In part 1 of my story, I explain that as a young girl, I had a strong belief and faith in God and Jesus; attended church and Sunday School; at age twelve, I received Jesus as my Savior and was baptized. However, I didn’t have a lot of understanding regarding spiritual truth, or about having a personal, daily relationship with God. As I grew, I had my share of doubts, fears, and questions.
But the Lord, thankfully, has taught me much about His power, proof, evidence, and very real help. He has enabled me to know Him and experience a personal relationship with Him.
The doubts I encountered happened during college, but the surprising thing to me is how they occurred. One semester, four out of five of my professors were atheists. In class, they spoke out antagonistically against God and the Bible. While I still believed in God, a few doubts and questions crept into my thoughts. I never thought to find a strong Christian believer, or a pastor, to share my concerns with and find truth. I’m not sure I would have known what questions to ask. Like many other times in my life, I thought I could handle it on my own. I thought I was fine and kept everything to myself. Looking back, I can see the detrimental effect that the doubts and questions had on my relationship with God, and my faith in Him and in the truth of the Bible.
When my life turned upside down and I was in crisis mode, I came to a point where all I knew (or thought I knew) was no longer sufficient. My inner pain and turmoil was so great that I decided either this God-Christianity thing was true and, therefore, ought to make a difference in me and my life or, if it wasn’t true and didn’t make a difference, I wasn’t going to pretend that it did. I put everything on the line and went in search of answers. I had a few other reasons, as well, for searching. My mom had been a Christian and my dad was a Christian Scientist. When my mom passed away, I wanted to talk to my dad about spiritual matters, but I didn’t know what Christian Scientists believed and, for that matter, I didn’t know what I believed.
For sure, I needed answers. And over time I found abundant solid answers and a God who was real and able to connect with me personally. Following are some of these powerful, exciting, life-changing truths that I discovered.
Proof of the Bible’s Truth through Fulfilled Prophecy
Not knowing where else to go, I set out for my local Christian bookstore. Thankfully, God was guiding me. At the bookstore I found a book called Why I Believe by D. James Kennedy (1). In each chapter, Dr. Kennedy discusses different aspects of Christian beliefs, and gives reasoned facts for faith. He gives studied reasons for believing in heaven, hell, moral absolutes, and more. In the first chapter, “Why I Believe in the Bible,” he explains about proof and prophecies and how they reveal the dependableness of God’s Word and promises. (This first chapter, “Why I Believe in the Bible,” can be read for free online at Amazon.com with the “Look Inside” the book program.)
Prophecies are declarations about future events, and God’s Word contains numerous ones about people, nations, and events. God’s spokesmen in the Old Testament are called prophets. The prophets not only declared God’s instructions and warnings, but also gave God-sized predictions, which were so unlikely to be fulfilled they seemed outlandishly impossible. Therefore, every time they were fulfilled exactly as ordained, everyone was (and is) to know without a doubt, it is God. Only He could predict it and fulfill it. Every time that the promises came true, everyone is to know the Lord spoke; He has all knowledge; and He always fulfills every word and promise He speaks (Isaiah 46:10-11; Amos 4:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:20-21).
God emphatically states: “I declare the end from the beginning, and from long ago what is not yet done, saying: My plan will take place, and I will do all My will” (Isaiah 46:10 HCSB).
Through the years, I’ve read more books on biblical prophecies, but a number of the books, to me, seem dry and technical. They are packed with numerous facts and statistics. In contrast, I love how Dr. Kennedy unpacks and looks at several specific prophecies in detail. He shows how unlikely each one was to be fulfilled at the time of its prediction and then walks us through it from the claim to the fulfillment, which occurred in increments. He explains it thoroughly and convincingly. I was thrilled. There’s proof! The Bible is true!
Dr. Kennedy shares several impossible-seeming promises concerning cities around Israel, including the great city of Tyre. Originally, the city was an island and, consequently, virtually impregnable. But God proclaimed that it would be destroyed and never rebuilt. He further proclaimed that it would be scraped like the top of a rock for the spreading of nets.
This prophecy was fulfilled over many years, in stages. Alexander the Great was the one to fulfill the final portion of it as he ordered his army to take the walls, stones, timber, and rubble of Tyre and cast them into the sea to build a causeway on his way to conquer the Mediterranean region. Like the prophecy proclaimed, Tyre truly was scraped clean like the top of a rock and made a place for the spreading of nets.
In contrast, another city, Sidon, was prophesied to be decimated, but would continue as a city. The specific descriptions of many cities, walls, and people groups have all been fulfilled in amazing detail.
Dr. Kennedy states: “Predictions are also promises. I believe that God gave us over two thousand predictions in order that we may learn to believe his promises. God promised that the walls of Jerusalem would be rebuilt; that the walls of Babylon would never be rebuilt; that Tyre would be destroyed; that Sidon would continue—so that we may believe his promises. He also promised that [the one] that believeth on the Son shall never die, but have everlasting life; and [the one] that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but shall have the wrath of God upon him forever. The truthfulness of those words and the certainty of their fulfillment is attested by over two thousand prophecies which have already come to pass.” (2)
God’s Word includes more than 2,500 predictions regarding people, nations, and events. About 2,000 predictions have been fulfilled as stated (3). The remaining prophetic announcements, about 500, are still to take place and concern future events for this life, end times, and the next life.
