Since we now know that doubts caused by evolution are completely unnecessary, then it opens up a whole new world of discovery. The Bible claims for itself to be the very Word of God, given by inspiration through human writers, and then preserved by Him through the ages. Jesus is claimed by Himself to be God, come to us in human flesh. If the Bible really is what it claims to be, and if Jesus really is who He claimed to be, the implications for us are staggering. The message is clearly worthy of our listening ear. The Bible gives us some profound explanations for what we observe in the world. Allow me to go through the heart of its message below.
God is the First Cause, who brought everything into existence from non-existence--both the earth and the heavens. Then He formed it according to His design, creating everything we see, including living things. The Bible says that He did this in six days. Some Christians say that this may not be a literal six days, but actually six very long periods of time. I don't see any reason to stretch the text in this way. If God is capable of bringing everything into existence, He is capable of doing things very rapidly. Things that would otherwise take very long periods of time, He has the power to do quickly--speeding up time in an astonishing way. I have no idea how God did this, only that He did it. He is the author of all natural law, so he certainly was not bound by anything during creation.
Further, we are told in scripture that He sustains every atom in the universe from within. He animates every cell of every living thing from within, upholding all things by the word of His power. Every breath we take is a gift from Him.
But He created the unseen, as well as the seen. Part of God's design is that He gave purpose to every thing He made. Man is supposed to behave in accordance with His design and His law for man. When things are not the way they are supposed to be, this is evil. When we behave as we are supposed to behave, according to His moral law, then we do good. The interesting thing is that we know, intuitively, that some things are evil--that they are not the way they are supposed to be. Paradoxically, the existence of evil is evidence of a personal Designer. It means that there is a moral law for they way we are supposed to be. There is a moral purpose for us.
The Creation of Freedom
As I said, He created the unseen, as well as the seen. Perhaps God's most amazing creation is freedom. We wonder why there is evil in the world, but the Bible explains exactly why, temporarily, there is evil in the world. God saw liberty as a supreme "good" for us, so He gave us our ability to choose. The Bible says that we were formed in His image. More than anything else, this means that He made us as self-aware agents of choice, just as He is. Of course God's sovereignty is infinite, while our sovereignty is very limited. Our area of control has boundaries. Nevertheless, we can make choices, as He does.
Why did God give us this freedom? Because God's ultimate design for us is to have a relationship with our Creator. God can't be friends with a tree or a rock, but He can be friends with us--because we can make choices. When we choose right, we honor Him and bring him glory that can only come where there is free choice. God's desire is for us to live with Him in His heaven, in relationship with Him, forever.
Sadly, this freedom means that, at least for a period of time, there will be terrible evil in the world--as a result of the evil choices of mankind. The evil is our fault, not God's. And we must also understand that the the evil which God seems to "allow" is not really allowed at all, because He promises that there will be a judgment, and evil will be condemned, and punished. He will make all things right in the proper time. Until then, He is patient, not willing that any should perish.
The Problem of Sin
God is holy and perfect. It is His nature to be good. His moral law is defined by His character, not the other way around. But the Bible says that we are inherently rebellious, and that all human beings have sinned. More than that, we are all sinners by nature, with evil in our hearts. It is not just the obvious sins that God sees, but the hidden sin deep inside: selfishness, pride, impure thoughts, jealousy, envy, hatred, and so forth. Sin is like a deadly poison, or incurable virus, that taints us. Whether we are full of sin, or contain just one drop, we are just as dead. The Bible says that "the wages of sin is death." We are all deserving of condemnation, and God is entirely just to condemn every one of us. We are not the way He designed us to be... by our own choice.
So here is the critical question: How does God get rid of our sin without getting rid of us? Thankfully, God has a stunning answer to that question.
God, in His sovereignty, made a choice. A wonderful, glorious, choice. He chose to become a mortal man--to step across the stars to this planet earth that He created--and be born as a baby in Bethlehem. And then to grow to manhood to do something He could only do as a man: to die. He chose to take our punishment upon Himself, dying a criminal's execution, in our place.
Why? Because Jesus wanted to rightly and justly forgive all our sin, wiping it out of the record book of our lives. Couldn't He have simply ignored our sin? No, that would be contrary to His character of rightousness and justice. His righteousness demanded to be satisfied. For the sake of His own righteousness, a propitiation was required. So He took our punishment in His own body, so that His forgiveness would be justly granted.
No, but why? Because He loves you with an everlasting love. Despite all your sin, He values you highly. He wants to be friends with you. Though God in human flesh, Jesus allowed men to lash Him, and drive nails through His hands and feet, blood pouring out--and then to tilt the cross up, hanging Him there, the full weight of His body pulling at the nails until the life drained out of Him. All because your sin held Him there. Or, perhaps more accurately, His own love for you held Him there.
Because of this supreme price that He paid, to pay the debt that you owed to justice, He has earned the right to extend the offer of His "unspeakable gift" to you: the forgiveness of all your sins, past and future, forever.
You Have a Choice to Make
Yet, even in this, God gives you a choice. You can choose to receive the forgiveness of sins, or you can do nothing, which is to reject it. Which will it be? If you say, "yes," and truly mean it, that is Biblical faith: to make a forever decision to trust in the blood of His cross to pay your debt, and actually believe His promise, and in His love for you... Then, the Bible says, you are forgiven, and have, already, eternal life.
