You Need to Answer the Most Important Question About Faith
Last week, my friend, Beth, at Messy Marriage, shared my post – 5 Things Found in a Heart Being Changed by God on Twitter.
In response, someone who self-identified as an atheist tweeted a list of hashtags to both Beth and myself with the following …
#ChristianFairyTale #Indoctrination #BlindFaith #Delusion #ImmoralBible #ChildishNonsense
In a later tweet, this person wrote the following…
Calling you out is an attempt to allow you to question what you’ve been taught, an invitation to reject the fairy tales and join the real world. You can do it. I know you can.
Since it seems that more and more people feel justified and almost self-righteous, if you will, in attacking those who have placed their faith in Jesus; and because I also feel like everyone from politicians to pastors are telling people what they want to hear and preaching a non-Biblical view of Christianity … I felt it might be time to rerun an older post that encourages all of us, Christians and non-Christians alike, to question what we believe.
I replied to the “atheist” on Twitter with a link to the post. You may have someone you would like to invite to stop, read this, and answer the question as well.
You Need to Answer the Most Important Question About Faith
I’ve asked God again and again if I’m really the person He wants to write these words.
It’s much easier to write feel-good grace-filled posts that remind us of God’s abundant goodness and mercy.
But the Lord just kept prompting me … so, I finally gave in.
And with His help:
I’m writing this for the person who wants to know what they believe and why they believe it.
I’m also writing it for the person who finds it easy to ridicule and mock those who (like me) have surrendered their lives to God through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ.
And I’m writing it for:
- The person who has rejected the “crutch” of Christianity.
- The person who has decided Jesus is one of the countless ways to God.
- The person who believes there is no hell.
- The person who is self-sufficient and too strong to need God.
- The person who is too busy and doesn’t have time for God.
- The person who puts their political views ahead of God’s Word.
- The person who believes “good people” will go to heaven.
- The person who believes this life is all there is.
So, to everyone listed above … I’d like to challenge you with a question about faith.
A question I hope will make you stop and think — and pray. One that will invite you to keep SEEKing until you know the answer.
So, here it is…
The Most Important Question
When it comes to what you believe…
What if I’m wrong about Jesus?
What if Jesus really is the Way, the Truth, the Life, and no one comes to God, the Father, except through Him? John 14:6
What if there is life after death? John 3:16
What if both heaven and hell are very real places? Revelations 20:12,15
What if I will have to stand before a holy and righteous God at the time of my death to give an account for the way I lived? Matthew 12:36
What if my good isn’t good enough? Ephesians 2:8–9
What if Jesus really is the only way to heaven? John 3:36
These questions are more important than where you’ll go to school or who you’ll marry, where you’ll live or what you’ll do.
Those questions are important … they’re just not the most important.
Why? Because the way you and I answer them determines our today, our tomorrow, and our forever.
Here is my answer to – When it comes to what I believe … what if I’m wrong?
Let me start by telling you what I believe.
I believe the Bible.
I believe in the Triune God – Father, Son, and Spirit … Creator, Savior, and Comforter.
I believe I am a sinner.
I believe Jesus, the Son of God … lived, died, and rose again to live forever.
I believe through faith in Jesus – I am forgiven and promised the gift of life forever in heaven with Him.
I believe God wants me to love and trust Him with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. And I believe He wants me to love others in ways that show them how much He loves them.
I believe Jesus will return to judge everyone.
And I asked myself … what if I’m wrong?
What if there is no God. No Creator. No Resurrected Savior. No Comforting Holy Spirit. No life after death.
And my answer…
If I’m wrong and there is no God. If I’m wrong and Jesus isn’t the Way, Truth, and Life … I wouldn’t change a thing.
My life has been full of hope, unexpected joy, impossible to understand peace, indescribable strength when I needed it most, and miraculous healing.
And if I get to the end of my life and discover there is no life after this one … I can’t imagine having lived my life any other way. The things I chose to sacrifice out of obedience to the God of the Bible, protected me from so many problems and potential consequences … I don’t believe I missed out on a thing.
Have you ever stopped to think about that?
When I listen to people who believe followers of Jesus are weak, foolish, believe a “faith” tale, or even border on “mental illness,” I can’t help but notice how miserable and angry many of them seem.
So, whatever you believe, and everyone believes something—I’m inviting you to ask…
What if I’m wrong?
Consider what the Bible says about the “what if” questions I asked above.
What if there is life after death?
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans 5:23
Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”Luke 23:43
What if both heaven and hell are very real places?
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.Matthew 7:13–14
What if you and I will have to stand before a holy and righteous God at the time of death to give an account for our lives?
