Thursday, January 21, 2010

Those nights when sleep won't come, when you lie awake and watch shadows play tag on your walls, fear bangs its questions inside your skull. You wonder: can anyone really know for sure?

You may not admit it to anyone else. Maybe you're afraid to admit it to yourself, but you're worried. Maybe you've even made fun of "religious wackos" waving their Bibles and telling you you're going to Hell. You're more afraid of becoming like them than you are of what might happen on the rare chance that they are right.

But when it's just you--just you alone with your thoughts--you wonder: What if I'm wrong?

What if there is more than this life? What if all those other religions claiming to have the truth are man-made nonsense and there is one that is right? Is there any way to know real peace? To know for sure where I'm going?


And it's not what you think. If you're still reading, you're probably bracing yourself for a tirade of religious jargon that leaves you cold. Well, unclench your teeth. It has nothing to do with what you think of as "religion."

It starts with God and ends with God. He has already thought it through, paid your ticket, and is holding it out to you. It's up to you to accept His offer.

1. One look around at the universe and the questions start: Where did all this come from? The intricacy of a living cell, the rhythm of the seasons, the planets, the constant orbiting of the earth, a baby's laugh...What started it all?

Science itself so clearly disproves the theory of evolution it's really not worth discussing. The idea that the complexities of human life could spontaneously evolve for no apparent reason is as scientific as saying that a computer can put itself together after the parts had lain scattered across Texas for a few trillion years. And who made the parts? I don't have enough faith to stake my whole future on such weak speculation.

So logic demands a better explanation and I have found the most plausible explanation is that of a Supreme Creator. Just the study of the human eye is enough to convince me that only an extremely intelligent designer could have created that. When we consider the Egyptian Pyramids, no one wonders how many eons it took for them to spontaneously form. So why do we do that with the universe?

So if we stipulate that there is indeed a Creator, the next question is: Who and where is He?

2. Since the beginning of recorded time, men have struggled to answer that question. In every culture and every century, mankind has paid homage to some type of god. There is innate in every human heart the need to worship someone bigger. That hunger is no accident. It was created along with the man.

No god created by man is equal to the challenge that being God of the universe demands. The so-called gods of the world's religions either began as men and somehow "morphed," or they are as flawed as the rest of us. The only God capable of being God is Jehovah, introduced in the Bible.

The Bible states of itself that it is "God-breathed," inspired by God and handwritten by chosen men. Sixty-six different books, penned by 40 different authors over a 1500-year time span---yet not a single word or story contradicts another. Not a single incident reported in the Bible has ever been proven false. That's quite a feat in a day when everything is challenged and nothing that claims inerrancy
is accepted without question.

So, since we have no logical reason to reject any of its claims, it would be wise to investigate just what they are. Bible Gateway is a free online program that has every translation of the Bible available, so check these claims out for yourself.
Claims of Scripture:

1. God is perfect and the Creator of everything. (Genesis 1:1)

2. God created man in His own image: perfect, but with a free will. (Genesis 1:26, 27)

3. God loved the humans he created and desired fellowship with them.
(I John 4:7)

4. Man chose to disobey God, and at that moment, sin entered the world. (Romans 5:12)

5. The consequences of disobeying God resulted in the first death--killing of an innocent lamb to cover the sin of the guilty. (Gen. 3:21)

6. God offered forgiveness to those who obeyed his law (Exodus 24:12)

7. People quickly realized it was impossible to live up to God's holy standards and so God accepted the sacrifice of a perfect lamb in payment for their sin. (Leviticus 7)

8. God promised that one day he would send a Savior to take on the sins of the whole world and deliver mankind from his own willfulness.(Jeremiah 23)

9. God himself took on the form of a man and came to earth as a baby, born of a virgin. They called him Jesus. (Luke 1)

10. Jesus lived a sinless life, although he suffered through all the difficulties and frustrations that we face.(Hebrews 4:15)

11. At the age of thirty, he began to preach about God's kingdom, perform miracles, and declared that he was the Son of God. (John 8:24)

12. He went beyond any prophet before him and claimed that he was the only way to reach God.(John 14:6)

13. This message did not go over well with the powerful religious leaders and they began to plot to kill him.(Matthew 12:14)

14. Their plotting was not a surprise to Jesus who stated that "No man takes my life; I lay it down for the sins of many."(John 10:18)

15. He was betrayed by one of his own followers, given a mockery of a trial, and sentenced to be crucified.(Matthew 27)

16. He was found innocent of any wrongdoing, yet to please the blood-thirsty crowd he was handed over to be beaten, mocked, and finally nailed to a wooden cross and left to die between two criminals. (Matthew 27)

17. He was buried in a borrowed tomb and a huge stone was rolled across the only entrance. (Matthew 27)

18. On the third morning, his friends approached the tomb to find the stone rolled away and the guards gone.(Mark 16)

19. Upon entering the tomb, his friends found it empty, with the grave clothes folded neatly on the ledge where his body had lain.
(Mark 16)

19. He appeared first to a woman, Mary, and later to others of his followers who were gathered together. Over the next few days, he showed himself to many. (John 21)

20. After a few days, he was speaking with his disciples when he began to rise into the air. He promised them that he was going to prepare a place for them and would return some day.(Matthew 28, John 14:1-2)
3. So what can I do now?

The Bible is clear that you cannot save yourself. Your soul is already eternal. You will continue to live after your body dies, but where you live is up to you. Our willful disobedience, selfishness, pride, and stubbornness keep us away from God. He is holy. Pure. Completely righteous, and cannot stand our sin. Sin has to be paid for.

4. That's what Jesus did.

Only a sinless sacrifice could pay the price to reunite us with God. God Himself was the only one who could fill that requirement, so in the greatest demonstration of selflessness we will ever know, He came Himself to the earth He created and became one of us. He walked this earth in human form, tempted in every way just as we are, yet He never sinned. The Bible says that all you must do is believe that God loves you and sent his Son to pay the price for your sin.

This kind of believing is more than a nod of assent. To believe means to put your whole faith in it, the way you trust a bridge when you drive across a rushing river. You believe that Jesus' death and resurrection is enough to pay the price for your own disobedience and you come to Him in a divine exchange: your tattered sin nature for His righteousness.

5. This kind of believing changes you. You don't have to clean up your act to trust Jesus; once you truly trust, He cleans it up for you.

You WANT to change to please him.

You WANT to bring him honor with your life.

You WANT to tell others how they can have what you now have.

You WANT to learn more about God, because there is much more to know.

And gradually, you become more and more like Jesus as you learn to turn over other areas of your life to his control.

6. How about you?

Is something missing in your life? Something that you don't understand? Is there an emptiness that you can't seem to fill no matter how hard you try?

God offers to fill it. Open the door.

If you don't know how to get started, pray something like this:

Dear God, I know I'm a sinner. I don't deserve your forgiveness or love, but I'm putting my faith in what your Son did on the cross for me. I believe he died for me and was raised again and is now at your right hand in Heaven. Please save me and cleanse my heart of all my selfishness, wrong choices, disobedience, and every ugly thing that doesn't belong there. I thank you for making me your child. Please give me the strength to grow in my faith and show me how to live for you from now on. In Jesus name, Amen.

If you prayed that prayer for the first time, I'd love to know about it! Feel free to email me at

Find a Bible and start reading. God wants to do wonderful things in your life.

See you in Heaven!