Typically in my posts I prefer to be factual and professional when dealing with things that may be somewhat controversial. Of course, I have my own opinions, and sometimes I share them. But fact is always fact, and there is no need to debate those things that God has made true. And we know so much about who God is by listening to and following Jesus’ teachings.
It is never enough to simply read the Bible, understand what it says, and adjust your thinking to suit what it teaches. The good news of our ability to have a personal relationship with God and to have eternal life with him is only half of the Bible, the second half in fact.
If you say that you believe Jesus is the Son of God, and you believe that what he said was true, but you do not do what he says, or you revere the old words of sinful men over the everlasting truth of the Gospel, then you deceive yourself and the truth is not within you. Jesus is your savior. Believe what he says. Listen to him! God is well pleased with him.
The foremost of the two great commandments is to love God with everything you have. Your heart, mind, spirit, and strength. When you love someone, you do things to intentionally please them, but you do not do anything to intentionally harm them. Jesus shows us that God loves us immensely. On the cross Jesus proved to us just how much he loved God and how much he loved his brothers and sisters. What he teaches us is literally gospel. So why do we continue to justify allegedly malignant aspects of God’s character simply because that’s what is written in the Old Testament?
God is not evil, He is not wicked, He does not do things to intentionally harm us. That is a human characteristic. God does not intentionally set us up for failure. He does allow things to happen to us because He allows things to happen to everyone. But there is nothing that cannot be overcome if we simply love one another.
The Old Testament is full of writings about God being vengeful, wrathful, angry, and other emotions that are in opposition to the expression of love. In the New Testament, He is loving, kind, and causes the rain to fall on the just and the wicked. So why did things change?
Throughout history, when mankind did not understand something, we tended to interpret natural phenomena as being caused by supernatural beings. A primary example of this is Greek and Roman mythology. Once human beings scaled to the top of Mount Olympus, and they realized that Zeus did not live up there, nor did any of the other gods or goddesses, they began to reevaluate the validity of their religion. By the time Jesus was born, the religion was so “valid” that if you did not practice it in the way that the state commanded, you would be subject to legal penalties. No good idea has to be initiated through force. If the idea is good, and the fruits of the implementation of the idea is beneficial to people, it is not difficult to get people to accept that idea.
So what’s the difference between Adam and Eve, Noah, and Moses, people who we have absolutely no evidence of ever existing, and Romulus and Remus or Aeneas? Absolutely nothing. What can be proven without a doubt is that Jesus existed, his words are recorded down by those who knew him, and the implementation of his ideas are very beneficial to mankind. Jesus did not need to force people to believe what he said; they could clearly see for themselves the fruits of the implementation of his teachings benefiting their lives. And just so that everyone would be fully clear that he was who he said he was, God resurrected him from the dead. How much more proof do we need?
Much of the Old Testament is Hebrew mythology. That’s why it is very difficult to reconcile the figurative explanations that the Hebrews created for natural phenomena with the truth of God’s reality. The Earth is billions of years old. The geological studies that we have done confirm this. The Earth is round. We have video evidence to prove this, let alone the laws of physics that demand the Earth be a globe. Satan and has fallen angels are not real. Heaven is God’s home, and He is fully in charge and competent at keeping a perfect home. It is perfect for not only Him, but for all who reside with Him. Who would choose to leave perfection, knowing they would be cast into a lake of fire? Who would undertake any endeavor knowing that, no matter what they did, they would lose in the end? When the explainations for reality become more and more absurd, it is better to err on the side of caution, than to declare that the absurdity is truth, but it is our perception of reality that is absurd. God endowed us with intelligence, logic, and reasoning, as we were created in His image. He wanted each one of His children to be able to think for themselves, and come to the conclusion that they desire to be in a personal relationship with Him. If He allows, or even more so, malevolently causes us to stumble, is He worthy of being loved? Of course not!
You can read any book to find out what someone thinks about God. And that’s all you will get from reading that: their opinion. If you want to know God, the first step is to read the Bible. And when you come to the New Testament, understand that Jesus came to preach the truth. So what he says overrides everything else in the Bible. Everything, all of it. and when he tells you that eternal life is knowing God, believe him. There is no other way.
God loves us all, no matter what people have said about Him. People spread all kinds of ill words about each other, and God is not exempt from our false witness. But, if you really want to know the truth about God, ask Him. He is not shy about loving you. He already loves you, He’s just waiting for you to take the step up to meet Him, step out of your own thinking, and think like Christ.