The Hope That Lies In You

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I wrote previously that inside us all we find a sort of motivation, purpose, and genuine love for others.  That instead of living in a universe where God does not exist thus leaving humanity purposeless, there exists a God who brought about all of creation with a divine meaning.  And in this creation we find that as humans we are significantly different compared to every other living creature.  We find that inside of us we possess a certain purpose, a love for others, and a hope.  This post is about that hope.

Warning (“preaching” ahead!!!)

I have been warned by many to be careful in the way I present this topic to everyone.  However, I am forced to disagree.  Isn’t that what a lot Christians often do?  They put a filter upon the message which they believe in order to please everyone.  I do not want conform to that.  I am well aware that a good amount of those who read this blog are not Christians; and I am proud to say that!  And I believe that those who disagree with my views yet still read my postings are capable of reading my worldview without feeling like I am trying to cram it down their throat.  My question to all readers then is this: do you want to hear the filtered version of what I want to say, or the true, pure, real thing? If the answer is the latter, then continue reading.

There is a Problem

You may have felt it.  But for me it has seemed really hard to get a good grasp on happiness.   I think the Fray say it best in their song “Happiness” when they write, “happiness… you can’t make it come or go… look for it and you’ll never find it all”.  I feel like I have attempted to find joy in almost every area of life; you may feel the same.  From relationships to good times, when it all comes to an end I have felt either let down or unsatisfied.  Am I alone in this?  I assume not.  If any of you reading this cannot relate to being let down or unsatisfied with life then this post may not be of much use to you.  For the rest of us normal people I will continue.  When I was 16 I considered this problem; the problem that nothing in life was bringing me joy.  I understood that there was a problem, but I could not understand why there was a problem.  I had good friends, was having a blast on weekends, and had an awesome family.  Why did I feel so thirsty? Why was did it feel like there was a hole inside of me?  I suspect that some of you reading know quite well this feeling I am describing.

Hope is the feeling that what is wanted can be had.  Hope was inside of me but I could not place it.  I wanted to feel joy.  I wanted to not be let down; yet I still was.  By a series of peculiar events (my testimony) I found myself presented with the opportunity to try something I had never considered before – Christianity.  I was taught the Gospel.  It was then my decision to accept it and take it as truth or ignore it and go about searching for joy elsewhere.

The Gospel

This will be my best effort to date to briefly explain what the Gospel is in its entirety.  I am not going into apologetics (a defense of the faith through historical facts, philosophical premises, or scientific conclusions) but rather I am just going to stating the faith itself.  All I ask is that for the moment you put aside your presuppositions about Christianity or anything else that will cause judgment and open your mind.  Then you can make choice.

Here we go – God, a triune being outside matter and time, is real and created the universe, things seen and unseen, out of nothing.  Within this, He created humanity separate from the rest of creation and gave man authority over all of creation.  He looked upon all that He had created and judged it according to himself (more on this subject).  He declared that all He created was good.  

When God created man he gave him the privilege to make choices.  God did this so that we could choose to love Him and not be forced into loving Him.  Rather than remaining inside the will of God we have all misused our free will and chosen to disobey Him and break away from His standard for good.  If something is perfect, it must not come in contact with imperfect if it is going to remain perfect. Therefore our disobedience, or what Christians call sin, has separated us from God.  By choosing to lie, steal, hate, etc… (things we have all done) we have separated ourselves from God (Isa 52:9).  We have separated ourselves from the only thing that is purely good.  Though there are good things in this world, none of it can completely satisfy us like our hearts desire.  Still as a result of our sin, we are not just separated from God here on earth, but we have also earned a penalty for that sin; that penalty is death (Rom 6:23).  Because of our sin, at the end of our lives we will not simply pass away from this world; we will die.  There is nothing that we can do to overcome this separation from God.  No good work or kind deed we do will be able to pay the debt that we owe.

