HOW STUPID DO YOU HAVE TO BE TO BELIEVE IN GOD?
“We are fools for Christ’s sake…” l Corinthians 4:10
“You can always tell a Christian by the night cap on their head. By the fact that they can’t think straight and that they still hang on to the antiquated’ naive acceptance of the Bible.” – at least that is what a lot of people think today.
If that is the case, then it is amazing that after atheism and materialism have dominated our cultures for decades, we are now seeing the start of a new era in which religion, the occult and the esoteric are finding an increased number of excited supporters. Educated people are suddenly willing to put away rational thinking, switch off their brains and open up to ideas and practices which, just a few years ago, would have been assigned to the darkest Middle Ages* Worldwide enthusiasm for the Harry Potter books is just one indication of this.
It now appears that the idea that we humans are “products of chance’ and that there is “no life after death” has left us with too many unanswered questions. More and more spiritual influences, movements and emotions have begun to affect an ever-increasing section of society everywhere.
We might have thought that, at a time when we are particularly open-minded as to religious and spiritual things, that more and more people would start believing in Jesus Christ. But that is not the case. Even though the Bible is still the most published and widely spread book in the world, relatively few people actually read it or take it seriously.
Although the greatest percentage of religious people profess to be Christians, the number of those who really trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour and live their lives accordingly, is still relatively small.
WHAT IS THE REASON FOR THIS?
Unlike all the world religions, the Bible does not appeal to human pride. It tells us the truth about ourselves. And we do not find anything about us being good “deep down inside.” The meaning of this is that all we need to do is to work on “improving ourselves.” There is no mention in the Bible of an “inner divine light” which can be developed through special exercises or meditation.
God’s judgment on humanity is clear and devastating to many. The Bible states clearly that we are absolutely and hopelessly evil, depraved and lost. The mask of much humanitarianism only serves to cover the human pride of our egoistical, ungodly human nature. Humanity would never dream of following the first and greatest commandment which God gave, i.e. “Love God with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your soul and with all your might.”
The well-known Danish poet and philosopher Soren Kierkegaard once summed it up quite succinctly:
“There is something which you do not know, but which you have to be told and which you must believe. You were conceived in sin and born in iniquity. From birth, you were a sinner in the power of the devil. If you remain in this state, you will surely go to hell. But God in His endless love, did something to save you. He let his Son be born, suffer and die. If you believe that, then you will be forever blessed. This is what is being preached to you, this good news!”
So, in the first place, this “good news” is a shocking, devastating condemnation of the code by which we live. The Bible shows us who God is and what God has done to pardon us and set us free. And if we are prepared to listen to this message, and to believe God and His Word, we will then experience an incredible change in our lives of a new birth taking place.
THE STORY OF A BABYLONIAN KING
The classic example of this can be seen in a world ruler who lived six centuries before the birth of Christ. He resided in the great city of Babylon with its impregnable. His name was Nebuchadnezzar.
This mighty king was on the roof of his palace one day, proudly looking down over the wonderful things that he had built. He was so taken with his own greatness that he called out:
“Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power; and for the honour of my majesty?” Daniel 4:30
He had barely finished speaking, when he suddenly lost his mind. As a result, the people drove him out and he lived like a wild animal. This state of mental confusion lasted seven years until, as Nebuchadnezzar himself said:
“At the end of the days, I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured Him that liveth forever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom is from generation to generation. ” Daniel 4:34
At the very moment that this previously powerful ruler, but now a mad man living like an animal, lifted his eyes to heaven, realizing that he had a Creator; as he humbled himself, giving God the glory, he then regained his sanity!
This incredible historic account shows that whenever a person makes themselves the measuring stick by which all else is to be judged and by, choosing to ignore their Creator, they actually begin to lose their minds. They soon degrade themselves to the level of the natural animal. They begin to believe the most obscure and wrong theories to be true.
But when a person lifts their eyes to God, realizing that they are dependant on Him, no matter how hopeless and helpless their situation is, they then come to their senses and reason returns to their thinking and to their lives.
FAITH IN GOD Is Sanctified Common Sense
C.H. Spurgeon, a most famous preacher of the 19th century, once defined Biblical faith as follows:
“Faith in God is sanctified common sense…Faith means making God the greatest consideration in making a decision.”
Is it not easier to believe that the complicated and carefully structured creation, in small things as well as the whole, was planned and created by an ingenious, unimaginable Creator, rather than to believe in the “gods” of evolution, chance and whatever else we may call them?
Is it not better to conclude that there is a Creator, and that all human ideas about God are nonsense?
We shall never be able to fully comprehend God. But we should believe and rely on Him and the revelation of Himself to us by Jesus Christ descending into our situation, into our world to die and put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.
God has revealed Himself to us in Jesus Christ His Son, in Whom He has shown us His love, holiness and justice. Nowhere do we see this clearer than when the Son of God was put to death. When He was nailed to the cross by people full of hate, there God Himself gave the death sentence over His Son and actually carried it out! This happened because, at the cross, Jesus not only experienced human hate, but in love, He also took upon Himself the just anger of God about our ungodliness and sin and paid the price for our redemption.
In the Bible we find Gods answers to the questions “Why?” “Where did we come from?” “Where are we going?” There in God’s Word, we find that this short life on earth does not end with death but continues on for the believer to the glory of the presence of God or for the sinner, into eternal condemnation. Our fate after death is dependent upon whether we accept Jesus Christ as Lord of our lives by putting them under His control.
It is time to start thinking about life and death, about how transitory our lives are and about eternity. It is especially time to give thought to God and to the Bible, His “Testament” which the Creator gave to the human race. God promises that whoever truly seeks Him will find Him. Then the dance on the edge of the precipice will be turned into a safe path, which leads to God.
Written: Wolfgang Buhne
Acknowledgement: © CLV – CHRISTLICHE LITERATUR Verbreiting, Germany
Postfach 11 01 35 • D-33661 Bielefeld
Photo by M.E. Head
“The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good. ” Psalm 53:1
“He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered. ” Proverbs 28:26