I am not sure if I believe in God. Why do you?

Posted: Wed. May, 11 2016

I believe in the God of the Bible

Not only do I believe in God, but let me go a step further.  I believe in the God of the Bible.

I believe in the God of the book of Genesis, the One  who created the heavens and the earth.

I believe in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

And I believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is God in the flesh.

You see, I can’t divorce my belief that there is a God from my personal belief in this personal God who reveals Himself in the Bible.

It’s one and the same.

So I guess you can say that the reason I believe in God is because I have heard from Him

God reveals Himself in the Bible, and I believe the things He has said about Himself in the Bible.

God wrote a book.  That book is the Bible.  If you want to find out whether you believe in Him, you need to start to find out what’s in the  book that He wrote.

Suppose someone came to you and told you that he did not believe in science.  But this same person had never taken a science class, and had never read a science book. He didn’t know what the scientific method was, or really anything about science.

How much respect would you have for the substance behind his lack of belief in science?

Not much.

Same thing with God. He wrote a book. It’s time to give that book a hearing.

 

We cannot prove anything without first believing something

In the Bible, God just shows up and declares who He is and what He has done.  God  doesn’t offer proof of His existence.  

The fact that He has spoken His word is the evidence.

GEN 1:1
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Furthermore, God tells us in His word that God made His attributes and power evident within each human being.  And we can understand God’s attributes  through what God made.  (ROM 1:18-21)

The problem is that human beings are suppressing this truth.  Looking away from it and demanding “proof”.

The funny thing is that we fallen human beings actually have a hard time proving anything!

In fact, when it comes right down to it we cannot prove anything without first believing something.

If you don’t believe me, pick up a classical geometry textbook.

There are proofs in classical geometry.

Yet without first believing some basic things, you cannot perform any proofs in geometry.

For example, there is this statement that for any two points, there is exactly one straight line.

That statement is not proven in geometry. It is taken on faith. It's called a postulate.  Every mathematical and scientific discipline has these postulates.

Everyone who does geometry simply agrees that they will accept this as true without proving it!  You simply have to believe it, and then you can move on and prove a lot of things in geometry.

 

The greatest things in life never need proof

Here’s the deal:  we ask for proof when we are not willing to trust.  This is why you will never get anyone to believe in God by trying to prove that God exists.

We ask people for proof of citizenship because we don’t trust them when they say they are citizens.

Stores ask for proof of purchase because they don’t take the customer at his word when he says he bought the item from the store. 

So asking for proof betrays the very lack of trust that has to be there for believing to be there.

It’s like God says in His word:

HEB 11:1
  Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

A person who asks for proof that God exists is a person who keeps moving  away from God when God keeps presenting Himself to that person!

Once you believe in something or someone, you no longer require proof.

As long as you require proof, you can’t believe.

When we fall in love, we do not typically ask love for proof that it exists.

When a hurricane hits, we tend not to ask it to prove that it exists.



God is like a hurricane.

He simply comes on the scene in Genesis 1 and announces His presence and starts revealing things about Himself.

In fact, the most important and significant and basic and wonderful things about life never get proven.

Things like love, and faith, and hope, and friendship and tomorrow.

And God.

 

The biggest problems in life don’t need to be proven either

Do you know what else we never have to prove? The biggest difficulties about being human. 

Here’s one: the reality of the problem of pain. Suffering needs no proof. It’s simply an inescapable reality of being human in this world. You will suffer.

Then there is this  other difficult problem in the human race - the problem of human sin.  Things like anger and jealousy and selfishness and immorality and greed. 

And then there is  the ultimate problem and reality for man: death.

You don’t have to prove that death exists. You know it does.  Death awaits,  and mocks,  and  confounds us all.  Death simply is.

Which by the way makes it highly significant that when Moses asked God what His name was, God simply said “”I AM WHO I AM”!!!  “tell the sons of Israel that ‘I AM’ has sent me to you.” (EXO 3:13-14)

God simply IS as well!!!

Now  having victory over death itself is the ultimate achievement in life.

In  fact, this is the best test of the value of anything we would try to rely on.  Any philosophy, any practice, any belief.

Does it  solve the problem of death for us?

Death  is the one thing that no human being can wiggle out of or explain away.

 

The ultimate bucket list

Death is one of those BIG, ultimate questions we have.

One day, I put together my list of those big ultimate questions.  It was a list of the biggest needs I had. The things that needed to be taken care of for me to be content and satisfied. To finally be at peace with myself and my place in the universe.

Not things like food, clothing or shelter. Those things were relatively easy to at least imagine solving. We’re talking about the big questions!

