Seven Evidences That Prove The Existence Of God: Part 2

This is part 2 of an essay that describes seven pieces of evidence for the existence of God. Although atheists and critics of God and the Bible assert that there is no evidence for God, the facts of history, science, and logic, impeach this idea. When we examine the evidence that does exists, we see that no person can factually argue that God has not left us with any evidence of His Being.

5. The fulfillment of 400 Messianic Prophecies by Jesus.

If we listen to critics of the New Testament, we get the idea that a group of men got together and fabricated a myth about a Carpenter called Jesus from Nazareth. New Testament scholar, Bart Ehrman, stated that these men made up the story about Jesus’ miracles so the reader would believe that He is God, although Jesus never claimed to be God.

If this assertion is true, then why do we find such a great body of evidence from the Old Testament that predicts a Messiah exactly like Jesus? Why did the Old Testament prophets write that when the Messiah arrived, He would be God living in the body of a man?

In 2013 I wrote a book entitled, “The Prophecies of the Messiah.” As I began to go through the entire Old Testament and search for scriptures which are accurately describing the Messiah, I was struck by how many speak of a person who would do precisely what we find Jesus doing in the New Testament.

By the time I finished Prophecies of the Messiah I was certain from the evidence, that the men who wrote the narratives of Jesus have told us the truth. How do I know this? They relied heavily upon what the Hebrew prophets wrote about the Messiah. In other words, everything that these men documented for us in the New Testament had supporting verses of scripture from the Old Testament.

When alleged atheist scholars, like Bart Ehrman and others, tell you that the writers of the New Testament made up the whole story about Jesus, the reader of their books and articles don’t realize that this cannot be true, based on the evidence we have today.

The entire Old Testament predicts the exact type of Messiah that is presented to us in the New Testament by the narratives of Jesus. The New Testament relies heavily upon these Old Testament scriptures to prove to us that Jesus is the Messiah whom these scriptures predict. The writers of the New Testament didn’t believe that Jesus was God, Messiah, or that He would rise from the dead. They were just as skeptical as we are today. The idea that the God who created the universe could be standing before them in the form of a man, was impossible.

It was not until after they saw Jesus crucified and dead—placed in a tomb and risen from the dead—they believed. It was the resurrection that changed everything. We see in the New Testament, 134 places where the writers say they saw Jesus, heard Him, and they are witnesses of all He said and did. There are 396 places in the New Testament where the writers say that Jesus was crucified and rose from the dead.

Luke chapter 24, records the testimony of men who had been with Jesus from the beginning. Luke was a highly educated, Greek speaking Physician, who writes meticulously that Jesus met the disciples after He rose from the dead and told the disciples that all He had said and done was predicted by the prophets. He said these men should write their testimony immediately and send it to the world.

There are 16 prophets in the OT who predicted Jesus’ arrival, and all of the things the disciples wrote in the New Testament. There are six eyewitnesses who record His arrival in the New Testament. Are the prophets and the disciples all lying about Jesus? Is the entire Bible lying about Jesus? In order to believe this is true, we would have to accept that the 66 books of the Bible, written by 40 authors, over 1,450 year period of time, are all lying.

This cannot be possible because most of these men didn’t know each other and they lived hundreds or thousands of years apart. How could this many men who lived over such a great expanse of history, all write about the same person, and then Jesus come and fulfill all 400 of the predictions they wrote?

I documented the extreme precision and accuracy of these facts in “Prophecies of the Messiah.”

Six of the Twelve Apostles, Wrote The New Testament:

  1. John wrote one Gospel, three letters, and the Book of Revelation (5).
  2. Peter wrote one Gospel (Mark), two letters (3).
  3. James, Zebedee, wrote one letter (1).
  4. Paul wrote thirteen letters (13 books).
  5. Judas “not Iscariot” wrote the letter of Jude (1).
  6. Matthew wrote one Gospel (1 ).

6. The Singularity of the Biblical God: The difference between Jesus and all other gods and religions

Other gods

When we examine other gods and religions, we see that their precepts and principles are drastically different from what we learn about Jesus in the New Testament. This is important because we find in this world that counterfeits are often similar to the genuine, but less-than, or incomplete in comparison.

Allah is similar to the Hebrew God, Yahweh, but does not have a Son who took the body of a man and died for the sins of the world. A works-based salvation, Islam demands obedience in order for salvation to occur. In examining their scriptures, we see that the Koran teaches violence and death as acceptable methods for conversion.

