REASON FOR OUR HOPE:
UNDENIABLE PROOF OF OUR CREATOR GOD AND SAVIOUR
- FAITH AND REASON
Beyond a superficial “belief,” most folks dismiss or “postpone” seeking or receiving any true faith involving a willing obedience to God because 1) they don’t want to change their current lifestyle , 2) they can’t believe in a God who would allow “evil in the world”, and/or 3) they rationalize that people of faith have acted blindly – ignoring all reason, intellect and “science.”
In fact, God tells us that”… faith is being sure of what we hope for, and certain of what we do not see!” (Heb 11:1), and to “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reasons for the hope that you have…” (I Peter 3:15) Note also Jo1:1:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” Jo 1:1 (Word in Greek is “logos” – meaning “logic” or “reason.”)
To help achieve our faith with reason, God has provided us with 66 Books, 40 authors and some 2,000 pages of scripture, along with true “scientific” facts, to study. By providing such a large amount of information and data, God is appealing to our minds, intellect and reason – not blind emotion, wishful thinking, or gut reaction.
In this connection also note the following related statements (that could only be made) by God:
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will
frustrate.” I Cor. 1:19
“The foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is
stronger than man’s strength.” I Cor 1:25
Of course, to be sure there is a sense in which one’s Faith in God – and His Messiah Son, Jesus – is “blind,” and interpret nothing set forth in this writing as detracting from or adding to that sense. Thus, the fundamental fact is that one’s Faith if and when it comes is always and ultimately only the result of God’s Grace. ”…For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith…it is the gift of God – not by works so that no one can boast” (Eph 2:8-9). This is all consistent with His having elected us, not our electing Him, despite the frequent appearance that we are doing so. Accordingly, one can know and accept all of the evidence in the world supporting the existence of our Creator-God, and may even” believe” in the Creator-God like Satan and his demons, but still never receive God’s gift of Faith.
“You believe that there is one God. You do well. (But) even the demons believe…and tremble!” Jas 2:19
However, despite a world where Satan and sin have so much ill-effect, many folks possess minds open to reason and evidence and free of the frequent anti-creator bias of either the Scientist or Academic, retaining “soil” open to the “seed” of God’s Grace and gift of Faith. It is these open minds we seek “to give reason.”
- All of Nature with Its Incredible Magnificence, Provision, Innate Laws and Order
- The “rising and setting” of the sun (see Part III, Science)
- The moon , some 400 billion planets, and endless stars
- The oceans with their salt and their critical tides tied to both sun and moon!
- The four seasons
- All varieties of trees, flowers, fruits, vegetables and grains
- Invaluable minerals throughout the earth
- The incredible variety and uniqueness of animals, birds and fish (over 20,000 varieties), including the miraculous:
- only the woodpecker’s skull has been designed thick enough to sustain the harsh hammering of its bill without its fracturing;
- the tiny hummingbird’s heart beats 1400 times per minute, and has 4 chambers just like yours and mine!)
- a caterpillar’s transformation into a butterfly
- 15,000 species of mammals, each with 4 chambered hearts; if evolution, which of the 3 essentials of the cardio-vascular system along with oxygen came first – a beating heart, vessels, blood???
- Man with his two “non-evolvable,” eyes (See Part III, Science)
- A Self-consciousness, a Conscience and creative nature with an innate seeking of life’s meaning, purpose, etc.
- The Laws of nature and physics, with just the right positioning and amount of Sun, Moon, vegetation, gravity, oxygen, carbon dioxide, neutrons, protons, salt and fresh water to sustain life
- Only recently discovered is the fact that our universe is currently expanding, which in reverse means it had a definite beginning – whether with or without a big bang! Thus, it is not an infinite universe, self-existent and constant. (See Part III, Science and Part IV, The Universe)
- God’s Rainbow: “I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth…never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.” 9:13-15
- “What may be known about God is plain…God’s invisible qualities – His external power and divine naturehave been clearly seen being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” (Ro 1:19-20)
- See Genesis I for God’s detailed account of creation, something only a God could create, or describe.
- “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command.” (Heb 11:3)
Note: For one to persuade that all of this unimaginable variety – each unchanging with its own complicated intricacy, and design – evolved over time from nothing would first need to prove that they are God!
