Did you ever notice how in the Scriptures, years of time can quickly pass in just a sentence or two. We see this in many of the people that God in His wisdom tells us about. There’s Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and so many many more. Every single day of their lives are not chronicled, there are distinct periods of time that are just mentioned in passing. Great numbers of days, even years, where they just lived their lives and did what they needed to do to get to that event that marked a milestone in their walk with God. Just think of all the things that Moses did that are not recorded, same thing with David and even the life and ministry of Jesus.
I find it amazing how when I look back in retrospect how quickly time has passed by. I can remember when I was in my early twenties thinking I probably would not make it much beyond the age of forty if I kept on living the way that I was. And here I am now, 74 years old and in so many ways it seems like just yesterday.
And when God gives you the gift of grandchildren, there are so many things that their presence brings to mind. I can distinctly remember when they were born and how quickly they grow up. I see my own children, now fully grown adults, going down the same road that my wife and trod on for so many years. The preciousness of little children and the responsibilities of life that can so easily overshadow the necessities of nurturing and the importance of teaching respect and appreciation for others.
All of us have a tendency to see life around us with all roads leading to us. I marvel at how ill equipped I was in my younger days and often still am. I also marvel at the sheer magnitude of grace that God has bestowed upon me and those that I love, over the years. How so many countless times things could have gone completely sideways, even more than they sometimes did. The patience that God has with us all is unreal.
With all the varied requirements of raising a family, plus meeting the expectations of those who you work for, these activities can so easily seem to take up most of the day and one day rolls into another, time can almost seem like a continuous conveyor belt that only stops when the power is shut off. The amount of time and effort that I wasted on things that don’t really matter astound me when I look back. And yet, God allowed me to do what I chose to do, make so many mistakes and bring me to where I am today.
How is it that I can see now what I didn’t see before? How can my wife who will also be 74 next month, look more beautiful than the day I first saw her? How can one convey the worth and preciousness of a hug from a son or daughter or the embrace of a grandchild? Where does this thing we call love come from and why do we value it so much? How does love happen, that I had such a little part in bringing about? How did it become a reality in spite of all the mistakes that I continually made? Grace, sheer grace.
Everyone of us have our own story. We’ve all had unique experiences, some good and some not so good. We’ve all been hurt and we’ve all hurt others, sometimes intentionally and sometimes unintentionally. We’re all different yet we’re all the same. That’s the part that so many don’t see. It doesn’t matter what color you are, it doesn’t matter what nationality you come from, it doesn’t matter what culture you’ve been raised in. People are people, no matter where in this world that you go. Most of us come to an awareness that we individually and collectively, can be self destructive if we allow our base self centered instincts to determine the course for the rest of our lives and for our children. Things like self centered greed and a lust for power can and do have devastating, mind boggling effects. History declares it time and time again and it’s all through the Bible and it’s still going on even today.
So what is the big picture? Is the material all that there is? Is this the reality of humanity? Do the values and truths we recognize and see in others and ourselves all culminate in sheer chance with no reason or purpose whatsoever? Is what is right and wrong only determined by our self centered greed with no accountability for anything or to anyone?
I find it distressing that for so many years I looked to what I saw around me, to determine my own course ahead. Fulfillment of personal needs, in all of it’s varied aspects, was basically the course that I chose. That must be the way to go, it’s what everyone is doing. To evaluate what I see and carve out a course of action that will provide for me and those that I care for. Then my children, if I choose to marry and have them, will do likewise and that’s the best one can hope for. Sounds realistic if it works, becomes a real downer if it doesn’t. Whoever owns the playground makes the rules. Great if you own the playground, not so great if you don’t. Read history. Look beyond what you can see.
- A universe that came about from nothing and shouldn’t exist.
- A lone planet in a solar system, in a galaxy that shouldn’t be.
- Living organisms originating from non-living matter.
- Simple cells being more complex than possibly imagined.
- Code inside DNA that is programmed with intelligence.
- An abundance of complex life in all of its many forms.
- Beauty, order and precise fine tuning exhibited in everything we see.
All of this just happened by chance by itself. No reason, no purpose, no intelligent cause or source. Makes perfect sense.
- A written historical testimony (Old Testament) of a Creator God that spells out our situation.
- A written historical testimony (Old Testament) that foretells of a coming Redeemer Messiah to save us from ourselves, who will restore our communion with God and who will be from God and be God (divine).
- A written historical testimony (New Testament) of the arrival of the Redeemer Messiah Jesus.
- Messiah Jesus fulfills all of the Old Testament prophecies about Himself.
- Messiah Jesus performs miracles and controls the elements.
- Messiah Jesus foretells of His death and resurrection before it takes place.
- Messiah Jesus is put to death and rises again from the dead as He foretold. No other religion except Christianity has this testimony.
- Apostles and disciples testify to His resurrection.
- Their lives are totally transformed.
- The Christian Church, the largest religion in the world is born.
There is not one line right from the beginning of “a universe that came about from nothing…” to the bottom where “The Christian Church…” that is not contested that I am aware of. The “preferred” reasoning by those who refuse to entertain the idea that there is “something” rather than “nothing” is that all of this just happened by chance, by itself. No reason, no purpose, no intelligent cause or source. And most importantly, no accountability. Accountability always seems to play a key factor because if one acknowledges that there may be a Creator God, then if one actively looks at the evidence given to us, it becomes pretty difficult to “believe” but not respond to what is asked of us by the Creator God. A lot of people say that they believe in God but they don’t really want to get into knowing what He has to say because that might involve a response, or even worse, accountability. The Apostle Paul addresses this in Romans.
Romans 1:20 NIV “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”
Notice Paul is talking about God’s invisible qualities, His eternal power and divine nature. I think in my heart that most people believe that there is a God. Unfortunately that “belief” really doesn’t do anyone any good all by itself.
The Apostle John also tells us in John 3:16 NIV “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
But what does “believes in him” entail? How about who He is and what He did for us and why? How about His commandments? Yes you’re right, that would be under our response to Him, the “accountability” factor. A lot of people don’t want to go there because that puts God in His rightful position where He is God and we are His children, placing ourselves under His guidance, learning of His thoughts and ways versus our own. Totally different ballgame.
Are there documented arguments for all of these statements I’ve listed above, both pro and con? Yes there are, very many learned people, including PhD’s from both sides of the fence. These are highly intelligent people, people who have studied the evidence, some of which have come to one conclusion and some of which have come to another.
Time, precious time, has a habit of filtering out what is important and what is not, what makes sense from hindsight and what was a fruitless pursuit. I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life but accepting God’s testimony and asking Jesus the Christ, the Messiah, to be my savior wasn’t one of them.
If you want to find out for yourself, take Jesus at His word and open the door to Him. Respond to Him and truly hear and consider all that He has to say.
Revelation 3:20 NIV “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!