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Focus on the Family Broadcast

Evidence for the Existence of God (Part 2 of 2)

Evidence for the Existence of God (Part 2 of 2)

Lee Strobel demonstrates how many scholars and academics now say science actually points to the existence of a divine Creator. He explores the question of why suffering occurs, even though we have a caring, personal heavenly Father. He will provide you with solid evidence of God’s existence and help you better understand why you can trust and believe in the Creator of the universe. (Part 2 of 2)
Original Air Date: April 3, 2024

Preview:

Lee Strobel: If God is not real, we don’t have free will, we have no after-life, no hope for anything beyond this world. Uh, there’s all these implications that’d flow out of that, and I think people, when a culture begins to slide in that direction as our culture has, then people begin to say, “Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. wait a minute. Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Um, is there any hope? Is there anything I can grasp on to that can give me something beyond this world?”

End of Preview

John Fuller: Well, that’s Lee Strobel, and he’s back again with us today on Focus on the Family with Jim Daly. Thanks for joining us. I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: John, again, I so excited to have Lee back. Day two, this is my, you know, hothouse.

John: You have, uh, stepped up.

Jim: (laughs)

John: You’re very engaged on this stuff.

Jim: I just love the topic.

John: Yeah.

Jim: I mean, to me, it’s one of those questions. Why as a human being would you not try to answer “is God real”, which is the title of this Lee’s book. It’s a great title-

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: … because it’s the number one question when you look at searches, et cetera, “Is God real?” I would tell you, if you’ve answered that question, get on a horse and start trying to find the answer. And what I mean by getting on a horse is get the evidence. Do the research. There’s so many great resources now that can guide you in that way. It’s not a brainwashing. This is factual data. Did Jesus rise from the dead, yes or no? That kinda is the game-changer. If He claimed to be the messiah and died and was resurrected, wouldn’t you wanna embrace that?

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: And, uh, that’s what we’re talking about, Is God Real?, a wonderful book, and, uh, all I can say is we’re gonna do the best job we can to present the material, and then it’s up to you. And this is one place you should not hesitate to investigate and determine for yourself, yes, I believe in Jesus or, no, I don’t.

John: Mm-hmm, and Lee Strobel is back with us. As I said, he has been here a number of times on the broadcast. He currently serves as founding director of the Lee Strobel Center for Evangelism and Applied Apologetics, uh, at Colorado Christian University just up the road. And, of course, uh, he is a best-selling author of the book that, uh, really forms the foundation for our conversation today. Uh, and we can’t cover it all, so get a copy of the book as Jim said.

Jim: That’s for sure.

John: Uh, the book is Is God Real?: Exploring the Ultimate Question of Life. And we’d invite you to call us for a copy, 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY, 800-232-6459, or stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: Lee, it’s great to have you back.

Lee: Oh, wonderful to be back. (laughs)

Jim: (laughs) Day two.

Lee: Yeah, there you go.

Jim: I could probably do a month’s-

Lee: (laughs)

Jim: … worth of programming with you, but, uh, it’s just so much fun, and it’s like, you know, the spirit within us when we talk about “Is God Real?”

Lee: Yeah.

Jim: I mean, I think there’s something in me that gets excited.

Lee: Me, too. (laughs)

Jim: Oh, you’re excited? Yeah, what a wonderful way to spend your life. (laughs)

Lee: Well, you know what, and I find out, in our culture today, which is increasingly skeptical and even hostile toward the faith, more and more people are saying, “Is there evidence? Is there any reason to believe? Is it rational? Is it logical? Does it make sense?” and I wanna say, “Yes. A thousand times yes.”

Jim: It’s great to start there. We touched on it last time, and then if you missed the program last time, get the download, go to the website of Focus, get the app for your smartphone. You can listen to every episode that way.

John: Mm-hmm. Right.

Jim: And, uh, boy, get to it because that was some great content yesterday. But we touched on it and didn’t dig any deeper, but there does seem to be a slight decline in those who believe in God.

Lee: Yes.

Jim: Uh, give us those numbers-

Lee: Yeah.

Jim: … and your perceptions to what’s going on.

Lee: Yeah. I met my wife in 1966. Uh, back then in 1967, according to the Gallup poll, 98% of Americans believe in God.

Jim: Think of that.

