Three Steps . . . .
- Provide Examples / Stories
- Question The Veracity
- Assert An Actual Case
Charles Swindoll caught my attention when he did this . . . .
Step #) — provided some modern examples of people who have been reported as to have been known to . . . .
Step #2) — questioned the creditability of such accounts
Step#3) — asserted that he knows of one story about which such an event which is true.
Here is the transcribed section & this is the audio link ( beginning @ the 7:28 – 11:08) of Swindoll doing this . . . .
And so we were talking about some things that were a little light-hearted — I have to admit — and uh — he’s a neat guy
and I was able to ask him a question I have all my life wanted to know . . . . Have you ever experienced -ugh-getting ready to embalm somebody and have them come back to life?
and he said, no I haven’t but I have known those who have.. He said I will tell you a case in point — he said a mortician was notified by a hospital that an individual had died, and he went and picked up the body put it in the coach – brought it back to the funeral home – laid it on the table – was preparing it for embalming and went over to get the equipment , and came back , and two eyes were following him.
Well — you’ve got to either discuss what you want to do with that person — or go back to plan A — and that’s what they did — they – this is person lived ten days –as a matter of fact. . . . . . and he said, what is interesting is the conversations held between that person who came back from the dead — and people –and their reactions to the person who lived beyond the grave. — as it were
I did a little research and discovered that that is not that unusual — there are several cases on record — Guinness’ world book doesn’t mention them – but the local newspaper in 1972 does — a fellow – hum — by the name of Russell Lee, in 1972 — who was a – a student at Long Beach City College was riding horseback — and in sort of a freak accident, he fell — and somehow was tangled up in a electrical wires , and uh – was of course was rushed to the hospital – put under a neurosurgeon’s care and died — 23 years old . the physician who attended him contacted his mother — who released his two eyes and kidneys in transplant and as the transplant team of physicians was on the way to the hospital – he revived — in incredible — and they rushed him or course to intensive care and -uh – from all I’ve been able to gather – he still lives.
And I am confident if there were some way to talk to people who talked to him — we would have the most astounding kind of reaction.
Now – ugh – I do not know either one –and some of it is only hearsay – so there’s no absolute proof — but I do know of one account that’s true
and this individual was not resuscitated – which is simply coming back from beyond — with the same body – as is true with these cases — this person was resurrected. And he actually lived and lives today — beyond the grave.
That simple pattern / template is useful for setting up a message.
It provides yet another way to lay out an introduction!
Step #1) — States some examples which have been reported on / testified to / described / broadcasted . . . .
Step #2) — Question the proof / veracity / accuracy / exactness / certainty / reliability / personal ability to validate . . . .
Step #3) — Introduce the event which you know for certain
Let’s do it off the cuff and see if the template proves useful!
Let’s use this same pattern or template for speaking on the topic of salvation . . . .
I have heard the testimony from some individuals who have come out of terrible home circumstances. How they came to know the Lord after years of abuse.
I have heard the testimonies of some who were saved out of addictions to drugs, alcohol, and pornography.
There have been those who have given witness of being saved out of the demonic arts — witchcraft, satanic worship, even demon possession.
I heard these and other such personal testimonies of how people came to know the Lord . . . .
AND I do not know the fullness of the situations or the accuracy of such testimonies. The memories of men change and even fade. It may have been worse than they remember or less than sincerely believed. Also, men have been known to embellish their backgrounds to make their testimony even stronger than it would have been.
BUT I do know the truthfulness of the testimony of a man, in all that he stated and is recorded for us, of a man who did not come from a terrible family situation, was not a victim of addiction, and never got into the black side of life — but came from a background which was as difficult as any of those situations of life — he was a highly religious and sincere person — and was in bondage to self-righteousness — his name was Saul of Tarsus.
Okay, here goes again . . .
Let’s do it with an O.T. account . . . .
There have been people who have moved into positions of power and influence. You can read their biographies — their rise to that position is remarkable. Some are stories of men and women which came from a life and childhood of poverty. There was little hope of them ever rising from such poor conditions and neighborhoods — rags to riches — or rages to this-or-that position.
Others such biographies are of individuals who have risen to positions of wealth and influence from average life situations, but with no skill or even interest in becoming a remarkable and famous man or woman in this-or-that field. Such are the stories of Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. As a child or even a teenager, they never imagined fame and notoriety in computer coding and establishing a company like Microsoft or apple.
Still, other stories of men and women are biographies of those who fought and faced great odds and barriers. They were driven men and women who knew where they wanted to go in life, but face what seemed insurmountable odds and repeated hurdles, but in the end, they reached their dreams.
NOW I don’t know the accuracy of such stories — biographies – articles — It may depend on who wrote the biography — if it was an autobiography, a biography written by a critic or an admirer. Men and women have a tendency to remember the best about themselves and admirers tend to write accounts which favor an individual to gain an endorsement of the book — and critics tend to focus on some of the most negative to justify their opinion of this-or-that person.
BUT I do know the account of a man — a man whose life is recorded for us by a reputable biographer. The biographer has givens us a completely accurate — it is not embellished — in some chapters — it was not what he would have wanted to be written or included. It is a fair and accurate account of his life — from insignificance to great position and power — a position he never sought after or thought about as a child — a position that was reached after overcoming many obstacles.
There are more chapters about his life than any other person in the Bible — his life is recorded for us in the books of I Samuel — II Samuel — and the book of Kings! David’s life was written for us by God himself, through the working of the counsels of the Godhead — specifically the Holy Spirit.