Here is my list.  (What’s yours?)

  • Please tell me who I really am
     
  • I want to know where things came from, how they originated:  human beings, animals,  the oceans, the heavens and the earth, the sun, the moon, the stars
     
  • I need to know I am forgiven for the bad things I have done
  • I want to be vindicated, and know that my wrongness has been righted
  • I need to know that my  life ultimately has meaning
  • I need to find the thing that conquers death
     
  • I need to be part of something bigger than myself
     
  • I want to look up to someone , to be able to trust someone no matter what
     
  • I need hope, hope that endures, come what may
     
  • I need someone who cares deeply about me
     
  • I want to be completely accepted
     
  • Intimacy that cannot be broken
     
  • I want real friends who will be with me no matter what
     
  • I want there to be a heroic happy ending to my life story
     
  • I want to be loved
     
  • with a love that never ends
     
  • I want to be joyful
  • Joy that can never be taken from me
     
  • I want to be at peace in the inside
     
  • With a peace that defies explanation
     
  • I want to live forever
     
  • And I want that life to be perfect: no more sorrow, no more tears, no more pain

 

That gets at the heart of it, yes?

 

A journey of discovery

A list like that calls for a journey! 

On  that journey, I went to my Bible to seek out God.  Could He help me with the things on my list? 

Had the Living God actually thought about me?

Did He care about me, love me, enough to solve my big problems with life?  And if so, how? What did He do about them? And what was He hoping I would do? 

So I started that journey of discovery. And today I am still in the thick of this great adventure with God.

Every time I have sought Him out some more, He has given me more.  He levels with me and tells me the truth.  His answers have been solid, real, and satisfying.  They satisfy the deepest cravings I have inside.

So much so that after a while I found myself questioning less, and believing more. 

I began to trust Him.  He gave me hope.   

I did what He said and it led me to more life.

 I started to realize that He really loved me -  a lot.

So I found myself starting to really love Him back.

Then one day I thought about  my list again.  And then  it hit me:

He had answered all my questions.  He had addressed all my needs.  He was everything I had hoped for in my wildest imagination  -and more.

Just like He said He would be in His word:

1CO 2:9
"THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD,

AND which HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN,
ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM."

EPH 3:20-21
20  Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21  to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

 

What is  your alternative?

At this point I need to turn to you.  Be honest and straightforward about answering this question:

What is your alternative to God?

When it comes to meeting our ultimate needs… when it comes to answering our most difficult questions about being human,…

 Who or what do you turn to?   Where do you place your trust?

What answers and solutions does your alternative give you to these gnawing problems and questions?

And how do those answers stack up against the God of the Bible in satisfying our deepest human needs?

 

Answers I received from God in His word

God’s  answers in the Bible were not what I expected. Yet they were what I needed to know.

Like how I was born a sinner and could do nothing about that.

So God did something about it. He sent His Son the Lord Jesus Christ to die for me and you so our sins would be forgiven.

And how God raised the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead on the third day so whoever believes in Christ will not perish but have eternal life.

And how  at the moment an ungodly sinner believes in Christ, God the Father declares that ungodly sinner to be righteous in His eyes forever on the merits of the shed blood of Jesus.

God in the Bible gives the answers. He’s straightforward, simple, clear, and decisive.

The answer to the problem of human sin is the death of Christ on the cross.

ROM 5:8-9
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.

When a person believes in Jesus Christ, God the Father justifies that person, declaring them righteous in His eyes forever.

The answer to death is resurrection.

1CO 15:20-22,26
20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. 21 For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.

26 The last enemy that will be abolished is death.

When a person believes in Jesus Christ, God gives that person eternal life.

 

I know that my Redeemer lives!

God’s answers to the problems of sin and death are clear, straightforward, simple, and decisive.

No ifs, ands, buts or maybes about it.

God  goes on from there to handle every other need and desire that this human heart has ever had.

For meaning…

For being a part of something bigger than my self…

For hope that cannot be extinguished…

And all the other ones too.

I know God exists because He loves me so so much.  And He loves you too. He SO loves you.

He gave of Himself, all He had, to take care of our worst problems, and He did it when we were His enemies.

Now that I am His adopted son, He is not withholding any good thing in my life.

He has everything covered for me from start to finish, all the way to eternity.  He has my back.  He will finish all the work. One day I will be standing in a perfect resurrection body that can never die.

This is a God worth believing in!!

I beg you, on behalf of Christ: BE RECONCILED TO GOD by believing in God's Son, the Lord Jesus Christ!!

 

Until the next time, we’re all ….

In His grip,

Pastor John

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