Lee: 98%. Today, the number is 81%, the lowest in history. And, if you ask people, “Are you sure that God exists?” it goes down to the 60s, about, about 65-

Jim: Yeah.

Lee: … 64%.

Jim: So the question is why has that happened and, and what are your observations about it?

Lee: I think there’s a lot of reasons, but I think one that’s particularly relevant to Focus on the Family is, uh, uh, I see this correlation between trends in America. One is the increase in spiritual skepticism, people who question whether God exists, and the other trend is the increase in fatherless families.

Jim: Hmm.

Lee: I think there’s a connection. Paul Vitz, who has a Ph.D., uh, at, uh, New York University, wrote a book called Faith of the Fatherless years ago, and what he did is he researched the lives of famous atheists through history. Camus, Sartre, Neitzsche, Freud, Voltaire, uh, Wells, Fuerbach, um, uh, O’Hair, Every single one of them either had a father who died when they were young, divorced their mother when they were young-

Jim: Hmm.

Lee: … or with whom they had a very difficult relationship. And the implication is, if your earthly father has abandoned you, disappointed you, hurt you, abused you in some way, then you don’t really wanna know about a Heavenly Father because you think He’s just gonna be a magnified version of your earthly father, He’s only gonna hurt you more, and so you’ll find… Uh, you, you don’t realize this is going on, but, it will cost you to kinda manufacture reasons not to believe. And if you don’t wanna believe, any reason is good enough, so you’ll come up with these reasons why you don’t believe that God exists. Now, I was an atheist for much of my life, and I had had a terrible relationship with my father.

Jim: So you fit the mold.

Lee: I fit the mold.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Lee: I remember my dad looking at me on the eve of my high school graduation. We had a big blow-out argument, and he said, “I don’t have enough love for you to fill my little finger.”

Jim: Wow.

Lee: And so we had a difficult relationship. Did that influence me to walk down the road to atheism? I think so. Was I aware of it? No, and so I think… Now, by the way, I’ll mention this. If, if, if somebody’s listening and saying, oh, my goodness-

Jim: I never thought about it.

Lee: … never… Maybe that’s true for me. Maybe it’s true for some… my best friend or whatever. Here’s the antidote. C. S. Lewis said this. He said imagine… Say to your friend or whoever is going through this, Say to your friend, “Can you imagine for just a moment what the perfect father would be like? Just imagine what would he be like?” “Oh, well, He’d be gracious. He’d be kind. He’d be your biggest cheerleader. He’d be your biggest encourager. He’d, he’d pick you up in His lap and give you a hug. I’d say, well, that is the picture of your Heavenly Father.

Jim: Right.

Lee: Your Heavenly Father is not just a magnified version of your earthly father. He is, uh, fundamentally different. He is the perfect father. He is the father who you long to have for eternity.

Jim: Uh, Lee, last time, and this shouldn’t… e- e- entice people to go, listen, we ended with a story of you interviewing Hugh Hefner-

Lee: Mm-hmm.

Jim: … from Playboy and talking to him about the resurrection-

Lee: Yeah.

Jim: … of Christ, so God bless you for even-

Lee: (laughs)

Jim: … doing that. I mean, that’s amazing courage and, you know, an iconic figure in atheism, agnosticism, whatever you wanna call it-

Lee: Yeah.

Jim: … Hugh Hefner. You also had some discussion, I believe, with, uh, Evel Knievel. Are you-

Lee: Yes.

Jim: You know, you’re interviewing some very interesting people.

Lee: I’ve had some fascinating… and Charles Templeton-

Jim: Yeah.

Lee: … the famous skeptic from Canada, the number one skeptic.

Jim: So let’s, let’s kick off day two-

Lee: Yeah.

Jim: … with your Evel Knievel discussion.

Lee: Oh, sure.

Jim: What’d you say to him?

Lee: Well, Evel Knievel was on a beat. You know, Evel Knievel lived. He was a womanizer. He was a drunk. He was a gambler. He was a… He was a bad dude.

Jim: He didn’t seem to respect life very much-

Lee: No.

Jim: … I mean, like even his own.

Lee: He had more broken bones than anybody in the world according to, uh, the-

Jim: He had broken every bo- every bone.

Lee: … Guinness Book of World Records. He’d broken everything. And here he is on the beach in his later years, and God spoke to him.

Jim: Huh.

Lee: And, and he said, “I felt it on the inside, and God said, ‘Robert, I’ve saved you more times than you’ll ever know. Now you need to come to me through my Son Jesus.’”

