Different worldviews in comparison
There must be thousands of different worldviews, as there are millions of people. Everyone has their own view of the world, which is comprised of presumptions that might be true, partially true, or completely wrong. These presumptions affect the way we see and interpret the world. Its effects usually extend to our way of life and our behavior. We act according to the views and beliefs that we have adopted.
We can get a good sense of how different worldviews can be from the Acts. In it there are two groups present, the Pharisees and the Sadducees, whose understanding of the fundamentals of life were complete opposites. The Sadducees were like today’s naturalists and atheists. They denied the resurrection and the existence of spirit and angels. The Pharisees had a completely opposite view. Paul was in the middle of these two opposing groups:
- (Acts 23:6-11) But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brothers, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.
7 And when he had so said, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees: and the multitude was divided.
8 For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both.
9 And there arose a great cry: and the scribes that were of the Pharisees’ part arose, and strove, saying, We find no evil in this man: but if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him, let us not fight against God.
10 And when there arose a great dissension, the chief captain, fearing lest Paul should have been pulled in pieces of them, commanded the soldiers to go down, and to take him by force from among them, and to bring him into the castle.
11 And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as you have testified of me in Jerusalem, so must you bear witness also at Rome.
The purpose of this text is to go over some of the most common worldviews and to comment on them. We will look into, for example, the beginning of the universe and life, God, humans and life after death. But first, we’ll discuss the belief aspect of different worldviews, and whether they can all be simultaneously true.
FAITH AND WORLDVIEWS. Firstly, it is important to note that faith and belief are a part of every view of the world. In some ways everyone believes in something, but the object of belief might be different. What people believe in makes them a Christian, atheist, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, or a communist. There isn’t a person who wouldn’t believe in something. For example, in Christianity people believe in Jesus Christ and that God created the world. These are thing we need to have faith for:
- (Acts 16:30,31) And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved, and your house.
- (Hebr 11:3) Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
Those, who possess a naturalistic and atheistic worldview, might often claim that they’re view does not require faith. They might say that their views are purely scientific and that it has nothing to do with belief. However, they are wrong about that, because there are numerous things in their view that cannot be scientifically proven. For example, they have to rely on faith on the following things:
• Faith that matter is all there is and that there is no God. It is impossible to confirm this. Even though naturalists and atheists don’t have personal experiences with God, it doesn’t prove His non-existence. God might be a part of an area that they know nothing of.
• Believing that the world came about by itself is something that cannot be scientifically researched. That is, because there is no way of bringing the past back to life. It is purely a matter of faith, similarly, to having faith in creation.
• The idea that life began by itself is also based on faith. This cannot be proven afterwards.
ALL WORLDVIEWS CANNOT SIMULTANEOUSLY BE TRUE. Another thing we should take a note of, is that different views of the world are contradictory to each other, hence they cannot be accurate at the same time. Our earlier example discussed the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and their opposing views. The first group believed in the resurrection, angles and the spirit, but the latter didn’t. It is crystal clear that these two opposing views cannot be accurate at the same time.
The same goes for other common worldviews. Some think that it doesn’t matter what one believes in and that all beliefs are equal. They claim that, for example, the differences between Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam mean nothing and that they all believe in the same God. They think that the most important thing is to be sincere in what you believe in.
This assumption is plagued by discrepancy, however. That is, because these views oppose each other, it is logically impossible that they would all be true. Conflict can be seen in the following aspect, for example. We are forced to abandon either logic or the fundamentals of different worldviews if we claim them all to be true simultaneously:
• If atheism and naturalism are true, then all religions are wrong. It is not possible that God is and isn’t at the same time.
• God cannot simultaneously have a personality and be without it.
• If God created the world and exists outside His creation (theism), He cannot also be the world, as presupposed in pantheism.
• Buddhism and Confucianism say that there is no God (later on, Buddhism considered Buddha to be divine), but for example Islam, Judaism and Christianity teach that there is one God. These views cannot be valid at the same time. On the other hand, if there is no God – as, for example, the Buddhists believe – how can it be taught that all roads lead to the same God?
• The understanding of life after death varies. Buddhism and other religions believe in heaven and hell, while the Hindus do not believe in them. These are opposites, and it is impossible that they both exist and do not exist at the same time.
• Reincarnation (Hinduism, Buddhism) and non-reincarnation (Islam, Judaism, Christianity, etc.) cannot both be true.
RESPECT. The third thing you should consider is absolute truths and claims. Some might claim that it is rude consider only one way and faith as the right one. Is it narrow-minded to say that only one belief is the right one, and will saying it only cause disputes, chaos and obstruct world peace? For these reasons some have been led to the following conclusions:
• They might claim that there is no absolute truth. For example, skeptics and atheists support this option.
• Some people believe that all paths and religions lead to the same final destination, regardless of what they believe in.
How rational are these two conclusions? It certainly is true that different religions and beliefs can be the cause of conflicts. If you don’t think this is true, you only need to look at different Internet forums, where people argue over all sorts of things. If everyone agreed with each other, there would not be discussions and debates, but that is not the kind of world we live in. These discussions exist, because people have different views regarding politics, religion, economics, and other topics. Everyone thinks that they have got it right.
When it comes to the two former claims (1. There is no absolute truth, 2. All paths and religions lead to the same final destination, regardless of what people believe in), we can argue them with the following statements:
• When people say that there is no absolute truth, their claim is, in fact, absolute and religious. Atheists and skeptics might still support the claim. However, saying that an absolute truth doesn’t exist, is also supporting an absolute truth, which is that there is no absolute truth. This kind of claim entails an inner conflict. It contradicts itself.
Furthermore, claiming there is no absolute truth also requires one crucial thing for the claimer to have: They must know one hundred percent of the truth. They must fully know that there is no absolute truth regarding, e.g., God and eternity.
Are they able to obtain one hundred percent of all the information? Do people know everything about God’s existence and eternity and that their view is the correct one? But isn’t is so that no one holds all the information in the world? But when people assume that others are wrong, they cannot prove that their claims are correct. It is impossible, because their knowledge is as incomplete as everyone else’s.
• What about the idea that all paths and religions lead to the same ending? Many might consider this view as open-minded and tolerant. The idea that there is only one path, however, is considered narrow-minded.
