Thursday, September 24, 2009

Is God Real?


This letter is intended for anyone that is doubtful that there really is a God. It contains facts that may help answer some of your questions.

If you came upon a treasure so vast that you could never personally use it all, you probably would want to share it with others that you care about. You may not understand why (or even believe me), but I really do care about you, and I have just such a treasure to share.

Once I had doubts the way you do about God. Then someone pointed out to me that if - just if – there were the slightest chance that God does exist – it would be well worth my effort to do a little research to determine the truth about the matter. Even more so, if he does exist, who is he? Is he Hindu, or maybe Muslim, or is he in everything, like the trees and such.

Thinking that they may have a point, I actually did some research and started taking some notes on what I discovered. I started with Christianity and specifically the Bible, because that was the easiest for me. I figured that if the Bible was a farce, I could discount that one right away.

That was several years ago. Recently I found those penciled notes and thought I would share some of them with you. Most notes I extracted from a book called “Evidence That Demands a Verdict” by Josh McDowell.

Here are a few points about the Bible from those notes…

- There are more than 5,300 Greek, 10,000 Latin Vulgate, 9,300 other early versions, and 24,000 manuscript copies of the New Testament. No other ancient document even comes close. Virtually all these New Testament documents match nearly word for word. The Iliad by Homer comes in second with 643. Almost none of the Iliad documents match.

- No archaeological discovery has ever conclusively disproved a biblical reference. Think about that. That is not a trivial statement. It contains a controversial history that has been proving its accuracy continually as ancient ruins are unearthed.

- It has been preserved in its exact state, through all the years of persecution/criticism.

- It is by far the most read/published book of all times.

- Even though it was written over a period of approximately 1500 years, by all types of people, it maintains perfect continuity about many controversial subjects.

In Mr. McDowell’s book, I also found some facts about Jesus…

- Jesus is the only recognized religious leader that actually claimed to be God.

- He never guessed, supposed, had afterthoughts, revisions, retracted, changed or spoke with uncertainty.

- Even non-Christian secular history affirms that Jesus lived on earth - and was worshipped as God.

- There can be no denying that his 3 year “public” time on earth has changed the course of world history. Just imagine what the world would be like today without Christian nations.

- His followers saw the amazing miracles he performed, and thus believed in him. Prior to his resurrection they were somewhat timid - after his resurrection appearances, they were fully devoted - even unto death.

- Since he claimed to be God, he could not be a “good man” as some say today. Either he was really God, or he was a liar, or a lunatic.

- Was he a liar? - His teaching was to tell the truth, no matter what the cost. His life and teaching was witness to his devotion to truth and honesty.

- Was he a lunatic? - No one could have the intelligence, common sense, integrity, vision and wisdom that Jesus had and at the same time have a warped mind.

- Was he God? - His teaching was that the knowledge of God is placed in all - but some will reject him (due to pride, moral implications, etc.). The miracles he performed were acknowledged even by his enemies as fact (as noted by Jewish historians). Some of his enemies acknowledged that the only sin he was guilty of was professing to be God. Others said he sinned by associating with sinners, healing on the Sabbath and not fasting the way they thought he should. His followers who lived day and night with him for 3 years proclaimed him sinless. His friends and enemies agreed that “Never did a man speak with the authority this man speaks”.

I will stop here with my notes - but there are many hundreds (probably thousands) of events, people and places that are in the Bible and none of them have ever been proven to be in error. Think about that for a moment. That probability, in light of so many people over many years who have been trying to prove it wrong, is realistically off the chart.

Most importantly to me, are the changes in people’s lives, including my own. Until I had an encounter with Jesus, nothing really made perfect sense (especially the “Big Bang Theory” and the “Theory of Evolution”). Now, everything learned in my life experience seems to be falling in line with what is taught in the Bible - as unbelievable as that seems at first.

Without question, hundreds of Biblical prophesies have come to past. For instance, the Bible predicted that the Jews would be removed out of their nation, and after a period of time they would be restored. In 1948 they became a nation again. No other people have ever been totally dispersed from their land and later returned to that same land, speaking the same language and worshiping the same God – as was accurately foretold thousands of years ago in the Bible.

I am an average man in every way. I am not associated with any church organization and I wish I was smarter so I could convince everyone of what I now know is the truth. I could go on and on about my thoughts on this, but I suspect even if I did, I could not convince some of you anyway, and my heavenly Father will be proven right yet again. You see, you have to come to him by faith, and once you do, you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

Please ask one of your (truly) Christian friends how knowing Christ has changed their lives. All fall short of the perfection that is required to be in Gods eternal presence. Followers of Christ have simply been forgiven and by grace have received the gift of eternal life through the perfection and sacrifice of Christ. This forgiveness, and joy, is available to you.

I’ve just listed a very few of the facts about the validity of the Bible and its undeniable truths. Believe them and become a Christ follower. Ask God to come into your life and forgive you of your sins. Then read the Bible (start with the New Testament), and do what it says. Your life will be changed, beginning now – forever.

Then, when we meet in heaven, we can shout for joy together at the indescribable beauty of living in a world without sin, fear, pain and death in the presence of our Creator.

“Jesus Loves You” is not just a fancy cliché. He gave his life, so we could be reconnected to God.

May God Bless and Keep You