- See all of the above
- 3,000 year-old OT Scripture teachings commanded circumcisions to be done on the 8th day of life (Lev 12:3, Gen 17:8); medical science has only recently demonstrated that blood coagulability is at its height– Yes, on the 8th day of life!
- “As physician and scientist I can finally attest to the fact that it is impossible for natural selection to explain the amazing intricacies of the eye” (let alone 2!) Ming Wang,D., PhD, world renowned eye surgeon and laser physicist at MIT
- Note Charles Darwin’s Theory was “Origin of the Species”: – not Life; Darwin wrote: “Science as yet throws no light on the far higher problems of the essence or origin of life.”
- In the 1940’s, Anthony Flew, the world’s then most notorious atheist presented his paper on Atheism at Oxford University’s Socratic Club, chaired by S. Lewis. Thereafter, In 2004, at age 80, Flew wrote, “There is a God!” this conclusion following his investigation of DNA’s enormous complexity which he acknowledged required a super intelligence. And, of course, C.S. Lewis published his international classic “Mere Christianity” in 1943.
- What is more complicated: a jet plane, your iPhone, or a worm? All scientists agree it is the worm – by far!
- Self-creation of a single protein molecule – the most complicated substance known – is estimated at 10 million to 1, when in the field of logical, mathematical possibility, a ratio of 1050 to 1 is considered impossible.
- Despite many college textbooks stating that all scientists agree on Evolution:
“There is no evidence, scientific or otherwise, to support the Theory of Evolution.” Sir Anthony Fleming of UK; Prof. Louis Agassiz, Harvard.
Theodosius Dobzhansey, French scientist and world’s leading Zoologist with “encyclopedic” knowledge, of whom it is stated that you may disagree – but you can’t ignore him – and he “has demolished evolution on every front.”
Sir Julian Huxley: “I suppose many of us leaped at Darwin’s work because the idea of God interfered with our sexual mores.”
- Discovery of DNA in 1953 by James Watson and Francis Crick, later defined in detail by Francis Collins – so intricate, complicated, consistent and incredible that virtually all scientists now agree that only intelligent design could possibly explain DNA – never haphazard evolution.
Note: Some have argued that in light of the genetic differences between man and ape being only 4%, this is evidence of evolution. However, it is the opposite that is true, since 4% makes total sense given the vast similarities between the two. Further, a 4% difference consists of 3 billion base pairs of DNA in every cell representing 120 million different entries in DNA codes – the equivalent of about 12 million words! This is quite enough to explain the differences between ape and man.
4% also makes sense when you realize that roughly 1/100th of 1% accounts for all the differences between men – and man and woman – with this 1/100th representing some 300,000 different code entries, or 30,000 words.
Finally, would not a common designer (God) naturally and logically use a common DNA blueprint scheme for all living creatures – varying each just enough to create the Creator’s desired result?
- The Universe (& More Science)
- Not all that long ago, Galileo and subsequent scientists confirmed the fact that the earth revolves around the sun – not the reverse. Further, it has been observed that the sun itself is not stationary, and in fact travels at a speed of 600,000 mph as it moves through the vast space of the universe – a circuit so large that it would take (ca) 200 million years to complete one orbit. Wow, read that again! This is all consistent with scripture at Ps. 19:6: “Its (the sun’s) rising is from one end of heaven and the circuit to the other end “ – written some 4,000 years ago!
- Theories of Leading Physicists, Astro-physicists et al:
Early on – from Aristotle to Galileo to Einstein to Sagan– all agreed that the universe was constant and had always existed – and that the “cosmos is all that is, ever was, or ever will be.”
Plato and Aristotle both sought to explain the cause of motion, since a universe at rest would be natural, but one in motion would be “unnatural.”
Thomas Aquinas stated that “there must be either a self-existent creator – or a self-existent universe, and the universe is not behaving as such.”
Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1727) who is entombed in Westminster Abby was perhaps the world’s most renowned scientist. Newton spent the first half of his life on science; in particular, with his contributions on the quantification of universal gravitational attraction (“Principia”), white light’s immutable spectral colors, optics including creation of one of the earliest telescopes, formulations of calculus, and alchemy (chemistry).
“Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it
cannot explain who set the planets in motion. God governs
all things and knows all that is or can be done.”
