Have you ever noticed that people are attracted to love and kindness? There is something about a smile or even just a look from someone who really cares. You can see it in their eyes and hear it in their voice. Even people who are “bad” appreciate kind, gentle people who care about them and who care about justice.
Jesus said, “And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.”
The truth is that when people know the real Jesus, they are attracted to Him like a moth is attracted to a light in a very dark room. Jesus is kind and gentle and is totally fair and just in His dealings with others. He is strong yet humble. He’s honest and caring. He wants to free us from the trap we are in (even if we are unaware of our own situation), but there is an evil enemy who wants to blind us and keep us trapped in this dark world, and so he tells everyone not to trust, or even go near Jesus because He’s the One that’s unkind and unfair. The enemy claims that Jesus is lying, and that Jesus doesn’t want to free us but only wants to make us His puppets, His slaves, His minions.
So, we have a huge problem. Jesus is telling everyone not to trust the devil, and the devil is telling everyone not to trust Jesus. Who can we believe? How do we know who to trust?
Here is what we do know:
- Jesus says that He created a perfect world and perfect people, but that our enemy has trapped us and polluted the world. Jesus also says that if we choose not to trust Him then we will remain in this dark, dirty, miserable world we are in and die, but if we choose to believe Him then He will heal our imperfections and attach us to Himself so that His light will shine through us too. Like Him, we will become an attractive light in this dark world that we live in. Jesus promises that someday He will take those who trust Him out of this trap the devil has put us in, heal us, wash us off and set us free. Jesus plans to give us a happy safe place to live by totally destroying the nasty trap we are currently living in and He plans to recreate this earth.
- The devil says that if we choose not to trust him then we are just stupid, ignorant fools. He says that we are in this trap because Jesus put us here Himself. The devil says that it’s Jesus who wants us to be blind and miserable, and that Jesus is an unjust, ruthless tyrant.
They can’t both be right! In fact, isn’t it possible that they BOTH are lying? How can we make an intelligent choice? If it was just the word of Jesus against the word of the devil then we could never really know if one or the other is telling the truth.
Take a look at this though, it’s totally amazing! We don’t have to blindly trust whomever we want because Jesus has given us 3 different ways that we can prove to ourselves who is telling the truth! He has told us how we can test and prove them because He does not expect us to follow either one of them without evidence! He has given us a logically profound, yet very simple test as to how we can check them both out. (By the way, the devil has nothing like this. You are just supposed to take his word for it.)
The Bible's book of Isaiah gives us a way for us to PROVE that God does exist and that His Word is all true. It’s true that God was talking about stone and wood gods at the time, but if this is the way for us to tell if something is a "god" then we can also use it to test for GOD as well. This test is not just Biblical, it’s very logical. Because it stands to reason we can know that it is a very valid test.
Here’s that test:
The KJV reads like this: "Let them [false gods] bring [them] forth, and show us what shall happen: let them show the former things, what they [be], that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come. Show the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye [are] gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold [it] together."
The NIV puts it this way: "Tell us, you idols [false gods], what is going to happen. Tell us what the former things were, so that we may consider them and know their final outcome. Or declare to us the things to come, tell us what the future holds, so we may know that you are gods. ..."
The NLT puts it this way: “Let them [false gods] try to tell us what happened long ago so that we may consider the evidence. Or let them tell us what the future holds, so we can know what’s going to happen. Yes, tell us what will occur in the days ahead. Then we will know you are gods."
The above verses show that there are actually two different tests. God wants us to know beyond any reasonable doubt who we can trust.
- Test #1: Being able read about what has happened in the past and then look at the evidence to see if it is true. (Every story about the past is a “time capsule”. Proving the story proves the truth of the Bible.)
- Test #2: Predicting the future. If the predictions have come true 100% of the time, then we have more evidence that God is real. (Every prophecy is a “time capsule”.)
We read that God suddenly created an abundance of life, and that later there was a worldwide flood that destroyed it all (except a few living things). These are just stories unless we can find evidence that they are true, so what evidence do we have that can tell us what’s true?
One partial answer:
- The fossil record shows that there was a sudden beginning of life.
- The fossil record shows that there had to have been a worldwide flood.
- The geological layers of the earth give us a great deal of evidence that Creation and the Flood stories are true.
- Our current oil and coal reserves tell us that at one time there was a huge amount of living things on this earth, but that it all came to a sudden end. These reserves prove to us that these deposits of living things were all washed into position by water.
- The fact that there is still abundant life on this earth supports the story of Noah, the ark, and the flood.
The Bible tells us ahead of time that very specific events will take place at very specific times. These predictions are called, “prophecy”.
A time capsule tells you what has already happened in the past, but if you have just received a prophecy then you are being told what will happen in the future. Right now, you and I live in the “future” and so these are time capsules for us too because we can read what was supposed to have happened, and then can actually see if it came true or not. (By the way, the Bible is full of these awesome time capsules consisting of stories and prophecies.)
Someone wrote these prophecies (predictions) down, put them in a bottle and buried them. Now, over 2,000 years later we have found them. They are called the Dead Sea Scrolls, and so we can look to see if what was predicted way back then actually happened. (These old brittle scrolls also prove that the Bible’s predictions and stories have not been changed in the last 2,000+ years just to support the Bible.)
