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By Kenneth R. Samples
It’s one thing to believe in Christ when you are healthy and everything is going well; it is quite another when you believe death is imminent.
Almost ten years ago I experienced a life-threatening illness when a bacterial infection invaded my lungs and brain. Early on, my doctors thought I might have stage IV brain cancer. Since most patients in that condition die quickly, the diagnosis led me to do some soul searching. Though multiple abscessed brain lesions made thinking difficult, I lay in my hospital bed late at night, alone, and asked myself whether I really believed that Christianity was indeed true.
This introspective mood was challenging and, frankly speaking, is an experience I will never forget. I asked myself whether it was a mistake to believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God and Savior. I wondered what my fate would be if another religion, such as Islam or Hinduism, were true. I also considered the possibility of atheistic naturalism being true where physical death is the final end. This existential reflection was brief, blurred by both the lesions and heavy pain medications.
In more lucid moments I refocused on my deepest Christian convictions. Lines from the Apostles’ Creed, this historic Christian statement of faith I’ve known and recited most of my life, came to mind. I concentrated as best I could on the middle section of the creed, which summarizes the great events Jesus Christ’s life.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his [God’s] only son our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit born of the virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended into hell. The third day he rose again from the dead.
Slowly, the objective reasons that supported my belief in Jesus Christ’s historical resurrection from the dead came back to me. These reasons include seven points of evidence for the Resurrection that I lecture about, time and time again, in my apologetics ministry…
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