As a believer in Jesus and a student of the Bible, I am of the honest opinion that we are not long for this world. I believe the time of his return is very, very near. I pray not only that I am ready to meet him, but that anyone reading these words will be as well. Will you please consider my story?
It’s obvious that we live in a time of extreme trouble and increasing calamity. Our earth is in labor, groaning for restoration. Our culture is wayward, lost in moral decay. We have become lovers of ourselves and pridefully chase our own happiness rather than caring about or for our neighbor. We’re becoming increasingly numb to the violence, hate, and evil that tops the news headlines. We’re a divided people and many have turned their backs on God in pursuit of their own agenda. We’ve slowly pushed him out of our schools, our businesses, our neighborhoods, our dialogues, and, most tragically, our hearts. His patience and grace are abundant, but the time of that is coming to an end and as a just God, His time of judgment will come. I believe it will be very soon. We’re already beginning to see it. I’m happy to discuss why I believe that is, but this post is a picture of my faith—one that I share in the hope that you’ll take survey of your own life and invite God into (or back into) it.
I had a conversation with a few friends who were not followers of Jesus and they genuinely wanted to know why it was that I believe he is the way to eternal life, and what follows is what I shared:
I have spiritual convictions that led me to a place of pursuit of truth. Christianity was the only thing I know that not only satisfies my intellectual longings, but also my spiritual groanings. It has changed my life—most certainly for the better. I am a better man, a better friend, a better husband, a better son, a better employee, and a better person. I am FAR, FAR from perfect, but I can tell you from the most sincere part of my being that I was so unfulfilled wandering about life, trying to fill it up with satisfaction by my own doing and constantly being disappointed. But because of Jesus, my life has become something much more meaningful and I really have a peace that I didn’t have before. It sounds all Stephen Spielberg, but it’s true.
I like facts. I like absolutes (even as an artist). I like mathematical probabilities. I like history and I even like science.
My belief is one part faith, one part experience, and one part intellectual, factual reasoning.
Part of the foundation of my faith is that many of the recorded accounts and claims of the Bible have factual, historical evidence to support them—more than skeptics would have a person believe. The prophecies made in the Old Testament of the Bible have all been fulfilled with mind-blowing accuracy, and the sheer number of those and their probability of all working together is insane.
I believe in absolute truth. And I have found nothing in the Bible that would make me question it being anything other than God’s inspired word. It has proven to me to be infallible—logically, empirically, and existentially.
There is so much historical evidence—from the meticulousness of ancient scribes to archaeological findings (more and more stuff all the time)—and so much truth and life in Christ’s words and the teachings of Paul, His apostle, that I would be hard-pressed to find a reason to believe any other way.
I have been sharing my journey and insights on my blog. Even though it has been a while since I have given it some love (and it’s in my list of things to do), I think some of those posts might help articulate some of why I believe what I do. You know that I am contemplative and I think pretty intelligent, so I do not take this stuff flippantly.
I encourage you to take a look through my blog. I hope that you will, and that you might get a better understanding of why I believe what I do. I’d especially encourage you to check out a few posts specifically:
As a guy who loves facts, I really loved writing the one called “Can I Borrow a Dollar?”
Why do I solely put my eternal destiny and faith in Jesus?
Short, short answer
Personal experience. My life is undeniably different because of it. I have had miracles happen and my heart is different (in spite of my own resistance).
It’s something that I felt. I knew that the world isn’t quite right—that’s pretty undeniable to anyone. I knew that a sense of right and wrong is part of all of us. When I tried to justify certain actions in my life, I had that small voice in my head that let me know that what I was doing or saying, or not doing or not saying was not the right thing to do. And I knew that this came from a place outside of social influence. So I began my pursuit to figure out what I believed.
I was a “Christian” from an early age—my family were Christians, although not the stodgy, judgmental kind that so many are seen as or actually are. However, looking back, I didn’t fully know what that meant. My parents didn’t push religion on me in any way but let me make up my mind about things. While I professed to have faith in Jesus, I wasn’t living as such. In fact, sadly I pretty much gave him little thought. I was what I now call a CEO Christian — Christmas and Easter Only. I lived how I wanted to live, made decisions that I wanted to make, bought and did more and more stuff that I thought would bring me to a place of satisfaction and contentment, but it never lasted. As happy as I claimed to be, or tried to convince myself that I was, I was pretty empty.
I kept feeling this gentle push to give God more consideration—specifically Christianity—in an effort to figure what I believed and why I believed it. No matter where I looked, the God of the Bible and Jesus were who I kept coming back to.
If you put 100 math students in a room and give them a complex problem to solve, it’s almost certain that many will get the answer wrong. But that doesn’t mean that a correct answer does not exist. There are absolutes in life. There are truths. I don’t believe in build-my-own God where I get to pick and choose what works best for me. I tried that. It doesn’t work. And it makes sense, considering that there are clear rights and wrongs, yeses and nos.