Jim: Wow.

Lee: And it freaked him out because he didn’t know. He, he said, “I don’t even know who Jesus is,” so he called the only Christian he knew, Frank Gifford, the sportscaster.

Jim: Yeah.

Lee: He called Frank Gifford.

Jim: Oh, yeah.

Lee: … and said, “Frank, I had this experience. God spoke to me and… But who is Jesus?” And Frank said, “Um, get that book, The Case for Christ, by Lee Strobel because…”

Jim: Oh, you gotta love that.

Lee: “… that will kind of explain it, you know.”

Jim: Yeah, that’s great.

Lee: So, anyway, he reads my book. He becomes a radical born-again believer.

Jim: H- h- how old is he at this time?

Lee: Well, he’s in h- He’s in his, um, yeah, late 60s or early 70s.

Jim: Yeah.

Lee: But his health was failing, and he, um, probably the most radically transformed person I’d ever encounter, a 180-degree change so much so that, uh, when he was baptized, he gave his story, he gave his testimony, and then he looked at people out there in the congregation. “Do you know Jesus? Have you met Him?”

Jim: Wow.

Lee: “Have you encountered Him? Have you experienced Him?” and, and the pastor, literally, ripped up his sermon and said, “You’ve heard the gospel. If you wanna right now get a…” and this is a church that never, to my knowledge, had an altar call.

Jim: Ah.

Lee: He said, “If you wanna get up right now and come forward and receive Jesus and be baptized, come forward.” 700 people came forward in two services to receive Christ and be baptized on the spot.

Jim: Uh, let’s speak to a couple of other illustrations-

Lee: Yeah.

Jim: … or examples you have in that regard.

Lee: Yeah.

Jim: We hear a lot from the Middle East about Muslims having dreams-

Lee: Yes.

Jim: … that we’ve had a couple of guests on, uh, that have talked about-

Lee: Yes.

Jim: … those experiences-

Lee: Yes. Yes.

Jim: … their ministries. They’re in that part of world.

Lee: Yes.

Jim: We don’t wanna talk more about that because of the dangers involved.

Lee: Right.

Jim: But, uh, they are reporting that-

Lee: Yeah.

Jim: … that there seems to be this like incredible harvest-

Lee: Yes.

Jim: … spiritual harvest taking place-

Lee: That’s right.

Jim: … with Muslims.

Lee: That’s right.

Jim: What’s happening?

Lee: This is in a closed country where it’s illegal to share the gospel.

Jim: Right.

Lee: And what we’re seeing is a third to a quarter of Muslims who come to faith in Christ are because they have a Jesus dream. Now, what’s interesting about these dreams is that they don’t go to sleep as a Muslim, meet Jesus in a dream and become a Christian generally. What happens is, and this shows that the dreams are not just subjective, but there’s something objective really going on is that it will… Uh, the dream will point them towards something else that will explain the gospel and, and lead them to faith. So I’ll give you an example. There’s a woman named Noor in Cairo, mother of several children, Muslim woman. Uh, she has a Jesus dream. Jesus appears to her. She feels the love, the grace she’s never experienced this before, and she’s talking to Jesus. They’re walking along a lake, and she said, “Jesus, tell me more. Tell me more.” Ad He says to her, “My friend will tell you,” and she said, “Who’s your friend?” and then she realized there was another man walking with them. And, and Jesus said, “My friend will tell you.” Well, she wakes up from the dream. The next day, she goes to a crowded marketplace in Cairo and she sees the man from her dream, the exact man who had been walking next to Jesus. She goes up to him and said, “You, you,” and the guy, “Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. What’s, what’s, yeah, what’s going on?” She said, “You were in my dream. Same glasses. Same face. Same clothes. You were in my dream,” and the guy says, “Did you have a dream about Jesus?” And she said, “Yes.” Well, he was a missionary, and the only reason he had come to that crowded marketplace that day is because he felt God leading him to go to that crowded marketplace on that Friday. He… and, uh, and, and then so he opens the Bible and he shares the gospel with her.

Jim: Ah.

Lee: So this is what, generally happens. So this tells me this is more than just something going on in somebody’s head. This is something supernatural going on and this is the pattern that we see.

Jim: You know what I love about that? Last time we talked about God’s intricacy and detail orientation about setting the universe in exactly-

Lee: Yes.

