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The biggest decision to make....

The Vineyard

Dear Friends:

In the book of Acts I read the following narrative about Paul when he preached to the Athenians:

“When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, “We want to hear you again on this subject.” At that, Paul left the Council. Some of the people became followers of Paul and believed.”

And that is the history of mankind when it comes to responding to Jesus. Either Jesus did raise from the dead or He did not—there’s no middle ground. If He did, everything He said about Himself and all the prophecies about Him are valid, fulfilled and He is Lord. If He did not, nothing we say about Christianity really matters and we that preach about Him have misled people and misrepresented God!

All of this first came to my mind when I graduated from Seminary in 1983.  I was brought up to believe all that the Bible said was true and to take all that the preacher spoke from the pulpit as valid. But when I turned twenty-six I went through a crisis of faith and began to wonder if I really believed any of it.  How could I be sure that Jesus even existed?  Who is alive today that can testify to His miracles, crucifixion, resurrection, ascension and so forth?  What if all I have been taught is no more than a fairy tale or “myth”?

What brought light and drove away the clouds of doubt was my “discovery”  of the truth.  And here’s what I came to believe: That Jesus of Nazareth really did live, teach, and walk the earth.  He also talked about His death and subsequent resurrection, and He did a cruel death on a cross. Most importantly, I also came to see, without a doubt an unequivocally, that Jesus rose from the grave.  No man has ever claimed to be God and have power and then prove it.   That is what changed my ministry and life. I was so sure of it that I determined that there  was nothing more important in my life than the reality of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

I could explain the way I came to know this and talk about the Christian apologists that helped me come to this conclusion, but that’s not the point if this letter. My point is that until you believe in the resurrection you will always be secretly sneering at the suggestion that Jesus rose from the grave.  You will never be sure that you will also be raised to reign with him forever!

Who do you know that really believes???

What do you believe in that you’ve not witnessed first hand???

If you do believe, how would that change your life forever?

Dean Barley

The Vineyard

336 351 2070

919 360 8493 (Mobile)

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