April News Update - Ankerberg Theological Research Institute, John Ankerberg Show

April News Update

We in America and those in other countries are living in very challenging times. As the coronavirus spreads across the globe and within our nation, millions of people live in fear. Why? Because they fear they will catch the virus and the small possibility they might die and enter eternity. But, as Christians, we should not be afraid of what is ahead for several reasons.

First, health statistics seem to show that most people who get the virus will recover. But we also realize that a small percentage won’t.

Second, if we as Christians were to die, we know that, “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” God has let us live, and this life is all we know. But this life is not better than living with Jesus and experiencing all that God has prepared for us in heaven. (See 1 Corinthians 2:9 and Philippians 3:20, 21.)

Third, God watches over His own and promises to protect us. In Psalm 91:14-16 we read: “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

Fourth, as Christians we need to remember that God is in control, and constantly watches over us, and loves us. David wrote in Psalm 46:1: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” He also wrote, “Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens” (Psalm 68:19).

Maybe today you have heard some bad news and need someone to pray with you. If so, please call us here at the office and we will be glad to pray with you. Our office number is 1-423-892-7722.

As we contemplate the future, we realize people around us and people in the world need to know about Jesus. That’s what we are going to be doing on TV.

During this Easter season, I’ll be asking folks a simple question on TV, one I hope that you will share with your non-Christian friends. It is this:

What would you say if I told you there are 12 historical facts about Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection that nearly every influential New Testament scholar now accepts as true? And in talking about influential scholars, I am referring to over 2,000 of the most influential secular New Testament historical scholars in the world today. Would this fact mean anything to you?

During this Easter season, it’s amazing how many young people and how many adults are skeptics; they don’t believe in God, and they don’t believe that Jesus died on the cross, paid for their sins and then rose from the dead. So how do we fix this problem?

The answer is we all must share the historical facts that Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, died on the cross and paid for our sins, was buried in a tomb, and three days later rose from the dead and appeared to the apostles and over 500 people at one time.

To help you understand these historical facts, I will be airing a new television series with Dr. Gary Habermas entitled “Did Jesus Literally Rise from the Dead?”

What are the 12 facts nearly all scholars believe are true about the resurrection of Jesus? They are:

1. Jesus died by crucifixion.

2. He was buried.

3. His death caused the disciples to despair and lose hope.

4. The tomb was empty.

5. The disciples had experiences which they believed were literal appearances of the risen Jesus.

6. The disciples were transformed from doubters to bold proclaimers.

7. The resurrection was the central message.

8. They preached the message of Jesus’ resurrection in Jerusalem.

9. The birth and rapid growth of the early church across the Roman Empire.

10. Orthodox Jews who believed in Christ made Sunday their primary day of worship.

11. James, the half-brother of Jesus, was converted when he saw the resurrected Jesus.

12. Paul was converted when he believed he saw the risen Jesus on the road to Damascus.

Dr. Gary Habermas is considered the world’s foremost expert on the resurrection of Jesus. His research tracks more than 4,000 sources in English, French, and German among the top 2,000 scholars. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Michigan State University and serves as Distinguished Research Professor of Apologetics and chairman of the Philosophy Department at Liberty University.

In our new series “Did Jesus Literally Rise from the Dead?” we discuss these 12 facts, offering solid proof accepted by nearly all scholars. Some of the most powerful evidence now available includes the emphasis on early, pre-Pauline sources. These were sources known to Paul prior to his conversion, within two to five years of the resurrection.

Other Resources This Month

This month, I really want to help equip you to better know and share the hope within you. In addition to the five programs in our new series “Did Jesus Literally Rise from the Dead?”, I am also making available a second series with Dr. Habermas called “Evidence for the Historical Jesus.” The six programs in this second series answer questions such as:

• How can we know what message was preached about Jesus before any of the New Testament books were written?

• Are there any non-Christian sources that tell us Jesus actually lived, died on a cross, was buried, and afterwards was seen by His disciples?

• What historical material inside and outside of the New Testament shows Jesus Himself said that He was God?

• What historical facts show that a few days after Jesus was buried His tomb was found empty?

• Is it possible for a skeptic to get from “the disciples thought they saw Jesus after He died” to “the disciples actually saw Jesus”?

You may receive both series with Dr. Habermas, including 11 television programs on DVD, with your gift of $98. Please see the enclosed card for details.

Science Discovers the Universe Had a Beginning

Now, I hope you’ve also enjoyed our series “Science Discovers the Universe Had a Beginning” with Astronomer Dr. Hugh Ross. He presented the scientific evidence that has led astronomers to conclude the universe had a beginning, and how God has designed the universe in precisely the manner necessary for humans to safely live on earth.

Further, you learned how God positioned the planets Jupiter, Saturn, and Neptune to protect the Earth. This month, you can still request our special package of science resources available at the John Ankerberg Show. Please see the enclosed card to order.

Thank You for Helping Make Disciples of All Nations

As we have shared the opportunity to provide audio Bibles, you have responded with overwhelming generosity. You have now helped provide audio Bibles that reach over 3.64 million people who speak over 120 languages in 40 nations who now meet weekly in audio Bible listening groups! This means each of these individuals is listening through the entire New Testament every six months. Of these, approximately half will become new believers. This means your gifts are helping over 1,810,000 people come to faith in Jesus.

I am asking God to speak to your heart regarding how you can help this month. Our prayer is that with your partnership, we will present and defend the truth about Jesus around the world in 200 countries via television in the days ahead.

                                                                     For those still waiting to hear,

                                                                    Dr. John Ankerberg