Jim: … the right way that any one thing that would’ve been just off would not have allowed things to occur-

Lee: Right.

Jim: … like we experience them today. That’s amazing. That sounds like a job for God.

Lee: Yeah. (laughs)

Jim: Right?

Lee: Right.

Jim: Setting these things, but then you turn around and talk about that same God who is-

Lee: Yes.

Jim: … creating this situation for a woman and to reveal Himself. I mean, that is God.

Lee: It is.

Jim: It’s not just the working of the universe, but the tilt that He wants to have you come into a relationship with Him. It’s all of that.

Lee: Mm-hmm, each, each of us-

Jim: Yeah, I mean it’s-

Lee: … we’re all made in His image.

Jim: It’s hard-

Lee: He loves us.

Jim: … to even believe.

Lee: Yeah.

Jim: I think it’s uncomfortable-

Lee: Yeah.

Jim: … a bit to believe that God would know me and care about me like that.

Lee: Yeah. Mm-hmm.

Jim: Don’t look at me, Lord.

Lee: I talk in the book about the instances where people like Evel Knievel have had these direct experiences of God where He just, literally, intervenes in their life. Um, my friend Nabeel Qureshi who was a Muslim and, uh, very anti-Christian, and he got into all these debates with Christians trying to convince them that Christianity was false, and, and he had a dream. And in this dream, there was a banquet and yet, as he looked into this banquet, he realized he was excluded from the banquet. He wasn’t invited to the banquet. He didn’t accept the invitation to the banquet.

Jim: Wow.

Lee: And it was a chilling dream, and then he woke up and he said to his Christian friend, “Hey, I just had this weird dream. What does it mean?” And he said, “Look in the gospel of Luke because you just dreamed a scene from Luke’s gospel-

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Lee: “… about a banquet that God invites us to, but we have to accept the invitation.” And Nabeel Qureshi ended up not only coming to faith, but then becoming a great apologist and evangelist-

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Lee: … before his untimely death in 2017 and, uh-

Jim: Amazing.

Lee: … yeah, so… and wrote a great book called, uh, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus.

Jim: (laughs) There you go. It’s a top seller in the Middle East.

Lee: Yeah, I’d tell you.

Jim: Well, that’s nice.

Lee: Well, we’re talking today with Lee Strobel on Focus on the Family with Jim Daly. And, uh, this is the personal God of the Bible that we see. And, uh, Lee has, uh, taken, uh, to task a very big, ginormous task.

Lee: (laughs)

John: Is God Real? is the, uh, name of his book, Exploring the Ultimate Question of Life. Uh, we’re touching on, uh, portions of the book, uh, last time and today, but, uh, get a copy of this. Go through this. Be, uh, encouraged in your faith or, uh, maybe answered in your doubt through this book. We have details at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast, or give us a call, 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY.

Jim: Lee, I’m going to ask a couple of questions about wickedness, evil.

Lee: Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Jim: If the question is “is God real,” the second question is, “If there is a loving and kind God, why does evil occur?”

Lee: Yes.

Jim: Why do babies die?

Lee: Yes.

Jim: That kind of one reasoning and fair question.

Lee: Yes.

Jim: It’s not an off-the-table question especially if you’ve sat in front of people that great losses occurred in their life-

Lee: Yes.

Jim: … like the loss of a child.

Lee: It is the number one question. And it’s interesting that every worldview has to respond to this question-

Jim: Yeah.

Lee: … not just Christianity, but I think we’ve got the best answer.

Jim: And I’m… Again, I’m gonna ask a couple of questions-

Lee: Yeah.

Jim: … to get us there, but first is your experience as a journalist, training in university, you’ve got an assignment to go look at the underbelly of Chicago.

Lee: Yeah.

Jim: That kinda reinforced your atheism if I remember correctly.

Lee: That’s right.

Jim: Describe that, uh, assignment.

Lee: Yeah.

Jim: Why did it, uh, affirm your atheism?

Lee: Yeah. I mean, when I saw the, the kind of poverty… I mean, I grew up in the suburbs. My dad was pretty wealthy. Um, we lacked for nothing and-

Jim: Except love.

Lee: Except love, yeah, in many ways and, uh, and yet, um, uh, as a journalist with Chicago Tribune, I remember one of my first assignments was a, as I said, 30-part series on the poor of Chicago to profile a poor family or a poor person every day for 30 days.

