Some of Why I Believe in God

Some of Why I Believe in God

(Scroll down to the bottom to watch the Gary Habermas – Anthony Flew Debate)

I was introduced to God personally at age 4. I know, that may seem strange to those who don’t know that God actively pursues relationship and connection with His Creatures!My mother was not a Christian, but she encountered God when I was 1 and 1/2 years old. She led me in a prayer “inviting Jesus into my heart” when I was 4. There has been interaction between the Creator and myself ever since.When I got to high school my friends were the “intellectual type.” They questioned my faith intensely. “Why not Buddha or any of the countless other god’s?” they said. “How do you know the Bible is True, how do you really know about Jesus? Whey would God send everyone other than Christians to hell?”

This questioning sent me on a journey of personal crisis. I found within myself a longing for truth. My mother believing something wasn’t good enough. What the rest of my culture said wasn’t good enough. What the whole world said wasn’t good enough. I didn’t want anybodies opinion, I wanted to know what was true.

I used to sit in an old Blue Ford Pickup Truck out in a parking lot and demand that God show Himself to me in person. I cried out. I cried. I sought. I longed. I yearned. I felt lost. Wasn’t there an answer?

One day I was sharing my doubts with a friend and mentor as we camped in the woods of Northern Michigan. He introduced a radical idea to me. I asked him “why should I believe in the Bible and Christianity?” He told me “because of the evidence!” Evidence? I was shocked. Is there evidence?

This led me on another path where I discovered that many people were going around saying “How do you know your religion is true and not somebody else’s” and “the Bible is full of errors and no different from other religion’s holy books”, but few had actually investigated anything at all. They were usually repeating their college professors.

I read Evidence That Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell; I read The Resurrection Factor by Josh McDowell; I read Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?: The Resurrection Debate by Gary R. Habermas and Antony G. N. Flew (which is a debate between an atheist and a Resurrection Advocate). These are dangerously persuasive books.

I read He Is There and He Is Not Silent by Francis Schaeffer and learned about Epistemology and Reason in discovering God.

The case was launched to win my mind. I started to see that Christianity was reasonable. It was reasonable to believe in the literal life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is possible to reasonably believe in God. It is not a matter of “blind faith.” God is reasonable. There is historical evidence.

This pursuit was good for me, and I would recommend it, but it was not enough. Something deep inside me needed MORE! I used to tell my friends that I was 99.999999% convinced about Christianity, Jesus, the Resurrection, and the Bible and I was placing all of my chips on that spot. What did I have to lose?

My soul was still starving. My quest continued.

“God, I want to see you!”

Then it started to happen. I began to encounter God! Internally, I started to know Him!

I remember standing in front of a crowded room, staring up at the ceiling, looking into the eyes of God and beginning to fall in love with Him! (not a literal vision, but an internal “revelation.”)

This went way beyond a mere “religious experience.” It was not always emotional.

For three years I immersed in God, the Bible, and worship, falling more and more in Love with my Creator.

In the midst of that 3 years I had a moment of revelation. I was at a university and I met two students who began to launch at me the same questions my friends had asked me in High School. They kept mentioning their professor.

I found myself arguing rather fluently the Case for God and for Jesus Christ. They grew a bit timid. I was shocked. Then they pulled out their Big Bomb. “You need to talk to our professor.” Out of my mouth came something like this: “Your professor is probably smarter than me, he probably is a better debater than me, he may know more information than me; but he would have more luck proving to me that you don’t exist than that God doesn’t. You could be a hallucination, but I know God!” They stood there and looked at me with some pretty silly grins. I don’t think they knew what to do with that. I was never once mean or angry with them.

I am not talking about an emotional experience, I am talking about an internal Revelation and Knowing. I have been unable to doubt the existence of God in the 15ish years that have followed! That is right, I said unable.

I personally believe that everyone has a drop of this “knowing” inside them. Everyone knows God is there. I know some will take issue with that, and I respect that they disagree. But I also submit that it is within us all.

