Part one- the creator God
Have you looked around at the country we live in? It is a mess. As a culture we no longer have a base of morality. By dismissing truth as subjective we now accept any view that satisfies personal preference. Instead of believing in a sovereign God we have made a plethora of lesser gods to follow. To believe in a creator God is criticized while believing in nothing or random chance is considered fact. As a nation we have been deceived for so long that it is feels normal to follow anti-theist thinking. As a result a creator has been replaced by evolution and chance, we no longer have a standard for moral behavior, marriage has been reduced to a legal entity, and due to poor stewardship our country is so far in debt that financial collapse is nearly inevitable. I believe we can become a true nation under God if we turn to the belief of one true God. To follow that belief would lead us to accept truths found in scripture.
Ask yourself the question what if God created the heavens and earth as the Bible states? The scriptures start with Genesis 1:1 in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. It is stated as a fact that we were created. The indication is God created all things starting with nothing. This is the first great mystery of the bible. It is by faith that one must accept the belief in creation. The same holds true for any belief in the beginning of existence. For instance, to say that everything began from a cataclysmic event does not answer the question of where did the elements originate. To argue that chemicals were always there is no more definitive than a self-existent God. At least with a creator we have a beginning point.
Genesis 1:3-25 gives an orderly account of creation. God could have chosen to create this planet we call earth like a self-sustaining terrarium without the need for celestial entities. Imagine life without a sun, moon, or stars. The ability to mark the passage of time would be compromised. Genesis 1:14 Then God said, “Let lights appear in the sky to separate the day from the night. Let them be signs to mark the seasons, days, and years.” God gave us an incredible clock in the form of a vast array of planets and stars. We can look at the night stars and give glory to God or continue to believe random chance caused all that to be formed. However, to have been created would mean having a creator. Having a creator would mean He knows the intended purpose and function for all things and that would require an accountability to the creator. Is the desire to not be personally accountable at the root of disbelief? Maybe what people struggle with is what is not seen. For example the Bible talks of angels, demons, a kingdom in heaven, and a place of eternal punishment called hell. Is it plausible that we were created but left to our own intellect to decide what is moral or immoral?
Personal accountability would mean that there are consequences for disobedience to God. People were created to be in close relationship with a loving God. Further more we were created with an eternal soul, meaning our soul continues on after our body dies. To disobey or go against the will of God is called sin. The first sin is documented in Genesis 3 when Eve and Adam ate of the forbidden fruit. The consequence for sin was clearly stated as death (physical) and separation from God. Most people have a sense of this deep within themselves and as a result we do things as an attempt to reconnect with God on our own terms. This is why people give to charities, or volunteer in the community, or try to comfort others in need. Sometimes this innate desire to reconnect with God can lead to false religious belief. Even the “good things” we try fall short as payment for sin.
The atonement for sin was that blood had to be shed. God sacrificed animals in order to clothe Adam and Eve and that is where the system of sacrifice began. For many centuries animals were killed as a sacrifice for sin. The problem was that it had to be repeated continuously because an animal was an imperfect sacrifice. As an act of love unparalleled by anything else in all of creation God sent his Son Jesus to die on a cross for our sin. Jesus lived on earth as a man, committed no sin, but was sacrificed for payment of our sin. Unlike any animal that had been killed for atonement, Jesus Christ arose from the dead. The only requirement to be forgiven of sin is to believe in Jesus and turn from sin. By making the decision to fully believe in Jesus and ask for your sins to be forgiven is the only way to be reconnected with God. The decision to not believe will result in eternal separation from God with your soul lost forever in a place called hell.
If one were to consider the possibility of a creator God and a resurrected savior, other beliefs would be challenged. Therein lies a great obstacle to accepting the gospel message. To truly embrace the gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ will challenge the thinking many have accepted as truth. To accept Christ may mean to reject long-held ideas about morality, mortality, and life style.
Rev. Burt Schwab