Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. I appeal to you, brothers, bear with my word of exhortation, for I have written to you briefly. You should know that our brother Timothy has been released, with whom I shall see you if he comes soon. Greet all your leaders and all the saints. Those who come from Italy send you greetings. Grace be with all of you. Hebrews 13:20-25
It seems appropriate to end our look at Hebrews with today’s verses. As we get ready to celebrate Easter we need to always remember that the reason is Jesus’ resurrection. Without a risen Jesus our faith is in vain.
Over the past month I have been doing a series on my blog on evidence for the resurrection. That series has caught the attention of three of atheists, one of which grew up Catholic, who have disputed the existence of Jesus and the genuineness of the New testament accounts as well as the extra-biblical sources that mention Jesus. What always strikes me about these attempts to discredit Christianity is that they never come up with anything new. They drag out the same old arguments that have been refuted countless times. What we as Christians need to do is to be ready to defend and explain why we believe as we do.
One thing that helps is that some of the greatest Christian apologists are former atheists. Such luminaries as CS Lewis, Josh McDowell and Lee Strobel all were atheists before they examined the evidence for Christianity and saw that what we believe stands on a firm foundation. Then we have people who have been lifelong Christians such as William Lane Craig and Norman Geisler who have written many scholarly books defending the faith.
Our work has not changed since Hebrews was written. We need to be able to articulate what we believe and why we believe to those who are unbelievers. It has become fashionable to not believe and have no religion and to even be hostile to religion. When we present our faith to others we need to do so in a loving manner. Too many people have been hurt by well-meaning Christians and this hurt has driven them away from Jesus. We need to love them back to Him.
Some however are beyond our abilities to convince. They have closed their minds to Jesus. They present themselves as people of reason and evidence but in fact they only believe what confirms what they want to believe. When a mind is that closed only God will be able to open it. All we can do is respond with the evidence and do so in a loving way.
The writer of Hebrews was trying to let those who were falling back on their old Jewish traditions that Jesus had brought us new traditions that far exceeded any of the old. Today we have people leaving the faith. We need to remind them that what they are leaving behind far exceeds anything new they are tempted to believe.
Have a blessed day,