, that a trustworthy record of their numbers does not exist. Ironically,
the few that do exist seem to have a very large voice, especially in certain
have experienced an elevated presence of agnosticism among professors
in secular universities, their students, and influencers in secular media
small groups like this have wide-scale influence, it seems they are not
course, a truth is not determined by how many people believe it. However,
the facts indicate belief in the Most High God is by far, the most prevalent
of intelligent choices. It indicates most people find belief in God credible.
compelling, yet widely overlooked piece of evidence is this: The book
that tells Jesus' life story is the book that has sold the most copies
of all time, namely the Holy Bible. This should indicate that many people
read it and give it great value.
Bible demonstrates God's existence thousands of times in various ways.
It portrays the life of Jesus from many human witnesses. It tells His
habits, His unique oratory acumen, His sense of humor, His sarcasm against
deceptive evil-doers, His friendship, His empathy, His compassionate emotions
(crying, lamenting, healing the lepers), and many other intimate and intricate
Nearly everything we see that indicates a strong anti-Jesus sentiment
in modern western culture, is ironically evidence of Jesus. Why? Because if Jesus
wasn't real, nobody would be so militantly trying to discredit and disrespect
If Jesus wasn't real, there would be no Easter Bunny to subtly obscure
the real meaning of Easter, or Santa Claus to rob Christmas of its main
character. All Saints Day would not be superceded in our culture by Halloween
as a holiday.
The Evidence of Impact on Other Religions
major world religions made a place for Jesus in their set of beliefs after
Christianity became popular. It is not necessarily the Jesus portrayed
in the Bible, but it indicates Jesus had an impact.
became inclusive of Jesus by changing His theological persona to fit with
existing Hindu theology and religion. Hindus accept Jesus as a real being,
who existed on earth as an avatar of divine origin and meaning. They have
great respect for Jesus in this context, though it is obviously far from
the biblical Christian way of thinking.
Jesus as their coming messiah and a great prophet. Again, it is not the
Jesus of the biblical Trinity, but a lesser Jesus contrived humanly, just
as the Quran's stories of His birth were creatively altered from the original
accounts. However, Islam recognizes Jesus was born of a virgin, performed
miracles, had twelve disciples, and was raised into heaven.
Mohammed had a great respect for Jesus and understood a form of Christianity, but
wanted to create a religion for his special culture. To me it is sad Mohammed
left out the very center of the good news that Jesus died on the cross
to save us from sin and give eternal life to each person who believes
in Him as their personal Savior.
out the differences not to engender strife, but to underline the impact
of Jesus on the world, even on the second and third largest religious
Let's take a
quick detour, and return momentarily to show mathematically, how the
majority of people on earth, believe Jesus exists. I am not naive
to the negative aspects, in which satan can manipulate counterfeit teachings,
to lead people away from the truth, and can even stir up jihadists to persecute
Christians in mass numbers. However, not enough Christians see the future
positives, in which God may have moved in other religions, to include some
endearing aspects about Jesus. It is not out-of-the-question, when I look
at this as potentially God, providing an opportunity to impact the adherents
of these religions, bringing them closer to openness about a truer understanding
of our Savior.
However, not enough
Christians see the positives, in which God may have moved in other religions, to
include some endearing aspects about Jesus. It is not out-of-the-question, when
I look at this as potentially, God providing an opportunity to impact the adherents
of these religions, bringing them closer to openness, about a truer understanding
of our Savior.
If we add to
our previously stated numerical population evidence, the inclusion of people
with a positive view of Jesus in other religions, we could add 3.2 billion to
the 2.4 billion I mentioned for Jesus followers, summing to 5.6 billion.
In other words, that is a lot of people who believe that Jesus exists.
It is the majority of people on earth. Would a person be blind not to admit
that Jesus has made a big splash in history and world culture?
show some respect to the major world religions, knowing that some of the ways of
including Jesus involved sincerity for different mindsets to embrace Jesus as
they saw Him fitting with their cultures.
Of course, they were remiss in stripping
out the central and crucial messages of salvation by faith in Jesus, His atoning work
on the cross, and His resurrection.