Remember, if what was predicted actually happened then we know that the prediction was true, and the more detailed and complicated those predictions are the more evidenced and the more “proof” we have of its truthfulness.
The Bible tells us, “Do not scoff at prophecies, but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good.” (1 Thess. 5:20, 21 NLT)
It’s a simple yet profound test. Check out the prophecies!
“Do not scoff at prophecies, but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good.”
To get you started here is an example of what just 8 prophecies coming true by sheer chance looks like. (These 8 prophecies are specifically concerning Jesus, but they also tell us how much we can trust the whole Bible and that He is telling the truth.)
- The time of His birth (see Daniel 8 & 9).
- He would be born in Bethlehem. (Micah 5:2)
- He would be born of a virgin. (Isaiah 7:14)
- He would be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver. (Zechariah 11:12)
- He would be mocked. (Psalm 22:7,8)
- He would be crucified. (John 3:14)
- He would be pierced. (Psalms 22:16)
- He would die with the wicked, and yet He would be buried with the rich. (Isaiah 53:9)
Mathematics & Astronomy Professor Peter W. Stoner has made the statement that the chance of just 8 prophecies (like these) coming true by sheer chance is 1 in 10 to the 17 power (100,000,000,000,000,000).
Professor Stoner said that this be would be equivalent to covering the whole state of Texas (about 268,597 square miles or 695,663 square kilometers) with silver dollars two feet deep (60.96 cm) and then expecting a blindfolded man to walk across the state, and find the ONE and ONLY coin you marked on the very first try.
That’s only 8 prophecies. If we only used 48 of the 400+ prophecies about Jesus we would need to use the tiny portion of the atom called an electron because silver dollars are much to large. Still, the known universe wouldn’t be large enough to hold the evidence because even electrons are too large. (If we were going to count the electrons in a line one inch long (or 2.54 cm), counted 250 each minute, day and night, it would take us 19,000,000 years to count them.)
"To the extent, then, that we know this blindfolded man cannot pick out the marked electron, we know that the Bible is inspired. This is not merely evidence. It is proof of the Bible's inspiration by God--proof so definite that the universe is not large enough to hold the evidence…. Any man who rejects Christ as the Son of God is rejecting a fact proved perhaps more absolutely than any other fact in the world."
These are great tests, but what if you don’t have the time or don’t have the ability to follow through and dig into both of these tests? These first 2 tests take time, but God has given you Test #3 which everyone can do, and it’s fast.
Test #3 :
This last test is also very simple and extremely logical. It involves our money and our property. God says that He can make 9 pennies go further that you can make 10 pennies go, and He wants you to prove Him with this.
All He asks you to do is give Him $1 for every $10 that you get above and beyond what you already have, and let Him prove to you that He can make your $9 go WAY farther than your $10. In fact, He says that your $9 will go so far that you won’t be able to accept all of the blessings you will get from Him.
“Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!”
You can see how logical this simple test is, right? Who can make $9 go farther than $10 unless they are God? So put Jesus to the test. Give Him $1 from every $10 of increase that you get. (Give Him 10% of all your increase.) This simple test will allow you to see if Jesus is God, and allow you to see if He is telling the truth!
"God never asks us to believe, without giving sufficient evidence upon which to base our faith. His existence, His character, the truthfulness of His word, are all established by testimony that appeals to our reason; and this testimony is abundant. Yet God has never removed the possibility of doubt. Our faith must rest upon evidence, not demonstration. Those who wish to doubt will have opportunity; while those who really desire to know the truth will find plenty of evidence on which to rest their faith."
When you take an honest look around you, you can see the love of Jesus and see His justice (even when there is so much injustice around). You can hear His words telling you that He only wants your health and happiness, and He warns you that if you stay where you are you will die. Jesus tells you that He wants you to live.
Jesus has given you 3 ways to prove that He is telling the truth. Will you trust Him enough to ask Him to do whatever is needed in your life, even if you aren’t really wanting to change? (Jesus can even change your attitude if you will just give Him your OK.)
You can see and feel the sorrow and pain of sin. You can also hear the voice of the enemy telling you that you are at home in this pain filled world. You can hear your enemy telling you not to leave the “comfort zone” of your surroundings even though it’s filled with misery and death. You can see that the devil is a liar, so why would you trust him?
Jesus has proven that HE is telling the truth, so trust HIM! He has promised you true freedom, and a life of painless happiness! He is offering you that kind of life, and it’s never going to end. Just don’t forget that the devil won’t stop telling you lies and trying to trip you up.
“Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.”
“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”
Christianity is a logical faith. It’s not blind. You don't commit intellectual suicide when you believe the Bible and trust Jesus, but if you DON’T believe the Bible, you are actually committing literal suicide because you are killing yourself by choosing death.
Check it out! Test Him with 1, 2, or with all 3 ways. Do it for yourself and those you love, then choose LIFE by choosing JESUS!
(Do it right away before the devil can trick you into believing that he is not lying.)