One of the more memorable conversations I have ever had was with one of my sons. He said one of his teacher/friends said the chances of the earth having just the right amount of oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, etc. to accommodate life is the same odds of a tornado blowing through a junkyard and leaving in it’s wake a full armed and fully fueled fighter jet. If anything was off just a fraction, we would not be here. I’ve also seen illustrations where people put pieces of a watch in a brown paper bag and argued that they could shake that bag for a million years and it would never put itself together to be a functional watch. My son and I agreed that somehow this was all created. We believe it is impossible that this earth and everything in it just came to be. Our lives are a miracle.
If you believe it’s just an accident or just dumb luck that the earth exists and we live on it, there is probably no sense you reading the rest of this. You’re wasting valuable time because you believe when this is over, it’s over. If your time here is all there is, it would be foolish to waste it reading religious things like this.
However, if you agree that there is something more, something more than luck or fate, something more to this life than what we see, some way that it came into existence by design, then stay with me. The logical question for me is, “If I believe this life is designed… planned… created… then who designed, planned, and created it?” And since I believe that it was created, the most important question for me is, “Do I believe in the right creator?”
If I believe everyone goes to ‘heaven’ or someplace like it to be with the being that created it all, then we’re each OK whatever we believe. But with the evil in the world and people who kill, rape, etc., I can’t believe everyone has a great afterlife. There would have to be consequences.
If I believe “good people go to heaven”, the question is, “What constitutes a good person? Who decides what is good?” This is too subjective. Nearly anyone can appear good if they compare themselves to the right person. Next to a child molester, I can look pretty good. Next to Mother Teresa who washed the feet of lepers, I don’t seem so good. I look pretty selfish and egotistical. Next to Hitler, a child molester can think they’re pretty good. What if I thought I did enough good things, but you or the one who created things disagrees? I know people who I would never let into heaven if I were in charge, but they think they’re pretty good, or at least ‘not too bad’! This argument is too subjective for me. I believe someone or something has to decide.
So who or what decides it? There are many religions that claim to know the answer. Basically, all but one make a ‘good afterlife’ contingent upon the worthiness of the individual in this life. The bottom line is they all believe you make yourself worthy by doing good things or “good works”, except for one. Mormons believe you must pay an honest tithe, not drink coffee, and if you kill someone, forget it. There is nothing you can do to be forgiven. On the other hand, some radical versions of certain religions believe you must kill certain people! Without belaboring and belittling other beliefs, let me focus on the one that doesn’t rely on my efforts.
So if there is a Creator, the one that makes the most sense to me is the God of the Old and New Testament we call the Holy Bible, and I certainly don’t pretend to understand it all. I even have questions like everyone else does. Some of the things about it bother me. I only know a small portion of the whole truth. And there are certainly people who twist and manipulate and give a bad name to this ‘religion’ we call Christianity.
God is perfect, but it is obvious to me (and I hope to you) that you and I are not. Nobody on earth is or ever was or ever will be perfect, except for One. The Bible says we all sin and fall short and have done wrong. And none of us can do enough good things to right our wrongs – to tilt the scales in our favor. This Creator requires perfection, and you and I are imperfect. So rather than simply let us work in vain to try and “earn” favor, and in the end still receive the penalty we deserve, this Creator loved His creation so much that He came to earth to free the created and make a way to be saved from the penalty we deserve. I believe that Jesus Christ was God in the flesh on earth. And I believe He died on the cross to pay the penalty we deserve. And if, by the grace of God, we believe that he died and rose from the dead, and if we are sorry for what we’ve done, and put our faith and trust in Him, He will surely save us. And when we are saved, we want to do good things because we are forgiven by the Creator, not to get anything!
While I’ve tried my best to explain it, nobody ever gets to faith in Jesus by proof or by a process of reasoning. It is beyond belief that the One who created me would die for me. And while I can’t adequately explain it, that is what I believe. I hope you will believe it, too. If you don’t, I will not look down upon you. I hope you will not look down on me. I didn’t believe this for 2/3 of my life. I understand. If you haven’t already believed, I pray you live long enough to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Will you pray that He would reveal Himself to you in some way?