In reality, these people are supporters of one world religion, which is Hinduism. That is what they support, as Hindus think exactly like this. One of their holy books (Bhagavad Gita IV:11) states the following:
Oh Paartha, no matter how the people approach me, I will receive them; whatever way they use, it is also my way.
Are Hindus accepting towards people who think differently? Not always, because if someone decided to become a Muslim or a Christian, Hindus often think critically of this or even persecute the ones, who abandon Hinduism. Hostile encounters between Muslims and Hindus have also become common. This shows that Hindus and supporters of one way can be just as narrow-minded as other people.
• In the previous chapter we began discussing how worldviews can have different absolute claims. They don’t only exist in religions, but also extend to other forms of worldviews (communism, etc.) They could be the cause of conflicts and division in the world.
How should we approach this matter? Some believe that we should all agree on everything, which would erase all conflicts, but that is a utopian aspiration. We could never reach it, because people will always think differently, and because we will always have our own views of the world. This should be acknowledged as a fact.
What does the New Testament teach about this? It says that we should acknowledge people’s different opinions, but also respect them. Jesus went as far as urging people to love their enemies. If we would truly follow this principle, it wouldn’t erase differences in opinions, but it would make us value our neighbors and it would lessen conflicts within our society. Many people today in Western countries speak for acceptance, and this would be the best solution for it. The problem is that many of us are unwilling to follow this advice:
- (1 Peter 2:17) Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.
- (Matt 5:43-46) You have heard that it has been said, You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.
44 But I say to you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which spitefully use you, and persecute you;
45 That you may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
46 For if you love them which love you, what reward have you? do not even the publicans the same?
DIFFERENT WORLDVIEWS IN COMPARISON
In the beginning we talked about how there are many different views of the world, and how each one of them is comprised of assumptions, which may be true, partially true, or completely wrong. They cannot all be simultaneously correct, even though, every person usually thinks that their way of seeing the world is the best and most logical.
Naturalism is a worldview that doesn’t recognize supernatural influence on the universe. That is why it is claimed there is no God. Matter is all there is.
How do naturalists go on to explain the beginning of the world? Currently, the common theory is that everything began by itself from nothingness. This is believed to have happened in the Big Bang.
That is, however, where the naturalistic theory falls short. There has never been a single piece of evidence to prove that something could appear from nothing. It is against all laws of physics and practical evidence. If the universe did appear from nothing by itself, why aren’t we witnessing the same with other objects, like cars, bikes and stones? Why would the universe be an exception?
We could compare the rationality of naturalism to someone taking a matchbox (which is much larger in space than the space in Big Bang that is said to have generated the universe) and claiming that all kinds of large and complex things could come out of it, such as: an elephant and the grass it eats, fast cheetahs, roaring lions, birds that can fly and sing, mosquitoes that the birds can eat, fish and the oceans, beautiful scented flowers and tall trees, billions of galaxies, stars and planets, the Sun that gives us warmth and light, humans that are able to talk, feel; cry, laugh, get angry, be afraid, mourn, be affectionate and fall in love; and also tasty strawberries, bananas, blueberries, peas, grapes and nuts. You are not far off if you think this naturalistic view might not be the most plausible one.
What about the beginning of life? It holds a similar problem as the former theory. The more we have researched the matter, the more difficult it has become to understand. Naturalistic theory gives dead matter supernatural qualities that it doesn’t have. If life beginning by itself was possible, it would have been solved already. Naturalism believes in miracles without anyone making those miracles, which isn’t very logical.
Pantheism is a worldview that can be summarized into the following: God (or in Hinduism Brahman) is the same as the universe, which is everything around us. This view believes in the divinity of everything in a way that plants, animals, the nature, and mankind are all a part of one and the same divine essence.
This view reminds me a lot of the previously discussed naturalistic view in the sense that the cosmos is everything that there is. The only difference is that Pantheism believes that the cosmos is divine, but the naturalistic view doesn’t agree with this.
Where does Pantheism fall short? It is the same as in the naturalistic theory: it cannot explain the beginning of the universe and life.
Hinduism admits that in the beginning there was no life and no universe. But they claim that Braham, which is the cosmos, created itself from nothing. This holds a similar notion as presumed in the naturalistic theory:
At that stage there was neither life nor lifelessness, no extensive spaces of air nor extensive abodes of heaven behind them. Were there waters, the bottomless depths of the oceans? Who knows, who can now declare from what stage creation followed: He, the cause of existence, whose eye supervises everything, he alone knows it, or perhaps not even he knows! (Rigveda).
Before the world was born, Brahman existed as a non-manifested non-being. From this invisible he let visible things flow forth. From himself he created himself. (Taittira-upanishad).
A good question to ask is, how can the fact that Brahman created himself from nothing be explained? The text above explains that in the beginning there was nothing, only emptiness; so what caused Brahman and the creation appear from this emptiness and how did he create himself?
In order for someone to cause his or her own existence, there must first be something. There must be something that brings about existence; so there must be a cause and a consequence. But something existing before its existence is simply impossible! It goes against the laws of logic because the existence and non-existence of something can never be simultaneously valid. It is impossible, just as if a book simultaneously existed and not existed. A man cannot be simultaneously asleep and awake, a bird cannot be simultaneously flying and standing on the ground.
Rabi Maharaj, who also used to believe in Pantheism, refers to the beginning -dilemma in his book “The Death of a Guru”. He says that the pantheistic view is contradictory, because Brahman’s emergence from nothing is difficult to account for, and because it also contradicts Hindus’ own writings:
I had always clearly understood that God had always existed and that He had created all. However, the books of Veda taught that there had been a time when there was nothing and that Brahman had come from nothing. Gosine could not fit this together with a sentence of Krishna that is in the Gita: "That which is not can never become." This remained a mystery.
Polytheism, which is the existence of many gods, could possibly solve the issue of our world and life existing. There is, however, one condition: these gods, or at least one of them, should be mighty and powerful enough to create the whole universe. No “little god” could have done it, that is we can’t create heavenly bodies, although we have intelligence.
When it comes to polytheism, Greek mythologies consist of many gods, for example. However, these gods were only slightly above humans, which means we couldn’t expect much from them. These days similar notions of gods that the Greeks had are rare.
