Why Believe in God?
If there is a God, how can we know what He is like? One way is to look at what He has done. Look at your wrist watch and then look at your hand. It is inconceivable that the watch just happened. Someone must have made it. Your hand is even more complex and wonderful than the watch. It didn’t just happen either.
Down through history certain men have called attention to what may be seen and known of God, and have said things which they claimed were given to them as special revelations of God to be given to the people. In each such case the claim demanded some attention because of the importance of the man involved. One or two such claims, however, would not be very convincing. But as time went on more and more such men spoke and wrote until at last the record contained the statements of over a score of men which, when brought together, were found to agree precisely, even though many of the men lived in different centuries, in widely separated countries, and had no possible knowledge of each other or each other’s writings.
What they all said was that the God, who made men, loved men and wanted to be known and loved by men. They also said that in order to accomplish this most fully, He would some day become a man Himself so that He could demonstrate His love and be known and understood.
If He was to be understood by all men, He must be a common man, a man of the people. He would have to mingle with the masses, work with His hands, share their weariness and pain, joy and sorrow. Since we cannot understand something that is totally outside our experience, we can only understand what God is like in human terms. This was God’s plan, according to these men.
And then there came a Man! Jesus Christ the Lord.
No one had ever heard of such a man before! He was a poor man, brought up in a carpenter’s shop, in a dusty little town in Galilee. People, in wonder, said to each other, “Is not this the carpenter’s son, whose mother and brothers and sisters we know?” He sought no fame. He helped wherever there was need. He spoke to men and women and boys and girls quietly, as He went from place to place. He told them about God: how much God loved them, how God wanted them all to be well and happy. He told of God’s care for the flowers and the birds. He told each one about God’s love for him. He gave encouragement to the weary, strength to the faint, joy to the sorrowful, hope to the discouraged. And the words He spoke have come down the centuries as the most sublime things ever said. He told men who He was. He said, “Search the Scriptures, for they are they which testify of Me.” “I came down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of Him that sent Me.” He always talked about God, His Father, and showed in all that He did and said what God was like.
One day, when a friend said to Him, “Show us the Father, and it will satisfy us,” He said, “He that has seen Me has seen the Father.” Here was God in flesh, a man. And to prove that He was all that He claimed to be, He did things which no other man could do. He set aside the natural processes which He had originally established and did things which we call miracles. He was able to heal broken bodies, give sight to blind eyes and hearing to deaf ears, and on some occasions, He even recalled the spirits of some who had died and gave them back alive to their families. No wonder people said, “Never man spake like this man,” and “we never saw it on this wise before.” And it is written, “They wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth.” What did He say? What words, spoken softly in the Galilean hills, in quiet evening conversations, taught in little Jewish synogogues, or uttered from a boat pulled to the beach, to crowds who came to hear, have given inspiration to millions of distraught people, comfort to the bereaved of all the ages, strength to the weary, courage to the faint, and hope to all mankind?
These are the things He said:
From within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.
In all of man’s history these are the things that drag men down, that bring about his sorrow, his frustration and his death. For, “the wages of sin is death.”
To tell men what was wrong was one thing. To provide a remedy was another. But He did this when He offered Himself as a substitute for men, and died upon a criminal’s cross, “the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God.” God, in the form of man, took unto Himself all the punishment due to men because of their sin. No other man could say words like these, “I lay down my life, that I might take it again.” And now His words ring down the centuries, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth on Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die.”
Why, then, will you die? God offers you eternal life. Accept the provision He has made, the forgiveness He offers. In days of old, when men brought animal sacrifices for their sins, they placed their right hand upon the head of the beast to signify their identification with it.
Will you accept this sacrifice as yours? If you will, we believe this is reasonable, that if one has died for you, then you have died. Just as in a court of law, if someone else pays your fine or penalty, you are accounted to have paid, and you go free. The life then that you have is no longer your own” but His who died for you. And you will not seek to do your own will, but His. And this will make a difference. The love that brought the Son of God from heaven to die upon a criminal’s cross for you and me creates a motive for living in response to that love, that should characterize everything we do, diminishing our selfishness and making us the expression of God’s will to bless others.
The Bible is the record of His will, so get a Bible and read it. And, as you seek to know His will for you, you will find it revealed to you, and you will discover that it is better than the best you ever dreamed about before. For the God who made your hand, your head, your heart, who understands your thoughts afar off, knows what is best for you and has promised to bring it to pass, because He loves you so. (READ JOHN 3:16).