Quran (2:191-193) – “And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah [disbelief or unrest] is worse than killing…but if they desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful. And fight them until there is no more Fitnah [disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah] and worship is for Allah alone. But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimun (the polytheists, and wrong-doers, etc.)”

Islam is a religion of violence; whereas Jesus taught love, peace, and kindness as emblems of faith. Islam teaches vengeance for enemies; Jesus said to love your enemies and do good to them.

You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.  ~Matthew 5:43-45

Those who follow the religion of Islam believe  that human beings are sinners because Allah has willed this. Muslims do not teach or know that the Bible describes sin as the fault of human actions, not the fault of God (Romans 5:12, 18, 19). In Islam, God is responsible for the condition of the world. The Bible teaches that the world is full of evil, violence, suffering, sickness, and death because man brought sin into the world.

Former member of Islam, Nabeel Qureshi, said this:

I left Islam because I studied Muhammad’s life. I accepted the Gospel because I studied Jesus’ life.”

Buddha: based upon the life of Siddhartha Gautama, a mortal man who was known as “the Buddha” or “the enlightened one.” To Buddha, the principal problem of earth is “Dukkha” or suffering. Only by achieving a mental state of “nirvana” through ridding the body of all physical or mental cravings and desires can a human being be free of suffering. Freeing a human being from temptation is never going to happen and it will not rid the world of sin, which is man’s basic nature.

The central problem with Buddhism is that its founder was a mortal, sinful man who has no real power to save anyone. This is a works-based religion without true eternal salvation. Buddha remains in his grave to this day, unable to achieve his own resurrection or to help anyone else with their resurrection. Jesus rose from His grave, never to die again. Jesus exhibited a power over death that Buddha could not attain.

Gnosticism: In the religion of Gnosticism, God is unknowable; the creator-god is evil, and all matter is evil. This religion is ancient, but made a prominent return in the third and fourth century after Jesus’ death and resurrection. Salvation in Gnosticism consists of returning to the spiritual world through secret knowledge of the universe.

Similar to many other religions, Gnostic salvation is the work of the participant, not the actions of God or His grace as described by the God of the Bible who gives eternal life as a free gift.

Hindu gods: number over 330 million. This is a works-based religion which is appealing to the human ego, but ineffective to really save.

Where the Christian God is personal, the Hindu god is impersonal and cannot be known.

The central problem of mankind from the Hindu perspective is ignorance, whereas the God of the Bible describes moral imperfection or sin and man’s central problem.

Salvation in Hinduism is a personal work of ridding self of ego and becoming god-like. The Christian God describes the salvation of all people as possible only because of the work that Jesus, the Son of God, has completed for us, and is offered as a free gift to anyone who will receive it.

Krishna: is an ascended man who became a god, one of millions of Hindu god’s. Salvation is by the achievement of an altered state of consciousness, which is used by demons to enter the body of unsuspecting human beings.

Taoism: is based on the teachings of a mortal man, Lao-Tzu, c. 550 B.C., from China. A therapy-type religion which promises peace and tranquility but no afterlife.

The Mormon God: has a son who is known by the same name as the Biblical Jesus, but is not the historical Jesus of the Bible.

When the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Gordon Hinckley, was asked if Mormons believe in the historical Jesus of the Bible, this was his response:

“No, I don’t. The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak. For the Christ of whom I speak has been revealed in this the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times. He together with His Father, appeared to the boy Joseph Smith in the year 1820, and when Joseph left the grove that day, he knew more of the nature of God than all the learned ministers of the gospel of the ages.’”   ~Gordon Hinckley, LDS Church News, Week ending June 20, 1998, p. 7)

The Mormon Jesus

  • A Created Being, older brother of Lucifer.[7]
  • Was once a man, just one of many gods.[8]
  • Not a Virgin birth. Conceived by a physical sex act by Elohim (God the Father or Adam) with Mary.[9]
  • Was once a sinful, imperfect man.[10]
  • Had to earn his own salvation.[11]
  • Married to many different wives.[12]

The Jesus of the Bible

  • Eternal, the Creator Himself, always was God.[13]
  • Has always been God, became a man for us.[14]
  • Conceived by the Holy Spirit with Mary who was a Virgin.[15]
  • Eternally sinless and perfect forever.[16]
  • Has always been God, did not have to earn salvation.[17]
  • Never married to anyone.[18]

Although most people think that Mormons are Christians, they do not believe in the Christ who is the only Savior, therefore their religion cannot save.