To the further chagrin of perhaps half of those scientists who publicly acknowledge being atheistic or agnostic, Newton spent much of the second half of his life in Theology, writing numerous Christian/religious works and teaching at both Trinity College and Cambridge University, fully accepting the resurrected Christ as son of God, though rejecting Trinitarian theology. Newton’s research concluded that Christ’s crucifixion occurred on 4/3/0033.
After Sandage and Gunn and their Palomar telescope, and the early work of Slipher came Edwin Hubbleand the Hubble telescope in 1929 – all in follow-up to Galileo’s work in the 1600’s with their observations that the “farther away the stars, the redder they get” (the red shift effect) – leading to the certain conclusion that the universe with all of its galaxies is a constantly expanding one.
This was followed by Einstein’s Theory of Relativity confirming an expanding universe and Einstein’s confessing that he had previously “manipulated” a key number in order to keep from concluding an expanding universe which he had previously dismissed.
This led to the work of physicists Arvin Borde, Alexander Vilenkin, and Alan Guth – and the “BVG” theorems – concluding that any expanding universe had to have a beginning, indeed a very sudden beginning.
Fr. Georges LeMaitre, a Belgian physicist (and priest), when combining Einstein’s theory of gravity which implied an expanding space, with the observation that galaxies were receding from each other, concluded that there had to have been a sudden “Big Bang” beginning.
Stephen Hawking joined in their opinions – supporting the universe’s sudden beginning. All of these conclusions led to the work of Vilenkin, Roger Penrose and others regarding the theory of entropy and the second law of thermodynamics concluding that all stationary physical systems must necessarily run down and eventually die – perhaps by a firey death – as their energy dissipates. However, given a constantly expanding universe, and one with relatively low entropy at its beginning, the universe can continue on for a long time due to its continued expansion and ongoing energy source.
Physicist Hawking at least early on took the view that since “quarks” can occur and disappear spontaneously, therefore, perhaps something could be created from nothing – including the Universe – “given the laws of physics and nature.” Of course, Hawking could never explain how or who it was that created these laws.
Regarding the scientific views of the age of the earth and its rocks, etc., know that it has been concluded that radioactive decay rates were greatly sped up at some point. Further, just when or how were the radiometric clocks set at the beginning?
Finally, there are the “fine-tuning” features of the universe. This includes the precise distances and angles of the sun and the moon, the force of gravity, the protons and neutrons, and the nuclear forces holding atom particles together where a 2% variance either way produces disaster – either no hydrogen with no life or all hydrogen and no life.
All of this has led to the following reluctant statements by the following, mostly agnostic scientists:
- “Only a super-calculating, super- intellect could cause or create the universe;”
- “At first sight one might think the strong anticlerical bias of modern science would be totally at odds with western religion. This is far from being so, however. The big bang theory requires a recent origin of the universe that openly invites the concept of creation, and where so-called thermodynamic theories of the origin of life in the organic soup of biology are the contemporary equivalent of the voice in the burning bush and the tablets of Moses.”
Fred Hoyle Astronomer
- “If a watch proves the existence of a watchmaker but the universe does not prove the existence of a great architect, then I consent to be called a fool!”
- “The best data we have (relative to the “Big Bang”) are exactly what I would have predicted had I nothing to go on but the books of Moses, the Psalms and the Bible as a whole.”
Arno Panzias, Physicist, Nobel Laureate
- “Certain it is that a …rationality and intelligibility of the world lies behind all scientific work of a higher order…this firm belief…of a superior mind that reveals itself in the world of experience, represents my conception of God “
- “The vast mysteries of the universe should only confirm our belief in the certainty of the Creator.”
- “ One cannot be exposed to the law and order of the universe without concluding that there must be design and purpose behind it all.”
Wernher von Braun, Rocket Scientist
- UFO’s and Possible “ET Life:’
There is substantial evidence in support of these phenomena the existence of which we contend would be further evidence of a Creator-God. However, we would suggest that whatever “life” is involved is “soul-less” and/or the product of Evil and is being or will be used by God for His purposes which we will not fully understand until Eternity.
Know that “Science” is a billions of dollars industry supporting millions of “scientists” who would lose their “academic objectivity” and quite possibly their positions if they professed/confessed publicly their belief in a Creator-God.
- Archeological Findings – or Non-findings – Wholly Supporting Scripture
- The “Cambrian explosion” evidencing a sudden explosion; “All major groups of invertebrates appear suddenly in the very first fossiliferous (Cambrian) strata,” Prof. Enoch, Zoologist, University of Madras.
