Topics: evidence for the global flood, evidence of Jesus’ resurrection, Jesus occupation & means of receiving support, how far one can stray from Bible teaching and still be part of the church
What evidence is there that the global flood of Noah really took place?
This answer will share only a few examples of the evidence of Noah’s flood. For more study, visit Apologetics Press.
Several aquatic fossils have been found preserved in rock high above sea level on Black Balsam Knob in the Appalachian Mountains, a clear indication that this region in which we are now had been under water at some point. Outside of the global flood of Noah, how else did these AQUATIC, water-living fossils get way up on the side of a mountain?
A whale was discovered fossilized on its back at a 60-degree angle with its tail down and its head pointing up. Evolutionist scientist Harvey Olney said this was due to the whale “standing on its tail for 100,000 years.” However, in order for anything to be fossilized, it has to be covered by sediment from water, ice and wind rather quickly or else it’ll decompose. What huge, catastrophic event would cause that whale to become fossilized in such a position? Only the global flood can explain it.
A fossil collector found fossilized trilobites, an extinct aquatic creature, inside of a fossilized human footprint on the side of a mountain in Utah some 2,000 feet above sea level. How did that sea-dwelling animal get to be inside of a human footprint high above the sea on the side of a mountain? What would cause it to become fossilized way up there? (Remember, fossilization requires something being covered in sediment from water, ice and wind rather quickly to avoid decomposition.) Only the global flood of Noah satisfactorily explains it.
On the day the flood began, “…all the fountains of the great deep burst forth…” (Gen. 7:11). “The fountains of the deep” literally refers to things like “springs, well, or fountains.” It refers to the gigantic stores of water buried under the earth’s crust under the ocean floor. On the day the flood began, these “springs, wells, or fountains” under the ocean floor “burst forth,” or were “broken up.” Think about what that would do. Just the sheer force of breaking these deep layers would have caused massive fissures and earthquakes, resulting in large cracks and rifts deep within the earth’s crust. Those cracks and rifts would explode, releasing subterranean water and causing huge volcanic activity under the water.
The fossil record shows that there are volcanic rocks interspersed between the fossil layers. We’ve taken ice-core samples from both North and South Poles that have volcanic ash found in them. One scientist took 7,100 feet of ice core samples from nine different Antartic glaciers and found over 2,000 individual volcanic ash falls embedded in the ice.
How did that volcanic rock get embedded into the fossil layers? How did that volcanic ash get so deeply buried inside 7,100 feet of frozen water? It happened during the global flood, when the fountains of the great deep were being broken up.
(The data provided in the above answer was found in Brad Harrub’s book, Convicted: A Scientist Examines The Evidence For Christianity.)
Why do we believe Jesus rose from the dead?
If Jesus did not truly rise from the dead, then did His apostles steal and hide His body? The enemies of Christ bribed the Roman soldiers who had guarded His body to make this claim (Matt. 28:13). Yet in order for this to be true, untrained civilian Galileans would have had to have summoned the courage and skill necessary to break the seals and remove a huge stone right under the nose of trained military professionals who were under pain of death to not fall asleep in the first place. Plus, all the apostles had to gain by stealing the body and claiming Jesus had been resurrected would prove to be nothing but torture and death. People may choose to undergo pain and death due to believing a lie, but no one willingly goes through pain and death knowing that they are perpetrating a hoax.
So did His enemies steal His body? Is it perhaps still buried somewhere in Palestine? If that had been the case, all His enemies had to do to nip Christianity in the bud would be to produce Jesus’ body on the day of Pentecost or any day afterward. His body was under guard, after all; the tomb had been sealed, and records would have been available to document where His body had been placed.
The only plausible answer for any of these questions is that Jesus truly did rise from the dead.
Did Jesus work to earn a wage? If not, how were His necessities provided?
During His ministry, Jesus was thought of by His fellow Nazarenes as “the carpenter” (Mark 6:3). Thus, we know that before He started His ministry He worked at some point as a carpenter, following His earthly father Joseph’s trade (Matt. 13:55). It is unlikely that He continued work as a carpenter during His ministry due to His constant traveling and lack of stable lodging (Matt. 8:20).
Also, others provided for His and His disciples’ needs during His ministry, others such as many women, some of whom were quite wealthy like Joanna, the wife of Herod’s manager (Lk. 8:1-3).
How far from the teachings of the Bible can a group be and still be considered part of the one true church?
The New Testament says there is one body (Eph. 4:4), and that body is the church of Jesus Christ of which He is the head (Eph. 1:22-23). Thus, there is only one church which God recognizes in the Bible.
This church is the pillar and ground of the truth (1 Tim. 3:15). The truth is God’s Word (John 17:17), and the church must abide in that Word in order to be set free from sin (John 8:31-32). Thus, the one church must be completely aligned with the New Testament in all teaching and practice in order for Jesus to be its Savior (Eph. 5:23).
Whenever a localized assembly of this one universal church began through people obeying the gospel and becoming Christians, the New Testament records that these new converts would then be taught all that God had commanded them over an unknown period of time (Matt. 28:20; Acts 2:42).
During this period they would initially be considered spiritual infants in need of spiritual “milk” consisting of the elementary points of Christian doctrine, but were expected to grow in knowledge to the point of being ready to be instructed in spiritual “meat,” moving beyond the elementary doctrines (1 Cor. 3:1-2; Heb. 5:12-6:3).
Localized assemblies of the one universal church as well as individual Christians within those assemblies were rebuked and corrected whenever they strayed either in teaching or practice from the doctrine of God contained within the New Testament (e.g., Acts 15; 18:24-26; Gal. 1:6-9; 1 Cor. 1:10-13; 2 Pet. 2:1-3; 3 John 9-11; Jude 3-23; Rev. 3:14-22). That correction, as well as all other instruction and exhortation, was to be given with patience (2 Tim. 2:24-26; 4:2).
Individual Christians who proved after several corrections to still be unrepentant teachers of falsehood and/or practitioners of sin were to have fellowship withdrawn from them by the rest of the church (Matt. 18:15-17; Rom. 16:17-18; 1 Cor. 5:1-13; 2 Thess. 3:6, 14-15). Whole assemblies proven to be unrepentant in sin were said to have their lampstand removed from its place (Rev. 2:5), meaning that Christ would no longer consider them to be His church (Rev. 1:20).
On the other hand, any and all Christians who have sinned through the teaching of error or practice of sin but have also acknowledged their wrongdoing and repented of it are promised complete and total forgiveness (1 John 1:7-9; Acts 8:22; 2 Cor. 7:9-11). While failure to abide in any aspect of one’s law makes one guilty of sin (Jas. 2:10-11), God’s grace, mercy, and patience motivates Him to provide to all numerous opportunities to grow in knowledge and repent where needed (1 Tim. 1:12-16).
In the end, each of us must continually study the totality of the Word with open and honest hearts and thus come to be where God wants us to be (Ps. 1:1-2; 119:160; Lk. 8:15). Doing so will result in exactly that: one being in the one church of which Jesus is the Savior (Is. 55:11; Eph. 5:23).
We must be careful to avoid at all costs a mindset which tests God in any way by seeing how close we can come to straying outside of His commandments while still being a part of His church (Matt. 4:7). Doing so will likely result with us being put outside of it, either in this life or at judgment (Matt. 13:41-42).