By this deed, you have given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme…. (2 Samuel 12:14).
I loved the writings and messages of the late Ravi Zacharias. In 2009, when I discovered that a longtime friend, whose wife had at one time been my secretary, was working for Dr. Zacharias, I contacted him and we had a great phone visit. Since I had none of the books RZ had written, my friend sent me several. I loved them and quoted from them often.
Ravi Zacharias was a powerful voice for theism, a effective apologist for the Christian faith, and a comfort to believers everywhere. He was, that is, until he wasn’t.
That which was from the beginning….we declare to you…. (I John 1:1ff)
(For my suggestions on introducing this Bible study for your people, see #7 below.)
I confess. I read scriptures looking for gold. Some of it is found in nuggets on top of the ground, just waiting to be discovered and appreciated. Others are in veins which need to be mined and worked and treated carefully and faithfully.
The opening of the First Epistle of John is pure gold and for good reason….
That which was from the beginning…which we have heard… which we have seen with our eyes…which we have looked upon and our hands have handled…. And we have seen and bear witness and declare to you…that which we have seen and heard we declare to you….
Get the point? John, the old apostle–the last one standing–is saying, “I was there. I know. This is not hearsay. This is not something I thought up. This is the Truth; it’s what I know.”
There is no substitute for a personal experience. “The person with an experience is never at the mercy of someone with an argument.” Consider…