- Signs of a World-wide Flood (which killed all who did not heed God’s warning). Desiring none to perish, God is once again warning the world – not of flood, but fire.
- Convincing evidence and remnants of large numbers of Jews having lived in Egypt between 1500 and 1200 B.C.
- Evidence of the Exodus and Red Sea Crossing (ca) 1275
- Uncovering physical evidence of many old Biblical names and places
- Finding both OT and NT Scripture writings – with many authentic document fragments as old as 1000+ years B.C., including the Dead Sea Scrolls – See Part VI
- Finding physical remnants of many OT/NT sites in Jerusalem and Israel
- It is highly significant that no meaningful transitional links, nor even a single transitional vertebrate, have ever been found despite the vast number of archeological dig sites throughout the world – an impossibility with any macro- evolutionary process.
- While the Shroud of Turin could alone present strong evidence of Christ’s existence and resurrection given its mysterious “negative” photographic image, early “Carbon 14” dating analyses placed the shroud at (ca) 1000 AD, although given recent advances in our understanding of the variability in atmospheric C-14 the date could be much earlier. However, a 1994 publication by Pickney and Prince provides credible evidence that the Shroud was likely “created” by the eccentric genius Leonardo DaVinci in the late 1400’s
VI.The Truth that Scripture is God’s Word – and that God’s Word Is True! All Prophecies proven 100% Accurate
- 66 Books of both Old and New Testament books – some 2,000 pages written over a period of some 1,600 years by 40 different scribes speaking in 3 different languages: Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic.
- All 66 Books inter-relate with many inter-twining references – a total impossibility without an over-arching God, inspiring and directing each and all of the 40 different scribes working in different languages
- Scripture describes people/events/sites that have been evidenced by numerous archeological findings and historians’ writings
- Scripture – The Old Testament contains some 300 specific prophecies of the Messiah – some 50 or so pertaining to the birth of Christ – every single one proving true. There are hundreds of other prophesies in both the OT and NT also proven 100% true to date, with many events yet to occur. Not a single prophecy has been wrong. The chance of predicting “just 8 of these predictions all being correct would be the same as a blind man picking a single marked silver dollar out of silver dollars stacked 2’ high across the entire State of Texas – according to mathematician Peter Stoner in “Science Speaks.” See Part VII, Ps. 22 and Isaiah 53 for just a few examples of compelling and totally convincing prophecies
- John’s Gospel written (ca) 65 AD quotes 153 fish caught in an unbroken net as John and Jesus – post resurrection – watched as eye-witnesses. Why an unbroken net? Because Jesus was prophesying that men from every nation would be “caught,” and not lost in “His” net. Why 153? Only Jesus could know that the yet unborn Oppian would go on to write in about 200 AD “Oppian’s Catalogue of Fishes “ recording that the variety of all then known fish was numbered at – 153!
- Note again the reference in Part III above re: 8th day circumcisions and medical science’s recent confirmation..
- Scripture’s continuity, harmony, inter-related verses among 40 authors speaking 3 different languages over a 1600-year period 2000 to 3000 years ago.
- Early Scripture Survival: Despite continuing attacks by Satan and opponents over more than 3000 years, including burning both books and martyrs at the stake, both before and after the first printing press copies in 1458. Remarkably, as of about 150 AD,, the following number of hand-written copies existed: Julius Caesar, 10; Homer’s Iliad: 600; Bible: 24,000
- Bibles today: over a billion copies of the Bible have been printed in 24,000 languages, far more than any book in history
- Dead Sea Scrolls: Discovered in a cave in the 1940’s dating (ca) 400 BC proved to be identical to current copies of OT books
- Voltaire predicted that 100 years after his death (in 1728) the Bible would disappear. Instead, 50 years after his death – in 1778 – Voltaire’s home was being used by the Geneva Bible Society to print Bibles! (God surely has a sense of irony and humor!)
- The Israeli Nation ceased to exist after 70 AD and was absent from the world scene for some 2000 years with its peoples dispersed throughout the world. However, Isaiah, at 11:12, in 200 BC or so prophesied: “He will gather the exiles of Israel – the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth;” and Amos at 9:14 prophesied: “I will bring back my exiled people Israel. I will plant Israel in their beloved land – never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them, says the Lord, your God.”