He does not ask you to believe without cause. He gives plenty of reasons to believe, beginning with the fact of His resurrection from the dead. Jesus is alive. He arose after three days, and was in the company of over 500 eye-witnesses that saw the risen Christ. His resurrection is documented again and again in ancient literature as well as the Bible. His disciples were nearly all martyrs, giving their lives rather than deny the resurrection of Jesus. Would phony pretenders do that? There is more historical documentation for the historicity of Jesus' life, claims, and resurrection than there is for any other figure in ancient history.
There are lots of additional proofs, such as remarkable fulfilled prophecies, and archeological support. Unlike anything else in human history. You have plenty of reasons to believe in Him. And the doubts associated with evolution are now erased utterly and completely.
Yet, God will not force you to receive His gift of the forgiveness of your sins. That choice must be made freely, or it would mean nothing. He wants you to come come to Him, but of your own free will.
"But," you might ask, "what about religion? What about doing religious things? I have done so many things wrong. I can't be holy."
God is not asking for you to be religious. He is not asking for you to get your "act together" or to become holy in order to be acceptable. He is asking for you. As someone has said, "He doesn't want your abilities; He wants your availability." He is very able to transform your life. He is very able to heal your spiritual wounds. He is very able to put your life back together and give you purpose. That is His job, not yours. He is waiting for your decision to humble yourself and call upon Him, instead of trusting in yourself. There are no strings attached to His gift, but do understand that things will change. Oh, yes, He will perform amazing changes in your life, once you yield to Him as your Lord. Are you willing to let Him change things? That is where the adventure begins!
So the question God is asking you at this moment is this:
Would you like to receive the forgiveness of all your sins forever, by choosing right now to trust Him for that forgiveness? ...To believe that He died on the cross to pay for all your sins?
If your decision is to say "yes" and mean it, then tell God about your choice to believe. You can tell God in a simple prayer. Prayer is simply talking to God. You might pray something like this:
"Lord Jesus, I need you. I confess that I am a sinner and have done many things wrong. I choose today to receive your gift of the forgiveness of all my sins, past and future, forever. Thank You for dying on the cross in my place. Put your Spirit in my heart as you promised. And please help me to live in a way that honors You, because I'm so thankful. I am willing to put You in charge of my life. Amen."
If you prayed these words as your own prayer of faith, not merely words on a page, then, the Bible says that you have passed from eternal death into eternal life. His promise is yours, and can never be broken. A person who has the forgiveness of sins has everything. You are heir to all the treasures of heaven. You are born of the Spirit. You can have friendship with the holy God, though He is a holy, "Consuming Fire." You are adopted as a son or daughter of God. He withholds nothing from you. You have the certainty of eternal life with God in heaven--not based upon your righteousness, but upon His righteousness.
None of this is based upon how you feel. It is based upon the fact of what Jesus has completed on the cross; and it is also based upon your response to receive His gift by faith. Never fall into the misconception that if you have a bad day, and mess up, that you will lose your forgiveness. Also, never fall into the misconception that if you have lots of good days then you deserve heaven. You don't. God has done everything, from start to finish. You deserve no credit. All the glory is His alone.
What Happens Next?
You are not saved by good works, but now God wants you to walk in them, out of gratitude. One deed of response that God asks for is to be baptized as a symbol of what God has done for you. It is a public way to declare that you have chosen to believe in Jesus. Think of it as a kind of wedding ceremony. But you don't get baptized to get saved, rather you get baptized because you are saved.
Even more important is that you leave behind the deeds of your former self, the deeds of the flesh, and let every work of your life be a thanksgiving-praise response to Him. This doesn't mean that you are perfect, but that you turn and walk in a different direction. The word for this is repent: to turn. Your success in this will be in direct proportion to how closely you live in His presence. Choose not to leave Him, but to stay in His presence even when you are not actually forming words of prayer. The Bible says to "pray without ceasing" which is to be aware of his company at all times.
As one who has been "born again," that means you begin as an infant. Thus, you need very much to grow in Him. Prayer is a great help to this. Also, reading His Word (the Bible) is very important. If you study the Bible as His word, and then respond to Him in prayer, you will find a two-way communication that will be a great blessing and will build your friendship with God.
Being with other believers will also help you to grow. This might be at a solid Bible-believing church, or it might be at a Bible-study, or other regular assembly with others who are also forgiven of their sins. Worshipping your Creator is what you were designed for. Doing it with other Christians is especially powerful in helping you to grow. Fellowship with them will make a big difference in your life. Don't expect them to be perfect. Christians are not perfect, just forgiven.
Finally, tell others about what God has done for you. Can you think of someone you could tell about how your sins were forgiven today? You don't have to be a Bible expert to be a witness. Just lead them to Jesus. This can be done in the simplest of ways, like inviting them to church, or perhaps you could tell a family member or friend about this web site.
Let Me Pray For You
I encourage you to write down today's date on the calendar, so that you can remember the day of your salvation. It will be like a second birthday to you, your spiritual birthday. I would like to pray for you and encourage you. If you have made this decision of faith today, receiving the forgiveness of sins, would you drop me a quick email with your first name, telling me of your decision? That way I can pray for you. It will also surely be an encouragement to me to keep this web site up. God bless you, and don't ever forget this day!
WHAT IF THE BIBLE REALLY IS GOD'S REVEALED WORD?