A challenge to dig deeper – Why? Part 2

Why do you believe what you believe?

Why do I believe the Bible?

As I wrote and thought about this post, a whole lot of reasons came to mind. But there are two that have had the biggest influence: a personal reason and a practical reason.

Personally – nothing has changed my life more than the Gospel. When my husband and I were living in Chicago years ago, I had everything I ever wanted. I had the guy, the big city, the social life and the best wardrobe and shoe collection I could ask for. 

But I wasn’t happy. I felt so hollow. None of my stuff was actually that great. I knew something was missing, and I knew exactly what it was because I had had it before. I had Him before. I started giving more and more of my life back to Jesus, and as I did, it rekindled a relationship unlike anything else I’ve ever known. My sin, my love for myself and the things of this brief and temporary world had long overpowered my love for God. There was no denying my wrong choices and gaps in morality, which ruined my relationship with God and left me sentenced to Hell. But on the cross, Jesus took all that sin and selfishness and took my punishment for me. He stood in my place that I might have a restored relationship with the Father, for now and for all time.

The Gospel has changed my life.

But some might argue that all that is just “good for me”, to which I would agree, unless the Bible is actually true. 

Growing up, I used to believe in the validity of the Bible because I was so captivated by creation. I just couldn’t believe that we came to existence from nothing. My dad was a big influence, as well. One of the smartest people I know, he was a big reader of apologetics, or reasoning arguments, so my interest in the subject would grow as he shared things he learned with me. It led me to my own research, which included a high school paper on creation versus evolution. I was blown away. These were a few highlights:

  • Evolution violates basic laws of thermodynamics. The first law states that energy cannot be created or destroyed. The popular Big Bang theory would have needed some extraordinary supernatural occurrence to produce the amount of energy it would have taken to create an entire universe. The second law states that every system moves from order to disorder, in a degenerating direction to increase the total entropy of the universe. After the Big Bang, there would have been a substantial amount of disorder to overcome. 
  • Some of the oldest evidence of life was rock thought to be 3.8 billion years old. Upon closer examination, these rocks proved to be formed only from weathered crystals. The method of carbon-14 dating has given living snails an age of 2300 years as well as growing trees an age of 10,000 years.
  • From perspiration to blood clots, the body always knows what to do, when to act and how long to perform in order to continue functioning. With an unfathomable number of chemical reactions occurring every second, the body is the most incredibly crafted machine
  • The giraffe has a neck that can stretch six feet high. In order to get blood to the brain, blood must pump viciously against the forces of gravity. Contrarily, when the giraffe bends its head down to get a drink of water, the blood must flow with the force of gravity. To prevent the brain from exploding, the giraffe has valves in its neck that close and reduce blood flow as well as an extra compartment that acts like a sponge to soak up other blood.
  • Between each peck, the woodpecker opens its eyes, focuses, and then pecks again. If it did not open its eyes between pecks, the force would be so great that its eyeballs would pop out. 

So fascinating!

But ultimately, as I continued to grow in my faith and figure out for myself exactly what I believe and if I think it’s worth giving my life over to, I came to rest on the cross. Scholars don’t have a lot of debate over Jesus’ existence, but the reality of the grave is what makes or breaks the entire Gospel.

The grave was empty. 

The grave was empty after Jesus died and was buried in it. There was no chance the Roman officers would have taken him down alive. And he would have been so brutally beaten that he would never have been able to recover in a tomb. 

Jesus appeared to hundreds of people after his crucifixion. He sat with them, he walked with them, and he ate with them. And many of those people lost their lives to their testimony of the resurrection, because they would not stop telling people about this man Jesus, who was killed and then was alive. Jesus, the Savior of the world. The one who took their place, the one who took our place. 

There is much, much to be said about this topic, so I have some of my favorite resources linked below. But ultimately – Jesus proved his deity when he walked out of that grave. The prophecies were fulfilled, death was conquered. Nothing in all this world has impacted my life as much as believing in this man, my Savior, my Lord. And that impact will last for all eternity, forever worshipping the One I call Father, the King of all Kings.

—-

Years ago, I went on a mission trip to Ocean City, New Jersey. I walked the boardwalk daily, talking with people that summer about life, death and religion. Every time I asked people why they believed what they did, or asked what it would take for them to believe in God, they had no answer. 

What is it for you? Why do you believe the things about life that you believe? If it’s possible to have confidence about what happens after death, wouldn’t you want it?

—–

Resources – 
(This is of course not an exhaustive list – just a few that have impacted me the most)

Books:
The Case for Christ, Lee Strobel
The Case for Faith, Lee Strobel
The Case for Easter, Lee Strobel (short, significant read)
Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis
God’s Crime Scene, J. Warner Wallace

Viewing:
– God’s Not Dead – this is a movie, so it’s less content-rich, but still addresses basic arguments, trailer
The American Gospel – a documentary, significant for believers and those searching
Incredible Creatures That Defy Evolution – there are 3 in this series

Podcasts:
The Bible and History, Tim Keller
Doubt, Joy and Power, Tim Keller

What’s Happening in Afghanistan? Jennie Allen
I don’t know any other religion that transcends nations the way that the Gospel does. It makes me think of the words in Acts – “Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But If this is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.” (Acts 5:38-39)

“A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg – or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.” – C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity 

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