The spiritual realities of God’s kingdom are true, life-affirming and enduring. Spiritual truths, revealed in the Bible and made visible in the life of Christ, are sure and certain. The faith of the Christian is neither a figment of personal imagination nor the product of individual perception. This is reality, not arrogance.
Our faith is solidly anchored in history and provides a reliable connection to truth. The spiritual realm and the truths it contains are real. The rock of God’s revelation in Christ is sure and solid whether people perceive it or not. Truth is truth whether people accept it or reject it.
Society tells us that the physical world is the only real world. It allows us privately to choose whatever we want to believe about Jesus and his call upon our lives. Sometimes we are respected and admired for it, and at other times we are ridiculed. But few will deny us our right to have a personal faith.
The problem begins when our faith begins to challenge others – when we refuse to keep it private and want to go public with the gospel. As soon as we assert that the gospel is a matter of fact and that our faith is relevant for everyone, we go against the trend. It takes courage to be open about our faith and to attempt to share it with others in our modern society. This contempt for the Christian gospel is set to grow and become even more intense in the future. Pressure will increase from both other religions and from secularism in our generation. How should we react to these things?
The Apostle Peter answers this question. He tells us to be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in us. He instructs us to prepare ourselves to make a defense of the gospel when we are questioned about it. I wonder if the average Christian today has heeded this wise instruction.
Recently, I heard about a Christian woman who rejected her faith in order to become a Muslim. There is increasing pressure on Christians today to renounce Christian doctrine and to follow Islam, the “true religion”. When asked why she had abandoned her Christian faith, she replied, “I’ve always had a problem with the divinity of Christ.” She is not alone. Liberal theologians have had a problem with that for decades. Philosophers have had an issue with the notion of the Incarnate Son of God for centuries.
The problem was that this woman had no answer to give to those who were challenging her belief. She had never looked into the issue for herself. Many Christians, like her, do not give attention to the issue of truth and error. They never open the Bible for themselves to see what it really says about the nature and being of God, the revelation of Jesus as Messiah or the meaning of the cross.