Life is full of choices, and one of the biggest choices we’ll ever make is whether to give serious thought to the possibility of someone much bigger than us being ‘out there’, and that we didn’t come into existence through a ‘big bang’ billions of years ago. In other words, are we here by a ten trillion to one chance, or by purposeful creation?
This isn’t just an academic question either because the answer has far reaching implications. If God exists, surely it would make sense to investigate whether God can be known. But if could be proved there’s no God, then statements made about things like euthanasia, abortion or pornography being ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ are meaningless. After all, if there’s no one to whom we are ultimately accountable then things like right and wrong, or good and evil, are just personal opinions.
If the choice is made to give some thought to whether there’s a creator or not, and whether God can be known or not, then one source of information to be considered is the book called ‘The Bible’. Its message has been around for over 4000 years and is regarded as having been ‘inspired by God’ by Jews, Christians and even Muslims. And the message of the Bible is that, yes, God DOES exist, and is the one who created everything else that exists, from the smallest molecules to the most distant galaxies.
The Bible also teaches that the mere existence of the extraordinarily beautiful and amazingly complex things we investigate with microscopes, telescopes and space probes, tells us something about the awesomeness and power of the one who made them. The God of the Bible is shown to be unique, supreme, and wiser than we could ever imagine. He is also described as being holy and without even a spot of wrong doing, yet more patient, kind, and merciful towards mankind, than we could ever deserve.
But it doesn’t only teach about God, it teaches us a lot about people as well. It describes how the first created human beings didn’t remain faithful to God, but believed a lie. In doing so they cut themselves off, and the human race that would follow, from the companionship with God they had experienced when He first made them. The result was that the world soon became filled with the dishonesty, pride, prejudice, greed, sensuality and violence, that we see today. This terrible distortion of God’s original purpose for men and women is called by the simple word ‘sin’. And sin brought not only distortion into the world, but also death. God is shown in the Bible to be not just the creator of all nations, but also the righteous judge of the human race.
Yet, like the beauty of a rainbow following a terrible storm, the Bible describes how God didn’t leave mankind in its terrible condition. He chose a man, known in history as Abraham, and from this man God brought a nation into existence through whom He would reveal to the rest of the world a message of undeserved mercy and reconciliation. It was through this nation that God sent a baby who was born to a virgin. She and her husband called him Jesus. That name in Hebrew means ‘God saves’. Jesus grew up in the land of Israel and soon had a reputation for being a profound teacher and a remarkable healer of every kind of affliction. On top of that, he did things that can only be described as miraculous. He turned water into wine at a wedding feast, walked upon water, and hushed a stormy sea by simply commanding the wind and waves to be still.
This Jesus was the man who, even though he was innocent of crime or sin, was eventually crucified and his body was put in a tomb. But God raised him from the dead and Jesus appeared to many witnesses over a period of six weeks. And then, before their very eyes, he rose up into heaven. It is in the name of Jesus Christ that God’s forgiveness is promised to everyone who repents of sin and is baptized.
That’s the startling message of the Bible. The one who created the universe came into the world to suffer death (even the painful, shameful death of crucifixion) to be the substitute for the punishment we rightly deserve for our sins. And he was raised from death to show that God had accepted the offering he had made and the price he had paid for our freedom from condemnation.
Yes, life is full of choices. Will you choose, even today, to seek God? If you would truly know Him, confess to Him any and all the wrong you know to be present in your life and cry out to him for forgiveness, and for strength to turn from such things. Believe in your heart that Jesus Christ came to save those who have sinned, and that God raised him from the tomb. The wonderful promise of God is that He loved the world in such a way that He gave His unique eternal son to be the substitute for sinners, so that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.