Best reply to an atheist | 12Nov2012 13:06:23
Often I go out on a limb for God. I was in Hungary and the Berlin wall fell.
And the universities opened up. And so the president of a university. A communist university in Székesfehérvár. (?)Hungary. Came and he said; We want you to come and speak at this university. So I said fine. And he said; Now, here's the ground rules; We are gonna have one of our communist astronomers speak. Your topic is astronomy. You have to speak for one hour and show that there's a God from astronomy. Then our astronomer is gonna speak for one hour and show why there is no God, on astronomy. And then the students are gonna ask questions.
Well, you know, I mean I'm happy to speak anytime I can, but I'm not an astronomer. I'm a theologian. But I got some lectures on astronomy and so I said;
Lord, that's ok I'll do it. But, you know, you gotta be wise, and so I said to this brother. I said; Now brother I'm happy to come but since I'm your guest I want your guy, your astronomer to go first. He can show me how to do it. I don't wanna speak and then him raise questions on what I was saying. I want him to speak and then me raise questions. Cause I don't have to know a lot but I know how to ask questions. So...
I got to the university. When I came to the university the president met me and he was nervous. His face was red and he said; Pastor we've got a major problem. The astronomer has an emergency appointment and he can't make it.
I said; That's no problem. Just give me two hours. That's all.
So... I spoke to the students on our theology and astronomy. At the end of the lecture came the question & answer period. So one student, I could see him, he looked over at his professors.
There were professors that were sitting at one place and... You have to understand this is a dyed-in-the-wool hard hard communist area.
And.. you know, I was like the lamb thrown to the wolves. But if you have the Lamb of God in your heart. Lambs can slay dragons.
So... First student raises his hand; Dr. Finley! Well I was no doctor, I'm a... I'm just a simple humble preacher. Dr. Finley! I've a question. Yes? What's your question?
When the soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin went up there in space. He looked for God and didn't find Him! He didn't see Him!
Pastor Finley, I wanna know, have you personally seen God. And if you haven't how can you believe? We don't believe.
You know the Bible says that God will give you answers you've never thought about before. And the Lord gave me an answer that I'd never thought about till that moment.
I said; May I ask you a question? But I really don't wanna ask you. I'd like to ask the faculty. This is one of the most prestigious Universities in all of Hungary. And I know that your faculty has PhDs from a variety of disciplines and your faculty is very honest. So I wanna leave God out and faith out and the Bible out. And I just wanna ask the faculty some questions. Then I'll come back and answer your question. He said fine.
So now faculty, of all the knowledge in the world, how much knowledge do your students have? Let me give you an example. There are well over 2.000 spoken languages in the world. In the country of New Guinea alone there are 700 dialects.
Let's suppose we have a quiz right now and give your students dialects, a quiz on dialects. How many of the 700 dialects in New Guinea could your students speak?
Another question; Let's suppose we gave your students a quiz on the 13th Ming Dinasty of China. And the 58 emperors of the 13th Ming Dinasty and all of the wives and the names of the children.
Let's suppose that there are 10.000 new books printed a day. How many have your students read? Of all the knowledge of biochemistry in the world; Do your students know 95% of all the biochemistry knowledge? Do they know 90% of all biochemistry knowledge? 50%? Take histology; Of all the knowledge of histology in the world.
And I say; Let's say that knowledge is a body of 100%. Would you say that your students know 90% of all there is to know in the world? They said no. I said; Just intellectually, do they know 50% of all there is to know? No. Do they know 20% of all there is to know? Of all this great body of knowledge, of every fact and knowledge in the world. Let's say your students know 5%, just from an intellectual stand point. They said; Well, Dr. Finley they don't know 5%.
But I'm gonna give'm 5%. If your students know 5% of all there is to know it means that they don't know 95% of all there is to know. Intellectually is that a good argument?
Yeah! If you know 5% you don't know 95%. Now let me ask you my next question. If by your own admission your students only know 5% of all there is to know, could it be possible that God exists in the 95% of the knowledge they don't have? Is that possible?
I looked at those faculty members, and they said; Dr. Finley that's possible. He could exist in the 95% of the knowledge they don't have.
I said; Now, ok, let's suppose you only have two alternatives. Alternative number one. Your first alternative is; That your live and you die. And that's it you're dead! You live you die. You're an advanced animal, you maybe a little more intelligent than the animal creation but you live and die and that's it!
Your second alternative is; That there is a loving God, that loves you and cares for you. And although you can't explain all the questions of life. You can't explain often why bad things happen to good people.
The second possibility is, if there is a loving God that cares for you, and when ultimately you die He has incredible happiness prepared for you from all enternity. Now I'm not asking you to believe, I'm just asking one of two questions.
If you had. If you could choose one of those two. If they both were believable and you could choose one of the two; To live, not understand pain, suffering, go through life alone and die and have worms eat your body, or have a sense of your worth in the sight of a supreme being, and one day, if you die, know that you will live with him forever in eternity when our Lord comes again.
If those were your only two choices, and if both were believable, which would you choose?
They said; Well, we'd be a fool not to choose the second alternative if both were believable.
Then I said; Look, first you're not an atheist. Because an atheist says, I know God doesn't exist, but you say God may not exist in the knowledge I have, my 5%, but He may exist in the 95% of the knowledge I don't have.
So you're not an atheist. At best you're an agnostic. Secondly you're not even an agnostic. Because an agnostic says; God may not exist but I don't even care if he does or he doesn't. But you just told you did care. That if there was this more abundante life. So what you really are is seekers.
And that's why the Lord sent me to you today. Amen!
And, you know, the Lord worked some real miracles. The Lord worked miracles. We talked to those students for hours. God moved in that student body! And we saw student after student come. I had brought Bibles with me. And I said whoever wants a Bible afterwards I'll give you one.
They came to get Bibles! If you want to be in the centre of God's activity, don't look at the talents you have now. Because like the loaves and the fishes, God will take any talent you have and expand it. You move out for God; You use your stumbling voice;
When I began to preach; I first began to preach in college. I had just become an adventist; I thought was palms and not psalms. I didn't know the difference between palms and psalms. I preached about David in the lion's den. But I will tell you, when I preached about David in the lion's den; I preached it so enthusiastically that people thought he was there!
Simply step out with the knowledge God has given you! Use what you have! And like the loaves and fishes the Lord will bless it!