Transcript Slide 1
Faith IS the Evidence
How we can be sure.
• Matthew 13
• Mark 9
• Hebrews 11
Understanding the problem
• Life stinks sometimes.
• Remaining joyful in the midst of circumstance
requires trust in God.
• Trust in God requires real belief in God.
• Real belief is NOT easy.
• Real belief requires evidence.
• Evidence is hard to find.
• The evidence gets debunked.
• Without confident belief, we lack the joy and
courage needed to be effective beacons of hope.
• Though we accept the gospel we can remain
vulnerable to doubt through:
– A lack of understanding
(the seed sown along the path)
– If we are not rooted
(seed sown on rocky places)
– Focusing on the worries of life or the
deceitfulness (false promises) of wealth.
ref: Matthew 13.
• If we lack understanding we can be easily
deceived and rendered fruitless.
• If we are not rooted we can be persecuted
• If we fail to keep perspective we can be
redirected into fruitlessness.
• Confident belief
Barriers to Trust
• Lack of belief in God
– Common Human Problem:
Mark 9:24 - NIV Immediately the boy's father
exclaimed, "I do believe; help me overcome my
– Constant barrage of alternatives
Barriers to Trust
• Historical Disappointments
– False Teachings
– (lead to) False Expectations
– “Unanswered” Prayer (Story of the gift)
Barriers to Trust
• Inability to see Him or to reconcile His
influence over our plane of existence
– Intangible, Untouchable, Far Away
– Macro: War, Famine, Injustice,
– Micro: Weakness, Hurt, Pain and Sickness
• Concrete evidence of things we know to be
true being spun together and interwoven with
false theories to create seemingly credible
“alternatives” to God. (Seed of doubt)
Barriers to Understanding
• Lack of experience (trial and error)
• Lack of self-education (complex topics and
mysteries require intense study)
• Deception / Confusion from the enemy
– Who benefits and who gains if you understand?
– Who benefits or gains if you don’t?
Barriers to Confident Belief
• We are not sure where to find the evidence.
• Debunkers: Alternative explanations for
evidence abound. (The flood, the origins of
the universe, etc.)
What is the impact of Unbelief?
Sin and Consequences of Sin
Lack of resilience
What can God do to Help?
The Setting: (An act of Faith) Mark 9 - NIV:
The Healing of a Boy with an Evil Spirit
14When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law
arguing with them. 15As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and
ran to greet him. 16"What are you arguing with them about?" he asked. 17A man in the crowd
answered, "Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech.
18Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and
becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not." 19"O unbelieving
generation," Jesus replied, "how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the
boy to me." 20So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a
convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth. 21Jesus asked the boy's
father, "How long has he been like this?" "From childhood," he answered. 22"It has often thrown him
into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us." 23" 'If you can'?"
said Jesus. "Everything is possible for him who believes."
The Request: (A Request for Evidence)
24Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!"
Jesus Response: (Supernatural Revelation)
25When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the evil spirit. "You deaf and mute
spirit," he said, "I command you, come out of him and never enter him again." 26The spirit shrieked,
convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, "He's
dead." 27But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.
A shorter answer…
• He reveals himself to us, often through
interaction with those who have faith in
A critical item is learning to see how God
reveals himself to us and then looking for
The pattern of revelation
• God reveals himself through the faith of his
servants (the boy and his father).
• God delights in revealing himself to those who seek
• God reveals himself through parables.
Matthew 13:34 – NIV Jesus spoke all these things
to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to
them without using a parable. 35So was fulfilled
what was spoken through the prophet: "I will open
my mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden
since the creation of the world."
Hidden things revealed…
Cygnus X-1 (also known as Cygnus XR-1)
• X-Ray source discovered in The
Constellation Cygnus (The Swan / Northern
• 11,000 light years away from earth.
• Believed to be a Binary Star or X-Ray Binary
• A Blue Star locked in a gravitational spiral
with a Black Hole or Neutron Star, orbiting
each other every 5.6 days.
• Too far away to see detail
(actual photo from satellite)
• Only noticed because of
pattern of change and
oscillating emission of XRays.
• Discovered by “many
fathers”, but most often
credited to Thomas Bolton,
U of Toronto, 1972.
X-Rays.. So What?
• X-Rays are a high energy, short wavelength form of
light and a part of the electromagnetic spectrum.
• X-Rays are (typically) generated at high
• Blue stars have surface temperatures around 30K
Change Gets Noticed
• …even from 11,000
light years away.
• Research of this X-Ray
source revealed a
wobble. There was a
• Every 5.6 days, the
visible star was orbiting
nearby that could not
Artist’s Conception (not to scale)
• A process of growth by
• As the Black Hole
Accretes Mass in the
form of hot gases, they
superheat as they
• At higher temperatures
X-Rays are emitted.
Evidence And Doubt
• Acceptance of this discovery represents a
threat to traditional astronomical thinking.
• Alternative explanations continue to be
• Thomas Bolton is still a confident believer.
• He knows there IS something there.
• He/We can PROVE the existence of the
unseen by measuring it’s effects on what we
Evidence And Doubt
• More recent telescopic photography (NASA,
Hubble, and others) has led most
astronomers to accept Thomas Bolton’s
Cygnus X1 as the first proven black hole.
• If you read the end of the book you are not
likely to be surprised at the ending are you?
• The cure for doubt is study of the evidence!
A Visible God
• We can see God…
EVEN IF HE IS NOT VISIBLE.
• He is visible in the faith of others (our roots).
• Our circumstances are just temporary thorns
when we can see him.
• NIV - 1Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and
certain of what we do not see. 2This is what the ancients
were commended for. 3By faith we understand that the
universe was formed at God's command, so that what is
seen was not made out of what was visible.
• KJ - 1Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the
evidence of things not seen. 2For by it the elders obtained
a good report. 3Through faith we understand that the
worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things
which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
• Regardless of what we believe is wobbling the Blue
Giant every 5.6 days, it is 100% accepted fact that
something yet unseen is exerting enough force
over a massive object that we can see to change its
course and appearance or shape.
• God is revealing himself to us in the same way
• Once reassured and ready to trust, he can use our
lives the same way.
• Perfection is not required. Our willingness to be
visibly stretched or influenced by him allows us, like
the blue giant, to serve as evidence for the unseen.
We CAN prove the
existence of the unseen
by measuring the
influence of the unseen
over what we can see
Finale: The Effect of Trust
• Matthew Chapter 13,Verse 23 - NIV.
“But the one who received the seed that fell
on good soil is the man who hears the word
and understands it. He produces a crop,
yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what
• Our Faith is the evidence of things unseen to
those who are watching us.