- In May 1948, Israel was recognized by the U.S. and U.N. as a Nation re-born to its former and present location. Further, in 1967 Jerusalem was returned to Israel. (If the Israeli Nation should ever again cease to exist – or Jerusalem leave Israeli control – God will have been wrong – an impossibility!)
- Tyre– a prominent Phoenician Mediterranean city was destroyed, and OT scripture at Ez. 28:19 promised – “will never again arise.” The city has not – and never will!
- “The lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water.” (Rev 7:17) “Whoever believes in me, as the scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within Him.” (Jo 7:38) “On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem.” (Zech 14:8)
For the 2000 years that the Israelites were dispersed the lands of Canaan lay mostly arid. “Miraculously” over the years since the return of Israel to its lands, streams of water have begun to appear throughout the land providing Israel with 10 times its original water supply – allowing Israel to provide both fresh water and an abundance of fruits and vegetables to both its people and those of neighboring lands, including the Palestinians.
- Prophecies regarding the fast approaching “end times” (see Matt 24; 2 Peter, et al.)
- increasing hostilities , particularly among nations in and around the Mid-East;
- earthquakes, famines;
- empty/dead religious institutions;
- money-seeking rather than soul-seeking churches;
- disbelief of Noah’s flood,
- world-wide Christian persecutions;
- turning away from faith;
- people becoming lovers of self, not God
- sexual immorality and lust;
- boastful self-pride,
Note: Recent polls of people who even say they are Christian reflect a decline from 90% to 65%
- Read the few of the thousands of excerpts from Scripture below and on the next page, and convince yourself that any one of them – let alone all -could possibly have been written by man – rather than having been inspired/written only by God, encompassing enduring Truths!
“In the beginning was the Word…and the Word was God…through Him all things were made.” (Jo 1:1-3)
“I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your offspring and hers – he will crush your head and you will strike his heel.” (Gen. 3:15)
“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.” (Jeremiah 1”5)
“…except a man be born again he cannot see the Kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)
“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
“For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother…” (Matt. 10:35)
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” (Matt. 5:5)
“Love your enemies,…pray for them who persecute you.” (Matt. 5:44)
“The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone.”(Ps. 118:22)
“The kingdom of heaven is like a man who finds treasure hidden in a field, and sells all he has and buys the field.” (Matt 13:44)
“…Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up…” (John 2:19)
- Jesus, the Messiah/Christ: His Birth, Life, Crucifixion and Death
- Well-known non-Christians living in Jesus’ time have each written of Jesus’
existence and life – some referencing His alleged resurrection:
- Pliny the Younger, Roman Governor, (112 AD)
- Tacitus, Historian(115 AD)
- Josephus , Jewish Historian (90 AD), – including describing an earthquake in (ca) 31 AD (at Jesus’ crucifixion?)
- Thallus, Historian – who wrote of the blacking out of the sun on the day of Jesus’ crucifixion
- Suetonius, Roman archivist
- Just a few of the nearly 500 Old Testament Prophesies written some 700 plus years earlier – describing specific details of the birth, betrayal, suffering, crucifixion, death and sacrificial lamb of Jesus:
“You (Satan) will strike his heel.”
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”
“Throw it to the potter – the 30 pieces of silver…the handsome price at
which they priced me!”
“They will look on me, the One they pierced…”
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
“They have pierced my hands and feet.”
“I can count all my bones.”
“They divide my garments and cast lots for my clothing.”
“Even my close friend whom I trusted…has lifted up his heel against me.”
“He was pierced for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities;”
“by his wounds we are healed.”
“…the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”
“He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so He did not open his mouth.”
VIII The Bodily Resurrection of the Messiah – Jesus Christ
There is totally convincing evidence of this central/critical event in history – namely the Bodily Resurrectionof Jesus after His crucifixion and death. See this author’s book, “Resurrection: Fact or Fiction, A Trial Lawyer Looks At All of the Evidence.”