The Evidence in Historical
evidence points to the reality of Jesus. An example of an historical proof
is that of Flavius Josephus, the non-believing historian of the first
century. The part most considered to validate the historicity of Jesus
is when he wrote:
was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the Sanhedrin
of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called
Christ, whose name was James, and some others, [or, some of his companions];
and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law,
he delivered them to be stoned: but as for those who seemed the most equitable
of the citizens, and such as were the most uneasy at the breach of the
laws, they disliked what was done; they also sent to the king [Agrippa],
desiring him to send to Ananus that he should act so no more, for that
what he had already done was not to be justified;'' - Josephus Antiquities
20.9.1 (bracketted info mine)
written about James the brother of Jesus on His mother's side. James wrote the
book of James in the New Testament. This passage is the earliest
non-Christian historical documentation of Jesus ''called Christ''
appearing authentic to scholars. It is considered to have been written
in 93-94 AD.
also recorded other accounts coinciding with the New Testament. For example,
here is his account of King Herod and John the Baptist, both contemporaries
of Jesus and New Testament figures:
some of the Jews thought that the destruction of Herod's army came from
God as a just punishment of what Herod had done against John, who was
called the Baptist. For Herod had killed this good man, who had commanded
the Jews to exercise virtue, righteousness towards one another and piety
towards God. For only thus, in John's opinion, would the baptism he administered
be acceptable to God, namely, if they used it to obtain not pardon for
some sins but rather the cleansing of their bodies, inasmuch as it was
taken for granted that their souls had already been purified by justice.
Now many people came in crowds to him, for they were greatly moved by
his words. Herod, who feared that the great influence John had over the
masses might put them into his power and enable him to raise a rebellion
(for they seemed ready to do anything he should advise), thought it best
to put him to death. In this way, he might prevent any mischief John might
cause, and not bring himself into difficulties by sparing a man who might
make him repent of it when it would be too late. Accordingly John was
sent as a prisoner, out of Herod's suspicious temper, to Machaerus, the
castle I already mentioned, and was put to death. Now the Jews thought
that the destruction of his army was sent as a punishment upon Herod,
and a mark of God's displeasure with him.'' - Josephus Antiquities
by Josephus correlate historically with Bible passages. Josephus added insight
about the political aspects and Herod's suspicious temper.
are from Josephus's own interpretation of the occurences. They may have been
true, while not not reflecting the biblical insight about John's imprisonment
and death. However, they support the New Testament accounts that John the Baptist
was truly an historical figure, a preacher of righteousness, imprisoned, and put
to death in the time frame biblically depicted.
Original disciples of Jesus
were still alive at the time Josephus wrote. Personally, I am sure New Testament writers
like Luke, an historian himself and a doctor, are just as credible. Mathew, Mark, Luke,
and John are considered to have written their histories earlier than Josephus.
was the earliest and most respected non-Christian historian validating the presence
of Jesus, his followers, and his influence on earth. More historians,
archeologists, and scholars later added creedence to the historicity of
The Evidence of Apologetics
time of Jesus until now, much has been learned and written showing evidence
and persuasive cases for becoming a born again Christian by believing
in Jesus as your Savior. In fact, a whole genre of writing is devoted
to it, and is called ''Christian apologetics''. It has no relation
to our word ''apology'' in modern terms. ''Apology'',
in ancient times, meant a case to support a fact. For example, a lawyer's case on behalf
of his client was called an apology.
If you do
a search for ''Christian Apologetics'' in your favorite book-sales
website, you should find many to choose from of the popular variety, and
a number that border on scholarly apologetics.
scholarly books on the subject are found in the libraries and bookstores of Christian
theological seminaries and universities. In books on apologetics, you
will find a seemingly endless array of evidence and persuasive ideas leading
an engaged reader toward acceptance of Jesus.
I have found that the various sources of evidence for Jesus, as convincing as they are, have not been as impressive as the many ways He proved Himself to me personally.
He met my needs, and not only in the beginning when I first believed. As new needs arose, He met those too, and I can say that in His timing He fulfilled my true needs above and beyond anything I could have expected before I first believed.
you are in a strong relationship with Him, I would be surprised if He
does not prove Himself to your heart over and over. There is no greater
evidence for Jesus than when He makes Himself real to you. It is undeniable.
though every believer experiences God's presence and His evidence differently,
we all have the same promises from scripture to tap into. Pray that God
will reveal the answers to His promises of relationship with Him.
