Until I was sixteen years old, I was a church-goer but not a believer. My dad stayed home Sunday mornings, but my mom rousted us boys out of bed and “dragged” us off to church.
I sang words that I didn’t believe in the junior choir and went through the motions of being confirmed and immersed to join the church. The pastor asked me, “Do you believe in Jesus as your Savior?” I said “yes” but didn’t. I merely followed the twelve-year-old “herd.”
When I was sixteen years old, we changed churches. Suddenly, the new preacher preached about the mysterious God of the Bible, who was three Persons in one God. He talked about Jesus as both God and man, who died a criminal’s death to give believers life that will last forever. He said that Jesus rose from the dead three days later.
My curiosity was aroused. Therefore, I investigated the Bible to get evidence since I had a scientific mind.
- I found out that many predictions written hundreds of years before Jesus was born came true in his life that was reported in the New Testament.
- I was impressed with Jesus’ many miracles reported by eyewitnesses.
- I discovered that the Jewish people of Jesus’ time, including his followers, fully expected that God would send their Messiah to kick the Roman-occupiers out of the land. They thought he would then rule their country as their earthly king.
- I learned that the Pharisees and the priests had added many of their own rules to the Old Testament laws to control the people’s conduct.
- When Jesus came, he challenged the established order so that the people’s ideas about him were divided. A few believed in him, while a majority went along with the religious establishment in eventually rejecting him by consenting to his death.
- Jesus’ followers became depressed and discouraged when he died on the Roman torture tree, an event that they saw with their own eyes. Their hopes were dashed.
- Three days later, their lives changed to ecstatic joy and courage when they proclaimed that they saw him alive from the dead. They kept their story in spite of persecution from the Jews, Greeks, and Romans. You can’t get better witnesses of history than those who are willing to suffer and die for their testimonies. Thus, God enabled me believe in him.
For these reasons, I believe that God “talked” me into finally believing in Jesus as my Rescuer, the 3-in-1 God as the only true God, and the Bible as God’s primary way of revealing himself to humanity. What do you believe? How do you respond to my beliefs?