Do You Believe?
“But these are written so that you may believe Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and by believing you may have life in His name.” – John 20:31
First, I have to give a BIG thanks to you! You keep reading, you keep encouraging, and you keep supporting, in a big way. I appreciate you! A big bunch!
Have you ever read those Dear Abby columns where people write in to ask questions and get advice about some circumstance in life? For instance, someone may about the state of their life and how they absolutely must facilitate a change. If could be someone who’s been mistreated over and over again, and they write: “This is not how I desire to continue the rest of my life – continually abused and violated, being treated less than human. You don’t have the right to treat me this way. It’s not right. One way or another, this will end.”
The writer writes in about people taking and taking from her until she decides to just take away from them any possible way of taking from her again. The people who write in usually sign with an interested and related anonymous title, like, “Husband, Can You Call Me?” “You-Don’t-Own-Me,” “They’re The Embodiment of Evil,” “Will Soon Rot in Hell,” “Not Going To Be A Part of This Game Anymore,” “What’s Mine Is Not Yours!” “I’m Tired, So…Tired,” or something like that. I enjoyed reading those to find out how people would sign them in the end. Not to mention, the answers to their letters usually included some pretty sound advice. It was as if the writer and respondent both actually enjoyed it very much – the process.
I think a lot of times, people already have a plan about what they are going to do; they just want confirmation of their proposed theories that are often faulty and misconceived – in a very big way. It’s not uncommon for individuals to engage in cognitive distortions in their reasoning, and that kind of thinking can negatively influence them and the people around them.
An example of distorted thinking is emotional reasoning. It’s allowing your feelings to dictate how you perceive things to truly be. For example, if someone has experienced tragedy, loss, trauma, abuse, degradation, violation, defamation, exploitation, denigration, and any other form of outright disrespect and then low-life, uncompassionate, psychopathic, ungodly, and unloving people continue to subject them to the same, they would naturally probably feel quite bad. If they assume that because they feel bad and feel like God is not there for them that God does not exist, then they are engaging in emotional reasoning. Feeling bad, or even experiencing bad things does not mean that God is not present. He is present, and He does exist.
God is real, and there are many reasons to believe in Him. Christian apologists Eric Lyons and Kyle Butt summed them up quite nicely in “7 Reasons to Believe in God.” I’ll summarize them here and provide a few excerpts, but I encourage you to read the full-length article.
Reasons to Believe in God¹
- Matter Demands a Maker
- “At one time in the past, the material Universe did not exist. Then, at some point, matter came into existence. But since matter is not eternal and cannot create itself from nothing, then something outside of the material realm must have brought matter into existence.”
- Lyons and Butt make an interesting argument that, regarding the robotic rovers that gather information on Mars, nobody honestly believes that an accidental explosion occurred in a junkyard and metal pieces assembled together and landed on the planet and then started collecting data.
- Yet people believe that it happened with the universe and that the Big Bang is where all matter came from. With that theory, where does the original ball that supposedly exploded, creating the universe, originate? That matter, the ball, and the energy that allegedly caused it to explode had to come from some where. The Big Bang theory does not hold up under scrutiny. The existence of matter demands that someone or something made it.
- Life Demands a Life Giver
- “In the material universe, life arises from previously existing life of its own kind. Life cannot spontaneously generate from non-living chemicals. Thus a supernatural, intelligent mind must have created living organisms.”
- Lyons and Butt reference several notable scientists and evolutionists, like John Sullivan, Neil Shubin, and Harvard Professor George Ward who have conceded that life comes from life or that there are only two possibilities to explain life – “spontaneous generation” or belief in a “primary act of supernatural creation. What life forms are there that you know of that spontaneously generation out of nothing with no prompt or initiation from any other life form?…There is none. Life demands that there is a giver of life.
- Design Demands a Designer
- “Everyday observation reveals and confirms the obvious fact that complex, functional design demands a designer. Paintings demand painters. Poems demand poets. Architecture demands architects.”
