We have been discussing the importance of apologetics. How it helps you become clear and confident about what you believe. Practicing apologetics is explicitly commanded in Scripture and the writers of Scripture practiced it thoroughly. Also, while apologetics does not “save” people, God is pleased to use it as a means of convincing people to hear his gospel saving message. And finally, apologetics glorifies God.
Early on in this series I said that apologetics is urgent as well as important. So, how is apologetics urgent? Jude tells us, in Jude 3, “although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.” It is interesting that Jude prioritized contending for the faith over a discussion of Jesus Christ’s soul saving acts.
Apologetics is urgent because there are false teachers in the world actively seeking to deceive you.
What happened that caused Jude to do this? He continues, “certain people have crept in unnoticed… ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” There are people who understand the gospel but distort it to the point of even denying Jesus Christ. Apologetics is urgent because these people are out there and are actively deceiving others. And they are everywhere
Atheists want you to believe Jesus is mythical character whose teachings can be summarized into a small pamphlet. Often they are evangelical in their beliefs. Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and the late Christopher Hitchens write books and go on speaking tours about their ideas.
The Latter-day Saints (Mormons) want you to think he is a deified human being. One of many “gods” who faithfully do what Latter-day Saints do. The Latter Day Saints send their children on two year missions going door to door spreading their ideas.
And the list goes on with people who will not let Jesus speak for himself though his closest friends. All of these voices have an effect on people.
Apologetics is urgent because people are abandoning the faith
Jude continues in verse 22-23 “And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire.”
Many throw up their hands and say, “who knows?!” They abandon the pursuit of truth as it relates to God. Apologetics is a means to open the ears of people who have given up. Apologetics gives critics reasons to consider Jesus Christ.
Some people are deceived and convert. They too abandon the pursuit of truth as it relates to God. Apologetics is a means to give them pause about some of their beliefs. Apologetics gives people answers to difficult challenges to the Christian faith.
Apologetics is urgent because you need to be prepared for the unexpected.
Unfortunately some people think it isn’t important to study Apologetics, but then it dramatically affects their personal lives. They have a crisis of faith like an old friend of mine of mine from church. He read Richard Dawkins popular book “The God Delusion” and I never saw him again.
Someone in their family may deny God. I recently had a friend ask me in desperation what they can do to help their loved one.
The answer to situations like these, and more, is to prepare (study apologetics) when things are not urgent so that you will be prepared (1 Peter 3:15) when they are urgent.
Have you ever been in that situation where someone challenges your faith and you don’t know what to say?