Jim: Wow.

Lee: And so I went out into the poor sections of, of Chicago and found these people who lived in desperate situations, and it did dig my, uh, hole of atheism even deeper.

Jim: Why?

Lee: Um, because I thought, “How could there be a loving God if, if I’m in comfort in the suburbs and yet, just 30 miles away, people are living in poverty like this?” It just reinforced my idea there is no God. Um, and this, uh, is the number one objection that’s raised. I did a study, um, a few years ago. I hired Barna’s organization to do a, a scientific poll, and I asked Americans, “If you could ask God any one question and you knew He’d give you an answer right now, what would you ask Him?” And by a factor of 80% or so, the question is some permutation of why does God allow suffering. And, um, you know, my wife has a neuromuscular condition that has her in pain every single day. She’s been in pain every day for 20 years. She’ll be in pain every day for the rest of her life. She has an incurable condition, unless God does a miracle-

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Lee: … which He has not done, and so this is a personal issue. And, and I bet, for people listening, too, they’re saying, “Yeah, it’s a personal issue.” And, fortunately, we have a personal God-

Jim: Yeah.

Lee: … who provides good answers.

Jim: In that context, you interviewed Peter Kreeft-

Lee: Yes.

Jim: … who’s a Ph.D.

Lee: Yes.

Jim: I don’t know if it’s philosophy or-

Lee: Yes.

Jim: … in philosophy. You quote him in the book, and I just wanna read the last line of that-

Lee: Yeah.

Jim: … quote because it’s so powerful and it maybe for the first time kinda put it in context for me-

Lee: Mm-hmm.

Jim: … because it’s okay to, to be upset about suffering.

Lee: That’s right.

Jim: I mean, God is big enough to take that.

Lee: Right.

Jim: I think suffering that the scripture talks about certainly leads to good things if we allow it to do its good work.

Lee: Right.

Jim: And, uh, yet, at the same time, it shouldn’t be the obstacle to why we believe in God.

Lee: Yeah.

Jim: But the quote was this. The source of evil is not God’s power, I would even add His existence-

Lee: Yeah.

Jim: … but rather mankind’s freedom…

Lee: Right.

Jim: … that we create evil-

Lee: Yeah

Jim: … upon other people.

Lee: Yeah.

Jim: Um, that’s a powerful quote, and that-

Lee: It is.

Jim: … probably covers a good percentage of the evil that occurs in this world.

Lee: Yes.

Jim: You still have death of an infant.

Lee: Yeah.

Jim: But speak to those-

Lee: Yeah.

Jim: … things.

Lee: Well, here’s, here’s what he means. Um, God has existed from eternity past as God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit in a perfect love relationship, and so the greatest value in the universe is love. And when God decided to create humankind, He wanted us to be able to love, love Him and love each other, but the only way you can enable someone to love is if you give them free choice, freedom of the will. Why? Well, my daughter was little, they used to have a doll called Chatty Cathy.

Jim: Yeah.

Lee: Remember Chatty Cathy?

Jim: I remember that.

Lee: And it had a string on the back.

Jim: I thought it was called Irritating Cathy.

Lee: (laughs) If you pull the string in the back and let go, it would talk to you, and so my, my daughter would pull the string and let go, and the doll would say, “I, I love you.” (laughs) That’s how good the technology was.

Jim: Yeah.

Lee: But the point is did that doll love my daughter? No, of course, not. It was a mechanical device. It w- It was programmed to say that. It had to say that. Real love always involves a choice. And so what has humankind done with its free will? We’ve turned our back on God. We hurt each other. We’re, we’re selfish. I mean, I can take my hand and I can feed a hungry person or I can take that same hand using my freedom of will and pick up a gun and kill an innocent person. We are alt- Uh, our freedom of will has opened the door. Now, God created the potential for that to happen because it’s the only way we could love, but we activated that potential, uh, by inviting evil into the world. And the Bible says that it’s even corroded creation itself. The creation is groaning for redemption that will someday occur and for things to be made right. So I think this, this goes a long way toward us understanding how, um, uh, our choices can open the door to-

Jim: Right.

Lee: … evil entering into our lives.

Jim: The other contrast would be, in my mind, uh, you know, the fall of Adam and Eve-

Lee: Yes.

Jim: … invited sin into the world, the chaos that’s in the world.