- “No honest, informed person can deny that the Universe is extremely fine-tuned and functionally complex.”
- “Since the Universe exhibits complex, functional design, and (by definition) complex, functional design demands a designer, then the Universe must have an intelligent designer.”
- “This argument for God is logically sound and observationally true. A person can know (without a doubt) that God exists if for no other reason than that the Universe’s design demands a Designer. ‘For every house is built by someone, but He Who built all things is God’ (Hebrews 3:4).”
- Intelligence Demands an Intelligent Creator
- “Man obviously has an extremely high level of intelligence.” He’s sent people to the moon, built artificial hearts, constructed computers, written poetry, and organized symphonies. “Man is an intelligent being.”
- Animals also “possess a measure of intelligence.” Dogs can learn to sit, dolphins jump through hoops. Birds build nests from twigs.
- “Just as the first life demands a supernatural life Giver, so the first intelligent beings demand a self-existent, miracle-working Creator of intelligence.”
- Morality Demands a Moral Law Giver
- “Most rational people do not merely feel like rape and child abuse may be wrong; they are wrong—innately wrong. Just as two plus two can really be known to be four, every rational human can know that some things are objectively good, while other things are objectively evil.”
- Even atheists recognize that certain actions and behaviors are evil. That recognition by humans must originate from somewhere.
- “People do not talk about morally depraved donkeys, evil elephants, or immoral monkeys. Pigs are not punished for being immoral when they eat their young. Komodo dragons are not corrupt because 10% of their diet consists of younger Komodo dragons. Killer whales are not guilty of murder. Male animals are not tried for rape if they appear to forcibly copulate with females. Dogs are not depraved for stealing the bone of another dog. Moral value could not arise from rocks and slime.”
- People know when they are in the wrong, when they are consistently violating another person’s rights, when they are abusive, when they are stealing physical or intellectual property that is not theirs for the taking. The bad guy knows when he is the bad guy, just like the good guy knows when he is good.
- “If there is no God, then there is no objective basis to say that some things are right and others are wrong. Reason demands that objective good and evil can only exist if there is some real, objective reference point outside of nature. The only reasonable answer to an objective moral law for humans is a supernatural, moral law Giver.”
- The Bible’s Supernatural Attributes Demand a Supernatural Author
- “Christians do not believe that God exists simply because the Bible teaches that He does, nor do Christians believe that the Bible is the Word of God simply because the Bible claims to be inspired by God. Anyone can make claims about whatever they wish.”
- The fulfilled prophecy of the destruction of the Babylonian empire is kind mind-blowing. The prophet Isaiah prophesied that Cyrus (given his specific name over 100 years before he was ever born) would lead in that destruction of Babylon by the Medo-Persian empire and that he would help the Jews return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple.
- A big piece of “evidence that confirms that the Bible is the inspired Word of God is the presence of accurate, predictive prophecy contained in its pages.”
- The Historical, Miracle-Working, Resurrected Jesus Demands a Supernatural Explanation
- Jesus “did not merely claim to be God; He did what a reasonable person could expect if God were ever to prove His divinity on Earth—He fulfilled precise prophecies and worked supernatural miracles, including coming back from the dead Himself.”
- Humans can do a lot of things, but nobody can do what Jesus did while He walked on earth in the form of a man.
- “The life and works of Jesus testify to the existence of a supernatural Being.”
That’s a lot of reasons to believe in God. And, they are pretty big ones, too. If you believe in God, then you’ll believe in His Son also whom He sent to die for our sins. You can have salvation that God offers if you believe, if you confess that belief that Jesus is Lord, if you repent of your sins, and if you are baptized.
Will you believe? Do you believe?
Photo by Expect Best on Pexels.com
¹Lyons, Eric and Butt, Kyle, “7 Reasons to Believe in God,” http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=5045