From time to time, I participate in lively debates with people who label themselves as atheist or agnostic. Although both sides bring up great points, invariably, one side makes known its desire for “proof” of the other side’s claim. Because I am not so closed-minded as to think there is not evidence for God’s non-existence, I can concede that there is no definitive “proof” of God’s existence (for us, at this time and point in history – in Jesus time, I would surmise that those who knew Jesus could not deny God’s existence). But what we do have are mountains upon mountains of evidence.
God’s most phenomenal creation is not an accident
People have a lot of questions when it comes to where humanity and life on Earth came from. Did life originate in a Martian comet that crashed into earth billions of years ago? Did We come from a pool of primordial ooze? Did God create it all in 6 days from nothing? Did God create things a little at a time, over many, many years? Well, its a little bit of this and a little bit of that.
It’s hard, and it doesn’t get any easier. People talk about taking their “path” in life. For Christians, and those who believe in God, Jesus said there are two paths. The first path leads to eternal life, and the other path leads to destruction. He also says that the second path, the one that leads to destruction, is well-traveled, and many people choose that path. Few find the path that leads to eternal life. Few find it. So, it should never come as a surprise that most people in the world transgress against their brothers and sisters. Even most of those who say they love God and say they follow Jesus hurt others and do not seek forgiveness, nor do they repent. Yes, we are outnumbered, but don’t worry about it! Pray for them and guard your heart, but keep it open to the fact that they might come to know and love God. Do NOT take comfort in the fact that those people will face God’s judgement; you should mourn for them, as they are dead. But we should rejoice that with God all things are possible; there is always a chance that our brothers and sisters will be born again. We must be committed to helping anyone who truly desires to know God.
Our purpose is to love God and to love one another. That’s it. And if people would just love one another with altruistic charity, we would solve all of humanity’s problems. We have the technology, the intelligence, the means, and God’s blessing to make the world a better place.
So, there are two options: eternal life or destruction. If we are to receive the gift of eternal life, it is obviously a good thing, since it only comes from God. We will not be sorry to be with God after we die. If we sacrifice everything we have, here, on Earth, to be with God, isn’t it worth it? Isn’t it worth it to lose your life in order to be with God, forever? If we believe what Jesus teaches is true, then we have nothing to worry about. Do not fear the one who can kill the body, but fear the One who can destroy the soul.
Take the narrow path that leads to the narrow gate, because it opens up to eternal life. But be diligent, because there are few who enter through the narrow gate. Remember, as you walk down that life path, there are many more people in the world who choose to take the wide path. Many more choose destruction than eternal life, and their words and actions show us so. They will hurt you and move on with their lives as if nothing happened. If we can truly and fully accept this, life becomes easier, but much harder in the sense that you now see and know that many of your brothers and sisters will not be with us in the life to come, and you must continue to live with that knowledge. But God is fair, and He is just. We get what we deserve, but we should not worry. Love God with all your heart, and do your best to love your brothers and sisters. Always trust in God and His love for you.
but what is the final answer?
The Bible is just that – a collection of books. It was not written by one person – or by God -, nor is it meant to be read like a novel. The canonized Bible contains 66 books, written by at least 40 different authors between 900 BCE and 125 CE. It has been translated into many different languages, with each language having multiple versions. There are well over 100 complete English versions, which include the King James version (KJV), the Geneva Bible (GEN), and the New International Version (NIV), among others. For the purposes of this website and my personal study, I chose the New American Standard Bible (NASB).
“but I say to you…”
Recently, I watched a documentary on the state-sanctioned execution of Sean Sellers. When he was 17, he murdered his parents. He did not deny he committed the act. He was convicted and sentenced to death. He was executed by lethal injection at 12:17am, on February 4th, 1999 in an Oklahoma State Penitentiary. His case brought worldwide attention because of his age when he comitted the crimes – by law, he was still a child. Nevertheless, after numerous appeals and a clemency hearing, another life was taken from us. The entire situation is a terrible tragedy.
why isn’t Jesus more direct?
A parable is a story told by Jesus to explain a moral truth. Jesus often uses parables to explain his message to people who couldn’t quite understand the Word of God, either wilfully or unintentionally. It would seem logical that Jesus would tell common people stories with common themes they could all understand, but there is a deeper reason for his teaching in parables.
We all sin. It is an inevitable fact of life. Whether it is intentional or unintentional, our words and actions have the power to hurt people. They also have the power to create distance between us and God. If we want to have a fulfilling personal relationship with our Father, we must give up the inclination to sin. But how? Continue reading “Salvation Lies Within”