Hebrews 11:1-3, 32-40
English Standard Version, David Cochran Audio
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the people of old received their commendation. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.
English Standard Version, David Cochran Audio
32 And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. 35 Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. 36 Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— 38 of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
39 And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.If you happened to see bing's video "10 Highly Disputed Religious Artifacts" you are going to experience more of what you already know. People Cannot Agree What These Objects Are. And as a result we see them with faith or we don't. No artifact in the world is going to give faith.
Christianity makes an astonishing claim. Jesus Christ is God's only Son. Jesus Christ fulfills the many, many requirements of the Old Testament, even into the hundreds. The Gospel went forth in an age without multi-media capabilities and, in 16 years, the Roman Emperors were putting people to death, for almost 300 years, over belief that Jesus Christ is who He says He is and does what He says and returned in triumph over death.
What would be the proof of Jesus returning from the dead? It isn't secret. It isn't hidden. It is right there in the open. People risked death for hundreds of years, millenniums, even today, to spread the Good News. Lives are changed. People are strengthened. Everyone in life has a story of someone who died in a remarkable way (my grandmother, as she was dying, saw all the people she knew and was shaking hands and oh-my-ing). We all have a story of knowledge of used electric heart paddles and they've come back with something to say. Someone who had a miracle. An Act of God. Something they think of and... there it is.... faith. God loves you and cares.
There are real artifacts of the Bible without doubt. http://www.bible-history.com There are hundreds of history books to support the Scriptures. More and more archeology to prove the Scriptures all the time. Are some hoaxes perpetrated to enrich the individual selling it? Sure. The verdict is still out on the James Ossuary. The FBI says the parts they can determine are real. The head of antiquities for the Louvre says it is real. The government’s star witness, Yuval Goren, former chairman of Tel Aviv University’s institute of archaeology, was forced to admit on cross-examination that there is original ancient patina in the word “Jesus,” the last word in the inscription that reads “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus.”
Judge Aharon Farkash has wondered, out loud, how to judge when even the experts don't agree - has told the prosecution to consider dropping the case.
Or consider the evidence of the Exodus in this Netherlands museum called the Ipuwer Papyrus where most of the plagues are listed in this ancient complainer's letter wondering why the government doesn't have better control over complete and utter disaster. (!)
What would God have to say about all this search for proof and continued doubt?
24 And he (the rich man) called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’
25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’
27 And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father's house— 28 for I have five brothers —so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’
29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’”