Why did the disciples not believe in the first place?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by xdisciplex, May 7, 2006.

  1. xdisciplex

    xdisciplex
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    Do you know what's kind of strange?
    Today there is an argument which goes like this: If you present the case of the resurrection to a sincere seeker then he will acknowledge that it's true because of all the evidence unless he doesn't want to believe in God.

    But look at this:

    Luk 24:12 Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.

    Peter saw the clothes and he knew Jesus and he also had heard what Jesus had said about what would happen to him and in spite of this he wondered. Does this mean Peter did not want to believe because inspite of all the evidence he did not believe but all he could do is wonder? Of course not. Peter wanted to believe like all the other disciples but then why didn't he believe when he saw all of this?
    If not even the disciples believed when they were presented these facts then it's it a bit strange to expect people to believe because of the gospels 2000 years later? The disciples were there and had seen it and all we have today is the scriptures which is also a huge difference.
    I mean is it really as easy as some christians make it look like? Are the facts really so convincing that every sincere seeker has to be convinced? :confused:
    There is an attorney who wanted to disprove the resurrection and then looked at the case and became a believer because of the evidence, he analyzed the case and it convinced him. I dont know if this also would have convinced me as an atheist. I mean isn't it also a bit easy to say that the behavior of the disciples cannot be explained any other way and because of this it has to be true? Because this is what christians say. They say that the disciples totally changed their behavior and the only explanation is that Jesus is risen and this basically settles the case. Is it really that easy? If it was so clear then shouldn't everybody be convinced by it and shouldn't everybody admit it and submit to God? :confused:
    Imagine you're an atheist and a christian comes to you with this argument. He tells you that after Jesus' death the disciples were totally down and then suddenly they changed and became courageous and died for their faith and this proves that something must have happened, would this argument have been enough to make you a believer? Or would you have needed more reasons to believe?
    I think most atheists would laugh about this and not be impressed at all, but why? Because they don't want to believe? Or is it because they were not there and did not see it? Is it because they are sceptical of ancient literature and think that this is just fiction and even if the arguments are convincing they are only convincing if it really happened this way? Maybe this is the problem, that they simply do not think that the gospels are reliable because they are so old and not many people were there which could have raised their voice when they had found things in the gospels which are not correct. For example who was there and also witnessed what happened at the tomb except the disciples and the women? Nobody else. Then also nobody else was able to say something if the gospels had not been written down correctly. But one argument of christians is that there were so many hostile witnesses and they would directly have said something if the gospels had not been correct. :confused:

    [ May 07, 2006, 12:34 AM: Message edited by: xdisciplex ]
     
  2. Jim1999

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    Frank Morrison, who authored Who Moved The Stone, was a London journalist, who set out to prove that Jesus did not exist in history. He not only proved that Jesus lived, but convinced himself that the stories about Jesus' life, death and resurrection were also true based on journalistic research. He returned to England a believer. He later studied law and became a barrister. His articles first appeared in the early 30's.

    Yes, one can find the truth through a rational search into historical data. Ultimately, it is the Word of God which brings about conviction and conversion. A good read of Morrison's book will show this fact.

    Whenever, I witnessed to unbelievers at the university, I always worked from the facts of the historical Jesus. If we can't establish that Jesus lived,,,,,we are without hope from an intellectual basis.

    The early disciples are not to be faulted. They were anticipating an earthly reign by Messiah. They were looking for a military victory with Jesus in the lead. When Jesus was crucified, died and was buried, they fled in despair until Jesus appeared, Even then Thomas wanted further evidence.

    The Kingdom of God is not earthly. It is heavenly, and Jesus sits at the right hand of God at this very moment and reigns supreme.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  3. xdisciplex

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    Hi Jim!
    I don't want to fault the disciples. They were only human. But I ask myself if these evidences which the gospel presents are really so clear and convincing that people simply have to believe or wether in the end it still takes faith because if it was an undenieable fact then you also wouldn't need faith anymore.
     
  4. Jim1999

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    Hi xdisciple:

    As humans, we use every means available to us, but in the end, it is all of God. We are nothing but fallen humans, dead in sin after the fall. We cannot believe unto eternal life no matter how we may try. "Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God."

    We are not called to save anyone. We are only called to present the word to the world. We don't know when or how the Lord will bring someone to Himself, so we remain faithful, even using the best rationale we can muster to present the truth.

    "Ambassadors have no battleships at their disposal, or heavy infantry, or fortresses. Their weapons are words and opportunities." Demosthenes, 343BC...........

    2 Cor 5:20 "...we are ambassadors for Christ...."

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  5. BobRyan

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    Thomas "Did not believe" until "he saw". Christ said "you believe BECAUSE you SEE but blessed are those who believe and DO NOT see" - speaking of us.

