I am convinced that Jesus Christ literally came back to life (what is called the resurrection) and walked out of His tomb. I haven’t always believed that. In high school I realized that I had no personal evidence to support a belief that Jesus rose so I rejected Him as a mere religious myth. Here are 9 reasons why I am now convinced that Jesus is alive and working in the Twenty-First Century.
1) In my freshman year of college I had a personal encounter with Jesus and my life has never been the same.
2) After that encounter I suddenly had a deep desire to read the Bible. As I began to read the New Testament, the words moved me deeply. The more I read it the more I became convinced of the truth of its claims. The Bible still burns in my heart when I read it.
3) I have personally known hundreds of people who have been transformed and set free through an encounter with Jesus, including dozens of drug addicts and alcoholics.
4) Once when I was talking to Jesus I felt an amazing release of joy from deep within me as words that I didn’t know flowed across my lips (called speaking in tongues). That experience made His presence more real to me than I ever dreamed possible. Ever since that day I can pray in a flow of words that I don’t know and be lifted into an amazing awareness of the presence of Jesus.
5) As an avid reader of church history I have encountered stories and testimonies of hundreds of people from various cultures through out the past 2,000 years who have had experiences with Jesus very similar to mine. If an encounter with Christ is nothing but a subjective experience (as some people claim) how can all these experiences of different people speaking different laguages in different cultures and time periods be so similar? For me that shows that Christ is still alive and that people actually meet Him as an objective reality.
6) The writers of the New Testament make the amazing claim that they, themselves, personally saw the resurrected Jesus or that they knew people who did.
7) I’ve seen Jesus answer too many prayers to count — everything from physical healings, to miraculous rescues, to financial break throughs, to emotional transformations, — far too many amazing things to be mere coincidence.
8) I know two people in Nashville who have literally seen Jesus. One woman grew up a Muslim in Baghdad. She was arrested under Saddam, imprisoned, and tortured and raped daily for months. Finally, in desperation she cried out, “God, whoever you are, please help me!” When she opened her eyes she saw Jesus literally standing in front of her. The next day a guard sneaked her out of prison and released her at the Jordanian border.
Another woman I know in Nashville grew up Jewish living in Jerusalem. She was taught that Jesus caused the Holocaust and she didn’t want anything to do with Him. However, as a young adult Jesus appeared to her several times. She finally accepted Him as her Messiah and passionately loves and serves Him today.
9) For the past two years I’ve been meeting with a group of people every Sunday that follows no program (called organic church). Each week we ask Jesus to show up and lead the meeting. The results are amazing. Every week we see things come together that no person could assemble. The resurrected Jesus can literally direct a meeting if we allow Him to. Here is a link to that group: http://nashvillechristian.com/entry.php/141-People-Are-Talking-About-An-Unusual-Church-In-Nashville
Check out my new book, Beyond Church — An Invitation To Experience The Lost Word Of The Bible — Ekklesia; available at Amazon.