Spirit of Grace Ministries
Spirit of Grace Ministries
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Overwhelming Evidence for God & Christ

By Dennis Pollock


It has always fascinated me that between Malachi, the last of the Jewish Old Testament prophets, and Mary's vision of the angel Gabriel, 400 long years had passed. These years are sometimes called the "silent years." There was no major prophetic preaching or writing over those centuries – God seemed to be silent and His people, the Jews, must surely have wondered if God had abandoned them. 


They had such an amazing history of anointed prophets, kings, and of course, the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. These men had heard and experienced God and communicated His word to His people faithfully. They had seen and done miracles, and their supernatural and powerful experiences had been so dramatic that the stories of their lives and spiritual adventures were shared from one generation to the next.


But after the death of Malachi, nothing. It wasn't just a "silent night" for Israel; it was a silent century after century. No miracles, no prophets, nothing worth writing down for the following generations. For 400 years, divine silence. 


And then – a young Jewish woman, perhaps a teen, saw a mysterious figure in her home. He announced himself as the angel Gabriel and told her that she had found favor with God. She would conceive a Son who would be called the Son of God, and she was to name Him Jesus, which carries the meaning: "The LORD is salvation." He also told her that her older cousin, Elizabeth, was pregnant with a son, for "with God nothing will be impossible." An angel had visited Zacharias earlier and informed him that he and his wife would soon be parents of the one who would announce the Messiah. Mary went to visit her cousin and, sure enough, the woman, well past menopause, was now six months pregnant. And this was just the beginning!


More Revelations


Mary's fiancé, Joseph, planned to quietly divorce her after hearing she was pregnant, but an angel appeared to him in a dream and told him to go ahead and marry her – this was of God and Mary had conceived by the Holy Spirit. Shepherds also saw angels who told them where they could find this tiny Messiah. "Wise men," known as Magi, saw evidence in the night sky of the newly arrived King of Israel, and made a long journey to worship Him and give him gifts. When Jesus was eight days old, and old man named Simeon saw the baby and instantly identified Him as Israel's Messiah. An old woman named Anna did the same.


God was speaking again. Angels were appearing, and men and women were receiving God's prophetic words. But of course, God's words, visions, and angels were only coming to a select few. Israel's respected theologians and leaders were going about their business without a clue that the King of Israel had made His appearance in their little nation. They went to sleep and snored in their beds while Mary and Joseph no doubt stayed up through much of the night, quietly talking and gazing in amazement at their little baby, which the angels had declared was the Son of God.


Had you asked most of the priests of Israel if the Messiah had arrived, their answer would have been a very strong "no." And if you asked them how they could be sure of this, they might have said that they saw absolutely no evidence of the Messiah. If He were somewhere in Israel, would they not know it? Surely, if the Messiah were in Israel, the priest, the theologians, and the political rulers of the nation would be the first to learn this.


Common People


But it turned out that it was the common people who learned of Jesus' entrance into our world first. God had not seen fit to cause Jesus' birth to be accompanied by a huge flash of light that illuminated all of Israel or by an angelic announcement that no one could miss. He did like He nearly always does: He revealed Himself to a few, simple, humble men, and women, and left the proud and most of the "important" people completely in the dark.


Ironically, many of those same people still could not see the evidence that Jesus was the Messiah once He grew up and began His ministry. Even though Jesus went around healing men and women wholesale, raising dead people, cleansing lepers, and multiplying a few fish and loaves to feed thousands, and even though He was born in Bethlehem and came from David's lineage, most of the elite of Israel still couldn't seem to see any evidence at all that Jesus was God's promised Messiah. The evidence was there, all right, in fact it was shouting at them. But they couldn't hear it or see it because, as Isaiah prophesied: 


"The hearts of this people have grown dull.

Their ears are hard of hearing,

And their eyes they have closed,

Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,

Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,

So that I should heal them" (Matthew 13:15).


No Evidence?


In my interactions with atheists, and in reading and hearing their reasonings against the existence of God, frequently, their most repeated argument rests on this idea: "I see no evidence of God." They will often cite all the suffering and great inequity in our world, and then once again repeat: "I see no evidence of God."


This is an incredibly weak argument. Just because you see no evidence of something or someone, this by no means indicates that this thing or person does not exist. If a man tells me that his father's name is Frank McDougal, I would be incredibly foolish to suggest that because I have never heard of Frank McDougal or met Frank McDougal, or read any article about Frank McDougal, that Frank McDougal could not possibly exist. This man has just told me that Frank is his father, and that he spent his entire childhood and youth living with him. Unless he is a shameless liar, he ought to know whether Frank McDougal is real or fictional.


Had you gone to Mary or Joseph or the shepherds or the Wise Men, or Simeon or Anna, or Zacharias or Elizabeth, and asked them, "Is Jesus, the son of Mary, the Messiah?" They would all have answered in the affirmative. They had evidence of this. God had revealed to them that this little Baby was the great Immanuel of whom Isaiah wrote.


We, who know Jesus today are in the same camp. When the atheists mock our faith and declare arrogantly: "I see no evidence of God," we must reply, "We see all kinds of evidence of the reality of God." No, most of us have not seen angels, like Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds did, but in our own small way, God has made Himself known to us. He has touched our hearts by the Holy Spirit and drawn us to His Son Jesus Christ, and to Himself.


When the atheists assert, "We see no evidence of God or Christ," we know better. We could point to our amazing universe and its intricacies and complexities that make life possible. But more important to us are the life-transforming workings of God's Holy Spirit in our lives that turned us from darkness to light, from the dominion of the evil one into the kingdom of light and freedom, the kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And we know that because of His death for our sins on the cross, and His resurrection from the dead, we shall live with Him forever. The evidence is overwhelming!



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