Proof & Prophecies for the Truth Regarding Jesus
Over time, I came to recognize a number of ways in which Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection are evidence and proof of God’s truth. The first is through fulfilled prophecies.
God made many promises in the Old Testament, declaring that He would send His chosen one (4) to be the world’s Savior-King. God initially promised to send His chosen one in the first book of the Bible, after Adam and Eve sinned (Genesis 3:15). The sin of Adam and Eve caused all the sin in the world and the consequential suffering and pain of mankind. This chosen one and Savior would rectify mankind’s sin and brokenness. The Savior would offer forgiveness, and He would provide a way to God’s kingdom (which is radically different than mankind’s ways). Specific details were predicted about the Savior and His birth, life, and death.
The four gospels in the New Testament reveal Jesus as the Messiah-King, who miraculously fulfilled all of God’s promised specifics. For example, one prediction, which pertained to his birthplace, was foretold by the prophet Micah, 700 years before Jesus was born. Since nineteen of Judah\’s twenty kings were born in the royal city of Jerusalem, it seemed ludicrous that the Messiah-King would be born in Bethlehem—even more so because Bethlehem was considered small and insignificant, \”little among the thousands of Judah.\” The prophecy was fulfilled. To the surprise of many in His day, Jesus was born in Bethlehem (5).
One day, while reading through the gospel of Matthew, I noticed something. The writer, Matthew, shares about Jesus and the events that happened, and then proclaims in various ways, “this happened to fulfill the prophecy that was spoken.” While this aspect falls under prophecy, it is further confirmation that God wants us to know His proof. I counted at least fifteen of these “proof of prophecy” references. (Many Bible translations provide footnotes with the Old Testament prediction referenced.) Matthew’s gospel is an encouraging read and my favorite gospel because of how he points out the proof.
Besides investigating and understanding the prophecies about Jesus, we can look at the evidence and truth for who He is (and claims to be) by studying the four gospel accounts. Jesus’s miracles, teachings, life, death, and resurrection are all given to us as a valuable gem, which we are to examine and consider.
Scripture specifically states that proof regarding Jesus is provided through His miracles, signs, and wonders:
And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book: But these signs [miracles and wonders] are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name (John 20:30-31).
“This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will” (Hebrews 2:3-4 NIV).
God additionally declares that He has given us proof for all He wants us to know, by raising Jesus from the dead:
Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all everywhere should repent [turn from their sins to God], because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead (Acts 17:30-31 NASB 1977).
We are to look at the evidence and study the gospel accounts for ourselves and decide. Does Jesus’s life match up with His claims of being one with God? Is He the great gift of salvation? Did He care for and redeem the lives of the broken and hurting? (And if these things are true—what miracles might the Lord want to accomplish in our lives?)
God’s Words Actually Contain Power!
There is another truth-filled view concerning the power of God’s words. It is vividly highlighted in a small book called, God’s Irresistible Word, by Kenneth W. Hagin.
The complete power of God’s Words is evident in the fact that when God declares something in Scripture, the events happen exactly as He speaks the words. This begins in the first chapter of the Bible when God spoke all creation into existence. At least 10 times in the first chapter of Genesis, we are told that “God said,” and it was so.
And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so (Genesis 1:11 KJV).
When God declared something—it happened. God’s words hold such authority that He created the wonder of all the heavens, earth, and mankind with them! Hagin explains that the Lord could have created the world and all that is in it through any method He chose. (But He did not snap His fingers or use another method.) God used words revealing that His words contain His very power. Every time God speaks, events always happen as He states.
This is true, as well, for Jesus and every word that He spoke. When Christ declared someone was healed, or for the storm to “Be still,” it took place exactly in that manner.
All of God’s Word and every promise of Scripture is filled with power and truth, which is the reason all of it can be trusted and why it changes lives. It is why we should heed all that God says, and why it can give us hope and faith to believe His promises. If we trust Him and believe, we can count on His good promises being fulfilled for us in our lives just as He says.
Atheists Prove the Bible True!
So much proof and evidence exist for the Bible that, in a surprising twist, a number of atheists who set out to prove the Bible is not true found such compelling evidence, they came to believe in God and the Bible. They set out to prove the Bible was a hoax, but came to believe and ended up writing books on God’s proof and evidence. As they passionately worked at examining the truth to prove the Bible was false, their minds, hearts, and lives were changed.
Following is a list of a number of these people and their books. (Thanks go to Ron Carlson for some of the descriptions of the authors and their works, although I can no longer locate the article or the link.)
- Ralph Muncaster: A Skeptic’s Search for God
- Frank Morison: Who Moved the Stone?
- Josh McDowell: Evidence That Demands a Verdict and More Than a Carpenter / (Both of these books are short but challenging reads.)
- Lee Strobel: The Case for Faith and The Case for Christ / (Strobel was an atheist and a top-notch journalist when he began his biblical investigation. Consequently, his books are filled with scientific facts and the result of serious detective work.)