God, heartbroken of our position, took action to fix this problem.  From heaven, He came down to earth in the form of a man.  We know this man as Jesus Christ.  Jesus, the Son of God, lived on earth and preformed many miracles and taught multitudes of people the way to live.  He claimed to be God Himself and that the only way to Heaven was through Him.  For this teaching He was crucified and killed.  Jesus had lived a perfect life and no one could find any fault in Him.  Therefore by the predestined plan of God, Jesus, the only one who was blameless, bore the sin of humanity and died.  All sin that could ever be found on us was placed on Jesus and destroyed.  Three days after Jesus’ death, He resurrected from the grave demonstrating that death (the penalty for sin) had been defeated and that His sacrifice was enough to save us.

The famous verse John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”.  God has extended to you a free gift of grace and mercy through Jesus Christ.  All of your sins and mistakes can be completely removed from you! And Romans 10:9 says, “if you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved”.  It is possible to know today that when you pass away from this earth you will be in Heaven!  There is a Hope for humanity.  That hope is in Jesus Christ.

A Choice  

Right now you have the decision that I had 3 years ago.  You have now heard the Gospel of Christianity; and what I believe to be the complete Gospel.  Right now you can decide whether what you have read is true and choose to believe or you can walk away and leave it here.  If you want to choose believe for the first time, then please understand that this is not a baby belief.  It is a radically transforming invitation for God to change your life.  Three years ago I made the choice to believe and to follow after God; to find a church and get plugged in.  Since the day I made that commitment there has been joy in my life.  Of course there have been hard times but I have been able to persevere through them with hope.  I believe that having a real and authentic relationship with Jesus Christ is the only way to feel completely filled.

If you are considering taking this view and applying it to your life then my advice would be to get in contact with someone you trust.  Find someone who you know believes this message and tell them that you want to make a new commitment to the Lord.  If you cannot think of someone to contact then please click my contact information and we can be in touch.  What do you have to lose?  There is hope.

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Life Without God

The Saddest Truth

A couple of months ago I received a very simple comment on one of my posts.  It simply said “God doesn’t exist. Read my books”.  Then the reader in an honorable fashion left his name as Charles Darwin.  Though on the surface this comment seems plain,  straight forward and slightly humorous, I want to assert that if there is any truth to be found this comment, then it is the saddest truth that there is to be known.  If God does not exist, then we have no meaning in life and are worthless beings, stranded in the cosmos living pointless and empty lives.

Life Without God

In a universe where God does not exist we are hollow creatures with no value.  As byproducts of nature, all we are is “a result of matter plus time plus chance”.  Seeing that we somehow popped into existence from nothing, we are left with no purpose, no meaning, and are inevitably faced with death. With no meaning in our lives we wander along aimlessly, constantly unquenched by our desires which will never be filled.  That is simply because our desires do not have a source; they have no meaning because meaning itself does not exist.  C.S. Lewis said “[i]f the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning”.  We can never discover that meaning exists. In turn everything we do is pointless and eternally has no value whatsoever.

Moreover, as a result of there being no meaning to life, there would also be a disappearance for the value of humanity. If we have no purpose or meaning, then we have no value.  We would have no value as humans because regardless to what happens, we are going to die.  Eternally our lives will have not have had any meaning or have left any impact.  No good deed we do, no live we save, and no love we feel will ever matter simply because the end is still the same.  A life without God leaves us in a lonely universe trapped, in an ocean of depravity, on the highway towards death.

The Reality

Fortunately this is not the universe that we live in.  Instead we indeed live in a universe where we have purpose and meaning.  We strive for goals, pursue relationships, and value each other with love.  All of this, I would argue, is evidence of a God who brought about creation with a divine meaning.

Inside of all of us lies a desire to find purpose for our lives.  We naturally want to answer the questions “who am I and why am I here?”  We find that we believe that our actions are important and that the way we treat others matters.  Why?  If God truly does not exist, why do we so naturally value and love one another?  If there was no hope for humanity and we were all completely aware of our approaching death, then what good is pure love? How much more valuable would we be than an ant?  We love, value, and care because we have a hope!  This hope inside of us that gives us meaning was actually placed there by God.  God exists! There is a hope for humanity!  There is a hope of eternal life!