Another form of polytheism is idols, which have been present throughout different centuries. They have usually been man-made objects, and we can see from the following passages how senseless it has been to rely on them. Man-made objects cannot explain the beginning of the universe and life. The same goes for naturalism and Pantheism:
- (Ps 115:3-8) But our God is in the heavens: he has done whatever he has pleased.
4 Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands.
5 They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not:
6 They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not:
7 They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat.
8 They that make them are like to them; so is every one that trusts in them.
- (Jer 10:3-5) For the customs of the people are vain: for one cuts a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the ax.
4 They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.
5 They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.
Theism. The most logical answer to the existence of universe and life would be that an almighty God created them. Because we know that the universe and life, alike, have a beginning, the only reasonable explanation would be creation. He exists outside the cosmos that He made, like a painter who exists outside his paintings. We can also account for the complexity and beauty we see in the nature with a personal God’s creation. No impersonal being or energy couldn’t have accomplished anything similar. The Bible mentions creation many times:
- (Gen 1:1) In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
- (Isaiah 66:1,2) Thus said the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that you build to me? and where is the place of my rest?
2 For all those things has my hand made, and all those things have been, said the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembles at my word.
- (Rev 4:11) You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for you have created all things, and for your pleasure they are and were created.
- (Rev 10:5,6) And the angel which I saw stand on the sea and on the earth lifted up his hand to heaven,
6 And swore by him that lives for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer
- (Rev 14:7) Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
- (Mark 13:19) For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created to this time, neither shall be.
STUDYING THE NATURE AND HUMANS. One method of understanding which worldview would be the most rational and compatible with how the world works, would be to study nature and humans. Based on our findings we can to some extent conclude whether matter is all there is, or whether there is an impersonal or personal God behind everything. Anyone can draw their own conclusions by looking at the world around us.
What can we understand from the nature and humans? One thing we’ll notice is intelligence. For example, the SETI -project is based on finding the kind of intelligence in space that we have here on earth. Their assumption is that intelligent life might be present elsewhere in the universe. Archeologists also look for signs of intelligence in the past by digging the ground. They are not interested in regular rocks, but the kinds that have writings on them. Similarly, they might look for objects that carry signs of careful design. All this shows the presence of intelligence on our planet.
What about our surrounding nature? We can detect signs of design and intelligent structures also in the nature. Complex and exquisite structures seem like they were designed for a specific purpose. Those, who deny these intelligent structures and apparent designs in the nature, often struggle to make a case for themselves. This becomes clear from the statements of distinguished naturalists and evolutionists:
Darwin: Another premise to believe in God that relates to reason and not to feelings, seems more cogent. You see, it is extremely difficult or rather impossible to imagine that this enormous and wondrous universe, including humans, who can look far back into the past and far into the future, had come into existence by pure accident or without any intermediation. While wondering this, I feel as if I must look for a First Reason, which had an intelligent mind, somehow comparable to human mind, and thus I can be called a theist. (1)
Francis Crick: Biologists must constantly keep in mind that, what they are seeing is not designed, but the result of evolution. (2)
Richard Dawkins: Leaf eating giraffe, soaring albatross, swooping sparrow, circling hawk, leafy seadragon invisible in the midst of seaweed, cheetah speeding up to its maximum speed after a turn, hopping gazelle – the illusion of design is intuitively so strong that one must truly strive to think critically and to overcome the temptations of naive intuition. (3)
What can we deduce from intelligence and signs of design? The best place to start is perhaps theism and creation by a personal God. That is, non-intelligent matter cannot produce intelligent beings (a materialist worldview) and plan delicate designs, and neither can an impersonal god achieve that (a Pantheistic worldview). Only someone, who has a personality can create such things. This requirement is fulfilled in the theistic worldview.
The qualities that we humans have also attest for the existence a personal God. If man was created in the image of a personal God (Gen 1:27: So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.), it would well explain the existence of our qualities. It is difficult to account for them from any other perspective. Such qualities are, e.g., feelings, thoughts, our artistic nature, and sense of morality:
Feelings. If only matter is real, as presumed in the naturalistic worldview, it becomes utterly difficult to explain why feelings exist (joy, sorrow, hope, fear, love, delight, anger, humor and laughter, sexual drive…). An impersonal god is as weak of an explanation to account for feelings, because an impersonal god or power cannot have any feelings. Thus, the reason for the existence of feelings would be theism, which believes that there is a personal God. From any other point of view, it is very difficult to rationally explain why feelings exist.
Thoughts. If we assume that the naturalistic view is accurate, in that case, there shouldn’t exists anything else but matter. However, there are immaterial things, like feelings and thoughts. Where did they come from, if in the beginning there was only matter?
Yet again, we can best explain these things with a personal God, who gave us the ability to think and feel. Sheer matter cannot cause these things to exist, and neither can an impersonal god.
Our artistic nature and sense of beauty are qualities, especially, related to humans and they also work as an indicator towards the existence of a personal God. Why is there poetry, literature, music, art and mathematical talent? Or why do people possess such a sense of beauty that makes them hang beautiful paintings on their walls or photograph nature and look at the pictures? If these things aren’t a reflection of the creation by a personal God, then where did we get these qualities? It is difficult to imagine how a rock, or any other non-living substance would suddenly develop a sense of beauty, begin to like music, and start writing stories. It is difficult to find answers to the origin of these qualities from a naturalistic perspective or explain them with an impersonal god. It is more rational to think that we have gained these qualities in creation, and that is why we are capable of so many special things.
The fact that moral exists also points towards a personal God. If we originated from sheer matter, we probably wouldn’t make any distinction between different acts and behaviors. Sheer matter cannot produce moral and sense of right and wrong. How could a rock, dirt or any gas influence anyone into feeling guilty of their actions (a father who has neglected his children due to drinking and wants to make up for it), feeling bitter for other’s actions (“he stole from me, lied about me, insulted me”), or making a distinction between different actions? These things must have a better explanation than sheer matter being behind them. Theism would be the most adequate answer, that is the existence of a personal God.
GOD BELIEF TRHOUGHOUT TIMES AND IN CHILDREN
- (Gen 1:27) So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
- (Gen 4:26) And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call on the name of the LORD.
- (Ec 3:11) He has made every thing beautiful in his time: also he has set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God makes from the beginning to the end.
If the naturalistic worldview was accurate and everything began in the Big Bang, the existence of feelings, intelligence, speech, morality, sense of art and beauty would be unlikely. It would be quite unbelievable if they all would have emerged from a Big Bang -like initial state. This is what we discussed in the previous chapters.
