Why I Believe… by D. James Kennedy, PhD – Commentary – Preface and Chapter 1

I am excited about starting a new study with the book, “Why I Believe” by D. James Kennedy PhD.  It is available at www/christianbook.com should you desire to purchase one.  I will be writing commentary thoughts as I read through it.  I believe it is important to know why it is logical and verificable to believe in Jesus as the Son of God and Savior.  It is important to know what and why we believe.


Preface

1 Peter 3:15, “Always be ready to give a logical defense to anyone who asks you to account for the hope that is in you, but do it courteously and respectfully.”

The first thing that comes to my mind is…am I a hopeful person?  And then, are my hopes really based on Jesus?  And then besides that,  can people tell that I am hopeful so that they might ask me why?  Now that gave me something with which to think on and challenge myself!The preface of this book brings up other questions.  Why do Christians believe the Bible?  Is Christianity logical?  Is Christianity merely a religion based on blind faith?  I ti just prejudice and disrespect of other to believe that Jesus is the only way to the true Supreme Being people call God?  What are the reasons I believe?  Is my faith and belief only  based on emotional experiences?  Do I know why I believe?  What are the valid reasons that Christianity is true?

1 Peter 3:15 says I am supposed to always be ready to give a logical defense for what I believe.  It is a command and not a suggestion.  It is serious.Consider this…..in John 1:1, 14,  “In the beginning before all time was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself….. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”The New Testament was written in Greek, and the Greek word for “Word” is “logos”.  This actually means “logical word” as in the word logic.  The word “Word” is capitalized as it refers to Jesus.  John is telling us that Jesus is “the logic of God according to His Word”!  Believing in Jesus is very logical and we will find out more in this study.

Recently, I had someone tell me that he found it hard to believe in Jesus.  I am sorry to say that I did not have a quick logical answer.  Many years ago, I searched deeply into all the questions and answers of why I can logically believe the Bible and believe in Jesus as the Son of God and Savior of Man.  I already knew Jesus by relationship and was growing in knowing Him more.  This was part of my growing process.  The logical study just reinforced my mind and helped me answer questions for others.  It freed me from doubt.  I know there are many good books on this subject (many still on my bookshelves).  I believe it is time to refresh my memory.Can you give a ready defense for what you believe and why?_________________


Chapter 1 – Why I Believe the BibleProphecy – God proves Himself through accurate predictive prophecy that is fulfilled lifetimes later.  He is omniscient.  He keeps His Word.

Deut. 18:18, “I will raise them up a Prophet…and will put my words in his mouth.”

Isaiah 46: 9-10, “for I am God, and there is none else, I am God and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done.”

Scriptural prophecies are unique because these types of accurate fulfilled prophecies cannot be found anywhere else!  You cannot find them in the writings of Buddha, Confucius, Lao-tse, or the Koran.   You cannot find this level of fulfilled accurate predictive prophecy in any of today’s modern “prophets” either.  

On page 17, Kennedy writes, “In the Old Testament alone there are two thousand predictive prophecies – not a few lucky guesses.”  Pastor Kennedy should know, he also wrote another wonderful book entitled, “Messiah, Prophecies Fulfilled”, which is also on my bookshelf.  He has these Scriptural prophecies of Jesus categorized into “Prophecies of His Coming”, “Prophecies of His Ministry”, and “Prophecies of Victory”.  There are 120 pages of prophetic scriptures from the Old Testament and their accurate fulfillment in the New Testament!  These prophecies are not vague, but rather incredibly specific and detailed.  Plus, many of them are not what would normally been considered “natural”.Many of these detailed prophecies concerned things other than Jesus.  Many of these have proven to be historically and archeologically true.

Ezekiel 26: 4-5, 12-14 19-21,  says Tyre’s walls and towers will come down and end up in the sea; it will become a place for fishing nets,  and never again be rebuilt or inhabited.   About 15 years after this writing, Babylon laid siege to Tyre and tore it down.  Thousands fled on boat to an island about 1/2 mile out to sea and created a new city of Tyre.  Centuries went by and the stones and rubble still laid on the spot of the old Tyre.  But, the rest of the prophecy was fulfilled when Alexander the Great came to the area to attack the Persian Empire.  He determined to have the island city of Tyre.  He used the stones and rubble of old Tyre to build a bridge to the island by throwing it all in the sea!  It was called Diade’s fabulous highway!  New Tyre was overtaken and destroyed.  Today, Tyre is a flat rock where fishermen spread their nets.  God’s accurate prophecies are true and fulfilled!