The many accounts of answered prayer in the name of Jesus are prevalent wherever He is believed in to meet needs. Many thousands of incidents considered miraculous have taken place and associated with Jesus.
I have been the recipient of too many to count.
The list of need-meeting evidence of Jesus continues to increase every day.
What are your needs today? Are you aware of what they truly are? Start asking God to meet your true needs now. Once you are saved, watch Him work on your behalf to meet those needs and more - even needs that you never realized you had. You may not see it happen immediately, but you will notice it when you no longer have a need you once had. Take it in faith that God helped you with your need. This applies to problems, or obstacles you ask God's help for as well.
Use wisdom when praying for God to meet your needs. Refrain from stipulating how your needs must be met. For example, if your need is loneliness, pray for healing of loneliness, not a hot date. It is possible God will give you a wonderful date. More likely He has something better in mind. Similarly, do not put time limits on God as if you know better than Him.
When I was a single and lonely man, I had to be healed of the related depression and strong impulses to try prematurely to solve my own problems, rather than depend on God. I knew, I would not be a good match for any woman in my current state.
I decided to go to a special place once a week, spending an hour praying for my future spouse. I prayed that God would prepare her for me and prepare me for her. I did this faithfully for about a year. When the day arrived that she was ready for me and I was ready for her, God brought her into my life in a miraculous way. She turned out to be the hottest date I could imagine! We have been happily married for decades and have risen two wonderful daughters.
Over the course of time a person's needs change with the season. God provided for my needs in many incredible ways in each season, whether it was an easy or difficult season to make my way through. Financially, He blessed me beyond my expectations time and again.
I now see positive outcomes are the result of our good God meeting needs. We might not have realized it when we had a particular need, but a positive outcome by God reveals what the true need was.
If you become a lifelong believer, you will look back on many God-given positive outcomes. You will see He was good at meeting the desires you thought were needs, but also the needs that He knew were the true, deep needs.
Relationship with Good Christians
you are hesitant to experience the evidence found in relationship with
God, consider the next best thing, finding the perspective of good Christians
as to the benefits they have experienced from their relationships to Him.
human alive on earth today is perfect. However, some are better representatives
of Christianity than others.
have known several non-Christians who attended churches, Bible studies,
and home worship groups, for the purpose of learning about Jesus and observing
the people who love Him. I knew one, who came for a year before accepting
Jesus into his heart. But he kept coming back because of the people and
''that something different'' about them.
times I have heard of a person saying to a believer, ''I want what
you have.'' But this only comes from getting to know believers. You
might have heard the expression that something is ''better caught
than taught''. That is definitely true about knowing Jesus and seeing
His Holy Spirit alive in people you know.
for people like that, without expecting them to be non-sinners, non-hypocritical,
or non-judgmental. Expect them to be fallible human beings that care a
lot about Jesus. Be forgiving with them if it seems they are ever being
difficult. See what happens.
Believers in Jesus, might be able to tell you first-hand accounts of miracles God has performed in their lives. Ask them. Perhaps the events might prove credible.
I have met hundreds who have told me their personal stories involving God working in mercy and love to do what is considered impossible by many people. These incidents are treasured memories to those who received or witnessed them.
Longer Answer Version
What Are Not Good Reasons for Believing ?
So many good reasons exist to believe in Jesus that, it might take a lifetime recounting them all. There are some less-than-good reasons to believe in Jesus. But if they result in a better life and salvation, the not-good reasons worked! For instance, my most immediate reason for believing in Jesus, was so that I could play guitar when the Christian band took a break.
There are some less-than-good reasons to believe in Jesus. But if they result in a better life and salvation, the seemingly not-good reasons worked! For instance, my most immediate reason for believing in Jesus, was so that I could play guitar when the Christian band took a break.
I was in my own band at sixteen years old, named Pegasus, and the band members had been invited to go to a concert at Corona Del Mar beach in Southern California. The band we saw was named Agape, an evangelistic Christian hard rock group, the first of its kind. When Agape took a break, I had an idea. Talking to my band members, I told them I could ask the band's manager if we could jam during the intermission. They agreed.