Another tricky aspect from the naturalistic point of view is people’s religiousness. Where could this phenomenon originate, because animals don’t possess any religious understanding, yearning for eternity, sense of responsibility to God, and they don’t pray. How could that be if all current species derive from the same original cell? Perhaps, because people were originally created in God’s image and to have a connection with Him, as the Bible tells us. The following quotations will further explain. It’s about animals not displaying religiousness. In the end we’ll learn how Livingstone came across the realization that even the most secluded tribes in Africa understood the existence of God and afterlife.
…Beneath man is the animal kingdom. No matter how much evolutionists talk about the “animalistic origin of man”, the truth still remains that there is an unbridgeable gap between the lowest human form and the most developed ape. Scientists have taught chimpanzees and other apes. They have learnt commanded behaviors. They sit at the table, use knife and fork correctly, eat almost like humans, smoke pipes and cigarettes. But could you ever teach this creature to kneel and worship something that is above it? Has the smartest of chimpanzees ever displayed the slightest of interest to serve an object? Has it ever thought about turning its ancestors into gods and then worshiping them? Have any scientists ever observed chimpanzees or gorillas praising something by raising their hands to the Sun? Absolutely not. And why not? Because animals don’t possess any religious understanding or ability, that is they don’t know anything about religion. The absolute truth still remains that religious and ethical phenomena within mankind separate humans from animals.
…Dr Livingstone also stated: ”It is often unnecessary to tell the most secluded tribes in South Africa about the existence of God or the afterlife, because they seem to already acknowledge these facts.” (4)
We can also look at this from the perspective of early human history and children’s God belief. Both will reveal a concept of one great God, who has created everything. That is why we will investigate them in more detail.
Early human history and theism, the notion of an almighty God. Naturalists’ and evolutionists’ understanding of our early history is based on the idea that humans developed from ape-like creatures. It is estimated that the process took around a few million years. However, this idea is easily refuted on the basis of the following points:
• Evolution theory presumes that ape-like human ancestors existed on the planet before the appearance of modern humans. This gets debunked by the fact that fossils of modern humans have been found from older layers or the same layers as their ancestors’ fossils. This fact remains, even if we use the dating system used by evolutionists. For example, Marvin L. Lubenow’s book Bones of Contention discusses the matter and how dating systems set by evolutionists themselves refute the presumed development. The book includes a summary of hundreds of discoveries.
• For measuring (usually by the calcium/argon method) fossil dating often uses rocks, which can be found near the fossils. These methods can be unreliable, however. The following example, where aggregate and wood were in contact, will demonstrate how. The wood dated back to some thousand years with the radiocarbon method, but the aggregate dated back to millions of years with the same method.
We have published detailed reports in which wood found in sandstone that was “250 million years old” or in volcanic rock that was “tens of millions of years old” was dated with radiocarbon as only being a couple of thousands of years old. When (...) geologists take samples of volcanic rock that is known to have come from a specific eruption and send them to a highly respected laboratory doing radiometric dating, the "dating" almost always gives a result of millions of years. This strongly suggests that the assumptions on which the dating method is based are erroneous. (5)
• When it comes to human history, things like building, agriculture, pottery, use of metals and literacy have only appeared a few millennia ago, as can be seen from the following quotations. The first quote discusses the inventor of the radiocarbon method, professor W.F. Libby, who said in the Science magazine (3/3/1961, p. 624) that confirmed history only goes as far as ca. 5000 years back. Why have these things appeared so late, and not 100 000 years ago, for example? Or could it be that our history only extends back to a few millennia.
Arnold (my co-worker) and I were first shocked when we discovered that history only dates 5,000 years back in time. (...) We had often read about this or that culture or archaeological site being 20,000 years old. We quite quickly learned that these figures and early dates are not accurately known and that the first dynasty of Egypt is, as a matter of fact, the oldest even somehow confirmed historical date. (6)
The earliest notes we have of the history of man date only approximately 5,000 years to the past. (The World Book Encyclopaedia, 1966, volume 6, p. 12)
In the recent excavations, the most surprising issue has been how suddenly civilization appeared in the world. This observation is quite at odds with what had been expected. It had been thought that the older the period in question, the more primitive the excavators would find it, until all the traces of civilization would disappear and the primitive man would appear. This has not been the case neither in Babylon nor in Egypt that are the oldest known human settlements. (7)
• A common perception amongst evolutionists has been that humans originate from Africa and later inhabited other areas. The fact is that fossils don’t come with age tags, besides fossils of modern humans have been found from older strata than their ancestors’ fossils. Moreover, there is plenty of evidence supporting that humans began migrating from the Middle East, not from Africa, and that it didn’t happen that many thousand years ago. Family lore of many people has referred to this fact. Modern scientists have abandoned history and begun to rely on fairytales, when they offer other explanations to our origin and, e.g., clear signs of the Flood:
William Dawson assures in Modern Science that he and other prominent scientists are convinced that the Euphrates region must – from a geological perspective – have been the only place where people at first could live.
Dr. Armstrong says the same in Nature and Revelation: “Where is the cradle of the human kind? The learned pretty much disagree on this and on the question of racial integrity. The high regions giving birth to the Euphrates and the Tigris are considered to be the cradle of the human race. This is proven by many facts, such as the fact that the traditions of almost all tribes mention this part of the world as their original home. Furthermore, all of the types of grain used as human food originate here. Geological studies also lead to the same conclusion.” (8)
• It is a known fact that the square root from mathematics had already been invented approximately 4000-5000 years ago, which is around the same time as civilization appeared. This would be slightly odd if humans were anything like ape-like creatures only a few ten thousand years prior, and then quite suddenly began to invent such complicated ideas.
Cave paintings pose another issue. Some sources might claim that a painting could be, e.g., 40 000 years old, but it cannot be proven. If humans existed 40 000 years ago and were much more primitive than the modern human, it is difficult to understand how such fine paintings could exist. Many people today cannot draw as well and as beautifully as the people who made the cave paintings. It would be more likely that the age of these paintings were only a few millennia.
