Tuesday in my comp class the professor popped another interesting question, and once again the answers were shocking. The question was this, “is there good reason to believe in God?” The professor started once again at the left side of the room and went around. He stopped on this one guy who came back with the answer I expect from most people… Although I must say he added some of his own details to make it “funny”. And I quote, “There is no God, and how can people be sure the Bible wasn’t written recently by some hobo off the streets looking to control people into doing what he wanted them to do.” If this is true then how could a historically proven book survive thousands and thousands of years? In ancient times, books were copied by hand onto parchment and would eventually decay over time. The only reason Ancient books are around today is because someone made copies of the originals to preserve them. Look at some one as important as Julius Caesar even his original writings do not exist to this day. No other book has as many copies of ancient parchment as the Bible. In fact, “there are over 24,000 copies of New Testament manuscripts, some written within 35 years of the writer’s death.” Obviously this book was supposed to survive, It’s Gods gift to us to help us grow closer to Him. Along with the simple fact that it survived, the Bible is also unique in the simple fact that It has been translated into over 1,400 languages. No other written book on the face of the planet has even close to that number of translated languages.
Could a hobo really predict the future, and make prophecies of what Christ would do during His life time? Look at a verse like Isaiah 53:3-5,
3 He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
Like one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he took up our infirmities
and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered him stricken by God,
smitten by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
This was written in the Old Testament approximately 700 years before Jesus was even born! 700 YEARS, think about that. Every one of these words became true, in the blink of an eye. The Bible foretells specific events such as the one above all in detail sometimes years or centuries before they actually occur(ed). There are approximately 2500 prophecies in the Bible. 2000 of which already have been fulfilled with every “i” dotted and every “T” crossed. So this theory of the Bible being written by someone off the street….highly unlikely, impossible in fact.
Another answer that came up was yes there is reason to believe but they haven’t found what works for them yet. One girl shared that she had been a witch for 2 years of her high school life and that she was still experimenting with other cult activities. Yet while people search, God is standing with open arms waiting for them to come home. This is just another example of how our very homes, schools, and workplaces are the mission field. You don’t have to be half way around the world, ITS IN YOUR BACKYARD.
The next answer was my favorite. “Forgiveness will always be there for us to take advantage of, heck if you ever do something wrong all you have to do is go to mass and your instantly forgiven.” Now does something strike you as “off” in what he said in there? The purpose of forgiveness is not so we can take advantage of it. Yes we all make mistakes and have trials but we aren’t supposed to drown our lives in things we shouldn’t be doing. The purpose of forgiveness is so when we do mess up, we learn from our mistake, and ultimately it brings us closer to God. Forgiveness isn’t there for us to stay “lukewarm”. Revelation 3:16 says this, “So then, because thou art luke-warm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit thee out of my mouth.” God detests luke-warm Christians so much that he is going to vomit them out of his mouth. Talk about descriptive?
Others gave reason for the simple fact that they fear death, and what happens after this life. They believe that by doing good deeds God will give them a free pass into heaven. John 14:6 “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Take the last part of that, “No one comes to the Father except through me.” Its plain and simple there is no other way to get into heaven.
My heart breaks at the answers that were given in that classroom. All that says to me is that we are not doing our job. These people are crying out for more, for something to fill that “God” shaped hole in their heart, and nothing is working. Matthew 28:18-20 , “Then Jesus came to them and said, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Please pray for these people as I continue to. Please pray for strength and opportunity that I would be able to clearly depict the love that God has in store for them. So far I have been able to reach out to Nadim, who sits next to me. Although his English is sometimes hard to understand, we’ve had some pretty interesting conversations about his belief in Islam vs. Christianity. It just goes to show that we can all come to common grounds and talk about things, if we give hope a chance it will work. Just pray for his continued curiosity, and my understanding to be able to answer his questions.