"…THE EVIDENCE OF THINGS NOT SEEN"
by Wayne S. Walker
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1). The need for studying what we commonly call "evidences" always exists. Faith in God, the Bible as His word, and Jesus Christ as His Son is ever under attack, especially in our culture, and to be able to withstand these attacks successfully, we must continually be strengthening our own faith. And we also need to be equipped to answer the questions that others whom we seek to lead to Christ might have on these subjects, including those asked by our own children.
My own interest in what is specifically referred to as "evidences" or "apologetics" began in high school and extended into college. Since then, I have continued to read all kinds of materials; presented series of lessons, both in local work and in gospel meetings; taught Bible classes; given special lectures; and written articles from time to time on the subject of evidences. I do not claim to be an "expert" but I offer these articles to share the fruits of those studies.
Our English word "evidence" is defined as, "something that makes another thing evident; indication; sign; something that tends to prove." We are all surely familiar with the usage of this word in several different contexts. A jury decides whether an accused person is guilty or not by examining the evidence presented in the court. The reader of a mystery tries to find out "who did it" by considering the evidence given by the author.
How can we determine whether there really is a God, whether He really did create all things, whether the Bible really is His inspired word, whether Jesus really is His Son, and whether Christ really rose from the dead, or not? How can we figure out whether our faith is founded on a sure foundation? We must look at the evidence. Some of that evidence is external, using everyday observations that tend to prove our conclusions about God and spiritual things. Other evidence is internal, using what the Bible itself says as something that makes evident the truth what we believe.
In these articles, we shall examine the questions posed in the last paragraph and look at the evidence, both external and internal, for the existence of God, the creation of the world, the inspiration of the scriptures, the divine Sonship of Jesus, and the resurrection of Christ. There are times when questions may arise in our own minds in these areas, and it is good to have information available which will help answer them. And, again, such information can be helpful in answering questions that others may ask about the basis for our faith.
Ultimately, of course, the aim of all studies in evidences is not merely to gain academic knowledge or satisfy our curiosity, but to create and/or strengthen our faith, "That [we] may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing [we] might have life in His name" (John 21:30-31). It is to this end that these articles are dedicated. May God bless us in our search for truth that our trust in Him might be increased unto eternal life. As Louisa M. R. Stead wrote, "’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, Just to take Him at His word; Just to rest upon His promise, Just to know, ‘Thus saith the Lord.’" (—adapted from With All Boldness; Oct., 1991; Vol. 1, No. 17; p. 14)