• If we study the human history, there are no mentions of an ice-age or that our ancestors would have been ape-like creatures in any folklore. Instead, creation, the Fall of Man, the Flood, and also the confusion of tongues are often mentioned, which are things we can find from the Bible as well. The following quotations discuss the Flood. The first one talks about the commonality of the Flood and the second one is an Assyrian description of the Flood. The commonality and abundance of such stories are both indications of a real historical event:
Around 500 cultures – including indigenous peoples of Greece, China, Peru and North America – are known in the world where the legends and myths describe a compelling story of a large flood that changed the history of the tribe. In many stories, only a few people survived the flood, just like in the case of Noah. Many of the peoples considered the flood to have been caused by gods who, for one reason or another, got bored with the human kind. Perhaps the people were corrupt, like in Noah’s times and in a legend by the Native American Hopi tribe of North America, or perhaps there were too many and too noisy people, like in the Gilgamesh epic. (Kalle Taipale: Levoton maapallo, p. 78)
- - I will destroy sinners and life.
- - Let the seed of life enter inside, all of that, in the ship, the ship that you shall make.
The ark is to be three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide and thirty cubits high.
- - Let it go deep. –
I did as I was commanded and I said to the Lord, my Lord:
When I finish
the ship, which you commanded me to built,
the young and the old ones will ridicule me. (9)
The concept of God. Above we discussed the early history of mankind. It has given us a good basis to discuss the topic of God. These days there are many different concepts of god (monotheism, pantheism, polytheism…), and some don’t even believe in any kind of god, and that is why it is interesting to note that an understanding of an almighty God has been a common thing in the early history of mankind and among different nations. Even such areas, where pantheism, polytheism and even atheism have occurred, have folklore of one almighty God, who is the Creator.
Therefore, many tribal nations still have original folklore about a heavenly God, who is the real and highest God. Usually, the more primitive cultures have the most preserved knowledge. This is not a rare phenomenon, because nearly all nations have had an understanding of one God, who they might have abandoned over the years to worship other gods. The trend has been to shift from one god to many gods, as can be seen from the following quotations.
There is another fact – a more powerful one and in our opinion also a more conclusive one – that proves that the current fetishism and polytheism are deteriorations of a more pure form of religion. Any form of fetishism or polytheism is based on monotheism. This is why monotheism (belief in one God) was not achieved by the human race after centuries of development. Instead, monotheism used to be the religion of all peoples. This is not a guess: it is a fact and the scientific truth. There is plenty of evidence in global history of the original religion becoming corrupted. It can be seen even in the major religions of the world that their original purity has been destroyed.
(...) The works of learned people and serious researchers include even more pieces of evidence proving that the ancient religions of Egypt, Assyria, Chaldea, Babylon, India, Persia and China, as well as the current oriental philosophies, all started out as a monotheistic religion but degraded to polytheism and in some cases fetishism. We have plenty of evidence about this by professional scientists, people who have studied ancient documents such as the cuneiforms of the Sumerian, Agade and other peoples, and the hieroglyphs of Egypt. (10)
Finally, German anthropologist and linguist Wilhelm Schmidt (1868-1954) began to collect proof found by researchers on “primitive” tribes’ monotheistic God concepts. To his astonishment the material was enough to gather a 4500-page series of work, and ever since at least a thousand more examples have been uncovered. (11)
Therefore, the notion of one almighty God is an old concept and comes from our oldest ancestors. It is not Western heritage, as the idea has already been with humans from our early history. Our first ancestors believed in the existence of one God.
Chinese folk religion provides us a good example of monotheism. In China worshiping Sang Tin, Lord of the Heavens, was common 2000 years before Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism were born. The Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics mentions that the first reference to religion in Chinese history tells that Sang Tin was the only object of belief.
How about India, which these days is known for polytheism. It is rather significant that this country was also dominated by a belief in one God, which people have gradually abandoned. People have gradually shifted from monotheism to worshiping many gods:
But old Veda books and Veda songs give us the decisive evidence. It is true that already in the earliest period of Veda there are references to many gods, such as the god of rain Indra, the god of wind Vayu, the god of storm Marut, the god of sun Surya, the goddess of dawn Ushas and the god of fire Agni. But these were regarded as different appearances of the one and only highest being.
Professor Max Muller describes phenomena of this early Veda religion with the following words: "The polytheism of Veda is preceded by monotheism; and even while praying to these countless gods, in the mist of godless statements there looms a memory of one, great, infinite God, like the blue sky behind wisps of cloud." During the early times of the Veda religion, Hinduism was religiously and morally uncorrupted. There was no system of caste or any ideas concerning reincarnation, image worshipping, legal child murders, burning of widows, devil worshipping, or any absurd philosophic meditation. Instead, there are several sublime points in the early Veda-songs; from many of them echoes a well-known tradition of creation, the Fall of Man and the Flood, which belong to the very first concepts of the mankind.
(...) This is what the Indo-Aryan original monotheistic belief was like. Polytheism and fetishism were not known at the time. If we were to study the road down from this original belief of God – like we can study the road that took centuries in India – we would have a book of several hundred pages on our hands. Many people in India now worship spirits and objects, even the Aryan Hindu. This is a result of the same kind of development that occurred in Egypt, among the Semitic tribes and other peoples: not upwards but downwards.
Children’s God belief. In the same way as belief in one almighty God has occurred in the early history of man, it is interesting that children also seem to possess a natural tendency to believe in some supreme god, who created the world. Researchers have conducted studies in this area for a few decades now. According to this research it is fairly easy for children to believe in a personal God, who is powerful, all-knowing, and the creator and designer of our world. It has been observed that children seem to have this kind of belief, despite having had a secular up-bringing. Some evolutionists have tried to explain it by natural selection, claiming that it might have been a beneficial factor in survival, but it still doesn’t explain why animals don’t seem to possess a similar god belief. Children aren’t naturally atheists or agnostics, but they find it easy to believe in the existence of a supernatural God:
Latest studies suggest that believing in God doesn’t necessarily result from having had a religious up-bringing, but that it’s the result of children’s information processing system structure and function mechanisms…
Based on her research Margaret Evans (2000,2001) found evidence that children up until their late childhood naturally consider supernatural creation to be a better option for the origin of animals than the undirected theory of evolution.
