Apologetics: The fuel for discipleshipN.C. BAPTIST PODCAST
This podcast was recorded at the Disciple-Making Conference breakout session training and focuses on the role of apologetics in discipleship. The early church faced extreme persecution and held no political power, yet it grew exponentially. Today’s church in America, however, with its extreme political power and little persecution, is dying. What’s more, while nearly three-fourths of Americans identify as Christians, countless numbers of them can’t give an answer for what they believe. Why is this the case? The answer is found in 1 Peter 3:15 — apologetics. Many church leaders have stopped teaching the “why” behind the “what” of Christianity. Eric Simmons covers the role of apologetics in discipleship, including practical insights for equipping believers to defend their faith in an ever-changing culture.
Here is an excerpt from this podcast:
In 2016, Barna Research did a study and this is what they found: Most people in this country identify as Christian. Almost three-quarters of Americans, 73 percent, said that they’re a Christian, while only one- fifth claim no faith at all—that includes atheists and agnostics. So you can recognize what the problem may be. We have this issue of spiritual apathy in the church in America. How do we get back to where we’re supposed to be? Let’s get back to the basics. What could be the issue why we’re not seeing biblically based, Christ-centered, community, gospel-centered ministry? It’s possible that a lot of people in the church are not Christians. They’re lost. The hard truth is that it’s possible for us to profess a faith in Jesus Christ and it only be one-sided. Jesus makes it clear: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ not everyone who professes Me as Lord is going to enter the kingdom of heaven.” And then He comes right behind that: “But only those who do the will of My Father who is in heaven are the ones that will enter.” So the question becomes, what’s the will of the Father? You got to go back all the way to Genesis. The first thing God says to us in Genesis is, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth. I want my image bearers all over the earth worshipping.” … [Then in Matthew], we get the Great Commission, which is nothing more than the Great Commandment of Genesis 2 restated in a fallen world. In Genesis 2, we populate the earth with image-bearers through progeny because sin’s not in the world. Sin’s now in the world. So how do we fill the world with image bearers that will worship God? We have to make disciples of all nations.
by Eric Simmons / Associate Pastor / Summerfield First Baptist Church