Ray Comfort: The Evidence Bible
By Craig von Buseck
CBN.com Contributing Writer
I recently had a chance to sit down with Ray Comfort to talk about The NKJV Evidence Bible, the official Bible of The Way of the Master TV show and ministry.
Craig von Buseck: Ray, your ministry is all about equipping believers to share the gospel. You’ve got a tool that is doing that in a powerful way. Can you tell me about it?
Ray: We’ve published The Evidence Bible, which is the Scriptures along with 200 of the top most commonly asked questions about Christianity. It contains a commentary running through it. It’s got scientists who are theists, meaning they believed in God. We have lots of quotes from them. We also have a lot of quotes from famous Christian leaders like Moody, Wesley, Whitefield, and Spurgeon, all to do with evangelism. We even include famous people’s last words. It was a finalist for the Gold Medallion Award with the Christian Booksellers Association. It’s commended by Franklin Graham, D. James Kennedy, Josh McDowell, and a few other big wigs.
It’s the New King James version; all you need to understand to defend your faith.
Craig: It’s beautiful.
Ray: We’re very excited to have an apologetics Bible to put into the hand of Christians, because knowledge is power. It answers questions like, “Why is there suffering?” which is usually a stickler for most Christians, and it shouldn’t be; it’s got a very simple answer. There’s suffering because we live in a fallen creation. You throw Genesis out the door and you’re going to be confused. But if you look at Genesis, it says we live in a fallen creation. So, disease, decay, dandruff, dentists, and death all come because we live in a fallen creation.
Craig: And it’s all pain.
Ray: It’s all pain, and you have tornadoes, and hurricanes, and tsunamis, and earthquakes, all of these things should convince us that the Bible’s right when it says we live in a fallen creation. But there’s a new world coming for those that obey the Gospel, those that trust in Christ. It’s a new world where indwells righteousness, where the Kingdom of God will come to earth, and God’s will, will be done on earth, as it is in Heaven.
Craig: He will wipe every tear from every eye.
Ray: Absolutely. And the lion will lie down with the lamb, and the wolf with the lamb, and no more earthquakes, or disease, or pain, suffering, or death. And the only way to enter that Kingdom is to be born again, to trust in Christ. People say, “Oh, well, how can you know?” Well, the first time I was born, it was very radical. I didn’t exist, and then I did. Took nine months, but here I am. Second time I was born, it was just as radical. God made me a brand-new person on the inside, new heart, new desires. Instead of running from God, I ran to Him. Instead of ignoring God, I wanted to please Him above everything else, and my eyes were open to the Scriptures.
You know electricity’s real by putting a fork up a light socket. And say, “Oh, I don’t believe in electricity.”
Craig: It’s a shocking discovery.
Ray: Yeah, it’s a shocking experience. And the same is with the Gospel. The Gospel comes in power and the Holy Spirit, with much assurance. If you call upon the name of the Lord, God will transform you on the inside, give you the shock of your life, and give you everlasting life on top of that. And so, that’s the challenge.
The other thing that’s very prevalent in the contemporary society – it’s like a tsunami, not just a wave, but a tsunami – is atheism. The more a nation gets into darkness, the more it’s going to hate the light. The more it’s going to run from the light. And we have a generation of people who have given themselves to darkness, and they’ve embraced atheism, because it gets them away from moral responsibility to God. But atheism is the dumbest, most stupid, ignorant, idiotic thing you could ever imagine – it is to say that nothing created everything, which is a scientific impossibility. So if you get someone who professes to be an atheist, and say, “So you believe nothing created everything? A scientific impossibility?” He’s going to say, “No, I believe that there was something, it just wasn’t God.” So let’s see if we can uncover why you don’t want it to be God, and you find that it’s because he’s a fornicator or he’s into blasphemy and pornography.
Craig: Or he was hurt somewhere along the line.
Ray: Absolutely. So the issue wasn’t intellectual, it’s a moral issue. And that’s what they need to be challenged with, that they have sinned against God, and they desperately need a Savior. So that’s what The Evidence Bible does. It puts knowledge like that into your hands so that you can answer, and give him a reason for the faith that’s within you, because there’s an answer to every question.
Even if someone asks you a question that you think you can’t answer, you can always say, “I don’t know.” I do that quite often. If someone asks, I say, “I don’t know the answer.” Then I’ll try and find out.