These research results suggest that children naturally believe in creator God. Children’s readiness to believe in God isn’t only limited in the creation power of God. They also naturally believe that God’s intelligence significantly surpasses people’s intelligence: God is all-knowing, all-seeing and flawless. To phrase this researchers say that Children believe God is super-knowing and super-seeing. (Barret 2007:7.) (13)
THEISM UNDER MICROSCOPE. If theism is the most reasonable alternative for the existence of our world, life, intelligence, feelings, language, and morality, what form of theism is the most likely option? There are three considerable options, which are Judaism, Islam, and the announcement through Jesus Christ.
Firstly, Judaism, which is the announcement of the Old Testament (Tenach). It tells about creation and one God, which both seem to be true. There are also many historical aspects, because there is plenty of evidence coming from archeology and history books.
Judaism, however, in some sense is an impartial announcement. It doesn’t include everything, as it promises the New Covenant (Jer. 31) and the coming of the Messiah, which hadn’t been fulfilled during the scriptures of the Old Testament – Jews call it the Tenach. Thus, Judaism isn’t the final announcement, because the events that it anticipates – the New Covenant and the coming of the Messiah – hadn’t yet occurred at the time of creating the Tenach.
What about the announcement that we got from Jesus Christ? Many Jews don’t know that Jesus was a real Jew, descending from the family of Judah and David. However, according to the New Testament He is so much more. That is, if the scriptures of the New Testament are true, Jesus brought the New Covenant prophesized by Jeremiah (Hebr 9:15: And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.) and He was the prophesized Messiah, who was anticipated, but eventually rejected by many Jews. Jesus was the fulfillment of the law and prophecies, as stated by Him. We can see this from the following passages:
- (Matt 5:17) Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.
- (Luke 24:25-27) Then he said to them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:
26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?
27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
- (John 5:39,40) Search the scriptures; for in them you think you have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
40 And you will not come to me, that you might have life.
- (John 4:25,26) The woman said to him, I know that Messias comes, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.
26 Jesus said to her, I that speak to you am he.
- (John 10:23-25) And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch.
24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said to him, How long do you make us to doubt? If you be the Christ, tell us plainly.
25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and you believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me.
- (Hebr 9:15) And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
If the announcement through Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the Old Testament’s (Tenach) prophecies, what is the difference between Muhammad and Jesus? Muslims, of course, regard Muhammad as the most important prophet while still having a high regard to Jesus as well, but what is the truth? The following aspects should be considered:
• The first separative factor is that Muhammad was a normal human, but Jesus said He came from the heavens, unlike anyone else. That is the first significant difference:
- (John 6:38) For I came down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him that sent me.
- (John 8:23,24) And he said to them, You are from beneath; I am from above: you are of this world; I am not of this world.
24 I said therefore to you, that you shall die in your sins: for if you believe not that I am he, you shall die in your sins.
• Another thing to consider is that Muhammad committed sin. The Qur’an tells about this and how he had to confess his sins (110:3, 48:1,2, 47:19). Whereas, Jesus was able to say (John 8:46): ”Which of you convinces me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do you not believe me?” Other people also testified for his sinless nature (2 Cor 5:21, 1 Peter 2:22, 1 John 3:5)
• The third considerable thing is that Jesus claimed He came to be the only way to God. Muhammad didn’t claim anything of the sort:
- (John 14:6) Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me.
- (John 10:9,10) I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
10 The thief comes not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
- (Matt 20:28) Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered to, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
• Muhammad cannot atone anyone’s sins, but Jesus can:
- (Acts 13:38,39) Be it known to you therefore, men and brothers, that through this man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins:
39 And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.
- (Acts 10:43) To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whoever believes in him shall receive remission of sins.
• Another thing that Muhammad can’t do, but Jesus can, is changing people’s inner lives. Paul serves as one example of this. He used to be hostile and cruel before his rebirth, but when Jesus met him, he became a new man, who had love for others. We can see that from the following passages:
- (2 Cor 12:14,15) Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome to you: for I seek not your’s but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children.
15 And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.
- (2 Tim 3:10,11) But you have fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, long-suffering, charity, patience,
11 Persecutions, afflictions, which came to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.
- (Phil 3:17) Brothers, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as you have us for an ensample.
- (Tit 3:3-5) For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.
4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared,
5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Despite everything, many might have a negative understanding of Christianity. This is partly the result of wrongdoings committed in the name of God throughout history. The following aspects should be noted, however:
• When it comes to wrongdoings committed in the name of God, it is true that it has been going on for centuries. It is important to realize, however, that it has been prophesized beforehand. Many don’t consider Paul’s words, when he warned about savage wolves that would come after his departure. These words sum up well the development of history. They describe the centuries and wrongdoings committed in the name of God that have taken place. It is impossible to deny that he hadn’t been right. Furthermore, Paul showed that actions can testify against people. He also said to others: “Brothers, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as you have us for an ensample”, Phil 3:17.
- (Acts 20:29-31) For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.
- (Tit 1:16) They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and to every good work reprobate.
The following verses deal with the same subject. They explain that wrongdoers don’t inherit the kingdom of God and that Jesus has never known evil men, who have done wrongful acts in His name. He will reject these people in the final judgment:
- (1 Cor 6:9) Know you not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived…
- (Matt 7:21-23) Not every one that said to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out devils? and in your name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess to them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity.
On the other hand, we shouldn’t forget that people are flawed and can fall. Media likes to gloat over preachers’ sexual indiscretions and greediness, but people running these news outlets don’t realize that we are only responsible for our own life, not others’ (Luke 13:3: … but, except you repent, you shall all likewise perish. / Rom 14:12: So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.). Neither do they care what is originally being taught about these issues. For example, Paul wrote that the shepherd of congregation shouldn’t be money hungry:
- (1 Tim 3:1-5) This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desires a good work.
2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
4 One that rules well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
5 For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?
- (1 Thess 2:3-10) For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile:
4 But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which tries our hearts.
5 For neither at any time used we flattering words, as you know, nor a cloak of covetousness; God is witness:
6 Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ.
7 But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherishes her children:
8 So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted to you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because you were dear to us.
9 For you remember, brothers, our labor and travail: for laboring night and day, because we would not be chargeable to any of you, we preached to you the gospel of God.
