Sometimes, You Just Gotta Believe!

6 09 2016

Why do so many people have such a difficult time believing there is a God who loves them and has provided a path to eternal life?

 

We have no doubt that thousands of people died on September 11, 2001 because we saw it happen. Though many of us were not born at the time, we know for sure that the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 because we have photographic proof, along with the eyewitness accounts of many who were there. The historical record is replete with factual stories from centuries past which can be supported by physical evidence found throughout the world. But the more distant in time, the greater the lack of physical and written evidence to support the events; and, thus, the harder it is for us to visualize, and in many cases accept the occurrences as fact. This is especially true when the events involve great miracles such as Creation or the parting of the Red Sea. Unfortunately, Adam had no laptop on which to keep a diary.

 

The truth is, God wants us to believe, but He wants us to believe by faith. Faith is the foundation on which a relationship with God is built. Like a house…no foundation, no house. No faith, no relationship with God. Anyone can see an event and know it happened; but, God wants us to rely on His word and that requires faith. In 1 Peter 1:8-9, we read, “Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”

 

Let’s look at it in this way:

Seeing is Believing

Scene: The heavily modified DeLorean, with its gull-wing doors and flux capacitor powered circuitry, suddenly appears in the driveway at 9303 Roslyndale Avenue located at the heart of Lyon Estates in the suburbs of Hill Valley, California. The driver’s side door swings upward as a combination of smoke and vapor rise from the frost covered machine. Out jumps its driver, world-renowned time traveler and scientist, Dr. Emmett Brown.

 

“Marty! Marty! Shouts Dr. Brown, running up to the diminutive Marty McFly, who is sitting on his porch swing.

 

“Hi, Doc. What’s up?”

 

“Marty, you won’t believe what I’ve just seen!” Doc exclaimed in animated excitement.

 

“Whoa, whoa, Doc, slow down. You’re gonna pop a vein. Where did you go this time?”

 

“Marty, it’s amazing. It’s the most amazing thing that’s ever happened to me. It’s even more amazing than when I fell off of my toilet and visualized the flux capacitor.”

 

“Okay. Slow down, Doc, and tell me what’s so amazing.”

 

“Marty,” Doc continued, still obviously excited, “you know I’m a man of science. I believe only what I can see, touch, or hypothesize, based entirely on scientific principles. Ever since I got my first PhD at 16, my philosophy has always been, if it can’t be proven or supported by the laws of physics, then it isn’t possible. When I was a boy growing up in Marion, Ohio, my parents attended church every Sunday. And, try as they might, ever since I reached pubescence, I refused to go with them. I always declined to engage in the church of the self-righteous. People would go to church and preach to me about being a sinful and evil person.  Then they, themselves, would do sinful and evil things; so, I rejected the notion that there is, or ever has been, a God who could create an entire universe. I thought, if this so- called God is real, then why doesn’t He show Himself? Why can’t I see Him or any evidence that He truly exists?”

 

“Marty, I thought the stories I heard from my parents were preposterous. As a man of science, I found the notion of the first man created from the dirt to be ludicrous. It simply wasn’t logical. The notion of a flood severe enough to cover the entire world was merely a fable. And so many other stories…a man named Jesus who could bring the dead back to life; the parting of the Red Sea and then closure of the sea to kill the Egyptian army. Jesus, Himself, rising from death after He had been crucified. These stories were impossible for me to believe because of my stubborn refusal to open my mind to the possibility that a real and living God could exist…a God who created the laws of physics and had the power to do anything. Well, Marty, I’ve been there. I’ve seen it and I’m here to say, not only are the stories true, but I am, now, a believer and have become a disciple of Christ. I now know He is real! To put it in your own vernacular, Marty, this is heavy.”

 

“Wait a minute, Doc. Do you mean to tell me you went back to the days of Adam and Eve, and Moses and Noah, and you saw all these things happen?”

 

Great Scott!

“Yes, Marty. Not only did I see them, I sat down and shared a meal of dates and berries with Adam and Eve. I stood near the cross at Golgotha and saw the sky grow dark at the moment Jesus died. I walked into the empty tomb after Jesus had already risen. I attended the wedding where Jesus turned water to wine and actually drank some of the wine! I ate the mana that fell from the sky to feed the Israelites in the desert. Great Scott, Marty, He’s real! He’s real and all the stories in the Bible are true. How could I have been such a fool?”

 

We don’t have a time machine, so going back in time to meet Jesus is not an option. But, if our faith is strong, we can meet Him in the here and now. God’s Word is timeless. Remember Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” And, Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

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