There are many people in the world today who cannot find God. They try and search to see if such a Being exists, but they are unable. Part of the problem is that there are so many different religions in the world that it becomes difficult to distinguish between them all. Is there one that is true and all the others are not? Are they all true and one must only choose one that they like and follow it? Are they all wrong and there is nothing past death?
It took me nearly 40 years before I began to see the answers to these questions clearly. Although I found my own faith at 19 years of age, this did not mean that I had all the answers at that time. I have discovered that it takes and entire lifetime to find out true answers to the most important questions of life.
Knowing The Difference Between True And False
I am going to propose a method for you in this article that I have found as the only way whereby a sincere seeker can find the truth. We might think that truth can only be discovered by carefully studying all the proposed truths in the world. It is interesting that the United States Treasury does not train its employees to detect counterfeit bills by studying all the false currency; they train their agents by studying the true currency. It is by their repeated exposure to the true U.S. currency, that treasury agents learn to detect the true from the false.
When I make my proposal to you, some will likely think that I am just following the same path that many have taken before me; to purport truths that cannot be tested and found true, because they are based on a bias. How is it possible by studying one possibility of all possibilities that a person can know that this one is the right one?
You Can Try A Method That Has Been Proven
In truth, if a person has no one to guide them, they must do a personal, thorough search, of all possibilities. Because I have done this myself, with the attitude that I wanted to know the truth and was willing to look at all possibilities, I can save the reader a great deal of time by simply taking my advice and at least, trying my proposition.
Many people have the idea that the Bible is just a very old book with very old stories. I understand this thought because if one begins at the beginning of the Bible, this is the conclusion they will likely determine. If, however, a person starts at the beginning of the New Testament, their entire perspective changes immediately.
We would think that the Bible was written chronologically so that a person could start at the beginning and learn what it is teaching. The problem is that the Old Testament lays out the stories first, then later, the New Testament explains the meaning of these stories.
If we want to understand the Old Testament, we must begin first with the New Testament and seek to understand what is taking place there. The reason that many people start reading the Bible and give up, is because they started at the beginning, in the book of Genesis, and are quickly lost and confused.
I have learned that beginning with the Gospel of John, first, in the New Testament (the fourth Gospel), a person learns the entire point of the Bible; which is that God sent His Son to our world so that we might know Him and the way that we can be reconciled to God. John allows us to know who Jesus is.
After John, we should read 1 Corinthians, for here we learn that our human wisdom, and what we thought would allow us to understand God, does not work in the things of God. We learn in 1 Corinthians that God’s wisdom and the way that He seeks to reveal Himself to the world, is by His Son, and the cross that Jesus died upon. Once we understand this, then all of the stories from the Old Testament start to make sense.
Next, we read through Ephesians where we learn all the incredible blessings that God has for those who choose to place their trust in Christ as their Savior. We follow Ephesians with Colossians where we discover that Jesus is the Creator/God who has existed forever. This is how John began his gospel about Jesus, where he declares that Jesus is the One who has made us and all other things that exist.
From Colossians we read Philippians, where we learn that although Jesus was God, He humbled Himself to become a human being like us, and set aside His rights and privileges as God, so that He could serve us by dying for our sins.
Here, we learn that our central problem, and the barrier that prevents us from having a relationship with God, is our sin. We are morally flawed in our basic DNA, so to speak. Our tendency as human beings is towards wrongful moral actions and words. When God created us and placed human beings on this planet, we were perfect in every regard. It was because each one of us have chosen our own way, and not to obey God’s moral laws, that the world exists with evil, suffering, sickness, and death.
If we had lived our lives as God intended, none of us would get sick or die. No one would hurt another person and evil would not exist. We find that this suffering world exists because of our choices and actions, and not because God determined evil to exist. We learn later that God has been working to end evil, sickness and suffering. Very soon, all these plagues of human life will cease with the destruction of this present world, and the creation of a new universe and earth, with people who love God and His righteousness.
We might wonder, if God is almighty, why doesn’t He force everyone to do right? We discover that God wants people to live with Him, who willingly do what He said and do not need to be regulated by laws. It is the heart of a person that God cares most, not that they do would do things because of force or a law.
God would rather live with people who love Him because they recognize that He is good and always does what is best for us. If we think about this, we want the same things. None of us wants to be in a relationship with a person who only does what is right, because they have to, and not because of their love for us.
After Philippians, we can attempt an understanding in the Book of Romans. Here, we find out what the entire indictment against the human species is, and exactly why we are guilty and need a Savior. Romans is quite complex, but also extremely satisfying. It explains how God made the universe to show us that He exists. People suppress their awareness of God and deny that He is real, so that they can live their life the way they choose, apart from God’s rulership.
Romans tell us about the struggle that every person feels in trying to do what is right, explained by Paul in chapter 7 of Romans. By the end of the book, we gain a real understanding of the fallen human condition and our need for Salvation by Jesus’ death for our sins.
The thing that is most important about this whole method of finding God, is to read these books in the order I listed them, but read only in the NLT, New Living Translation, 2015 edition.
I do not recommend this translation for intense study, but for the beginner, who is seeking to understand God, the NLT is the only translation that is written in modern, simple terms, that allows the reader to understand clearly what the story of the Bible is all about.