10 You are witnesses, and God also, how piously and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you that believe:
WHAT COMES AFTER DEATH? One question pertaining to worldviews is about life after death. That is, every one of us will die one day. It concerns all of us. I will die, you will die, and everyone we care about will die. If we go 150 years into the future, everyone from this generation will be dead. None of the people we see and meet daily or see presented on the media will be alive at that point. It also seems that anyone who lived in the 19th century is already dead, which is another example of how short life really is. Many of them still might have lived at the same time as we did, but now they are all deceased.
The question is: what happens after we die? There are three common views regarding this question. They all are rather different and thus cannot simultaneously be accurate. It would be a logical impossibility. Only one of them can be accurate:
The naturalistic and atheistic view is based on the notion that people don’t have an eternal soul separate from the body. There is no life after death. When a person dies and the body rots, it means that they cease to exist.
Atheists and naturalists cannot prove their perceptions, however. They are based on belief that in death everything comes to an end, but how could anyone testify for this? This view doesn’t corroborate with surgery experiences, where people have seen themselves on the operation table. If these experiences are real, it would suggest that the soul and spirit are different entities to the body.
Negative experiences from near death experiences give us a reason to heavily consider the possibility of life after death and the existence of hell. For example, Maurice Rawlings, who has revived clinically dead people for centuries, states in two of his books that nearly every other interviewed person, who has just been revived, has had painful and agonizing experiences (The same is said by doctor Charles Garfield in Robert Kastenbaum’s book “Is there life after death?”). He noted that often these painful experiences quickly fade in the subconscious mind, but if people were always interviewed right after resuscitation, we would likely find as many bad experiences as there are good ones. He wrote about one such incident in his book “Beyond Death’s Door” (p. 12,13):
Before I collected material for this book, I personally regarded most of the after-death experiences as the product of imagination or guesswork. I believed most of the cases that I had heard or read to have been euphoric delusions, caused by a lack of oxygen. Then, one evening in 1977 I revived a terrified patient who said he was in Hell. He begged me to pull him out of Hell and prevent him from dying. When I realized how real fear he was experiencing, I was frightened as well. The patients I have run into later, who have had these kinds of experiences, have aroused in me a compelling urge to write this book. Now I am sure that there is life after death and that all conditions after death are not good.
This is where the atheistic view falls short. No atheist can be absolutely sure that life doesn’t continue after death. It is like a leap of faith into the unknown, like a dive into the deepest of oceans and not knowing anything about the dangers that might lie ahead. You would be taking a risk going into such waters or dying, when you don’t have any personal experience of what’s to come.
The idea of rebirth. What about rebirth? It is based on the idea that after death people, either immediately or after some time, switch over to a new body. According to oriental perception people could also be reborn in the form of an animal, but Western countries usually believe that people stay as people the whole time.
However, there are plenty of issues with the rebirth doctrine. The biggest issue is that we don’t seem to have any recollections of our supposed past lives. If rebirth was real, shouldn’t we be able to remember something about our past life, since we can remember so much of our current life. Isn’t it clear evidence that we haven’t had any past lives? This alone should be enough to prove this idea wrong.
Even the founder of Theosophical Society, H.B. Blavatsky, who was possibly the most influential person at popularizing the rebirth doctrine in Western countries during the 19th century, also admitted that she didn’t have any recollections of her previous lives.
Maybe we can say that in the life of a mortal person, there is no such suffering of the soul and body that would not be the fruit and consequence of some sin that has been committed in a previous form of existence. But on the other hand, his current life does not include even one memory of those. (14)
Heaven and hell. The third option is that there is heaven and hell after we die. If the previous alternatives are not accurate, meaning that we don’t cease to exist after death and that we won’t be reborn here on earth, the existence of heaven and hell will be the most likely option. It is true that we cannot prove it, but it is, especially, based on the authority of Jesus Christ. He spoke of heaven and hell more than anyone else and He must have known about the conditions in the afterlife.
Yet, other world religions also believe in the accountability of people, and heaven and hell. That is the case with Islam, Judaism and Buddhism. The following quotation will further explain the Buddhist view:
My students generally have the opinion that only the good people can get to paradise and the bad ones have to go to hell. Japanese Buddhism teaches of the existence of both of these "places," and they are not at all afraid of using the word "hell" in the local religious language. (15)
If heaven and hell are real, how can we avoid going to hell and get to heaven instead? How can we ask for forgiveness for our sins and receive eternal life? We are going to look at these questions in the following chapters.
CLOSING REMARKS. When it comes to evidence towards God, we have dealt with plenty. The evidence suggests to a certain direction: that there must be a personal and almighty God behind everything. It is the best possible explanation we could come up with to account for the existence of our world, beauty and complexity in the nature, and for intelligence, feelings, language and morality. No impersonal god or power could have created any of these things.
We also discussed how Jesus Christ, who the Bible calls the Son of God and the Messiah that Jews have been anticipated, is the most probabilistic answer to, how God has approached us and announced Himself.
What if almighty God does exist, how can we connect with Him and how can we ask for forgiveness for our sins? The following aspect are important. We presume that the scriptures of the New Testament are true:
Everyone knows they have done wrongful things. The first thing to note is that deep down everyone knows they haven’t always done what they have known to be the right thing. We might have hated someone, desired our friend’s spouse, evade taxes, or turn our back on someone, when they really needed us. We know that we are far from perfection, and the following passages point out our flawed nature. Our flaws also make it so that we can’t have certainty about God’s approval.
- (John 7:19) … and yet none of you keeps the law…
- (Rom 3:23) For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
- (1 John 1:8) If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
Only God can atone sins. If we are flawed and can’t get certainty from ourselves, is there anything that might solve this problem?
The answer is that there is a solution. The whole of New Testament tells how almighty God came to us through Jesus Christ, and did what for us was, and still is, impossible. The Corinthians says directly how ”God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself,” (2 Cor 5:19). In other words, God erased all obstacles between us and Him. Now everyone can be forgiven for their sins, be accepted by God, and receive eternal life. The motive behind all this was God’s love for all of us. These verses from the New Testament show us that:
- (Luke 2:13,14) And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
- (John 3:16) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
- (1 John 4:9,10) In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
The following quotation will continue on the subject. When the gap between God and people was too great, Jesus the Son of God came down to our world and bridged that gap for us. We can believe and trust in Him and rely on this truth (Acts 16:31: And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved, and your house.).
