If you’ve never listened to James MacDonald of Harvest Bible Chapel (radio ministry walk in the word), you really need to. He’s such a great preacher of God’s word and he really makes it come alive. He definitely has the gift of exhortation – like to the power of 11. While he does not really have a focus on apologetics, he’ll go there when the text goes there. In the series “The Power of Christian Community”, he has a message titled “Powered by the Holy Spirit”. Here is an excerpt from part 3 (speaking about Acts 1:1-3 he says):
Just the facts Ma’am – nothing but the facts. That’s what he’s saying here – all that Jesus began to do – what He did and what He said, until the day that He was taken up – after He had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles that He had chosen. (oh this is good…) To them He presented Himself – Jesus presented Himself alive – after His suffering by many proofs – I love that! That word ‘proof’ is used only here in the New Testament. It deals with incontrovertible evidence – as in “the facts of Jesus’ resurrection would hold up in court”. In fact 1 Corinthians 15:6 says that Jesus appeared to more than 500 witnesses, and I’m gonna tell ya – if Jesus Christ kind of got in your face – He’s like “I’m alive, I’m alive!, can ya deal with it?” And 500 people he appeared to. So much so, this is amazing, that these people, many of them, do you know that they went to their death, out of loyalty to Jesus Christ. So, this wasn’t some fabricated thing – it really happened. And that’s why, it wasn’t even really being debated in the early church.
I love the fact that he’s so fired up about the fact that Jesus presented Himself alive to His disciples by many proofs! I’ve listened to many of the messages from James MacDonald on the book of Acts and they are really great – it motivates you to do evangelism, to be bold and not afraid to face suffering, ridicule, persecution, etc. as a price for being a witness for Christ.