I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God’s throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books.Revelation 20:12,15
Anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire.
What if my good isn’t good enough?
“And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak. The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you.” (Jesus to religious leaders)Matthew 12:36–37
What if Jesus really is the only way to heaven?
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” (to His disciples)John 14:6
One more word from Jesus…
Jesus told a story of The Rich Man and Poor Lazarus. You can read it here.
One of the most moving parts of this story is when the rich man pleads with Abraham to allow Lazarus to return from the dead to warn His family…
“Then the rich man said, ‘Please, Father Abraham, at least send him to my father’s home. For I have five brothers, and I want him to warn them so they don’t end up in this place of torment.”Luke 17:27–28
So, I’m inviting you to consider one more important question…
What if my loved ones – children, parents, siblings …. my relatives and friends are being influenced for eternity because of my beliefs?
So, please ask yourself…
What if I’m wrong?
And if it makes you stop and think for just moment or two, if you’re not sure about your relationship with God through Jesus, and wonder about your life today, tomorrow, and eternally…
Please seek the truth!
Ask questions. Pray. Ask God to reveal the truth to you. Talk to people who have placed their trust in Jesus. Don’t quit until you have answers.
I’ve never known anyone who sought the truth, who didn’t realize the only truth that matters is Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life and that God is who He says He is in the Bible.
This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. For, there is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. He gave His life to purchase freedom for everyone.1 Timothy 2:3–6
God loves you so much, He sent Jesus to pay the price for every wrong you have ever done, every thoughtless or cruel word you have ever spoken, every single foolish mistake you’ve made.
You can trust Him. Nothing you have ever done can make Him love you less. He wants to cover you with His grace and mercy sacrificed in and through Jesus on the cross.
He loves us so much, He used 40 writers (prophets, priests, and kings; a fisherman, a doctor, and a tentmaker), taking over 1500 years, to write 66 books full of history, poems, letters, and prophecies all pointing to His plan to save sinners through Jesus.
I’d like to challenge you to read the Bible with an open heart and mind, asking God to reveal Himself to you through its pages.
Because I promise you…
There is no better way to live than faithfully trusting God’s promises.
Because even if I’m wrong and I don’t believe I am.
I wouldn’t change a thing!
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I Really enjoyed this I’m around so many unbelieving people who don’t know or care to know or don’t believe or trust in Jesus Christ at all! ALL I do is pray that Jesus give them eyes and ears, eyes to see the things he’s showing them clearly and ears to hear the things that are being said so they can receive it. I truly love this sermon it has blessed me today I will forward it to others because the question that you asked is truly real what if they are wrong I just love it..so many people are being deceived by this world, Satan has set this world up to destroy everyone and they don’t realize it… Everything in this world leads to money and the word of God said They are going to either love Jesus or hate the other (Satan) because money is the root to all evil. When people don’t have enough money they end up sinning! robbing ,stealing ,killing doing all things necessary things to get it but only if they live in faith and know the true father that will provide ALL their needs if only they trust in Jesus Christ, and believe in him, love him with their while hearts, mind body and soul! Where there is love there is Jesus, Where there is peace there is Jesus, Where there is Joy there is Jesus, Where there is hope there is Jesus!! Jesus is everywhere let him love in you!!!
Deborah, thank you for taking the time to read and leave a comment. Satan certainly uses things like money, power, and popularity to entice people. Temptations he has used since the beginning. I set my heart and mind on Seeking the truth, loving God through Jesus, and loving others … asking the Lord to help others see His love in me. I love your last sentences … “Where there is love there is Jesus, Where there is peace there is Jesus, Where there is Joy there is Jesus, Where there is hope there is Jesus!! Jesus is everywhere let him love in you!!!” Thank you so much for stopping to visit and for joining the conversation. God bless you!
Deb, this is an incredibly powerful post, and I pray it will touch the hearts of those who have yet to believe. I’m with you in this – even if I’m wrong, I wouldn’t live my life any other way. There is so much joy in loving Jesus!
Thank you, Martha! Amen! The blessings of knowing and loving Jesus overwhelm me every day. I can’t imagine living my life on my own … He has given me strength when I had none of my own and courage to just get out of bed some days. Plus love, joy, peace, patience, etc. I am so very thankful for His amazing grace. God bless you, my friend!
God Bless you for this post! When I see comments such as the one you encountered on social media – at first I am angered then I stop and remind myself of the world I live in now. It’s not the world I grew up in! Your comment about churches is so true! I moved into my community about 5 years ago- I cannot find a church that is a true church! They either only preach what they think people want to hear or they only offer these small groups instead of Sunday School and if you missed the August sign up for the small group you are out of luck cause the groups closed!?! What kind of churches are these? It is certainly a tragedy for someone who wants to learn more. As a mature Christian I focus on the joy of God because sadly the world of faith I see around me is strange.