The other most commonly asked questions are, “Why is there suffering?” or “How can a loving God send people to Hell?” “What about those who never hear about Jesus?” We answer these questions with thousands of well-versed comments, one hundred and thirty informative articles, plus 2,000 articles on evolution. We include articles by Norman Geisler, Franklin Graham, D. James Kennedy, Kirk Cameron, Tim LaHaye, and Josh McDowell.
Craig: That’s cool. I love it. It’s beautiful.
You're passionate about evangelism. What was it that motivated you, because a lot of young people are passionate, but then somewhere along the lines the passion wears off, and they move in other directions? What was it for you that said, “You know what? I'm going to give my life to evangelism,” and how do you pass the baton on to young people?
Ray: I think the key to passion, to zeal, is gratitude. Or to put it another way, the fuel to motivate is gratitude, and gratitude comes by just backing up a little and realizing how much you've sinned against God. If you can get a glimpse of God's holiness and your own sinfulness, and understand that you are worthy of damnation, and yet God has given you Heaven. If you have faith at the same time, so you trust in the Lord and believe what He promises you, that is going to make gratitude explode within you.
I cannot express to you how grateful I am that I am a Christian. Before I was a Christian, I went through a time in my life where I just didn't know why I was alive. There was no purpose in existence. I looked at my wife when I was newly married and I just burst into weeping with tears just pouring down my cheeks, because I thought if she died—which could happen—I’ve got nothing to live for. I realized that everything I held dear to me was going to be ripped from my hands by this thing called “death.”
Nobody would talk about it. Nobody just said, “What do you think about dying?” Nobody told me about that.
Craig: Yeah, who asks, “Do you think about death lately?"
Ray: Yeah. It's just something people don't talk about. So I thought, well, perhaps the medical profession has got an answer. So I went to see my doctor to see how I could at least extend my life. He was sitting there looking like a skeleton, smoking a cigarette, and he was dead in a few years. This was the doctor. So I thought, the medical profession can’t help. Scientists were too worried about putting a man on the moon, when we didn't have a clue what we are doing here on Earth. And I thought there is no answer to this thing. I'm just stuck waiting to die like a man walking towards a thousand-foot cliff with a line of people. No one was trying to get out of it. But I was trying to get out of it.
Craig: No one was warning anybody.
Ray: Yeah. And yet on the 24th of April, 1972, I found the answer. I found everlasting life. And God put His Holy Spirit within me – the Source of life itself. And so I just screamed, “Oh God, thank you so much for caring enough to save me. That was the fuel that motivated me even 40 years ago like a burning fire, and it's still there. It's worse now, it's gotten bigger. The fuel is exploding.
As I get closer and closer to death, I'm even more thankful that God's given me everlasting life.
So that, coupled with the knowledge that there's a real Hell, makes me just scream, “No, people are dying daily. There's a real Hell. People are going to get punished for wrong doing, which makes sense; if God is good, He must punish evil. That motivates me to reach out to the lost and forget about my own fears.
It's like a firefighter. He's 60 feet up a ladder. He’s trying to reach out to a woman on the fifth story. The place is on fire. She's holding two kids. Her clothes are beginning to catch fire. She is screaming in terror, trying to hand the kids to him 60 feet up. Is he scared? Absolutely, he's terrified. Would he rather be watching an old black-and-white movie with his with his wife and kids at home? Absolutely. But he ignores his own fears. He ignores his own legitimate pleasures, because he's not thinking of himself. He's thinking of that woman and her terrible fate.
The Bible likens Christians to firefighters.
“…save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.” (Jude 1:23, ESV)
People like to say they’re human by declaring, “I put on my pants a leg at a time.” But there is a certain class of people that put on their pants both legs at a time, and that's the firefighter, because of that urgency. That's how we should be as Christians, just filled with the gratitude to God, horror at the reality of Hell, and an urgency that drives us just like the Apostle Paul, who said:
“…we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard." (Acts 4:20, KJV)
So that's the motivation for doing evangelism and carrying tracts. There is a horror for the fate of the ungodly, where Paul said:
“Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men…" (2 Cor. 5:11, KJV)
I've got my fears. I've got other things I would rather do, but I cannot do them, I cannot listen to my fears because of that burning urgency.
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