Before you say, “I don’t believe.” Chapter 32
What would stop you from putting your trust in Jesus Christ?
The West’s preferred religion today appears to be secularism, with a distant nodding respect for God. Belief in God is viewed with superstition. It is regarded like the notion of touching wood – a safety net in case God is a reality, and perhaps we will meet Him after death, as the Judge of our eternal destiny.
However, the issues at stake are too great to be given a wide berth. Dramatically, the Old Testament prophet Ezekiel despaired of the casual way the Israelites were treating God and His commandments in view of the coming judgement. He said, ‘A sword, a sword is drawn and ready for a sore slaughter. How then can you make mirth?’ (Ezekiel 21:10) If it is at all true that there could be a God, and that He has demonstrated His love towards us by sending Jesus into the world to die for us, it has to be important.
If it is evidence you need, please look again at the chapters where we examine the historical facts for the resurrection and the fulfilled prophecies of the Bible. Christians contend that God has revealed Himself through Jesus, so the evidence for His greatest miracle of raising Himself back to life after His death is crucial. As well, He has revealed Himself through the Bible. One part of the evidence for its reliability is the fulfilment of prophecies. There are so many specific prophecies, which centuries later proved to be true. Clearly, only God can see the future and reveal in the present, in tiny detail, what will happen in the future, demonstrating that the prophets were inspired by God.
Perhaps you have been put off the church by someone who was acting hypocritically. Real Christians, however, are always ready to admit that they have acted wrongly – after all it is the first step to coming to faith, to confess to God that we are guilty of sin – so there should be an admitting that mistakes were made. Once a person has become a Christian he or she will not want to deliberately act sinfully, though until Heaven, we are never the people we want to be. Gradually, God works within believers to make them more and more like Jesus.
On the other hand, it could be that what happened is evidence that the person is not really following Jesus. When Jesus was crucified He was stripped of His clothes, which were gambled for and presumable worn by the winner. In a similar way, ever since then many people have ‘worn’ the name ‘Christian’, even though it does not belong to them. Christians though, are simply forgiven sinners, but the trait to sin continues with us, until we are changed and made like Jesus.
Maybe you are thinking that you will sort out these issues when you are much older. God never promises that we will have tomorrow. The Bible teaches that the time to get right with God is today. God may be speaking to you today, but He may not do so again. As well, if it really is true that Jesus loved and gave Himself for us on the cross, why add another 24 hours of rejecting or neglecting Him as Lord, when you could start the joyful journey of living with Jesus right now?
Billy Sunday was a maverick preacher of the 1930s in the USA. He had been the top baseball player before his conversion to Christ. He defined an excuse as ‘the skin of a reason blown up by lies, liable to go pop upon the pin prick of truth.’ Excuses, in light of what God has done for us, appear lame and insulting – hardly the right response to almighty God.
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