In order for salvation to be possible, a person must trust in the Christ who is described by the Bible, not in a different Jesus created by the Mormon religion.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses:

The Jehovah’s Witness’ God is Yahweh from the Bible, not Jesus. Although the New Testament is clear that Jesus is Jehovah, this fact is denied by the JW religion. Although the Bible describes Jesus as the Son of God, the JW religion states that God did not have a son. The Jesus they call savior is not the Eternal God who came to earth as a man, but simply a created being. Because the Jehovah’s Witnesses diminish Jesus, take away His power as God and make Him a created being, the Jesus they believing in, cannot save. The following are some of the Jehovah’s Witness Doctrines:

  • Jesus is not God. Jehovah is the mighty god who created Jesus.[119]
  • Jesus was formerly the Archangel Michael.[20]
  • Jesus was only a perfect Man, but He is not God.[21]
  • Jesus did not raise from the dead Bodily, only in Spirit.[22]
  • Jesus’ sacrifice alone did not pay for our Salvation. The JW’s must themselves earn their own salvation by performing good works.[23]
  • There is no Father, Son, and Holy Spirit who are “God.” Only “Jehovah” is God.[24]

New Age: god is an impersonal life force that is inside every person. Each member is their own god and a part of the total universe. The usage of demonic practices such as astrology, mysticism, use of crystals, yoga, tarot readings, holistic medicine, psychic abilities, angelic communications, channeling, amulets, and fortune telling, are all used by demons to deceive human hosts. In many cases, these New Age practices are a point of entry for demonic oppression and possession.

The primary  difference between Jesus and all other gods and religions is his eternality, power of creation, power over death, and tremendous sacrificial love.

The View Of Jesus, By Other Religions

A common error by other religions and many people in the world is the diminishing of Jesus from who He is portrayed as by the Bible. The Hebrew and Greek scriptures portray Jesus as God, Creator of all that exists and the only Savior.

Many of these religions make Jesus a common, ordinary man–without the power to save anyone.

  • Islam: Jesus was only a man, a prophet below Mohammed.[25]
  • Hinduism: Do not believe that Jesus is God but just one of many incarnations of Vishnu the Hindu God.[26]
  • Buddhism: Jesus is not God. In fact, they do not believe in a personal God.[27]
  • Baha’i Faith: Jesus is just another man whose career as lord ended when Mohammed founded Islam.[28]
  • Christian Science: “The Blood of Jesus was no more able to cleanse sin when it was shed on the cross than when it was flowing in His veins”.[29]
  • Evolution: “There is no purpose or meaning to life. All mankind is one cosmic accident…” “The man called Jesus is a mythical person created by religious zealots.”[30]

The Term “Begotten,” And Jesus

Many people are confused by the term “begotten” or “firstborn” when used in the New Testament to describe Jesus Christ. Some people believe that because Jesus is described with terms used for those born of a natural birth, that He must be a created being, and not the eternal God.

The Jehovah’s Witness church uses verses from John 1:14, Colossians 1:18 and Revelation 1:5 to affirm their doctrine that Jesus Christ is not God. They state that the terms “firstborn,” and “begotten,” define Jesus as a created being, not God.

The fact is: The Greek words used in these verses, for “firstborn,” and “begotten,” are prototokos and monogenes. They do not define Jesus as a created god.

The term “firstborn,” prototokos, indicates that Jesus is “first in order of importance” over all creation.[31]

The second Greek word that has been used to translate, begotten, is “monogenes.” This Greek word is very specific in that it conveys the idea of “uniqueness or singularity, the only one.”[32]

Jesus is the only Son of God who is first in order of importance over all creation, singular and the only one, since He Himself is the Creator of all that exists. In no way does the term firstborn imply that Jesus is a created being. To use this word for the purpose of trying to prove that Jesus is a created being violates every scholarly usage of the original Greek language in which this text was written.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten (monogenes) of the Father, full of grace and truth.  ~John 1:14

And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn (prototokos) from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.  ~Colossians 1:18

and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn (prototokos) from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood…  ~Revelation 1:5

Jesus is portrayed throughout the New Testament as the Eternal Son of God, who spoke the universe into existence, in Genesis 1:1. The book of Colossians describes Jesus as the Creator and Sustainer of the universe, by three specific points:

  1. All things in the universe were created by Jesus and for Him.
  2. He existed before all things.
  3. In Him, all things consist.