- An Abbreviated Summary of Primary Evidence of Jesus’ Resurrection:
Jesus was crucified; Jesus died on the Cross with a sword having been plunged into His side; Jesus was buried in a specific, well-known tomb; the apostles immediately went into despair; Jesus initially appeared (in bodily form) to: 3 women (at the time considered to be unreliable as witnesses); Matthew, Peter, John and James, Jesus’ brother, as both eye witnesses and New Testament authors; all of the apostles– including doubting Thomas, who placed his hand in Jesus’ side; 500 people at one time, and finally to Paul on the Damascus Road; the tomb was empty; Jesus appeared in Jerusalem – where His body could have been easily produced by His opponents; Jewish converts changed their Holy Day from Saturday to Sunday; early on celebration of the sacramentsand Easter; early artwork and hymns; the apostles were transformed from total despair to preaching the Gospel, and all of the apostles (except John) were martyred for their belief rather than denying Jesus’ resurrection, and in succeeding years thousands have given their lives for their belief in a resurrected Christ, none more notable than Polycarp in about the year 120 A.D. James – Brother of Jesus – “overnight” converted from family Skeptic to Believer; Paul was converted from Saul, the Chief Prosecutor of Jesus to Chief Evangelist for Jesus upon the appearance of Christ to Saul; “the Christian Church’s “ sudden growth throughout the world with the cross becoming the world’s most recognizable symbol ever; the central Gospel message of Bodily Resurrection was taught within months of the Resurrection; within 20 to 25 years most of the NT scriptures appeared(led by James, Galatians, I Corinthians, I Thessalonians); some 500 prophesies of Messiah in OT have all come true; all blood sacrifices ended shortly after Jesus’ Resurrection; the appearance of Messiah roughly mid-way in human history – ( before cable news!) -all in God’s perfect timing; note miraculous workings of the Holy Spirit transforming lives every day – as well as every day miracles.
IX Jesus Christ – the ONLY person in all of History who declared:
“I am the way, the truth and the Life;” (Jo. 14:6)
“I and the Father (God) are one!” (Jo. 11:30)
“I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me…will never die.”
“I give them (my sheep) eternal life, and they shall never perish.” (Jo. 11:28)
As such, Jesus was either Liar, Lunatic or Lord! – You choose, but know that your Eternal destiny rests on the Answer!
X Why a Messiah – Jesus Christ? – the “Legal” Issue
Jesus Christ, our Savior – is also our Counselor. He came to the world to deal with the legal consequences for each of us – and all humanity – whereby having broken God’s law by sinning, we are guilty as charged before God. However, being both our legal Counselor and Mediator – as Son of God ,and God – Jesus pleads before God the Father and Judge: “I will pay the penalty” – the penalty being His substitutionary death for us and our sin. All that is required is for each sinner to repent and retain/request Jesus to represent him/her before God’s Holy Tribunal and to pay his/her penalty of death!
XI Deposits within each of us of a Free-Will and Creative Mind Possessing a Self-consciousness, a Conscience and Innate Search for Meaning, Purpose and Right & Wrong, Plus a Dream Capacity
Each of the above could only be God-created, being totally incapable of any evolutionary process. Indeed, with God telling us that we have been “created in His image,” it is these features that are most significant, and explain mankind’s unique capacities for creativity, search for meaning and purpose, caring, empathy, compassion, agape’ love, sense of right and wrong, and even a quest for life eternal.
XII Evil: Its Origination, Place and End
God did not create Evil and hates it. He arranged for Messiah to come and conquer it, and He provides armor for His children to combat it – and, in the next world He will ban it – with Satan and his followers being assigned to the lake of Eternal Fire. However, our loving God created both the angels and man with a Free Will. Lucifer, like many human creations to follow, defied God, becoming Satan and was followed by a third of the angels – now demons. All were promptly expelled from heaven and relegated to the world. Be assured that while the absence of Satan and Evil is God’s plan for Heaven – He is allowing them to serve His purposes in in our current world . Given our human natures God in His mercy knows that many turn to Him only in the desperation of our sufferings -rarely in the delight of our blessings. God also wants us to see how vulnerable life is in this world. As such God wants us to deal with the question of our Eternal Life today – not tomorrow!
Having gifted us with Free Will He wants each of us to seek Jesus as Counselor, Lord and Savior – doing so in a deliberate exercise of our Free Will. God intends the world to be a meaningful experience and challenge and to prove the worthiness and genuineness of those seeking admission to Life Eternal. Without the presence of the evil spirits of Satan and his demons – the world would present insufficient adversity, challenge and testing for most of us to evidence the genuine exercise of our Free Wills and the granting of God’s Grace and gift of Faith.
