But arguing about whether it will really has no purpose. I’m going to believe what I choose to believe and you will do the same. In the case of Christianity, we’ve already discussed the ample evidence available as to its validity. But you can choose to interpret it differently than I do, or even simply ignore it. And that’s your decision.
It’s like the controversy surrounding the Shroud of Turin. The Shroud is a long cloth purported to be the burial covering of Jesus after He was crucified. It’s stored in meticulously controlled conditions at a Catholic cathedral in Turin, Italy. It contains the image of a man who bears a remarkable resemblance to Jesus as described in the New Testament. The man’s image has what appear to be nail wounds in the wrists, gashes on the man’s forehead consistent with a crown of thorns and bruising and marks consistent with the beatings inflicted on Jesus as described in the Gospels. The Shroud contains trace amounts of the spices and ingredients that were used to prepare bodies for burial in Jesus’ time. Its fabric is consistent with fabric used in the time of Jesus.
Interestingly, the image contained in the Shroud is a photographic negative. This was discovered in an almost accidental way. Photography was in its infancy. A photographer took a picture of the Shroud. When the photographic negative was developed, it revealed a positive image of the man. Scientific evidence suggests that an intense light or radiation source imparted the image upon the cloth, in a manner similar to photography. This is startling because no one disputes the fact that whatever its age, the Shroud is much, much older than photography. Some scientists have argued that the image was painted by a medieval artist. However, this theory simply doesn’t make sense, unless that artist could have anticipated the invention of photography. Otherwise, why would he have painted the image in the negative?
Ever since the Shroud was first discovered there has been a huge debate among scientists, historians and theologians as to its authenticity. It has been subjected to intense scientific scrutiny and there is still no clear resolution as to its origin. It was originally carbon dated (the process by which the presence of the isotope Carbon 14 is analyzed in order to determine its age) as being from some time during the Middle Ages. This means, of course, that it couldn’t be the burial shroud of Jesus. But, some scientists argue that the presence of algae on the Shroud contaminated the test. They also argue that the samples tested were from newer cloth pieces that had been used to repair it through the ages.
The image of a crucified man is found on an ancient burial shroud. The image was created by a huge zap of energy. It is a photographic negative waiting for photography to be invented. All of the circumstantial pieces point to Jesus. To even the agnostic, it seems miraculous. Needless to say, that if the Shroud were somehow proven to indeed be the burial shroud of Jesus, it would have staggering implications. We would have photographic evidence of Jesus. The question as to Jesus’ identity would be resolved.
But it’s simply not that simple.
What if you could prove that the things claimed about Jesus as they are described in the Bible were incontrovertibly true, beyond any doubt, much less a reasonable doubt? Let’s take it a step further. What if you had an ancient videotape that could somehow prove that God had visited mankind two thousand years ago and provided a way out for man’s sin problem? Chances are you would still be characterized as a crackpot or religious zealot. Critics would claim that you faked the videotape.
Even with incontrovertible proof, you would likely have a difficult time convincing people of the fact that Jesus was God incarnated and was crucified, in order for anyone who believes in Him can live in Heaven with God forever. Humans focus on the here and now. We become so caught up in our own lives that we are unable to put them into an eternal perspective.
That was the nation of Israel’s problem during the exodus from slavery en route to the Promised Land. God spoke to them through Moses. He performed miracle after miracle. They would listen and obey- for a little while. But pretty soon, they were up to their old ways; disobeying and grumbling about the manna. We can’t help it. It’s the human way.
Suppose that Jesus appeared today. What would happen? Would we listen to Him? Would we obey his instruction? Would we commit our lives to Him?
Of course, we already have the answer to that question. Jesus did appear. It happened two thousand years ago. And mankind not only rejected Him, but mercilessly tortured and killed Him. So it would appear that we’ve come full circle in the analysis. Simply, man will believe what man wants to believe. Further, if there were incontrovertible evidence of Jesus, then there would be no need for faith in Him. And, as I have previously explained, faith is God’s fundamental requirement of man. He has given us the power to choose. He will not impose His will upon us. Instead, He asks us to reach out in faith to Him.
 Exodus 17.