From Romans, Read All The Smaller Letters Written By Paul, James, Peter, And John:
Galatians, explains all the laws, sacrifices of the Old Testament and their purposes, as we read the stories of Abraham, Moses, and others in the Old Testament.
James, teaches the importance of doing what we learn and not simply saying we believe.
1,2,3 John describe the need for love as the preeminent reason for all that we say and do.
Peter tells us about how the Bible was written; that God called special men who were set apart by Him to record His words for us. God has the power to ensure that His words survived time and decay so they come to every generation, accurate and true to His original intent. He did this so that every one of us could know Him by a reliable source.
John said that after Jesus was risen from the dead, He sent the Holy Spirit to remind the men who had followed Him, exactly the words and things He had done, so that they could write them down and tell the world.
This is only a beginning and a place to start learning, not a concise study method or advance method for learning.
Why The Bible?
By now, I am sure that you are wondering why I think that only the Bible is the true source to know God. I thought the same thing, 44 years ago when I first read some of the claims by Christians. I took up the challenge and picked up a copy of the Bible and started reading through the Gospel of John in the New Testament. I compared the Bible to the other religious texts and religions of the world. I discovered stunning differences.
- Salvation by a free gift from God, v. Salvation by our own good works.
- A perfect and sinless Savior, v. flawed and sinful religious leaders
- Love as the preeminent quality, v. religious works and methods
- The promise and assurance of eternal life, v. non assurance, and a vague possibility of something after death.
The first thing I noticed was that the text of the New Testament was not at all what I expected. It wasn’t written as a myth or legend, but men simply and plainly telling a story about what they had seen and heard. These men are writing letters to tell people what they had seen Jesus do and say. We quickly realize when we read these texts in the New Testament that these letters are just communications between people who lived at that time, and were not written as novels or other literature is written today.
These men were just writing to encourage people who had heard about Jesus from the Gospels and were interested in more information. These writers composed these letters and sent them out to various locations around the known world for the purpose of instruction, encouragement, and correction.
We have the benefit today of being able to read these letters, exactly as they were written 2,000 years ago.
A Singular Life
As I read the words that Jesus spoke and how He treated people, I began to notice that He was not like any other religious leader. There has never been a person who lived such a holy and distinct life, as Jesus. There is no other person in the history of the world who loved people more, and was willing to give His entire life, simply to save those who would believe.
I learned later that while Jesus was here on earth, He was attempting to fulfill over 400 ancient Hebrew prophecies that were written for the Messiah. Jesus ordered His entire life, so that He could fulfill each one of these prophecies and demonstrate that He is the Messiah, who was promised by God in the Old Testament. In 2013, I wrote a detailed book about these 400 prophecies, called: “The Prophecies Of The Messiah.”
The more I read and studied Jesus’ life, the greater my awareness that He was unique amongst all other gods and religions of the world.
In the early part of 2018, I wrote a new book called, “Why Jesus Is God, And Others Are Not,” in response to many questions that I had been asked by atheists and non-believers. All of these questions centered around why I believed that Jesus and His message in the Bible is any different, or more true than all the other religions.
“Why Jesus Is God,” takes a look at Jesus and compares Him to the major religions and gods of the world. It examines the historical record, and details why the Bible is true and accurately written, despite the criticism and doubts of some people.
Follow This Format:
If you will take up this challenge; to read through the books of the New Testament as I listed here, in the order I described, your entire view and attitude will change regarding God, and specifically, Jesus Christ.
The New Living Translation:( NLT), only the 2015 edition, as it is far easier and more accurate than earlier editions.
- The Gospel of John
- 1 Corinthians
- 1-2 Peter
- 1-3 John
After you read through each of these books several times, then you can go back to Genesis in the Old Testament and begin to read through the stories there. Paul wrote in the New Testament that all of the things that were written in the Old Testament, were recorded for our learning, so that we might, by patience, understand all that God has intended that we know about Him.
For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. ~Romans 15:4
If you are a person who doesn’t care what everyone else thinks or believes, but want to know the truth for yourself, I can tell you that this simple method I have described here, will work to show you truth.
We don’t need commentaries by Bible scholars, or endless opinions by people, to reveal who God is to us. It was the intention of God, who made all that exists, that we could know Him, by the words He recorded for us in the 66 books of the Bible.
Don’t take my word for it. Read the books I listed here with an open and inquisitive mind, at least 3 or 4 times, and I am certain that by reading the texts for yourself, this will change your mind about many things.
If you do follow this course, I would be interested to hear about your experience. You can contact me at THIS LINK. Write a few words and let me know if this worked for you, not necessarily to make you believe that God exists, but did it change your view of who God is and perhaps, give you reasons to continue a search further.
If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the Lord. ~Jeremiah 29:13-14 (NLT)
Categories: A poor representation of Jesus, Abhorrent teaching about Jesus, Complicating a Relationship with God, Defending the Gospel, Empirical Evidence for the Resurrection, God is perfect, Going to Church but unsaved, Leading People to Jesus, Origin of the four Gospels, Prophecies Fulfilled by Jesus, Robert Clifton Robinson, The Miracles of Jesus, The Resurrection, Understanding Suffering