Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Testimony of the Early Church - Some more proof for the truth

 MATHEW 19:24
24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

  Picture this : your whole entire life you live in a mansion. You were born a billionaire, you knew no poverty, you ate nothing but fine dining everyday of your life. Your rich family went back 3000 years, your only job in life was to follow the family traditions and pass the wealth down the generations. One day a man shows up at your door dressed in stinky raggedy clothes, he begins to teach you amazing but controversial things. Then he says to you, you must turn away from everything you've ever known, move into a garbage filled dumpster and you would most likely get killed for doing it.What would it take for you to give up everything and follow such a crazy person? The answer is; an absolute guarantee without a shadow of a doubt, the man was God and you would live for ever.

That's just what the early church founders believed, they were so sure that Jesus was the truth, they were willing to give up everything they knew and even die for it. Here are just 3 Historical figures who were willing to go the distance for their belief in Jesus Christ.

1 ) Joseph of Arimathea

A member of the Jewish Sanhedrin (the religious leaders who sentenced Jesus Christ to the cross) A secret believer in Jesus Christ, gave his tomb for an executed "blasphemer". This would have been completely unheard of and unacceptable by the council members. These actions would ruin his political status, and therefore everything he had.

JOHN 19:38
 38 Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jewish leaders. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. 

2)  Mark - Son of Peter, Author of the 1st written Gospel

 Mark was the son of Peter, who was a direct apostle of Jesus Christ. Being Peter's son, he would have learned everything about Jesus' life from his own father. It is widely accepted that the book of Mark book was the first Gospel written. One thing that makes this book so historically acceptable is that the story of  Jesus' empty tomb was first discovered by women (one who may have once been a prostitute). Because of this, all of Mark's credibility would be shattered during those times. Even though the writers knew that people would scoff at such a claim they stuck to there story, and that's how we know the empty tomb is a fact and the story is true.

 1 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. 2 Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 3 and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?” 

3) Saul of Tarsus (Paul the Apostle)

A Jewish pharisee who made it his life to track down the earliest followers of Jesus Christ and bring them to court where they would be convicted and killed for their crimes. On the road to Damascus he met the risen Jesus Christ and was transformed spiritually. He went on to become the author of the majority of the New Testament Bible and was later killed for his beliefs. Paul also wrote the earliest account of the resurrected Christ, 50-60 years before any of the Gospels were written, just 3-5 years after Jesus death.

(the earliest account of the resurrection)
4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.