Wait, I’ll give you one example: the average man can jump, for example, two meters. A person who has practiced sports and is fit may jump perhaps five meters. And if he is an Olympic winner, he can jump almost nine meters, but jumping any longer will be quite impossible in our generation. Let’s suppose then that we are all standing at the edge of a canyon with 200 meters to the other side. None of us has the ability to jump over that abyss, right? Now then, let’s study the same in the form of an allegory: That abyss is the abyss of sin and God is on the other side. He inspected as poor crickets just as we are and started pity us. He knew that it was quite impossible for us to get to Him by our own powers; for this reason, He sent for us His own Son, Jesus, who is a bridge between God and man. Jesus is the mediator between God and man. We can go with Him safely, because according to His own words He is 'the way and the truth and the life’! I know that there are many, who will reject this divine solution as too easy. They’ll rather try to do something by their own power to save themselves, but no effort of man can take him to God, our destiny is to fall into that yawning abyss! (16)
On the other hand, when Jesus fulfilled the law, meaning that He became the bridge between people and God, and we received grace through Him, it is clear that we must accept this grace in order to be saved. We must welcome Jesus into our lives. That is if we turn our backs on Jesus and grace, we are throwing away our only way to salvation. Don’t make that mistake by throwing away that chance and turning your back on Jesus and God. Arthur W. Pink, a former puritan preacher, has very aptly explained how God offers His virtue through His Son. This offer shouldn’t be disregarded.
If God offers you a Savior, who can save you from the punishment you deserve, and you do not accept Him, then surely it is justified that you are left without a savior. Or is God obliged to arrange another savior for you, since you don’t like this particular Savior? He has given an invaluable and honorable person, His only Son to be the atoning sacrifice for sins and so, completed salvation; and this Savior is being offered to you right now. If you refuse him, is God then unjust if He doesn’t save you. Is He obliged to save you in the way that you have chosen, only because you don’t like His way of saving? Or do you blame Christ for unfairness, when He doesn’t come to save you, when you don’t want Him, although He offers Himself to you and appeals to you that you would accept Him as your Savior.
- (Luke 15:17-20) And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before you,
19 And am no more worthy to be called your son: make me as one of your hired servants.
20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
- (1 John 1:9) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Now that God loves people and fulfilled the law for everyone through Jesus Christ, how can we become partakers in this love and eternal life?
There is a simple answer: we must turn to God and repent our sins as the prodigal son in the former parable. God never forgives unrepentant souls, who don’t want to let go of their sins. It is not possible, because if He did forgive them, He would also give His blessing to evil. It would go against His good nature.
But God does forgive anyone, who repents, surrenders themselves to Him and puts their faith in His Son Jesus Christ. Bible calls it repentance, as for example, John the Baptist, and Jesus Himself and His disciples use to preach (Matt 3:1,2 / Matt 4:17 / Acts 17:30), and belief in Jesus Christ. First, we confess that we have been separated from God and that now we want to follow Him. It might involve confessing one’s sins, as shown in the former verses. Whereas, belief in Jesus Christ will repair our relationship with God, because Jesus has already done everything for us.
Therefore, once you have surrendered yourself to God, confessed your separation from Him and any sins you feel guilty of, and you believe in Jesus, God will forgive all your sins. It isn’t because of anything that you’ve accomplished, or how good you are, it is because Jesus has done everything for us (see previous verses!). Put your trust in Him. Believe in what He’s done for you and turn to Him. Everlasting life is in Jesus:
- (Acts 16:30,31) And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved, and your house.
- (John 6:67-69) Then said Jesus to the twelve, Will you also go away?
68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? you have the words of eternal life.
69 And we believe and are sure that you are that Christ, the Son of the living God.
- (John 5:39,40) Search the scriptures; for in them you think you have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
40 And you will not come to me, that you might have life.
Therefore, if you have welcomed Jesus into your life, you are a child of God, you have received eternal life, and you have been reborn, as shown by the following passages. You will have this life, no matter how you might be feeling now. Don’t leave your assurance of salvation into the hands of your deceiving feelings, give it to the word of the Bible and Jesus Christ, since, after all, we don’t throw the anchor on the deck but out of the boat.
- (John 1:12) But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
- (1 John 5:11-13) And this is the record, that God has given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
12 He that has the Son has life; and he that has not the Son of God has not life.
13 These things have I written to you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may believe on the name of the Son of God.
The prayer of salvation: Lord, Jesus, I turn to You. I confess that I have sinned against You and have not lived according to Your will. However, I want to turn away from my sins and follow You with all my heart. I also believe that my sins have been forgiven through Your atonement and I have received eternal life through You. I thank You for the salvation that You have given me. Amen.
1. Charles Darwin: Elämäni, p. 55,56
2. Francis Crick: What Mad Pursuit: a Personal View of Scientific Discovery (1988), p. 138
3. Richard Dawkins: Maailman hienoin esitys, evolution todisteet (The Greatest Show on Earth, The Evidence for Evolution), p. 342
4. Arno C. Gaebelein: Kristillisyys vaiko uskonto?, p. 5,7
5. Carl Wieland: Kiviä ja luita (Stones and Bones), p. 34
6. Science, 3.3.1961, s. 624 - Cit. from: Onko ihmimen kehityksen vai luomisen tulos, Jeh. witn.
7. P.J. Wiseman: New Discoveries in Babylonia About Genesis, 1949, s. 28. Cit. from Onko ihminen kehityksen vai luomisen tulos, Jeh. witn.
8. Sidney Collett: Totuuden kirja (The Scripture of Truth), p. 175
9. Arno C. Gaebelein: Kristillisyys vaiko uskonto?, p. 48
10. Arno C. Gaebelein: Kristillisyys vaiko uskonto?, p. 19,22
11. Ajankohtainen 3, toimittanut Daniel Nylund
12. Arno C. Gaebelein: Kristillisyys vaiko uskonto?, p. 26,27 / sekä lainaus Max Mullerin teoksesta: "History of Sanskrit Literature, p. 559
13. Tapio Puolimatka: Viisauden ja tiedon aarteet Kristuksessa, p. 59,61
14. Sit. kirjasta "Jälleensyntyminen vai ruumiin ylösnousemus", Mark Albrecht, p. 123
15. Mailis Janatuinen: Tapahtui Tamashimassa, p. 53
16. Jakov Damkani: Siionin poika, p. 107,108
Jesus is the way, the truth and the life
Grap to eternal life!