My faith is a mixed bag. It’s one part, well, faith. I can’t physically see God. I can’t audibly hear God’s voice. I can’t invite him over to play Playstation with me and expect to have him show up with pizza. As much as I would like that, that just isn’t the nature of the situation. But I trust that he is there. I feel that he is there. My spirit knows that there is more to this life than what we are led to believe. I think everyone has that hunger for something more—it’s just sad that many people have that light snuffed out to the point of not even considering that there is more than this.
Much like you, I have an appreciation for facts and statistics and logic. So, even though I don’t have physical proof of God’s existence—I can’t present him to someone and have him say, “Hello, wanna see a magic trick?”—I can see through science and history and even through nature and processes that his hand is everywhere. The sheer magnitude of mathematical probabilities surrounding the existence of so many different things is what gave me a stronger belief in God in general. I could wax on about why I believe in a creator and not in a chaotic, haphazard series of events, but that’s not what I want to emphasize.
Why do I believe in the God of the Bible above any other religion’s god? It’s complex, but it’s also very simple.
The easiest thing I can say is that the whole crux behind Christianity is God reaching down to us in our broken state as an absolutely free gift so that we can be reconciled to him. We were given a choice to accept or reject him—to love or to ignore him. One of the greatest gifts he gave us (and ultimately part of our downfall) is the gift of choice. We weren’t created as robots or mindless puppets, but were allowed to make our own decisions. That what God’s love is. And humans make it messy as we rebel and pursue self over what we were created to do—to have a relationship with God.
We are not good enough, we will never be good enough—we mess up. We cannot jump through “x” number hoops or say “x” number of things, or give “x” amount of dollars and have God finally say, “Oh wow, look at you! You finally did XYZ. Neat! Good job, I guess you are good enough now.” That’s what some people think Christianity is, but they have no idea. That’s not a god I want to serve. And I don’t want to be in a religion (generally dictated by man-made rules and laws), but in a relationship with God and Christ.
All other world religion is one in which we struggle to reach God, or nirvana or to attain a higher state of being or a higher consciousness—it’s very ego-centric. Their gods are either angry or fickle, unavailable, or unrealistic.
Or, as of late, it’s a case of that Choose Your Own Adventure Oprah-esque religion where you pick and choose what works for you. “It’s okay if you believe in this god, and you believe in that god, and I believe in this god… ultimately, they are the same god…” I’m sorry, Oprah, but you are wrong. 2+2≠5. God of the BIble is certainly not like any other religions’ gods. And if he is, I don’t want any part of that.
There are absolutes. People who argue science stand firm that there has to be a conclusive truth to their findings. Black is black and white is white. Yet, people criticize Christians for believing that their faith has absolute truths, too. God says that he is the one and only God, the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Jesus Christ himself said, “I am the way, the truth and the life, and no one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6 NKJV). If humankind could have reached God any other way, Jesus would not have had to die. His voluntary death on the cross makes this fact even more compelling.
Christians are not superior to any other person. A person who believes Jesus Christ is the only Son of God and proclaims that truth is just one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread.
“Don’t all roads lead to God?” people often ask. “If a person is sincere in his or her beliefs, won’t he or she get to heaven?” If you allow that all beliefs are true, then by what standards do you live? All belief systems cannot be true, because they in one way or another cancel each other out. If you take time to look at what each religion teaches, you’ll find that only Jesus Christ died for our sins and rose again. The Bible teaches that Jesus, the Son of God, died on a cross for our sins (which means “to miss the mark”—not living in accordance with what God would have you do), that he paid that debt in our place, and that if we will simply confess to him our shortcomings and sin, turning from it and following him, we can be forgiven and know that we will go to heaven. An actual, literal heaven.
A lot of people are dismissive of those who follow Jesus as they see so many hypocrites in the church. I totally get that. Believe me. This excuse is often offered by those who want to continue to live in darkness. They do not want to be brought into the light of Jesus. He does not say, “Follow the church,” or “Follow the people.” Jesus says, “Follow me” (Matthew 9:9; Mark 8:34; John 12:26).
We are given the freedom to choose. We have the ability to sin—to make choices that are against the teachings of God. Church is not a meeting place for saints, but a hospital for sinners. The worst sin you can commit is to simply say no to God. You will find hypocrites in the church because we are all sinners. You will also find people who are trying to live their life according to the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Just like any other thing, there are a lot of so-called “Christians” out there who don’t even really know what they believe or why they believe it. They can be very off-putting and I understand why being a “Christian” often puts a sour taste in people’s mouths. But there are so many more who are sincere, loving, honest people who get it and do their best to share that with others so that they too can get it.
The best part of Christianity for me is the simple fact that all we have to do to have a true relationship with God and to be able to live forever with him in his kingdom is to accept the free gift that he gives through Jesus. That’s it. I don’t have to mediate for hours, or do seances to hear voices from beyond the grave. I don’t have to move though reincarnation to reincarnation to attain some unattainable state of perfection. I don’t have to do anything but put faith in the fact that God is who he says he is, and that he will do the the things he promises to do. It’s so simple that so many people miss it.
I hope this isn’t too much. I don’t even know if you’ve read down this far. I hope you have. Again, I appreciate your interest—I am glad that you are considering such things. That’s really important. Thanks for being my friend and for letting me share the reason for my faith with you. I hope you’ll find some answer in it.
Please share this with others