For by Jesus all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.  ~Colossians 1:16-17

As Jesus is uniquely begotten (First) as the only Son of God, Peter wrote that each one of us who love and follow Him have also been begotten again to a living hope…

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you…  ~1 Peter 1:3-4

As monogenes defines the term begotten as unique and unlike any other,[33]  the intent here is clear:

Those who follow Jesus have a unique and very special place in eternity. We are heirs of an inheritance which will never grow old, decay, or be destroyed. It is perfect.

Only those who place their complete trust in Jesus Christ, now, have been given this distinctive designation as joint heirs with Christ Jesus. This means that in eternity all of the wonderful blessings that the Father has bestowed on His Son will also be ours.

The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.  ~Romans 8:16-18

How The Name “Jesus” Originated

The name “Jesus” was originally written as “Lesous.”[34] When the Bible was translated into Greek, there was no Greek word for Jesus. In each subsequent translation of the Greek text from the Hebrew, the name Lesous became Jesus in the New Testament.[35]

Jesus is His Greek name. His Hebrew name is Yeshua. The term Yeshua means Salvation, Deliverance, Victory, Help, or Welfare.[36]

The literal meaning of the name Jesus is: The Lord (Yahweh) is my Salvation. This is interesting because the angel who came to Joseph told him that his son should be called Jesus because He will save His people from their sins.

When Phillip asked Jesus to show him the Father, Jesus told Him that if he has seen Him, he has seen the Father—for Jesus is God, even as the Father is God.

Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father?’ ”  —John 14:9

I and My Father are one.  ~John 10:30

By this statement, Jesus is claiming that He is Jehovah-God, even as the Father is also Jehovah-God. If we want to know what God is like, all we have to do is look at Jesus. The words that He speaks and the things that He does are the words and actions of the Eternal God.

David Described The Future Messiah As LORD (Jehovah), Exalted Above All Other gods.

For You, LORD, are most high above all the earth; You are exalted far above all gods.  ~Psalms 97:9

In the New Testament, Paul clearly understood that the LORD of the Old Testament scriptures is the risen Christ, or Messiah of the New Testament.

Though Jesus was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.  ~Philippians 2:6-11 (NLT)

But this Man (Jesus), after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God…  ~Hebrews 10:12

looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  ~Hebrews 12:2

Psalms 97:9 is validated as a prophetic, Messianic scripture, which Jesus fulfilled in the New Testament. This scripture describes Messiah as exalted above all gods. The Old Testament term, LORD, is Yahweh. In the New Testament Greek, Jesus is frequently referred to as Lord or Yahweh.

When Philippians 2:6-11 states that Jesus was exalted by God and given a name above all other names, this corresponds with the Messianic Prophecy of Psalms 97:9, Yahweh is exalted above all gods.

For You, Yahweh, are most high above all the earth; You are exalted far above all gods. ~Psalms 97:9

Therefore God also has highly exalted Jesus and given Him the name which is above every name. ~Philippians 2:9

It is clear that the Messiah of Psalms 97:9 is Jesus of Philippians 2:9

Scriptures like these are one of the reasons that it is surprising that New Testament scholars cannot find that the New Testament validates Jesus as God. It is clear from verses like these above that the writers of Jesus’ narrative intended that the world would understand He is the Messiah who is God, described by the Old Testament.

Religion vs. Relationship

From these examples, we see the stunning difference between the true identity of Jesus as the One True Eternal God and the gods who exist as creations of men. Religions such as the Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses retain a partial resemblance of Jesus, while denying Him as the Eternal, uncreated God.

These religions require personal obedience for salvation, whereas Jesus provides redemption based upon His obedience. In religion the system always fails because people are not capable of keeping the rules. With Jesus we cannot fail because He perfectly kept the rules for us.

Religion is a works-based salvation; Christianity is a grace-based salvation.

It is important to remember that religion is a creation of man, not from God. Jesus never intended that we would make a way for ourselves to heaven that was based upon rules that we set. It was the intent of God that our salvation would come through a relationship with Jesus and by what He has done for us.

In this regard, salvation through Jesus is not by religion but through relationship.