Some other people were listening to us talk. One was a singer we'd never met, and he volunteered as well. So I approached the manager, and asked if we could jam with the group's instruments. He asked me if I had asked Jesus into my heart. I said Yes! Simultaneously I was sincerely making a split-second decision to ask Jesus into my heart. Were my motives pure?
Three days prior to that, I had attended a young person's ''Christian Party'' at a home near the park I frequented. When I entered, there were perhaps twenty five young people sitting around chatting, mostly about Jesus.
The place had a sweet feeling in the air. The lady who lived there asked me, ''Have you received Jesus Christ into your heart as your personal Lord and Savior? The room quieted. I responded with something like, ''I didn't know I could do that''. Then people started telling me about Jesus.
It felt like I had become the focal point of their activities for the rest of the night. Most of that was good, but some of it was quite unpleasant when one guy started arguing with me.
As the party came to a close, one of the nicer young men asked if I needed a ride home. I was thankful because I had walked there. We got in his Volkswagen Beetle and drove the two miles to my place. Before I got out, he handed me a small pamphlet and asked me to read it. I thanked him for the ride, went inside and read the pamphlet.
The tiny book was called ''This Was Your Life.'' It was quite gripping. At the end it quoted Jesus saying, ''Behold I stand at the door and knock: if anyone hears my voice, and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with me.''
At that moment, I felt Jesus as an intense energy beaming into my chest, as if to say ''I am at the door of your heart. Will you let me in? It was a little scary. For selfish reasons, I ignored it and went to bed.
So three days later at the beach, it felt like I was being asked the same question that had recently been asked twice before. I was put on the spot. This time I said yes, and I meant it, but my decision was in the split second when I had time to respond. The manager asked me to make sure we sing about Jesus. So my group, along with the volunteer vocalist, took the instruments and played extemporaneously for about fifteen minutes, singing about Jesus.
Then the band was done with their break. They came back and played their next set. At the end, their manager got up and gave an exhilarated message about accepting Jesus as personal Lord and Savior. He then asked everyone to bow their heads and pray as he led us through the prayer to become saved.
I took my time and sincerely asked Jesus into my heart for good. I saw a short vision of the face of Jesus as I did. When the prayer was over, I knew I was born again and Jesus was my Savior. Then as I talked to my band members, I found out one of them, our bass player, had also became a believer. He had come to the party three days before as well, if I recall correctly, but arrived after I left. Both of us are still born again and walking with Jesus after all the decades.
I think God used my passion for guitar, and the fun of playing in front of people, to finish the process He started the previous Wednesday night. The good news of Jesus had been subtly returning to my mind for three days. I'm certain God's motives were pure. I'm just not so sure about mine, but on the beach in Coronal Del Mar, my sins were forgiven and washed away. I was a new person.
Getting back to the question of this sub section, ''What Are Not Good Reasons for Believing?'', the answer is this. Any reason, no matter how questionable, that results in starting a life-long love relationship with Jesus as Lord and Savior, is a good reason.
Of course, many people decide to believe in Jesus for ignoble reasons. These reasons do not always result in their becoming saved. Only God knows the deepest intents of a person's heart. He knows the end result and the details that lead up to it.
The apostle Paul told us to examine ourselves to see whether we are really in the faith. The apostle Peter meant the same thing when he told us to give dilligence to make our calling and election sure. This is good advice, even though we are saved by God's grace through faith, not by our own good works.
What Are Good Reasons for Not Believing?
(as opposed to ''What Are Not Good Reasons for Believing?'' )
Many of the reasons people have for choosing not to believe in Jesus after hearing the good news, only seem like good reasons. But they are at least worth questioning. Some reasons only seem wise based on the season and situations of the moment. Postponing a decision is something most people tend to do in everyday life. It can become a habit. But it can end up being disastrous. Such is the case with postponing a decision for Jesus.
Imagine a situation in which you are being held captive because you had heard the gospel, and your captives threatened to kill you if you believed in Jesus and would not renounce Him. I think that image would present itself to many people as a good reason NOT to believe. Or if a family member was kidnapped, or any other highly threatening situation was presented, conditioned on your vow not to believe in Jesus.
