OUT OF THE BLACK HOLE
"'In the generations before us, God let all the different nations go their own way. But even then He didn't leave them without a clue, for He made a good creation, poured down rain and gave bumper crops. When your bellies were full and your hearts happy, there was evidence of good beyond your doing.' Talking fast and hard like that, they prevented them from carrying out the sacrifice that would have honoured them as gods -- but just barely." Acts 14:16-18 (The Message).
Strange what humans can come up with when they deny and let go of the truth! When superstition takes the place of reality, reason and common sense go out of the window. Gods becoming men has no foundation in fact and no evidence to prove that it could or did happen. Why? Because gods do not exist. They are the fruit of perverted human imagination.
But what about Jesus? Wasn't He God come to earth as a man? A thousand times, yes! So what's the difference? The difference is, firstly, that God exists. We have the evidence of creation, its design and unity, and the goodness and blessing we receive from it, not as concrete proof but as evidence of a Being of supreme goodness, power and wisdom who exists and who created the universe.
Secondly, we have the evidence of prophecy. God's entire plan was laid out in detail centuries before it happened. If God prompted men to write about it accurately in advance, He must exist. How else can anyone explain prophecy?
Thirdly, we have the resurrection. The greatest legal minds have worked hard to disprove the resurrection but the evidence is overwhelming. Jesus died on a Roman execution stake and three days later He walked out of the tomb. He appeared to over five hundred people in a body that could be touched, that could eat and yet was able to do more than our mortal bodies can do.
Fourthly, how can we explain the church if there were no God, no Jesus and no Holy Spirit? Without the supernatural power of God at work in people, convincing them of the truth and changing their lives, no one would have bought the apostles' story. It was too far-fetched if it were not true and too dangerous to embrace a fantasy that could cost them their lives in a hostile world.
Fifthly, what about the Bible? Both internal and external evidence points to a unique book which cannot be explained apart from God. It was written over a period of 2000 years by more than 40 different authors from many walks of life and yet it is a comprehensive story and presents a unified picture of a God whom human imagination could never invent.
There is one factor that is missing in most of the people who hear the apostle's message -- faith -- not a leap-in-the-dark kind of faith but a rational acceptance of the evidence and a step towards God to which He immediately responds.
"By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what is visible....And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him." Hebrews 11:3, 6 (NIV).
What is it that prevents people from accepting the overwhelming evidence of a God who is both powerful and loving and passionately desires a relationship with His human creation? It's that stubborn independence woven into our nature through Adam's choice that refuses to come under His authority and live His way.
But when we do, we find, to our absolute amazement and delight, that life makes sense, has meaning and purpose and is filled with joy and peace that makes no sense and has no explanation outside of God. It's like stepping out of a black hole into the glorious light of the midday sun.
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