- C. S. Lewis: The Most Reluctant Convert / (C. S. Lewis became an avid, best-selling writer of both fiction and non-fiction. Many of his books have become classics. His non-fiction books discuss all aspects for reasonable faith. Mere Christianity, a thought-provoking book has helped innumerable people consider God, find Him, and grow in faith. Two of his books, The Great Divorce and The Screwtape Letters, are written with an entertaining and stimulating fantasy edge.)
- Lew Wallace: Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ / (Although this book is a fiction account about Christ, it was written by a former atheist. The book later became a movie classic.)
Creation’s Double-Pronged Aspects for Proof and Evidence
Our natural world and Scripture provides proof and evidence in an interconnected way. All of creation is a marvel. We are to look at aspects of the natural world and comprehend that behind all of it is an intelligent being, who is full of goodness, power, tenderness, and glory. Each of us is to easily comprehend that there is a God who is wise, powerful, good, and awe-inspiring.
Scripture boldly and specifically declares this truth:
“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse” (Romans 1:20 NIV).
Throughout the Bible (from the first book to the last), creation is declared as evidence. Furthermore, God takes the credit, ownership, and responsibility for all this created world. I am often moved by how passionately God claims creation as His doing. (You can briefly see this in the Scriptures below.)
The first book, Genesis, begins with the account of God creating the world. The final book of Scripture, Revelation, states, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Revelation 4:11 KJV) (6).
Throughout His Word, God takes credit for creation’s marvels. He challenges us to look around us and admit (or try to deny) that there is a Creator who is good, awesome, and who seeks fellowship with us.
“This is what the LORD says—the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker: Concerning things to come, do you question me about my children, or give me orders about the work of my hands? It is I who made the earth and created mankind upon it. My own hands stretched out the heavens; I marshaled their starry hosts” (Isaiah 45:11-12 NIV).
He who forms the mountains, who creates the wind, and who reveals His thoughts and plans to mankind . . . the Lord God Almighty is His name (Amos 4:13).
God claims ownership, along with the rights and privileges, of being Creator of all that exists around us. He has a claim on all He has created—including you and me. When any of us enjoy, are touched by, and awed at the beauty of nature, the expanse of the heavens, and the wonderful provisions we have for sustaining life, we should be moved to thankfully acknowledge our Creator and His wonderful gifts of life.
Now that You Know the Bible Is True, How Will You Live?
God provides us with ample proof and evidence in a variety of ways because He wants us to believe His Word, trust it, and heed it for our good. If you need evidence—and you’re willing to look for and examine the proof—you will be amazed at the strong foundation of facts for belief that He has provided.
God further challenges us to search, examine, and investigate. We are supposed to know what we believe, and the reasons for our beliefs, and be able to avoid false doctrines, which can destroy our faith and lives. Avoiding false doctrines, and false “Christs” becomes more important the closer we draw to end times.
I am personally thankful for the painful troubles I encountered, which drove me to search for answers. Before my crises, I had no idea that there was actually proof and evidence for believing in God and the Bible. And without my painful experiences, I never would have known a close, saving, loving, personal relationship with the Lord.
I continue to be amazed and thrilled with God’s goodness and powerful proof and evidence for the truth of His Word—the Bible. My faith in a real, powerful God really does have a strong foundation. It’s worth getting excited about!
And God hasn’t stopped teaching me. He taught me how to personally trust and stand on His power-packed promises for my own life, which has brought me healing, peace, and blessings. I will share this in part 3 of my story.
My Story—How I Learned to Lean on the Power of God’s Promises for Faith, Peace, and Breakthroughs—Part 3
For Further Reading
Indelible Ink (Scott Larsen, General Editor) is an encouraging read. In it twenty-two prominent Christian leaders share the books that have most shaped their faith (outside of the Bible), and consequently share some of their faith struggles, and along with stories of finding victory and peace.
For further information on apologetics (proof and evidence for the Bible and reasoned facts for believing.)
https://www.equip.org/about/our-history/ (The Christian Research Institute)
1 D. James Kennedy, Why I Believe (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1999). The Amazon.com link for the book is https://www.amazon.com/Why-Believe-D-James-Kennedy/dp/0849937396/.
2 This quote is from the closing section of the first chapter. See https://www.amazon.com/Why-Believe-D-James-Kennedy/dp/0849929431/
3 See https://reasons.org/explore/publications/articles/fulfilled-prophecy-evidence-for-the-reliability-of-the-bible.
4 In Scripture, the biblical words Christ and Messiah mean “the chosen one,” or “the anointed one.” Christ comes from the Greek word “Christos.” When it is translated into Hebrew, it becomes “Mashiach,” or as we know it, Messiah. It’s helpful to note that Scripture uses the word Christ as both a title and a name.
5 This prophecy example concerning Jesus is highlighted in the book Discover God’s Blessings (and is shared in the reading of September 25th).
6 A few other key verses regarding creation and God as Creator include Genesis 1:1; Psalm 19:1; Jeremiah 51:15; John 1:1-4; and Colossians 1:15-17.