Lee: Right, they used they’re freedom of will.

Jim: But, of course, Heaven is described where there is no sorrow-

Lee: Right.

Jim: … there are no tears. love, joy-

Lee: Right.

Jim: … is what is present.

Lee: Right.

Jim: So I, I think that’s interesting that that is God’s domain, that is-

Lee: Yes.

Jim: … His, His place where He reigns and His ways will reign.

Lee: Yes. Yes.

Jim: And it is void of the evil that we’re talking about.

Lee: And when we’re in their presence, it will transform us. It will change us in some way.

Jim: I don’t even know that we can understand what that would be like-

Lee: Yeah. Yeah.

Jim: … the unconditional love and that whole thing. You also talked… Uh, you mentioned this a moment ago, Charles Templeton-

Lee: Yes.

Jim: Because I thought the example that he had comes to the core not so much of, uh, man’s evil against man, but the circumstances that occur, and I think Charles Templeton, who was a pastor who claimed he lost his faith when he saw a Life Magazine photo of an African woman holding a dead child because of drought.

Lee: Yeah.

Jim: Uh, describe that because that maybe cuts closer to the core of why would that happen. Why wouldn’t God just make it rain?

Lee: Yeah. Exactly. Um, Charles Templeton was the number one skeptic in Canada. Uh, he wrote a book once called Farewell to God: My Reasons for Rejecting the Christian Faith. So it’s kind of the opposite of my book.

Jim: Right.

Lee: Um, and now I will… and this is a spoiler alert, but in my book, I disclosed, well, something that most people don’t know, which is that, on his deathbed, it appears that he did come back to faith in Jesus Christ.

Jim: Wow.

Lee: Yeah.

Jim: Okay.

Lee: Um, so thank God for that, but, uh, he raises the question of what about the suffering? What do we do with this? And, and, uh, a lot of people see this. I see the suffering in my wife and say, like, “How can God tolerate this?” And yet the Bible says that God can cause, if we follow Him, if we’re committed to His ways, in this world to the next, He can take our suffering and He can draw good from it. Now, sometimes, that gets thrown out by Christians. It’s Romans 8:28. You know, God can cause all things to work together for good for those who love Him and those who are called according to His purpose. And sometimes we’re a little, a little flippant with it. We’re a little blithe with it. We, we… You know, someone is going through a tough time. “Oh, Romans 8:28, God is gonna draw good from it.”

Jim: Right. I, we… I don’t feel like we are, ill-willed into-

Lee: No. No.

Jim: … doing that, but the way we say it, it can come across as cold.

Lee: It can.

Jim: It’s something to think about.

Lee: It can and, and yet one thing that Peter Kreeft said to me that, uh, that changed my life, he said to me… And I forget, when I told my wife this, uh, she cried. He said, “God has taken the worst possible thing that could ever happen in the universe, which is the death of the Son of God on the cross.”

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Lee: And from that, He has drawn the best thing that could ever happen in the universe, which is the opening of Heaven to all who follow Him. And if God can take the worst thing in the universe and turn it into the best thing in the universe, He can take even our sufferings, even my wife’s pain that she goes through. He can take that. He can redeem it. He can draw good from it. And you know what? I see how he draws good from it. I see how it has changed her life in a way where she is so empathetic and caring toward other people who are hurting, in a way that she probably wouldn’t be if she personally had not gone through this, uh, experience that she’s going through.

Jim: And I think, when you look at it, all of the evidence which we talked about last time-

Lee: Yeah.

Jim: … and this time, the book far more discussion about the evidence there-

Lee: Yeah.

Jim: … the resurrection, et cetera, it’s all critical especially for thinking people. You need to feel it, understand it, touch it, rationalize it, believe it.

Lee: Yeah.

Jim: But in the end, it’s kinda like, you know, Revelation 12:11, which is a scripture I’ve often thought about, where it says, “They have conquered him,” meaning, Satan-

Lee: Yeah.

Jim: … by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony for they love not their lives even unto death.

Lee: Yeah.

Jim: And that’s what you’re kinda describing-

Lee: Yeah.

Jim: … uh, suffering and pain.

Lee: Yeah.

Jim: But the idea that no one can steal from you your testimony-

Lee: Right.

Jim: … I mean, they can tell you right is wrong and wrong is right-

Lee: Right.