I’m sorry you’ve struggled to find a church family. It can be a challenge. I pray you will find a place to fellowship with others in your new community. I am thankful there are excellent messages online. Thanks so much for stopping to join the conversation. God bless you!
With respect deb, the question you’ve asked “What if I’m wrong about jesus?” Is a question for not only atheists, but also Christians. As a former christian who deconverted after 34yrs as a believer, 25 of those is ministries of serious sorts, from music to discipleship to missionary and teacher of the gospel, I can tell you that the reason I am no longer a Christian because I asked that question… and found that I had been “wrong about jesus”. Have you asked yourself the question lately and done the research and study outside of the Bible and what apologists have given you for answers? My encouragement for you today is to ask yourself the question, and perhaps look at your Faith Tradition as if from the Outside evaluating the reasons and evidences for it and against it. I hope you ask and obtain the answer. -mike
I have asked the question myself and done prayerful study. In fact, I say this very thing in the post. I believe everyone … Christians or not should ask themselves this question. Thank you for visiting and for commenting so respectfully. I would love to make a challenge back to you to prayerfully read and study the whole of the Bible with an open heart and mind – not based on theologians or apologists but simply based om the Word itself. Thanks again. God bless you!
Thank you also again for your kindness and the return challenge that I’ve already taken. But the point of my original comment was to redirect back to you the question that I have also already answered: what if you’re wrong about Jesus?
What would that mean for you? How do you think it would affect your life if you learned that your faith in Jesus has been misplaced?
I’m not looking for statements confirming your confidence. I’m asking what do you think the impact on your life if you found out that you were wrong about Jesus? I’d be interested in your answer. If you’d rather answer on my blog for anonymity, I’m fine with that. Thx again for your consideration.
I understand your question, Mike. I guess I thought I answered it in my post. If I’m wrong about Jesus and He is not God and Savior … I would not want to change a thing in my life. If there is no life after death, I would still want to live my life the way I have. The same is true … if there is no God at all. I believe if I’m wrong and there is no heaven and hell and it’s all over at death, I still wouldn’t want to change a thing. I don’t feel I’ve missed out on anything because of my faith. On the other hand, if Jesus is the Savior and the only way for sinners to be restored to a relationship with a holy God and there are a heaven and hell … then a person’s eternal future is at stake. And to be forever separated from God’s love and protection is not something I’m willing to risk. I believe the Bible is a miracle. I believe God wants all people to come to Him and ultimately live with Him but He’s holy and the only way for sinners like me to be made holy is through faith in Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. And I’m so very thankful that God loved us so much He provided a way for us to be forgiven and restored to Him.
Deb, thank for the continued understanding.
Are you implying those who reject Jesus are all atheist rejecting theism and hope in an afterlife completely?
Mike, I know there are people of other faiths who believe in life after death. The differences are in the ideas of what it means and how one “attains” whatever that faith’s view of “heaven” is. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to spend my life worried that I haven’t been “good” enough or pridefully believing I have been. Both seem painfully difficult. Trusting that Jesus loved us so much He took our punishment for our sins seems hard to believe … that God loves us so much He would rather die for us than live without us. That’s amazing grace and mercy. And I love being able to surrender my life and my eternal future to a holy Creator who loves His creation that much!
Ok, maybr change the question abit to help understand why Pascal’s Wager isn’t a very good argument. You seem to be implying “I’m no different off believing or not believing in Jesus, regardless of whether I’m wrong about Him”. If I’ve over stepped, I apologize.
But what if I made the same argument to you regarding Thor or Zeus? And then put it to you…”what if you’re wrong about not believing in them?” and implying that rejecting them is also disbelieving in any afterlife, effectively Atheism.
The trouble with “why not believe because you have no consequences if you’re wrong” is that Jesus isn’t the only theism or god concept out there.
The second and more important issue is that what you believe or don’t believe actually does have real world consequences for your actions, behavior and relationships with others. Belief and disbelief have real consequences outside of where you go when you pass from this life. I hope this helps.
I hope what I replied before I saw this part of your comment sheds some light on what I think about this. And I absolutely agree! What I believe now affects every part of my life … what I do and the way I interact with others. It’s why I pray every day that I will love as God wants me to love that I might give Him glory. I know I fail often, which is why I believe I need Jesus … because no matter what any of us believes, none of us love with care and compassion perfectly.