Additionally, God is pure, Holy and true. He and we know the difference between true and meaningful love and caring for others, as opposed to the cheap, and false expressions of caring for others such as we see among those who promote a highly superficial “politically correctness.” Only the indwelling Holy Spirit and God’s love can motivate one’s true and boundless love and caring for all.
God warns us that it is the Spiritual World and that which is unseen – including our souls and the Holy Spirit – which are most important – not the seen and physical, nor the flesh and blood of the physical world. The Holy Spirit is critical to both our conversion, and protection from evil as we pass through the world. In opposition, there are the spiritual demons and Satan who God is allowing -for a time -to reign as Prince of the Air – though always subject to God’s ultimate authority. Note well, however, that despite the pervasiveness of evil in the world, God’s love in the world still overcomes. This is the result of the work of God’s children and Jesus’ disciples, aided by the armor of God (Ephes 6:13), the spreading of salt and light and the Holy Spirit, all enabling God’s goodness and Will to prevail.
In this further connection, note well God’s promise at Ro. 8:28 “:..in ALL things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”
XIII Total Inability of Any Human to Fully Comply with the Laws of Moses and the Ten
Commandments – Not a Single One of the Abrahamic Faithful nor Those Who Have Been Converted to Christ, despite Possessing the Indwelling Holy Spirit
“…all of our righteous acts are like filthy rags.” (Is. 64:6)
“…there is no one righteous, not even one…” (Ro: 3:10)
Even if we think we do nothing wrong or bad – we do – be it self-pride, not
loving all others, not keeping the Sabbath Holy, nor putting God first and/or having no idols (e. g. spouse? children? sports? work?), along with our lies, covetousness, etc.
As such, we all stand convicted, and in need of repentance, redemption, justification and salvation through God’s grace and gift of faith.
XIV. Worldwide Institutions of Caring – All Established Only as a Result
of Jesus’ Teachings of Love, Caring, Giving, Sacrifice Giving Rise to Christian Discipling and Witness
- Life for all, including children and those in the womb. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born, I set you apart.” (Jere 1:5) “Better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the depths of the sea than he should offend one of these little ones.” (Luke 11:2) Note: In Greco-Roman and many other eras, infants were often sacrificed.
- Opposition to Old Testament “slavery” – Note: Author of “Real Christianity” – William Wilberforce conducted a 25-year peaceful campaign initiated by John Newton and John Wesley resulting in banning slavery in the UK in 1835, an effort followed by America’s painful Civil War, 1861-1865, largely initiated by Christian abolitionists.
- Health Care – the first hospitals throughout the world were initiated by Christian churches, groups and organizations.
- Education: Thanks to Guttenberg’s printing press in 1458, followed by the Protestant Reformation, Bibles were put into the hands of the common people, with public schools being instituted for the specific purpose of teaching the Bible, initially the only textbook; the first universities (“one out of diversity”) were begun by Christians; however, most of today’s universities, including Harvard, et al. have long-abandoned their early “Christian Charters” calling for teaching truth and reason, and the spread of salt and light.
- Charity: Whether through Christian churches, or institutions such as “The Red Cross,” the Salvation Army, Good Will, YMCA, and many others, the fundamental concepts of charity were created by the Messiah Christ and His teachings, including “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35), “Love thy neighbor as thyself”(Matt 22:39) , and “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse…test me in this…I will pour out so much blessing…” (Micah 3:10).
- Equality of all, including the dignity of women: Christ taught “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, (black nor white, etc.) – for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Gal 31:28) Contrast this with –
Plato, who taught that cowardly men would be reincarnated as women, and
Aristotle, who taught that women fell somewhere between slave and free!
- Revolutionary Changes in People Occurring Only as the Result of Their Conversion
In addition to the many you know whose Faith is in our Lord, note below just a few well known examples of Christian conversions among the many millions producing total change in character and purpose – as well as destiny:
Saul, Chief Prosecutor of Jesus, meets the resurrected Jesus, is converted to “Paul,” becoming Chief Apostle, Epistle writer, and Martyr
James, unbelieving brother of Jesus, converts, becoming leader of the Christian Church in Jerusalem, and eventual Martyr
All of the martyrs who have willingly given their very lives for their belief in God and the Resurrected Messiah, starting with Stephen,, all of the Apostles (except John), Jesus’ brother James, Paul, Polycarp, and thousands of others
Simon Greenleaf, Professor of Evidence, Harvard Law School, 1833-1848, author of “Testimony of the Evangelists,” a skeptic who converted after studying all of the evidence; (Open-minded, take note!)
