Why We Need Apologetics
I am going to talk to you tonight about apologetics and why it’s important for Christians you know the importance of it.
According to Christianity Apologetics & Research Ministry (or CARM for short) this is how they define what apologetics is: Apologetics is the branch of Christianity that deals with the defense and establishment of the Christian faith.
Apologetics comes from the Greek word apologia. History reveals that it was originally used of speech of defense or an answer given in reply. This word was used in ancient Athens used in a courtroom for the judicial procedure. What would occur is that the accused party would “speak-away” (apo-away, logia-speech) the accusation. One such recorded history case was with Socrates. He was on trial for his preaching of strange gods and had to give a defense.
Apologia meaning defense or vindication appears about 17 times in the New Testament.
There are clear teachings within scripture that tell us why we should know it and the first one is because we are commanded to defend the faith. (Luke 12:11, 21:14, Acts 22:1, 24:10, 25:8, 16, & 26:2, & 24). The one I want to focus on is in 1st Peter.
In 1st Peter 3:15 says this: But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. We might get discouraged because sometimes we do not have the right answers to what they ask but many things can take place Mark 13:9-11 You will stand before governors and kings because of Me, as a witness to them. And the good news must first be proclaimed to all nations. So when they arrest you and hand you over, don’t worry beforehand what you will say. On the contrary, whatever is given to you in that hour—say it. For it isn’t you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.
A 2nd reason we need apologetics is because it actually helps us know what our faith is. Too many people in the church are lacking in their walk with the Lord because they do not see a need or the importance to know why they believe what they do. There’s no way for a lad back Christian to explain the two natures of Christ, or to explain what the difference is before Justification and Sanctification:
Justification is to be declared righteous by God because we the sinner acknowledged our need for Christ to save us from our sins. So, now we have been justified. Rom 4:11, Phil 3:9, Rom 5:9.
Sanctification is to be set apart by God for a holy use. 1st Thess 4:7, Eph 2:10, 1st Peter 3:15, Ezek 27:28, Ex 19:23. If we are not set apart from how the world lives and allow them to influence us we will not be able to be used for a holy use.
Third and I believe this should motivate us. It’s a way we can help keep people from heading to hell. We need to be motivated to teach the Salvation message of Jesus Christ. It is only through Christ Jesus that one can be saved.. Most times we sit by idle as people all around us are heading to an eternity in hell separated from God forever. We have all sinned. Not one of us can claim to be sinless and it is for this reason Christ became a man and gave His life to save all those who ask Him. Unless we put our faith in Him for what He did on the cross and that He rose again we will not be saved.
The average rate of death in the US is as follows:
Daily 6,666 Monthly 200,000 Yearly 2,400,000
based on those # how many people are entering they eternal home in hell? I am not a betting man but would guess that more than half the daily # are on there way to hell with no chance of ever getting out. Keep in mind these #s are just the US. Here are the world # and these are estimates, keeping in mind the world population is 7 billion.
250,000 die each day 7,500,000 each month 90,000,000 each year.
This should awaken us like never before. We have for too long been sitting idle.
A forth reason for apologetics is we must be able to counter how the media makes all Christians look like horrible people who shouldn’t be trusted and are judgmental. We have ministers today who have been caught up in scandals, whether they are sexual or monetary. It’s Christians like these who give Christianity a bad name and the media loves every minute of it. They take each scandal and make sure the world hears it because of such hatred for Christians and Christ. Besides the first mentioned reason there are also scandals even in the Catholic Church with priests and cover-ups when it comes to abuse. Is it any wonder why many people don’t want to attend a house of worship because it’s in habited by evildoers? Keeping the sins of leaders in front of the world is a cleaver move the enemy uses to keep people from coming to Christ. Through none are without sin, we must continue to work out our salvation. Just because we become born again doesn’t mean the flesh gives up. We must each and every day pick up the cross of Christ. It says in 2nd Corinthians 5:17So if any one [be] in Christ, [there is] a new creation; the old things have passed away; behold all things have become new.