Thank you for your polite response. I respect your right of choice. If you don’t mind would you please share what first caused you to question the validity of Christianity when you began believing otherwise. I’m just curious. Was it something someone did or the church you were attending or a major life experience? For you to believe one thing for so long and then decide to believe differently had to be a major life changing moment.
You have made two fundamental unsupported assumptions in your question.
First, no-one chooses to believe anything, Atheism, or otherwise. Anyone who claims that they, or anyone else does, is either mistaken, or lying. We all believe what we do, only when we become convinced. It’s just that some people are more easily convinced than others.
Second, I cannot answer for Kia, but most people who leave Christianity to become Atheists, do not have a single, major, life-changing moment. It’s like Chinese water torture – drip, drip, drip, drip. Or like a new-born baby, growing into a full adult. There’s never a day when they are what they were yesterday, but it’s a constant series of tiny, un-noticed, incremental changes. For many, these changes are powered by a slew of social, secular, and saintly causes.
Read the Bible, it will give you Faith and Belief
Don’t read the Bible, you might not ‘interpret it’ correctly – says the priest/preacher who is interpreting it
You have free will – but don’t use it to think for yourself. Accept what you are told, and DON”T QUESTION!
The church which preaches love and acceptance – discriminates against LGBTQ
The ‘infallible’ Pope just finished changing a ruling that a previous infallible Pope made
There are hundreds of religions in the world, and they all insist that they are right, and Christianity is wrong. The three Abrahamic religions, Judaism, Islam and Christianity, all disagree with each other. “Catholic” means ‘universal in extent, pertaining to the entire Christian body, or church, yet there are three Catholic sects, Greek, Russian, and Roman. At least two of them must be wrong – and 50,000 Protestant divisions.
We are told, especially by the RC Church that, “There is no supermarket Christianity. You must accept all of it.” But the Holy Church picked and chose what gospels to put in, when the Bible was created. The Gospel of Mary, Christ’s supposed mother, was not put in. The Gospel of Peter, the Rock upon whom the Church was built, was not put in.
And the ‘Inerrant’ Bible…. 😯 I have a Word file with 23 pages of mistakes and contradictions. There are two versions of Creation in Genesis. One says that Adam was created before the animals; the other says that the animals came first. There are two versions of Eve’s story. The first says that she was made from the dust, like Adam; the other testosterone-driven drivel claims she was made from Adam’s rib. In neither was she present when God forbade eating the magic fruit.
Moses came down from the mountain twice, but the two pairs of tablets hold different sets of the Ten Commandments. Could God not remember the first set? One says to remember the Sabbath, and keep it Holy. Check with a Jew, a Muslim, a Seventh-Day Adventist, or your calendar – Saturday is the Sabbath, not Sunday. A pope made all Christians into sinners
Two different people supposedly constructed the Ark of the Covenant. Two different people are credited with killing Goliath, only one of whom was David. Both accounts contain historical inaccuracies. In one, he was a Philistine, in the other, an Amakelite. There are two different versions of the death of Judas.
Drip! Drip! Drip! Eventually they wake up one day and realize that it’s all exceptions, and no rule – no great, life-changing decision. Believe it all – or nothing. Okay, Nothing it is. If a Power exists which created the universe and us, it neither needs nor wants our puny adoration and obedience – and it need not be called “God.” We’re an ant farm. The “God” that Atheists don’t believe in, is the one in your imagination.
Archon, thank you for sharing your thoughts. You make some interesting points. Your first point about choosing faith assumes that my belief is simply a way of thinking about religion. It is not. It is so much more than that. Your second point, that you delve into more specifically, is really an argument against religion … which I completely understand. All religions, no matter the belief, are composed of imperfect people with limited knowledge and understanding. All religions have some people who are more interested in power and prestige than truth. It’s no wonder people get confused and frustrated by what churches have told them over the years.
With that being said, I do believe that the encouragement people get from being in community with other people of faith is valuable, strengthening, and God honoring. But my question is not about belonging to a church. And my question still stands. What if you’re wrong? You sound quite convinced that because the church is flawed and divided and full of contradictions that must mean there is no God. I disagree. I believe God is love. I believe He loves humanity so much that He sent Jesus to live, die for our sins, and rise again. I believe it is the truth because His terrified disciples who fled at His arrest … proclaimed His resurrection and willingly faced arrest and death to boldly tell people about God’s love. I believe not because I’m more “easily convinced” or because I have an active imagination. I believe because I’ve seen His power change and transform lives … including my own.
So, in spite of your arguments about the church and organized religion. Or even your arguments about the Bible … things I’ve studied carefully and believe are not contradictions at all, my question still remains. I invite you to read the Bible for yourself. I invite you to ask God to prove to you whether or not He is real. I invite you to seek answers with an open heart and mind. And I invite you ask yourself, as I have … “What if I’m wrong?”