    IT is the Holy Spirit that "Convicts" of this truth - when the lost person encounters God they experience the New Birth and this confirms their faith.

    But I don't know that people get a lot of scientific evidence on the resurrection in place before accepting the Gospel. Nobody was taking pictures or sampling evidence.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  6. SpyHunter

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    My pastor mentioned this in a sermon just last week. He's broaching the book of 1 Peter, and he mentioned Peter's progression as a man and as an apostle.
    This particular incident with the tomb evidently has a few nuances in the Greek which are somewhat lost in the English translation. The basic gyst of it, though, is this (based from the account of John):
    1) Peter and John see the stone is rolled away.
    2) Peter sees the tomb is empty and is dumbfounded.
    3) Peter goes in first, takes notice of everything and remains confused. John enters as well, and then they "see and believe." I suppose the image we should take from this is the cartoonish idea of a light bulb turning on.
    At first, Peter was in shock and was confused-- earthly logic says he should not believe what he was seeing. But then he perceived the earthly clues as to the spiritual miracle, remembered the words of Christ, and then believed.
    I hope that gives you at least some idea.

    Blessings,
    SpyHunter
     
  7. xdisciplex

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    But actually to get born again you already have to have faith before being born again because if you do not have faith you would not even accept Jesus, right? Anything different wouldn't make much sense.
    Is it also possible that a person believes and God has nothing to do with it? For example when a person is raised in a christian family then this person is more likely to believe than a person raised in an unbelieving family. Or what if somebody only believes because he is more gullible while somebody else is more sceptical and doesn't believe because of this? Does faith always have to be caused by God?
     
  8. BobRyan

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    God says in John 12:32 "I DRAW ALL MANKIND unto Me" and in John 3 we see that the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit draws and enables the lost to take that first step of belief.

    So while you are right that something unnusual has to happen to get that lost person to believe - it is not "the New Birth" miracle - rather it is the miracle of ENABLING free will and the CHOICE to believe.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  9. SpyHunter

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    disciple, there is a difference between knowledge and respect toward God and a true relationship and work begun in faith.

    The difference? I can be raised in a family of Michael Jordan fans. I can know Michael's height, weight, age, MVP rating, free-throw count, number of assists, which teams he's played for, what college he played for in his educational years, etc.
    But if I do not really know him, then I am just another fan. I bet Michael's kids know a thing or two about basketball. That's the difference between a fan and a son.

    Blessings,
    SpyHunter
     
  10. xdisciplex

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    Yes, I can what you mean Spy.A personal decision is necessary.

    @ Bob

    Are you saying that those which do not believe do not believe because they cannot even believe?

    General question:

    Is this argument really so strong that everybody should become a believer because of it? I mean many christians say that the behavior of the disciples cannot be explained any other way and this means it must have happened. Would this one argument be enough to convert you?
    What would you do if in a city near you a group of people claimed to have seen a dead person come back from the dead and they are totally enthusiastic and are even willing to die for their belief would this really convince you? I don't think so. I think I would think that these guys did drugs or are simply nuts. I mean who would be convinced by this?
    I think the personal relationship also plays a role. When we grow up we already hear about Jesus in school and maybe in church, I think this also plays a role. Jesus isn't strange to us. If we had never heard about him I think believing in him would be harder because he would be a stranger and we wouldn't even know how trustworthy he is. But since christianity is a huge religion and many people have believed in Jesus before it also gives us some stability somehow. At least I feel this way.
     
  11. SpyHunter

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    Let me show you what Paul thought about this very same issue.

    1 Corinthians 2:3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
    4 And my speech and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
    5 that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

    Maybe that will shed a little light on your question.
     
  12. BobRyan

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    No I am saying that God must supernaturally provide the ability to unbelievers TO believe and He claims "he does so" for "ALL MANKIND".

    "If I be lifted up I will DRAW ALL MANKIND unto ME" John 12:32.

    No exceptions.

    But "all" are not "turned into robots" in so doing.

    No exceptions.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  13. xdisciplex

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    But the question is can every unbeliever believe?
    Does he already have the ability to OR does God only give him the ability is he sees that this person wants to believe or would believe if he could?
     
  14. Jim1999

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    The only thing fallen man is attracted to is evil itself. He is declared dead in sins and trespasses. "Except a man be born again.......". That is a rebirth, not a rehash.

    The cross convicts, it does not convert. The blood of the cross is sufficient for all, but efficacious for some; the elect of God. That is what the whole of scripture teaches. We cannot confuse the sovereign will of God and the permissive will of man.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     

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