Mortal Leader vs. Immortal Savior

In every major religion, the leader, founder, or teacher is a mortal man who is himself an imperfect sinner. Jesus is described as immortal, perfect in every regard, and sinless. He is the Eternal God who took the body of a human being, so that He could die for the sins of the world and make our salvation possible.

Good Works vs. Perfect Savior

All of the major religions predicate salvation upon the good works of the participant as a prerequisite for eternal life.

All that Jesus requires for salvation is that we are willing to turn from our sins and trust Him for our redemption.

Reincarnation vs. Eternal Life

Many religions do not teach eternal life, but a mystical sort of existence where people migrate into a higher consciousness. Some of the religions teach repeated reincarnations where people return to earth as animals or a different human being. These returns are necessary because the person has yet to achieve the perfection required by the religion for an eternal existence.

This is in contrast to the salvation that Jesus made possible by His death and resurrection. Anyone who places their trust in Jesus receives eternal life—instantaneous with their belief. Those who trust in Jesus do not have to go through a long process where they are made worthy of eternal life. It is because Jesus perfectly secured our salvation that we are perfect also and ready for heaven.

Jesus taught that the moment our earthly life is over, if we have trusted in Him, we are taken immediately to heaven where we will live forever in perfection.

A Personal God

The God of the Bible is very personal, and came to earth to show Himself to us so that we might know Him and His love for every person. The gods of men, legends, and Lore are impersonal and care not for the difficulties, sicknesses, or suffering of human beings. They have no power to give eternal life to themselves or any other person. Jesus has power to give eternal life to anyone who trusts in Him.

When we compare Jesus to the gods of Greek mythology, we see hideous, adulterous, and murderous gods who are antithetical to the God of the Bible who is full of love, mercy, and kindness.

Zeus – King of the gods. Immoral, having multiple affairs and marriages.

Hera – Queen of the gods. Wife of Zeus, who is angry, jealous, and unable to stop the lustful affairs and adultery of her god-husband, Zeus.

Aphrodite – goddess of love and beauty. Created from the foam of the sea. Married to Hephaestus, the deformed god of fire. Adulterous with the god Ares.

Apollo – son of the god Zeus. A god of light, truth, healing, archery, music, poetry, but vengeful and forcing mortals into slavery. Killing in retaliation.

Ares – god of war. Bloodthirsty, killing for pleasure and immoral.

Artemis – twin sister of Apollo. The moon goddess. Created an environment of jealousy with Apollo who killed all the sons of Leto.

Athena – goddess of wisdom, war, patriotism, and good citizenship. Born out of a headache that Zeus experienced. Hephaetus used his axe to strike Zeus’ skull, regulating in the birth of Athena.

Demeter – goddess of grain, agriculture, and fertility. Committing many adulterous affairs. Portrayed as kind and generous, but also vengeful in stopping the growth of crops for a year. Angry with Erysichton for cutting down her favorite tree, she called on the god Demeter, the god of hunger, to plague Erysichton. Ravaged by hunger, he ate his own flesh which still did not satisfy his appetite. Eventually Demeter became insane and died.

Dionysus – god of wine. The product of an adulterous affair by his father Zeus. Turned into a goat, later going into hell to bargain for his mother.

Hades – evil god of the underworld and death.

Hephaestus – god of forge and fire. Disfigured and hideous. Cast out of Olympus, wandering the earth. An adulterous relationship with Aphrodite, created the first woman from clay.

Hermes – messenger of the gods. Multiple adulterous affairs. Killed on the first day of his life.

Hestia – goddess of the hearth and home. Keeper of fire in the temple that was used to bring luck to the other gods.

Poseidon – god of the sea. Cause of earthquakes and horses. Committed multiple adulterous marriages and affairs. Angry and vengeful, turning his wife Medusa into a monster in a fit of rage.

Although this is a brief look at the major religions of the world and 14 Greek gods, we see that their character and behavior are nothing like those of Jesus.

It is easy to understand why people have correctly labeled Greek gods as myth’s while the historical Jesus presents a narrative of actual and true events.

In all of these other gods and religions, we see:

  • A works-based religion where the members must perform in order to find salvation.
  • Religions or gods who are mere men but have no origin from eternity or ability to create a universe.
  • Many of these religions have millions of gods who add complication and confusion to the idea of salvation.
  • Many of these religions are mere imitations of Christianity which change or diminish Jesus from Eternal God to a created being. All of these other religions have a works-based salvation where eternal life must be earned.