Very good answer.
I was reading your post to Deb about your years as a Christian and your years of ministry; music, missionary, and much more I’m sure. In all that time, how much of it did you just spend time with God? I mean not in his word to prepare for a sermon, give a talk or presentation. Just meditate on him, his word. In prayer asking for wisdom and guidance. Seeking prayerfully his will for your life and expecting an answer? I am probably almost the opposite of you. I accepted Jesus as a young girl. Talked to him as a child would to a father. As I got older; I was a carnal Christian. My belief was fire insurance. “Im not going to hell so it’s all good. But as I got older, had a family, and began to have serious struggles in my life. I tried in my own strength to work things out. When I finally let go, and let God. When I actually stopped trying to make things right in my own strength and laid everything at his feet (and not pick it up again) God turned everything around for me!!! He healed my marriage, my finances my family, my life. I feel his presence when I need it most. He has never failed to supply my needs, comfort me and answer my prayers, sometimes in ways that defy explanation! Don’t get me wrong; I have struggles as everyone in this sin sick world does. But when I pray with faith in the name of Jesus, I’ve never been disappointed and have always been truly blessed. I could tell you many examples of his blessings, answered prayers and so on. But in the end my faith can’t move your heart. Only Jesus can. Think back on the days when you first believed. The joy you must have felt. I will pray that you experience that joy again. For me, there would be no joy without Jesus. He truly is the way, the truth and the life.
Just wanted to say hello and that your posts are a blessing to me. I wanted to share a reply to a comment sent to you. I will keep Mike in prayer!!! You as well????
Yours in Christ,
One of my favorite posts you’ve ever written, Deb. Honest and true. Pinned and sharing on Twitter also.
Thank you, Sarah! I really appreciate your encouragement! Blessings!
What if you are wrong about rejecting Christ? What if Jesus is not a fairy tale ? Then you end up not knowing this amazing Father, Friend, Healer, Life-Giver,Restorer, and Savior.
Jesus Christ gives us the choice whether to follow HIM or reject . There is no force put forth on anyone. But those who have received Him, they are called children of God.
Thank you Deb, for this powerful post.
Amen! What a blessing to be called His child and to have Jesus call us His friend and to know that will never change for all eternity! Thanks for your encouragement. You bless me! Blessings to you!!
“Jesus Christ gives us the choice whether to follow HIM or reject . There is no force put forth on anyone. But those who have received Him, they are called children of God.”
Per the bible, this is not true. Romans 9 says that this god intentionally picks and chooses who can and who can’t accept it. If you are one of the chosen who can’t accept this god, through no fault of your own you are damned.
We also have JC saying that he intentionally prevents some people from understanding and accepting him by the use of parables. Again, damning people through no fault of their own.
Is this just or fair?
Vel, thank you for sharing your thoughts. I believe you have pulled those verses out of context. God allows those whose hearts are determined against Him to believe what they want. But the Bible also says, “This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. For, there is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. 6 He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone. 1 Timothy 2:3–5 and “God is love.” 1 John 4:8.
God is GOD! He is not defined by our ideas or explanations. It’s not up to determine what is “just or fair.” It’s up to Him, and that He offers us His grace and mercy and provided a way for sinners to be forgiven and redeemed is truly amazing. Thanks again for joining the conversation. Blessings!
Despite my struggles in my faith I don’t know how I would have survived even my childhood if I had not believed in and prayed to God.
Interesting post Deb. I applaud your effort to communicate your faith. Although there is little wisdom in feeding the trolls on social media, there is great wisdom in sharing the basis of our faith with others.
I like what you have written here and love the Bible verses. His Word is the basis of our faith for sure. If you don’t mind, however, I would like to add a tiny bit of wisdom I have received in this area. I offer this in full agreement with what you have written above.
When athiests or others challenge our faith there is a false assumption that we are all playing on the same field, but we aren’t. You see the problem lies in our basic understanding of faith. Over the past 200+ years or so (basically since the Enlightenment) faith has morphed from something we live to something we think. Do not think this is an accident. Satan has been working on this plot for a very long time.
By reducing faith to mere thought what happens is that it is reduced to playing on the same field as any other thoughts. Therefore, it can be tackled, challenged and whupped. When believers come to Jesus and are taught that faith, belief and ideas are simply all part of the same package, they are wide open to deception. (as a Bible College grad I can attest to this teaching first hand) And deception does come. As satan erodes these immature believers belief system, they doubt God and fall back into unbelief. This is rampant today.