I personally believe that when we all face the judgment on Judgment Day we will realize that God is and always has been Plain and Obvious to all, both in our Hearts and in Creation.

I believe in God because it is reasonable to do so. I believe in God because of the historical testimonial evidence of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. I believe in God because of Internal Revelation and Knowing (also known as the Testimony of the Holy Spirit).

God is there. He is not silent. Jesus literally walked the earth. He was 100% human and 100% Creator God. He literally died to pay for every drop of sin and evil in each individual’s past, present and future. He literally, historically came back to life, shattering the power of death for all time. He is literally going to return to earth to judge the living and the dead. There is literally grace and forgiveness being offered to all. There is literally an accounting to God after death and an Eternal Judgment for all who refuse the Grace that is offered.

I believe it. I have bought it all hook, line and sinker. Jesus is not a crutch for me, He is the stretcher that carried me out of the Grave and into New Life.

I am not threatened by those who say they don’t believe, although I think they are missing out.

Jesus (Yeshua!) is real and knowable! He is the living representation of God and He is God – and I believe in Him and love Him and am delighted to be considered a “Fool for Christ.”

🙂

ThirstyJon

Here are the videos of the 1980’s Gary Habermas and Anthony Flew Debate:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c47Zd2AyeCg http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5VE1lE0rzo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-waKR9fw8JI http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWzI9qNNjnA http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1eyQYAzFDw

12 thoughts on “Some of Why I Believe in God

  1. i feel that when you write it, you are full of Holy Spirit that guides you to write this. Keep on the good work because Jesus was said that they who chase the truth shall full of satisfied…

  2. Jon,
    You never said it so well. It’s because of people like you that many in our world are seeking Him. God Bless and keep up the good work. Maranatha!

  3. What a beautiful, heart-felt, Jesus loving, Spirit led testimony!

    Remember what Jesus said to Thomas after his resurrection? The Son of God invited him to place his fingers in the holes of his hands and the hole of his side. Thomas then believed, because he had seen. Then, Jesus said, “Blessed is he who has not seen, yet believes.”

    I truly think that we encounter Jesus in the opposite way that the world demands. The world say, “When I see it, then I will believe it.”

    God says, “When you believe it, then you will see it.”

    That is exactly what happened to you!

    God bless you in your walk with Jesus!

    Christine

  4. I was there years ago, but more questions came up that I couldn’t answer, and my belief has changed a little. I’m still a believer and follower of Christ, but my belief system is a little more universalist these day.

    I’m not challenging your belief or saying that anything you’ve stated is untrue, but I have a genuine question.

    I grew up in southern baptist churches. Like you, I was taught that every word in the Bible was literally true. I was taught that the human soul is immortal and that my conscious mind and spirit would never end. I was taught that I was a sinner, and that only the grace of Christ could atone for my sin – and that if I did not acknowledge Christ, believe in him and his sacrifice for my benefit, and accept the gift of his salvation, that my immortal soul would burn and suffer in the pit of hell for all eternity.

    Then the question occurred to me – what about native peoples?

    Let’s imagine an old man that might have died today in the depths of the Amazon. Completely isolated people, never contacted by the civil society outside of his world. A good man, loved his wife, cared for his children, gave to the widows in the village. This good and decent man was never ministered to by a Christian, never heard the good news of the gospel, never accepted Christ because he never had a chance to. By the teachings of the faith I grew up within, that good man is now screaming and roasting and crying in horrible torturous damnation for all eternity – for failing to believe a message he never got to hear.

    When I was a child I asked my Pastor about this, I said “Pastor Tew – would that nice man really burn in hell?”, and he said “Yes, and that’s why missionary work is so important”.

    I could not accept that the good and loving God that I believed in, and his son with his message of endless mercy and forgiveness, could allow this to be so – and I began my own quest shortly thereafter. I came to a different answer than you did, but I suspect that you and I have more in common than either of us might think.