I only ask you to imagine these scenarios to let you imagine a seemingly very good reason to reject Jesus as your Savior. It would be tempting to postpone becoming saved until later, or probably never if the threat and fear of physical death were present.
On the night that I read the pamphlet ''This Was Your Life'', I felt Jesus on the verge of coming into my heart, standing at its door in bright spiritual light. But I decided to postpone due to a selfish desire to buy some marijuana with the money I had saved, and smoke it before becoming a Christian. Fortunately, I soon became obliged to spend some of that money, and could no longer afford the drugs. I no longer had an excuse to avoid meeting Jesus.
The decision I was faced with and the hypothetical one above it are of equal seriousness, if they lead to rejecting Jesus. Both could lead to a death that is final. Rejecting Jesus would be a bad decision under both circumstances. If that makes sense to you, then in comparison any decison other than becoming saved could be based on a Not Good reason.
Have you ever heard the expression, ''my mind is like a steel trap''? It figuratively means ''I have a very strong mind''. But a lot of the time, it means, ''I am better than other people because I can win any argument by outsmarting and trapping my opponents.'' Unbeknownst to that kind of thinker, it often truly means ''I am fearfully trapped in a hard-as-steel enclosure that I cannot break out of.'' Being trapped in our own seemingly well-crafted opinions can be disastrous. That is one of many bad reasons otherwise smart people decline the free offer of salvation in Jesus Christ.
Fear is involved in many other decisions against Jesus: fear of suffering, of change, of being ostracized, of losing a love partner, of failure, of loss, and the list goes on. In the big picture, none of our fears are worth giving up the ultimate prizes that come from believing in Him. Even though life will always include suffering, believers will have a better life on earth with Jesus than without Him. They can have freedom from sin, perfect peace of heart, God's help to succeed in His path, heavenly wisdom, the tools God gives us, and an even-better life in heaven. Rather than letting fears overcome us, we can overcome them when we simply trust God with our lives after believing in Jesus. He has perfect love for us. The apostle John wrote that perfect love casts out all fear.
Addiction is another thing that causes us to miss out on the best God has for us. When I say ''addiction'' most people jump to the concept of drugs. But, here I mean primarily the more-powerfully addictive and destructive substances. Fore example: apathy, selfishness, craving, obsession, greed, dishonesty, egoism, vindictiveness, revenge, and winning. It is more difficult to become free from addictive character flaws, than from drugs. That is because society is pervasively hooked on the less-obvious addictions. But these addictions have more power and capability than drugs to sway us into to rebelling against God and miss His blessings.
Desires can be disguised falsely as needs. When that is done, they become obstructions. All human desires and temporary needs are eclipsed by the need for salvation through Jesus. It is a matter of life and death. As such it is of greater importance than any other we face. We would be wise to stop elevating both desires and needs to a place of higher importance than God in our decision making.
People who have spent a lot of time in spiritual darkness are put off by glimpses of light they see in Christian believers. This is a ''not good reason'' for repelling themselves from the light. Light is new to them, so it challenges their comfort level that was based on immersion in a darkness common in our society.
Choosing spiritual ignorance over spiritual enlightenment from Jesus is another thing people do that they will some day look back on and regret. Anything that forms in a person a persistent rejection of Jesus as their true Savior, will be revealed in hindsight as a wrong impulse or decision. I think about this a lot. It drives me to love and trust Jesus more, knowing that He is the one safe way through life that will never be regretted.
The Gospel is Positive
When it comes to telling people why they should believe in Jesus as their Savior, it is pointless to resort to overblown negativity, such as scaring them about Hell, brow beating them, imposing peer pressure, arguing with them out of anger, deceptive sales tactics, or threatening to cut off their allowance (if they are your kids).
The gospel of Jesus Christ is 100% positive. We will soil it if we resort to rejecting it for anything less positive. We need not blind ourselves to the possible outcomes from refusing to believe in Jesus. People are by nature prudent to avoid danger. Understanding the good news results in safety, positivity, and a wonderful life. That is reason not to fear, but rather believe and enjoy.
If the evidence presented so far is not adequate for you, click this link for more:
Additional Evidence for Believing (Fulfilled Prophecy)