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Do You Believe in God?

Categories: ReligionOpinion

Many people believe in God through their own faith.  They don't ask for evidence or proof.  For some reason, they simply believe what they've been taught about God and religion.

Many others, like me, need evidence.  I spent more than 40 years waiting for more evidence.  I say "waiting" because I didn't actively "seek" the evidence.  I thought that if the evidence was introduced to me or if I just stumbled across it, great.  Otherwise, I was content to live my life believing it was nothing more than a hoax.  It's really very difficult for the average person to "seek" evidence of the existence of God.  All we can do is read what others have written about the subject.  The problem is that, in almost all cases, those who believe support and write about the existence of God, and those who don't believe deny the existence of God and write about that.  Obviously, there's some bias involved.  So who do we believe?

For the past 2000 years, all people have been presented with roughly the same evidence - namely, that Jesus was the son of God and He came to earth in the form of a man to deliver His message.  So why do some believe, and others don't?

No matter which side you're on, you'll probably agree that there is no proof of a God.  Evidence, yes.  But not proof.  And the evidence is open to interpretation.

I'm an analytical type.  In order for me to believe something, I need evidence, if not proof.  So when my parents dragged me to the Methodist Church every Sunday, I wasn't interested.  What they were telling us just didn't make sense.

In 2005, I was reunited with a friend whom I had lost contact with for the previous few years.  As we "caught up", she told me about how her life had changed thanks to her church.  We began discussing religion and she invited me to a seminar that would be starting soon.  I was a non-believer and had little interest at the time, but I went thinking she would be there.  The first night, she failed to show up, but I was so captivated by what was being taught that I went back for the second night.  And the third.  While my friend didn't show up for a single night of this seminar, I attended every evening for 30 days.

The general topic of the seminar was prophecy, and it was led by Pastor Leo Schreven.  The information presented in that seminar was a turning point in my life.  The evidence I needed was made "crystal clear", as Pastor Leo often puts it.

I obviously can't put 30 days of information in a nutshell here, but there was one facet that I think struck me more than any other.

The Bible was written over a period of thousands of years.  The early authors could not have possibly conspired with the later authors, nor could they have easily predicted distant future events if they weren't true prophets.

There are more than 400 messianic prophecies from the Bible that have already been fulfilled.  About 300 of those point to the same man - Jesus.  When you analyze this, even just a tiny bit, it should be absolutely mind-boggling.

Let's start with the very basics.  According to Matthew 2:23, the prophets said that "He shall be called a Nazarene."  Jesus was only one out of millions of people from Nazareth, so that doesn't really narrow things down at all.

"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."

Micah 5:2

But 700 years before Jesus' birth, the prophet Micah said the messiah would be born in Bethlehem.

With only those two prophecies alone, that's starting to dramatically limit the possibilities.  I don't know how many Nazarenes were born in Bethlehem, but when you start looking at more and more prophecies, each that point in the same direction, there's something huge to think about.  What are the odds of this happening, not by a design or plan, but by coincidence?  I've heard that even the world's biggest computers can't calculate such astronomical odds.  If Jesus is a candidate for all of the prophecies, you've got to start considering the possibility that there is a God and that what the Bible teaches is true.

If there is a God, that would explain everything in the Bible - from beginning to end.  Everything suddenly starts to make sense.  That's not to say that we understand it all, only that it starts to make sense.  After all, if the Bible is true, and the Bible says God is omnipotent, then God must be omnipotent.  We are far from omnipotent.  The difference in knowledge between us and God is so vast, we can't even comprehend it.  So we will never understand everything, and will never have all the answers.  But with the belief in God, the Bible fits perfectly in its place.

If there is no God, then nothing fits.  How could the mysteries of the Bible have happened with any explanation other than God?  That logic used to frustrate me more than any other.  I used to argue that just because we can't explain something doesn't mean that God is responsible for it.

But if there is a God, and he tells us who He is, what He's done, how the universe was created, who we are, etc., it's believable.  In other words, if there is a God, can anyone argue the validity of anything in the Bible?  It's only when we don't believe that the Bible doesn't add up.

That's where faith comes in.  If we are to receive the ultimate blessings, we must believe in what we can't see, hear, or understand.  And we must do this without demanding proof.  If you spend your time waiting for the proof, you'll miss the boat, and you'll never get the proof you hope for.  But if you accept God and Jesus, and the lessons they've presented for thousands of years, it can only make you a better person, whether it's true or not.  But here's the best part: if it is true, and if you believe it is true, and if you follow God's commandments, you will someday get to see more than enough proof in the rewards God has promised.

"If you can't say something nice, let's hear it!"   — Joan Rivers

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