    So – how do you reconcile the question of the good heathen? I honestly want to know.

    Great post – thank you.

  5. Hello Casper!

    I am sitting here in Carbrook, Queensland trying to work on this question and there are some wonderful Pacific Islanders beating drums and dancing in the room where I can access the internet! I can hear them singing “You’ve got to feel Aloha – A lo o o o ha – it is the heartbeat of this land!”

    It is wonderful to hear them worshiping God in their own cultural way, but not so easy to think!

    I’ll share my heart on your question when I can. Hopefully soon.

    Until then — ALOHA!

    🙂

    ThirstyJon

  6. Hello Casper!

    I haven’t forgotten you! I am back in Adelaide with slightly more reliable internet. We are preparing to leave the country so we are a bit busy.

    I’m still brewing over this one.

    🙂

    ThirstyJon

  7. The “Choosing to believe” post is excellent, thanks for that.

    I personally do not believe that we “Choose” to believe anything. For example – if I really tried, could I convince you that you have 11 fingers? What if you really REALLY wanted to believe it – could you “Choose to believe” that you have 11 fingers? I don’t believe you could, and I know I could never believe it.

    I believe in the existence and greatness and holiness of our creator for all of the reasons that you so eloquently listed – the world around us is far too magical and amazing to have happened “by accident” – but I do not “Choose to believe” it, I was and am convinced of it by overwhelming evidence.

    Good stuff, however,,,

    You didn’t answer my question. What happens the the good heathen when he dies?

  8. Hello Casper!

    Actually, I submit that you are choosing to believe. You are choosing to believe based on evidence, etc. Someone could choose to believe that they have 11 fingers. Many of us would not be too impressed with the decisions of that individual.

    People choose to believe what they want to believe for varying reasons. I cannot speak for all atheists (for example) but I have met atheists who are choosing to believe (or disbelieve) in God because they do not like who they think He is! They then cover their wounded hearts with a bunch of stuff that sounds like reason on the surface.

    🙂

    ThirstyJon

    P.S. I will eventually get to the “Hell” question. It would be much easier to talk about in person because I am not sure how to approach it. 🙂

  9. Well, this is probably going to be a bit anti-climactic Casper, but I am going to give the “good heathen” question a go here.

    I would assert that there will not be one “good” person of any kind in Hell. God is Perfectly Just and all of His Judgments will be 100% accurate. He is Good.

    If anyone finds himself in Hell he will be there because he deserves it.

    I don’t believe that God allows or sends people to Hell based on their religious affiliation. People will end up there based on their actions, thoughts, and motives.

    The book of Romans says that “All have sinned and come short…”

    Our current version of right and wrong is different from God’s. It won’t matter how the whole world votes about right and wrong on the Judgment Day, it will only matter how God votes.

    I see two possibilities regarding the “good” person who doesn’t know of Jesus Christ. 1) They are good by your standard or my standard but not by God’s. and/or 2) They have exercised faith towards God and that power has changed them.

    Faith/Trust in Jesus is the only way to be Forgiven. So how was Abraham “saved?” Hebrews says that he was saved by his faith. But wait a minute, he didn’t know the name Jesus! How can this be? He put his faith in the level of revelation about Jesus that he had from God, and that saved Him.

    Everyone is saved by faith in Jesus.

    When my Father was “saved” or “converted” it took 5 years for him to be able to articulate how it happened. It wasn’t his church attendance, living in America, or filling out a “decision” card that saved him. He believed in his heart that Jesus was who He said He was and had done what He said He had done. This kind of faith begins to transform a man.

    So when we start talking about “Christians go to Heaven, everyone else goes to Hell” we are actually making a statement that does not mean much, because it involves a cultural religious affiliation instead of what God is looking for – Life Transforming Faith.

    I don’t know if I have hit the ball even close to the heart of your question, but hey – it’s a start anyway. 🙂

    ThirstyJon

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