Jim: … but they can’t replace in your heart what God has done to you. The way that you’ve heard a still voice in your heart.

Lee: Right. They can’t challenge the fact that God has changed your life.

Jim: Right, or the fact that the, the death and resurrection-

Lee: Right.

Jim: … the blood of the Lamb, that’s what that’s referring to-

Lee: Yeah.

Jim: … the evidence of the resurrection.

Lee: Right.

Jim: That combination is unassailable.

Lee: Yeah, it is, and I found, frankly, over the years, uh, uh, that I’ve changed my approach in talking to people who raise questions about pain and suffering. What I used to do is, “Oh, if you could ask God any one question and you knew He’d give you an answer right now, what would you ask?” Well, I’d ask, “Why does He allow suffering? Oh, well, let me give you a five-point sermon on why God allows suffering,” and I’d give them a five-point sermon and because I think we have good reasons to understand why God would allow that. I don’t do that anymore.

Jim: Ah.

Lee: What I do now is I ask a follow-up question. Why did you ask that one? Now, they get personal. Now, they say, “Because my wife was just diagnosed with cervical cancer, and I wanna know where is God in the middle of that,” or, “We lost a baby in childbirth five years ago. Where was God when that happened?” And I’ve come to realize what that person probably needs from me right now as a follower of Jesus is probably not a five-point sermon. What he needs from me is to put my arm around his shoulder and to sit next to him and to cry with him and to be Jesus with him in that moment. And, uh, uh, I think maybe my own brush with death is giving me the sensitivity to this, and so I found that, that, at some point, yes, let’s deal with the intellectual question, but the love of God, the grace of God, if I can be a conduit from that into a hurting person’s life, God uses that in remarkable ways.

Jim: Wow, that is such a good reminder, Lee. I’m thinking, and this is something I’ve battled over the last few years when I faced the Lord, if I were to say, “Lord, I held them accountable to Your justice and Your standards or, Lord, I tried to love people the way You loved me.”

Lee: Yeah.

Jim: Which one sounds like-

Lee: Right.

Jim: … what God will want to hear?

Lee: Right.

Jim: It doesn’t mean we shy away from truth.

Lee: Not at all.

Jim: We speak truth boldly.

Lee: Yeah.

Jim: But nobody can refute the love of God.

Lee: Yeah.

Jim: Lee, this has been awesome. I, I mean we could just stay and keep talking-

Lee: (laughs)

Jim: … and we probably will. But, uh, it’s so good to have you back on the program. Thank you-

Lee: Thank you.

Jim: … for the labor of love to create this great book Is God Real?: Exploring the Ultimate Question of Life. You’ve once again, uh, with your wonderful talent that God has given you just hit it out of the park.

Lee: Uh, I appreciate that.

Jim: And just turning to the listener and the viewer on YouTube, boy, if you’re here in this spot saying, “I don’t know if I truly believe,” or you know somebody in that spot and you’re finding it difficult to articulate, get a copy of Lee’s book. I mean, it complements the Word of God. It’s not, uh, straying from the Word of God, and it’s testimonies, like we said, of people that have found Christ through interesting circumstances. Lee has talked to some incredible people. You hear the list. Evel Knievel and Hugh Hefner, I mean those are fascinating conversations with people that had influence in this world yet, at the same time, some of them missed the mark by not embracing Christ and His truth claims. So get a hold of us. We will make it easy. If you can’t afford to, to get this book, just get in touch with us. We’ll give it to you. I’ll trust others will cover the cost of that. If you can step up and help us in ministry, I’ll send you a copy of Lee’s book as our way of saying thank you for a one-time gift or a monthly gift, which is a great way to help the ministry touch lives.

John: Mm-hmm. Yes, sign up to day to be a monthly supporter of Focus on the Family. Help us do this kind of work on this broadcast and our website, and they have so many great resources, including Lee’s book. Uh, when you do that, as Jim said, we’ll send the book to you. Uh, if you’re not in a spot to make a monthly pledge, a one-time gift is certainly appreciated. Uh, be generous as you can and request Lee’s book Is God Real?: Exploring the Ultimate Question of Life. You can donate when you call 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY, uh, 800-232-6459, or stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. We’ve got all the details right there. And on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team, thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family. I’m John Fuller inviting you back next time as we once again help you and your family thrive in Christ.

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Is God Real?: Exploring the Ultimate Question of Life

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