My next post will address this hope that lies in you!

Final Thoughts

Richard Dawkins, the famed atheist of today, considers accepting atheism a liberating feeling.  But if anything that I have written is true, then how could this be?  Where is the freedom in a future without any speck of hope?  It does not exist; but we find that there is a belief inside of us all that does exist! God has imbedded deep inside our hearts a certainty that we are valuable and that we have meaning in this universe.  And when we discover what that meaning is, that is the place where liberation is found!

To clarify, I want to assert that in this post I am discussing the view of atheism and not atheists themselves. Nowhere am I arguing that atheists consider themselves or others to be worthless. That would be an absurd statement.  I am aware that there are many atheists in the world who are fighting for human rights and find a great deal of meaning in their actions.  But this goes back to my assertion that there is, whether they believe it or not, a God that has planted inside of them a meaning to life and a standard where humans are valuable.  Just because you do not believe in God does not mean he does not believe in you.

Furthermore I am very interested in your thoughts. Please comment me or message me with your feelings.  Click on contact information for the best way to connect.

Works Cited:

Lewis, C.S..  Mere Christianity

Craig, William Lane.

Is God Perfect?

Preface

Before I begin this post I want to make a couple of things clear for my own defense. The purpose of this post and many other posts I will write in the future is to answer real questions from real people. My goal is not to spark arguments on theology between readers and myself. I do want to promote comments and hear what you have to say, however, I do not want to get trapped in the offhand or irrelevant debates on theology. If you have questions on my theology feel free to e-mail me questions and I will answer you.

The Question

I was e-mailed not too long ago with questions about God’s perfection and his authority. The questioner starts by explaining to me that he had been to a bible study where the group had talked about Genesis characters such as Noah and Abraham. After this session he had questions about God’s perfection. His beliefs were that God is not perfect and indeed, like us all, makes mistakes. The argument stemmed from the story of Noah saying essentially that since God had to press the reset button and flood the world, he had made a mistake because he had allowed the world to become too corrupted. Again to referring to the flood, he also asked the question does God need to give and explanation for his actions?

God’s Nature from the Beginning

Addressing the first question that was raised, is God perfect, I want to look at the very book the questioner brought up, Genesis. Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning, God…” This verse places God in a position outside of creation and outside of time. Before the beginning God was there. The verse continues saying that God not only existed, but he also created. Before there was any material to build from, out of nothingness, God created. This chapter continues listing the various things that God created and it says that God looked on what he created and saw that it was good (v10,12,18,21,25,31). My question is what was he judging this standard of good by? Well, the answer is Himself! There was nothing else that He could have judged what he created by because He was the only being that existed (Gen 1:1). So in essence, God is the only perfect being because he is the standard by which all other creation is judged. Well then what’s up with the flood and all the corruption?

Who’s to Blame???

When God created man, He gave man the opportunity of choice. Adam was allowed to name all the animals and was free to do whatever he wanted to… accept eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen 2:16-17). By putting this tree in the garden God gave Adam the choice to be disobedient or obedient. As the bible says, Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating from this tree. The act of disobedience is called sin. Sin is a breaking away from the perfect standard which is God. So in regards to the flood and all the corruption that we know, I would argue that even though he often times throughout scripture does, God does not need to give an explanation for his actions. The main reason he does not need to give an explanation is because he does not owe us one. It is my belief that the pain and corruption in the world is a result of our disobedience. And that God is not to blame.

Conclusion

In conclusion, because God is the standard by which all other creation is judged, He is perfect. Moreover, since from the beginning of man we have been disobedient to God, pain and corruption in this world is not His fault. And although He has not had to God has often given us reasons behind His actions.