Now I wholly agree that belief is in the mind but faith is not. Faith is something that resides elsewhere; in the heart. The problem is that religious leaders are great at teaching us about the Bible and belief, but they cannot teach us about faith. The reason for that is simple. In order to teach about faith one first have to live it; to have experiential knowledge. If they don’t their ‘faith’ is really nothing more than belief. In order to live faith one must follow God in complete obedience. Few are willing to do that these days.
And I don’t count the Christian sub-culture of going to church as faith, it isn’t. That is what it is, a sub-culture of socially accepted actions. Real faith looks more like what we see in the New Testament where disciples gave up their all to follow Jesus, learned how to rely on their Beloved for everything and were radically transformed. That, in a nutshell, is faith, and it is what is missing today. We don’t see radically transformed lives that are affecting culture because the vast majority of Christians don’t have faith; they have belief.
Now belief is a critical start for any new Christian. What you have outlined here is a very good start, one I would recommend myself, but it is not the goal. The goal is to move from belief into faith. This is what atheists and other challengers cannot handle for when belief becomes faith they have no answer. As long as we stay playing on the field of belief it is just a game of the mind, to them and to us, but as soon as it moves to faith we see it differently. It is no longer a game but a war.
This war has been going on for a very long time. It is a war between the created and the Uncreated. When we play at belief we are terribly fragile and subject to the intricate ideas, logic and reason without the Holy Spirit that satan throws out. We have no answer for his lies because all we have is belief (and all belief is equal doncha know). If we stay immature and just believe we will fall for his lies at some point. The answer to his lies is simple, to move from head belief to heart faith that is lived out daily in full reliance on our Living God.
Faith isn’t a belief, it is a relationship with the Uncreated. It isn’t in our head, or something someone taught us, faith is who we know; Jesus. To get to faith we need to take our belief and test it; to step out and find out if it is true or not. God asks us to do this (Malachi 3:10). We are to prove God’s faithfulness by leaning our being totally on Him. As we put more and more trust in God, we find our belief turning to faith, much like a caterpillar becomes a butterfly. This is not an easy process and does take time but it does happen.
So why do we see so much belief and not much faith? Simple, it costs. In order to gain faith one must lose something. You see we already have faith in something else from the day we are born. That faith is in our ‘self’; our ability to save and provide for ourselves. It teaches us we don’t need God. Almost everyone believes this to some degree or another, atheists and Christians alike (although the athiests are more honest about it). Faith in ‘self’ must go if we are to have faith in God. This is never and easy transaction. This is why so few truly grow into faith in Jesus; it is far easier to just maintain the cultural status quo of trusting in ‘self’ that to have to learn how to have faith in the Uncreated.
Again, faith is beyond belief. Want proof? We already know we are born with a ‘self’ nature. We already know society is designed to rely on ‘self’ for provision. There is little need for God in our socialistic society. So try this. Sell your house, move to another location, give away all your money and goods then follow Jesus. How many reading this just went through a list of reasons and Scriptures about why this is not a good idea? Now Luke 18:22 aside, what you just went through was faith in ‘self’. This isn’t some intellectual exercise. ‘Self’ sees a threat to its existence and will send rebuttal thoughts to our mind to kill it. Our ‘self’ nature lies much deeper than our minds and so controls a great deal more than we think it does. That is the cunning and deception that is fueled by satan.
Jesus is more than capable of providing for us when we put all our trust and faith in Him. The rub lies with ‘self’ that doesn’t want to be uncomfortable or give up anything to have faith in a God that is fundamentally opposed to its existence. Our faith in ‘self’ trumps our faith in God. The only solution is to have Jesus remove ‘self’ in us. But that, as I said earlier, is a fight few will engage in.
So that is my two bits. I apologize for the length Deb but I have a hard time shortening up explanations with just a few words. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing since it is the reliance on pithy truth in social media that waters down belief. Faith requires more depth than we see on the Internet today.
Anyways thank you again for your post. Great start. May God bless you richly.
Homer, thank you so much for adding this to the conversation. You’re right … our faith is more than just what we think, it is a relationship with God Himself. It’s hard to explain that to people. So, I also agree that we begin with the thoughts and then prayerfully invite the Lord into our lives. I’m a word person, so I understand needing a lot of words to explain where we’re coming from. Thanks for taking the time to do that. God bless you!
First I want to tell you that I love to read your your blog. It is a blessing and needed so badly in today’s world. Thank you so much for sharing your gift. Second I’d like to comment on the nonbeliever that felt necessary to lash out at you. At first instinct it made me really mad then after realizing how lost they truly are I felt so sorry for them. They have no idea of what humans were created to be and are so angry and unhappy that all they are able to spread is hate. It is the devil that kills, steals, and destroys and unlike the younger me I’m not falling for his bait anymore.