Of all the world’s religions, we see that Jesus is distinct and superior because of who He is, what He has done, and what He requires.

  • Jesus is the Eternal God, sinless and Holy. Jesus is not only a great teacher, He lived the life that He teaches.
  • Jesus gave His life for us, took the punishment for our sins and removed them. Sin and death are destroyed; suffering is ended.
  • Salvation is a free gift, through faith. Jesus paid for salvation; anyone can receive eternal life by trusting in Him.
  • The promise of a new world where righteousness and peace never end.

As we examine the requirements for other religions and the character of their leaders, we see a stunning difference.

  • Religious leaders who are mortal men and sinners themselves. Although teaching great principles, they are unable to live what they teach.
  • Leaders make no sacrifice of their lives, espouse ways to make life better but offer no permanent solution for sickness, suffering, and death.
  • Salvation by works; participants must do the work themselves.
  • Ignorance or disregard for sin. Many of these religions ignore the central problem of mankind, which is sin, and the cause of all sickness, suffering, and death that plagues our world.
  • No promise of a perfect world to come, only a world where people attempt to live differently by the principles of the religion.
  • No eternal life, only reincarnation or becoming a part of a central or exalted consciousness.

An Intelligent Gospel

When I began my personal search for truth 45 years ago, I was struck by the clear differences between every other religion of the world and the simplicity of Jesus’ Gospel.

Every person who has lived on earth for 30 or 40 years understands that people are the reason that earth is such a miserable place. The way that we act and treat other people. Our selfishness and greed, lust for material gain, and central focus on satisfying ourselves.

In order to really consider any one of these religions as credible, there must be an intelligible plan to rid the world of man’s current selfish nature. It is sin that has ruined the world; and unless there is a way to change man’s basic nature towards sin, nothing is going to change.

The human species requires a way to change the fundamental nature of people so that they can live for the benefit of all mankind. This cannot happen by any physical methods such as programs, medicine, behavioral modification, and religious activities. These things do not permanently modify human behavior.

People don’t like the idea of sin, but we are all aware that the cause of suffering in the world is due to the way that people treat other people.

God’s intention is not to disparage us for our weaknesses and moral failures but to encourage us in believing that the remedy resides with Him, not ourselves. For over 6,000 years, man has been trying to make his behavior better. Nothing that has been suggested or attempted has worked thus far.

God’s plan is to make us new creatures with a different heart, and this will change the way we live and treat each other.

By a second spiritual birth, any person can start a new life as a new creation.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.  ~2 Corinthians 5:17

The Works Of Man And The Sovereignty Of God

An interesting precept of God is that He does not go where He is not invited. God maintains His sovereignty over the universe, but on earth He uses a different approach. God made earth for human beings. He gave us dominion over the earth. When the first humans decided they didn’t want God to run the world, He departed, and gave control and the consequences to us.

Since that time, human life has been filled with violence, evil, suffering, and death. Every act of violence, abuse, neglect, war, famine, and a majority of suffering was caused by the actions of people.

It was God’s plan that no sickness or disease would be present in our lives. It is because we chose a world without God that we get sick, grow old, suffer, and die.

If we think that God wants us to suffer and He doesn’t care about children who get cancer and die, we must ask why He sent His Son to die for us? Why did God send His Son to become one of us, heal the sick, raise the dead, stand against the hypocrisy of religion, and help anyone who wanted help?

If God doesn’t care about our suffering then why was He willing to send His Son to die in order to end our suffering? This was the entire point of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection; to end our misery.

When God physically came to earth and offered us an escape from all of the terrible things that ruin our lives, people told Him, “no,” we don’t want you in our lives.” People continue to do the same thing today.

Many reject God to this very day, while at the same time blaming Him for the condition of the world.

In this, we see the contradiction of terms between those who complain that God is not really loving or fair, while they deny Him the ability to come and do something to change their lives.

The problem with the human condition is that people don’t want God in this world; and they would rather that life go on as it is, rather than submit to God’s authority and allow Him to run our planet.

Those who question why God has not done something to help us have their answer: He did come and they didn’t want Him.

He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t want him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.  ~John 1:10-12 (RCR)

God took the form of a man and showed us that He is God by displaying the supernatural abilities that only God is capable of. In spite of this, people today write books, and say that Jesus never claimed to be God and He was not capable of miracles. Even when God did what we demanded: show Himself to us, it was not good enough.

