1 Peter 3:15, “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”
Today the Christian faith is being attacked in many different ways and on many different levels. For example, the educational system, both on the college and elementary school level, is undermining the very foundation of the Bible claiming that it is nothing more than an inaccurate book filled with ancient myths that was poorly handed down over thousands of years.
The outspoken atheistic community loves to distort such issues like “intelligent design” verses “evolution” to make the Christian look unintelligent and blinded by “religious fanaticism” rather than being “scientific” and “rational” like themselves. Even the mainstream media loves to present fundamental Christians as “backwards” and “intolerant” when it comes to social issues such as gay rights, abortion and stem cell research. Yet, they portray the godless as champions of human flourishing.
At the same time secular skeptics are fighting against the Christian faith. Thousands of cults, like Jehovah Witnesses and Mormons, along with world religions like Islam and Hinduism, teach their false interpretations of the Bible that brings confusion to the seeker. Plus, just in the last 50 years there have been literally hundreds of new religious sects, many with people claiming to be Jesus, who attack us from a thousand different angles but they all agree on one thing; they teach that the historic Christian faith is wrong!
Peter faced similar times when he wrote today’s verse. The Roman world, with their pantheon of gods, mocked the Christians for only having “one God.” The Greek philosophers ridiculed the Christians for believing in ole’ Jewish myths and not the wise teachers like Plato, Socrates and Zeno. Plus, the Jewish leaders called the new Christian faith “a cult’ because it deified Jesus and broke with popular Jewish scholarship. And to top it all off, multiple groups in Christianity like the Gnostics distorted the teachings of Christ to fit with their previous pagan ideals like “dualism.”
Therefore, Peter taught that all disciples must do the following in every age; (1) Revere (honor) Jesus as Lord, (2) Always be prepared by studying the Bible thoroughly, (3) Give an answer to those who question our faith (Greek, “apologia,” known as “apologetics,” the art of defending the truth) and (4) Give our answers and defense of historic Christianity with gentleness and respect.
Despite the great and numerous attacks against the church, the gates of hell still have not prevailed, nor will they ever do so. The Christian movement grows the most when the opposition is the greatest.
Vern Poythress wrote, “A true disciple is never ‘off duty.’ He is always a disciple. He is a disciple in the actions of his body, and a disciple also in the actions of his mind—a renewed mind. Consequently, he is a disciple in every word that he utters in an apologetic discussion.” Now is the time to know why you believe what you believe and to defend it, while preaching the gospel and making new disciples!
- Study the Bible to show yourself approved (2 Timothy 3:16-4:5).
- Consider taking Bible classes on apologetics and buying the following books; Reasonable Faith, by William Lane Craig, Kingdom of the Cults, by Walter Martin and Apologetics: A Justification for Christian Belief, by John Frame.
- Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to use you to preach the truth, with gentleness and respect, to those who question your faith.