I am an unashamed believer in Jesus Christ who knows well where my faith is grounded. Unlike the atheist believes my life has not been a fairytale. I have experienced times of both happiness and deep sorrow but most importantly in both I was never alone. My faith is based on God’s love. It was what created this world and it will be what ends this world and until then how the people of this world live is a choice each individual must make. As for me and my house, I shall choose Christ.
Thank you so much, Leigh Ann! I’m not sure why people feel the need to lash out in anger at those of us who have faith in Jesus. I’d imagine there are many reasons. I also completely agree that life is full of happiness and sorrow … and the amazing blessing of not having to do any of it alone. It was during the darkest time in my life that God made Himself known to me in ways I’d never experienced before. His grace overwhelms me. Thanks again and God bless you!
Wonderful article! I shared this on my Facebook. Thank you for writing & sharing! God bless ????????❤️????????
Thank you, Valerie! I so appreciate your kind encouragement. God bless you!
“What if I’m wrong about Jesus?” This is just Pascal’s Wager.
If I’m wrong about Jesus, then there are two options, this entity is truly benevolent, and will understand an honest atheist. If it is not, then I wouldn’t worship such a petty being anyway. Christians seem to forget that their supposed savior had no problem at all giving evidence to someone who questions. it’s only now that Christians have to claim that this god can’t give evidence for some reason they’ve made up.
I’ve read the bible, as a believer (Presbyterian Christian) and as not. I’ve seen the nonsense in it from the horrible moral ideals to the utter ignorance of the natural world. I’ve seen the baseless claims of miracles that should leave traces but don’t. I see the silliness of a genesis story that has a god that either intentionally allowed its supposed archenemy into the garden or was too stupid to keep it out. I’ve read Revelation where this god forces humans to work with this archenemy and then it works with this archenemy after it has JC kill all non-christians. This isn’t a god worth worshipping.
That Christians don’t agree on what their god wants, how to be saved, etc, there is no reason to believe any of you. None of you can apparently do what all baptized believers in JC as savior are supposed to be able to do.
Humans have been caring, loving, etc for millions of years. No god needed.
Vel, you make some interesting points. I definitely agree with you that we Christians are often a lousy example of what God wants for people. We’re sinners plain and simple. And yes, there are many non-believers who are caring and loving as well. You seem very angry at God and I’m curious about what may have brought you to this place. As far as miracles … our family has been blessed with several miracles and we’ve also suffered some severe losses. Life can be very hard and yet, I believe it is God who has given us strength through it all. You may consider that a weakness. I believe it is a blessing. Thank you for taking the time to read my post and share your thoughts. I guess I would simply invite you to continue to ask yourself, “What if I’m wrong?”
God bless you! Your message has truly blessed me, I admire your thoughtful and kind responses. I find courage and hope and love in your words. I wouldn’t live my life any other way! Thank you for countingmyblessings!!!! You truly are a blessing Deb!
Thank you, Amanda! I am so very blessed by your kind encouragement. God bless you!
A great post, Deb. I might simply say that it depends on what you are wrong about. If the Bible simply isn’t true–if there’s no God, no Jesus, etc., then you are right on. But if Jesus really does exist and if He claimed to be God, then that’s a different horse altogether.
I might also add that Paul, when talking about the Resurrection, said that if the Resurrection is false, then that’s NOT okay. We are, in his words, to be most pitied of all men, because we held out hope for something that simply is not true (as opposed to having faith in something that is certain to come about).
I was challenged by an atheist on Twitter as well, and his question led me to write out my testimony.
I agree, Michael! Thanks for sharing your testimony and for leaving a link to it here. I agree, the resurrection of Jesus is the basis of everything we believe. He is the Way, Truth, and Life. Thanks again and God bless you!
I have very .such enjoy your posts,this latest one about the atheist who questioned your Christianity is a very sad angry person who isn’t loved by any psrson,and doesn’t know the love of Christ Jesus and God. This person am never know the wonderful peace and contentment that peoe who are saved have. All we can do is pray for them to come to Jesus.
But Deb, all back and forth aside, if I’m wrong about Jesus… I hear he’s very merciful. I’m sure a god of All Grace and All Love and All Forgiveness will see my heart, know my integrity, understand my objections and receive me as His own.