God came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ and took away the curse that has caused the plague of our suffering. He gave all He had and did all He could, and it was not enough. People rejected Jesus when He showed them miracles before their very eyes; and they continue to rejected Him today. Though honest men recorded the miracles and power of Jesus as God, people still refuse to believe. The problem in believing that God exists is not due to a lack of evidence, but a lack of desire.

7. The reality of sin, death, and human nature.

There is only one treatise that has been written during the entire history of man on the earth which provides us with a concise and accurate explanation for why the universe exists, why man exists, and why evil, suffering, sickness and death, exist on our planet.

The Bible is brutally honest. It tells us the truth about our condition and provides us with a solution that any person can understand and obtain, if they are willing. God created the earth perfect; man was created perfect. It was man’s desire to know and experience evil that caused a change in our lives and brought evil, suffering, and death to our world.

God gave the first humans a choice: obey His law, love Him, and live forever in perfection, or disobey his law, bring evil and suffering into the world, and die.

It doesn’t sound like much of a choice, but evil had such an attraction that the first humans could not resist its mystery. Today evil permeates our planet and has affected every person since Adam. Not long after Adam sinned and brought sin into the world, God promised that He would send us a Savior who would end sin, suffering and death. When Jesus came to earth, He was the fulfillment of that promise.

The entire Old Testament is a description of how God followed one line of descendants that leads us to Mary, Joseph, and Jesus, the Savior God promised.

God called Abraham out of a pagan world and gave Him the law. If the descendants of Abraham would obey the law, they would be accepted by God. Paul later wrote in Romans that before God gave Abraham the law, He knew that none of us could ever keep the law and be made righteous. The purpose of the Old Testament law was to show us that we cannot be made right with God by religion or doing good.

If we will be saved it must be by a simple trust in Jesus, whom God promised, and a reliance upon His death and resurrection, for our salvation.

Many people don’t understand this premise when they read the Old Testament. They think that God expects us to keep the laws of the Old Testament, and these many and strange laws sound ridiculous to the average reader. Mixing fabrics and crops together, eating shellfish, death for adultery, are a few of these laws that sound unreasonable to many who read the Old Testament and don’t understand what they are seeing.

The laws that are described in the Old Testament were given by God through Moses, to the Children of Israel. The descendants of Abraham were instructed to keep these laws if they would find salvation from God. Of course no person was able to accomplish this, and we learn later in the New Testament that the real purpose of the Old Testament laws were to lead us to a better way, the way of Jesus’ death and resurrection for the sins of the world.

The Laws of Moses were never given to the entire world, they were established for the Jews. A person who reads these laws today should understand that God is not telling us that we must keep these laws if we will be saved, He is showing us what He required from those who think they can be made righteous by their good works. If we want God to accept us because we are a good person, we must be a perfect person. God’s standard for moral righteousness is perfection. In the book of James, 2:10, in the New Testament, God states that in order to keep the law of God and be found righteous, we must keep all the law perfectly.

If any person wants God to accept them for being good, they must not ever break one of the laws listed in the Old Testament. If a person lies, but keeps all the other laws, they have broken the whole law, and are therefore, guilty and cannot be made acceptable by the law.

Many people do good works, but their works are not perfect and consistent. Sometimes we also do bad works, and these bad works disqualify us from God’s standard of moral perfection.

When Jesus came to earth He lived a perfect life as a man and never sinned. Acting as our Savior, Jesus took His perfect life and offered it in exchange for all our our imperfect lives. Jesus willingly went to the cross and died for all the sins of every person. This eliminated the record of sin from the records of all those who believe. This made these persons perfect before God, and fully qualified for heaven.

The Bible is unique in this regard as it tell us that we are sinners, separated from God with no hope of redemption; but also offers every person salvation by a simple act of trusting in Jesus as the payment for our sins. If any person is sincerely sorry for their sins and admits that they have sinned and broken God’s law, they can come to God based upon what Jesus has done for them, and God will clear their record of sin, and grant them a full pardon.

No other god or religion has this simple yet effective method of making people right with God. All other gods and religions either ignore sin, excuse sin, or seek to make our bad works better by doing good works.

Only the Bible tells us the truth that we are all sinners, but God loves us and has given His only Son to die for us. If we will trust in Jesus for our salvation, God will acquit us and give every believer eternal life.