Ezekiel 28: 21-23, says that Sidon’s inhabitants would be decimated, but the city would continue.  Sidon was attacked and 40,000 inhabitants killed, but it still exists today as the third largest city in Lebanon.When both Samaria, the capital of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, and Jerusalem, the capital of the Southern Kingdom of Israel, were in their prime, the prophets spoke their destiny.

Jeremiah 24:9, 29:21, 35:17 declared Jerusalem and its wall will be destroyed and its inhabitants carried away.  But, in Isaiah 4:3-6, we can read it was prophesied to be rebuilt and the people return.  This happened when Babylon overcame Jerusalem, destroying it, and carrying away inhabitants.  Daniel, was one of those who was carried away to Babylon.  It was the Persian King Cyrus who declared the Israelites could return to Jerusalem to rebuild.  Micah 1: 5-6, Samaria was prophesied to be destroyed including the wall and made into a vineyard only uncovering the old foundations.  If you go to Samaria today, this is what you will find.

There are more than 100 specific prophecies concerning the fate of Babylon, which was mighty, rich, and said to be impregnable.  But, Jeremiah 50: 13, 39;  51: 43, 58, 62 says, “The broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly broken…it shall be desolate forever.”  The Medo-Persia Empire overtook Babylon. But again later, the Romans completely destroyed the remnants of the wall of Babylon to ensure protection from the Persian armies in the future.  Today, Babylon is a dry and desolate place.  All efforts to rebuild it have fallen apart.

I also recall what Peter tells us in 2 Peter 1: 16-21 that while they were eye witnessed to Jesus including His resurrection and ascension, there is an even greater witness confirming He is the Messiah……Jesus fulfilled ALL of God’s prophetic Word accurately!

2 Peter 1: 16-21 (Amplified version) , “For we were not following cleverly devised stories when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty (grandeur, authority of sovereign power).  For when He was invested with honor and glory from God the Father and a voice was borne to Him by the splendid Majestic Glory [in the bright cloud that overshadowed Him, saying], This is My beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased and delight.   We actually heard this voice borne out of heaven, for we were together with Him on the holy mountain.  And we have the prophetic word made firmer still. You will do well to pay close attention to it as to a lamp shining in a dismal (squalid and dark) place, until the day breaks through the gloom and the Morning Star rises (comes into being) in your hearts. Yet first you must understand this, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of any personal or private or special interpretation (loosening, solving).  For no prophecy ever originated because some man willed it to do so—it never came by human impulse, but men spoke from God who were borne along (moved and impelled) by the Holy Spirit.”

It is logical to believe that God is omnicient and that He tells the truth!  He also promises that whoever believes in Jesus as His Son and their Savior will never die, but have everlasting life with Him.  It is logical to believe and take His offer!  Mankind is sinful, we can see that is reality.   God has made a way for mankind to be righteous.  We are born sinful and imperfect, and if we do not choose to be “born again” spiritually through Jesus, we remain in sin.  Jesus came and fulfilled over 2000 prephecies concerning the fact that He is our Savior and the Son of God…..He has made out opportunity to righteousness!  Who would want to refuse such a great offer?

John 3: 16-18 Amplified Bible, “For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He even gave up His only begotten unique Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal everlasting life.For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him.He who believes in Him [who clings to, trusts in, relies on Him] is not judged [he who trusts in Him never comes up for judgment; for him there is no rejection, no condemnation—he incurs no damnation]; but he who does not believe (cleave to, rely on, trust in Him) is judged already [he has already been convicted and has already received his sentence] because he has not believed in and trusted in the name of the only begotten Son of God. [He is condemned for refusing to let his trust rest in Christ’s name.]

If anyone does not give this priority attention, then they have only themself to blame for their destruction.

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