A fifth and important reason is to keep apostasy from entering into the church. There seems to be much of this going on today. Churches from all denominations are involved in apostasy and not much is being done to stop it. New theology or teachings from those who have started to add to the word of God brings apostasy in the Church. Much of the apostasy today relates to homosexuality. One such denomination is the UCC (United Church of Christ) who set up scholarship money to fund gay and lesbian seminarians urging acceptance of homosexuals by other denominations. Yet it isn’t the only thing in the church. All forms of sexual sins have entered the church walls. Pornography, movies, sex before marriage, accepting crude jokes and so on. Not to mention what some people decide to wear to God’s house. Not only do people disrespect themselves but more importantly they disrespect God.
Reason number six is that today a rise in false teaching is taking place. These teachings were even a big part of the last election with President Obama and Mitt Romney. You see we heard that Mitt Romney is a Mormon and yet most of us do not have even the smallest clue to what they teach and believe. To start off they are not a denomination. Their views of the life of Jesus are different, they belief about Salvation, life after death, and hell are all very different than what the Bible says. Another such false belief is the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Keep in mind both the Mormons and JW’s are very nice people yet they have been deceived with false teachings. These teachings will lead the good intentioned followers to hell. Another huge false religion is Islam, and with Islam many seemingly nice people have been deceived into believing that Jehovah and Allah are the same. So there are no mistakes about it they are two VERY DIFFERENT Gods. Islam teaches that Jesus was not God in flesh, Jesus did not rise from the dead, and he did not die on a cross for our sins. It teaches that we must do good works to help earn salvation through Allah’s grace. This is a very different view than what the Bible teaches, yet even today people like Rick Warren, Bill Hybal and countless others (who might mean well) have been deceived to believe that Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have the same God. They even signed a declaration about having common goals, called “A Christian Response to a Common Word between Us & You”.
Here is reason seven for why we need Apologetics. Immorality has not just risen in America and Canada, but slowly little by little has entered the church. Barna Research Group did a study showing that 64% of adults and much larger group of teenagers 83% say that moral truth depends on the situation. The study also went on to say that 19% of adults claim sin is outdated and a shocking 51% believe that if a person is generally good or does enough good they will earn a place in heaven. We know however that the Bible say’s otherwise. If doesn’t matter how seemly nice a person is or how much nice they do. Unless they have received heart knowledge (receiving the understanding of who Jesus is, what He did to save them, and that without Him they are destined to hell, it must go from the head to the heart). Phil 4:8 shows us as Christians how we should be. I am not advocating a theocratic socio-political rule administered by stern Christians wearing black-and-white outfits and tall hats. But these kinds of social trends are disturbing, and they reflect a moral decline in America, where what is good is called evil and what is evil is called good. God tells us in Phil. 4:8, Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things. We cannot ignore God's word without a consequence.
The eighth and final reason Christians should concern themselves with knowing apologetics. Schools today are definitely not friendly to Christians and Christianity. They is so much hostility when a Christians tells the very truth the Word of God declares. For instance to say today that homosexuality is a destructive lifestyle or that homosexuals we not go to heaven is right away labeled hate-speech and the one who says it is called a hater, bigot, homophobic etc. Even saying that people today are sinners can be called hate speech. By doing what the world wants and accept everyone and everything we do more harm to Christianity. We willingly take a back seat while millions of people are flooding the gates of hell like falling dominos. Another example of this is the game of Kerplunk. To start off the game one side is full of marbles and you have to put sticks throughout the center of of the cylinder. The sticks temporality hold up the marbles from falling to the bottom of the jar. The object is to pull on stick out at a time and the person who makes all the marbles fall loses. Well as a Christian by taking a stick out one at a time we slowly remove the pure and Holy Scriptures. We slowly remove one stick at a time allowing a little sin into the church and before long Kerplunkthe church loses and is now corrupted.
Special thanks to Matt Slick for showing just how important Apologetics is.
This is an expounded edition to his original 8 points.