Mike, because He is grace and love He sent Jesus – who the Bible says is the only way for us to have a restored relationship with God. I guess it all rests on whether or not a person believes in Jesus resurrection. It seems the disciples believed as it changed them from fear-filled flee-ers at the crucifixion to bold apostles willing to die for their faith. Thanks for being willing to go back and forth today. I’ve been blessed by your respectfulness and questions. I understand where you are coming from and you sound like a very kind and caring person. Thanks again.
Thx for that Deb. I feel the same about your kindness to me.
Thank you for this message. I always questions about stories in the Bible. As I continue to search for the meaning of His words for my life the one thing I believe body, soul and spirit is that my Heavenly Father loves me. The Lord Jesus Christ is alive and He’s real!
Amen! And that is exactly where, I believe, the Lord wants us! That we would keep seeking Him, getting to know Him better, and growing in love for Him and others. God bless you! Thank you so much for your kind encouragement! God bless you!
Deb, your post made me cry, because this is the same position I take when I witness. I recently had an “adult discussion” with my self righteous sister who thinks I’m a fool for my salvation and my beliefs in Jesus Christ and God’s Holy Word and that I’m selfish for wanting to witness to my ailing Dad, just 1 more time. Why won’t you leave him alone? She yelled! God loves everybody, as she practices her mystical ways of worship. I simply said, what if I’m right and the Bible is true? The discussion didn’t end positively, but I’m sure both her and my Dad are convicted, which is why I feel so rejected by them. Thank you for your post! Bless you for your writing. I’m saving and sharing this. If you wouldnt mind saying a prayer for my family, I would be grateful!❤
Oh, Wendy, this has to be so hard for you! I’m sorry! I’m praying for God to encourage your hurting heart and that His Spirit will continue to work in your sister and father. I’m asking Him to put people around them that will point them to His truth. God bless you as you continue to shine for Him.
Goodness! This really hit the nail on the head and sparked the spiritual fires (or lack thereof) in many hearts! I love that you took what the enemy meant for harm – that original comment about you – and turned it for His Glory! And you make a great point: If we’re wrong (not that we are), I’m MUCH more joyful, hopeful, etc now than I ever was in darkness! Thank you, Deb. <3
Thank you, Jenn! I really appreciate your kind encouragement. It is my daily prayer to shine God’s light for His glory! Thank you and God bless you!
There is no better way to live than trusting Jesus and his promises. That is the truth. I loved what you wrote and the careful thought you put into both the main post and your comments, Deb.
I completely agree, Dawn! I can’t imagine trying to live my life without Him. Thanks so much for your kind encouragement. I so appreciate you! God bless you!
I have asked myself these questions & I wouldn’t change a thing either Deb & I know whom I have believed & am confident that He is the living triune Creator God, Jesus the Savior & Holy Spirit the Comforter!
All His promises are yes & Amen!
People always talk about the joy they felt when they first believed. For those of us who have always been Lutheran, and for certain others, we didn’t have that experience. We were generally baptized as infants and grew up as believers. This is a whole different experience.
Have a question where you wrote: Those questions are important… they’re just not the most important?
Ask question.Pray.Ask God to reveal the truth to you talk to people who have placed their trusting Jesus.Don’t quit you have answers
I haven’t found a church yet but I do go but once in a blue moon.
I need help with the faith and who can I talk to who have put their in God? I hope that makes sense.
So many are facing being shut in at home right now that connecting with people of faith has been more difficult lately. I have a couple of recommendations. I suggest you look into strong Bible teachers online. I like Pastor Kyle Idleman at Southeast Christian Church – https://www.southeastchristian.org/home. I also recommend my book – 52-WEEK DEVOTIONAL JOURNAL FOR WOMEN – you can get a copy at Amazon – https://amzn.to/2Jfu3nM
And know I will also be praying that you are able to find a group in your area that will encourage your faith and surround you with a community of believers. God bless you!
Wow!!! I love this because I have an autistic son unbeliver and I am so concerned about his soul!!! His life here is nothing but torment and he still doesn’t believe because of how he thinks. It’s extremely frustrating and heartbreaking, any suggestions beyond this post would be welcomed!!! I’ve looked for someone my age (54) or older to follow and I found YOU!!! I’m Debra, but spelling is insignificant to me and I’ve read all about Debora in the Bible!!! Thank you so much for your words of wisdom and I look forward to reading all your articles!!! You are such a blessing!!! God bless you and yours!!!
Welcome, Debra! I’m so very glad you found us here, too! I am praying for you and for your son. I don’t know if I have any suggestions other than faithfully praying and when you have opportunities sharing what the Lord is doing in and around you with him. I often pray that the Lord will put other people in the lives of my loved ones who will encourage them with His love. He is always working . . . even when we cannot see. God be with you and bless you!