Stan Telchin, Jewish convert who authored “Betrayed,” published in 1925;
C.S. Lewis, brilliant British professor and atheist who converted to Christianity after much study, writing “Mere Christianity” in 1943
Albert DiSalvo, “the Boston Strangler,” 1962,converted while in prison, leading many convicts to Christ
Kris Kristofferson of Country Music fame whose parents had rejected his career, converted while attending a church service at the invitation of a friend, leading him and others to compose many evangelistic songs
Chuck Colson, Watergate convict and agnostic, converted becoming an evangelist, and authored “Born Again”.
Lee Strobel, atheist and journalist, who after thorough investigation converted and authored “Case for Christ,” “Case for Faith,” “Case for a Creator”(1998), etc., et al., et al!
- Daily God Experiences/Communications /Dreams/Directions/Strength/Comfort and Miracles
While perhaps not as dramatic as some of the Bible miracles, these events occur in the daily lives of His children – and often need only be recognized as God’s interactions with us, instead of being dismissed as mere coincidence or chance!
- Thousands of Near-Death Experiences of People – Allowed to Briefly Visit Christ Before Returning to the World
These folks provide many highly credible eye-witness accounts of their dramatic experiences of meeting Christ, deceased loved ones or other persuasive reports.
- With a Sincere and Pure Heart, Ask God in Prayer to Reveal Himself to You!
If you do, He will!
- OK – It is Clear that God Created Us– But Just Who Created God??
Bertrand Russell, an atheist (who once stated he preferred atheism since he would not need to alter his amoral behavior):
“I may say that when I was a young man and was debating these questions very seriously in my mind, I for a long time accepted the argument of the First Cause, until one day, at the age of eighteen, I read John Stuart Mills’ autobiography, and I there found the sentence: “ My father taught me that the question ‘Who made me?’ cannot be answered, since it immediately suggests the further question ‘Who made God?’” That very simple sentence showed me, as I still think, the fallacy in the argument of the First Cause. If everything must have a cause, then God must have a cause. If there can be anything without a cause, it may just as well be the world as God.”
This question has occurred to many of us. However, we must never be deceived by Satan’s deceits including “everything has to have a cause.” Once recognizing that God – being Spirit – is the designer of all and created each of us with a spiritual component for a world in which the Spirit and unseen are most critical – we need be open to the logical conclusion that such an all powerful Spiritual Designer is indeed and must be an uncaused Creator.
As scripture tells us:
“God…(with the Son)…made the Universe.” (Heb 1:1-2)
“In the beginning was the Word (and Spirit)…and the Word was with God and the Word was God” (Jo 1:1). Also, “I am who I am.” (Ex 3:14).
- NOW, and Finally – How about YOU?
Remember, believing that there is a Creator God gives you at most only an Undergraduate Degree – merely qualifying you for your Graduate Degree. Even Satan and the demons hold undergraduate degrees – my, oh my, do they ever! However, as with Nicodemus, a member of the Sanhedrin who – after inquiring of Jesus, “What must I do to inherit Eternal life?” – Jesus answered: “No one can see the Kingdom of God unless he is born again” (Jn 3:3). There are also many folks, who, like the rich young man, when asking this same question, must first do as Jesus responded, “Sell all your possessions and give to the poor” (Matt 19). Thus, to secure our Graduate Degree and our Passport to Heaven, we must also repent, believe in, accept, love and obey the Resurrected Christ and Son of God, accepting Him as our personal Savior and Counsellor, putting on His cloak of righteousness thereby becoming justified in the sight of Holy God, and giving thanks for His gift of Grace and Faith , evidenced by the Holy Spirit residing in our regenerated hearts. As a result, God’s love will flow from us like water over a waterfall motivating us to seek obedience to His Will, follow His plan for our lives, and evidence sincere love towards all!
Incidental to our Graduate Degrees, Christ also commissions each of us to “go and make disciples of all nations…teaching them to obey everything I have commanded…(knowing) I am with you always…” (Matt. 28:19-20). Pray each day to recognize and seize every opportunity , including with every person you meet, to reflect in both words and acts the Lord, His Word, and His Love!
Copyright 2019, Wilbur McCoy Otto