Only the Bible presents eternal life as an offer by God that is free to any person, no matter who they are or what they have done. Every other god and religion presents the hope of life after death, based upon the works or obedience of the participant.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is an intellectual answer to the question of why evil, suffering, and death exist. It is a systematic answer to why the world is as it is, and how it can change for anyone who believes.

These seven evidences are reasonable, intellectual, and true. We can see their reality all around us in the universe, earth, and human life. We all know that there is something terribly wrong with this world and it should not be this way. We all know that death makes no sense. We all feel like we should live forever and the idea of dying and ceasing to exist is contrary to our inner awareness as living beings.

The God of the Bible is the only True and Living God. All others are imitations and couterfeits of the One True God. Any person can end their unbelief as soon as they are ready and determine to seek the God who us revealed to us in the pages of the Bible.


NOTES:

[7] Milton R. Hunter, First Council of Seventy, The Gospel Through the Ages, p. 15
[8] Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, V7, page 333
[9] Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, pp. 547, 742
[10] Joseph Smith, Times and Seasons, Vol. 5, pages 613-614
[11] Joseph Smith, Times and Seasons, Vol. 5, pages 613-614
[12] Orson Hyde, Apostle, Journal of Discourses, vol. 2, p. 82 Bruce R. McConkie, Apostle, Mormon Doctrine, p. 516
[13] John 1:1, Colossians 1:17, Hebrews 1
[14] John 3:16, John 1:1
[15] Luke 1:31
[16] Luke 1:35, John 8:46, 1 Peter 1:18-19
[17] 2 Corinthians 5:21, John 1:1
[18] There is no record of Jesus marriage in any of the testimony of the entire Bible.
[19] The Truth Shall Make You Free, p. 47, The Kingdom is at Hand, p. 46, 47, 49
[20] Reasoning from the Scriptures, 1985, p. 306, “In His Pre-existence, Jesus Christ was the angelic being described in the Bible as Michael the Archangel. He has only the power and nature of a created angelic being,” (The Watchtower Publication)
[21] Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, V7, page 333
[22] Joseph Smith, Times and Seasons, Vol. 5, pages 613-614
[23] Orson Hyde, Apostle, Journal of Discourses, vol. 2, p. 82 Bruce R. McConkie, Apostle, Mormon Doctrine, p. 516
[24] John 3:16, John 1:1
[25] The Koran, A very great prophet, second only to Muhammad. Jesus is not the son of God (9:30) and certainly is not divine (5:17, 75)) and he was not crucified (4:157
[26] The Bhagavad Gita, tr. Juan Mascaró (Middlesex, England: Penguin Books, 1962
[27] Buddhism and Interfaith Dialogue by Masao Abe and Steven Heine (Jun 1, 1995) ISBN pages 99-100
Mysticism, Christian and Buddhist by Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki ((Aug 4, 2002)) ISBN 1605061328 page 113
[28] Stockman, Robert. “Jesus Christ in the Baha’i Writings”. Baha’i Studies Review
[29] Christian Science: Science & Health, 25:6-9
[30] Lawrence Krauss: From a Cosmic Perspective, We’re IrrelevantBecause if the universe doesn’t care about us and if we’re an accident in a remote corner of the universe, in some sense it makes us more precious.  The meaning in our lives is provided by us; we provide our meaning.  And we are here by accidents of evolution and the formation of planets.
[31] Strongs Concordance, 4416 prōtótokos (from 4413 /prṓtos, “first, pre-eminent”
[32] John V. Dahms, “The Johannine Use of Monogenes Reconsidered,” New Testament Studies 29 (1983) 222-32.
[33] Ibid.
[34] Liddell and Scott. A Greek–English Lexicon, p. 824
[35] Strong’s Concordance of Greek words #2424 and Englishman’s Greek Concordance.
[36] Ibid.



Categories: Agnostics and Skeptics, Complicating a Relationship with God, Empirical Evidence for the Resurrection, Following Jesus, How The NT Writers Remembered, New Testament Criticism, Not understanding salvation, Origin of the Universe, Physical Constants, Prophecies Fulfilled by Jesus, Reasons For Unbelief, Robert Clifton Robinson, Science and the Bible, Secular sources for Jesus, True Repentance, Understanding Suffering

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1 reply

  1. Enjoyed this very much…must read again

    Like

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