Christians believe that Jesus died on the cross for the sins of the world and that anyone who believes in Jesus is forgiven of sins and has the promise of eternal life. But what about the people who lived before Jesus died on the cross? If Jesus is the only way to be forgiven and saved, what happened to all those people? Those people were saved in the same way people are saved today: by faith. People who trusted in God to forgive their sins were saved by faith. Think of salvation like a credit card. The people who lived before Jesus ran up a huge debt, and Jesus paid the bill later.
Righteousness is a gift from God through Christ. Most Christians understand that forgiveness of sins and eternal life are a gift from God. But righteousness is also a gift to be received, not something that we can achieve by our own efforts to be good. It’s good to make an effort to be righteous, but true righteousness comes from what Jesus Christ did for us. And it is a gift we receive by faith.
My basis for believing in a Creator is NOT based on subjective experiences. I believe in a Creator because it is the only logical conclusion I can come to based on the complex creation I see around me. It is not logical for me to believe that all the complex systems needed for life could come together without an intelligent being.
But who is this Being? That is a harder question to answer. I have come to the conclusion that the God of the Bible is the Creator. I made a video about the reasons I believe the Bible. Here is the link if you are interested:
https://youtu.be/P3adVK7qO3w “My Unscientific Reasons for Believing the Bible”
Now, regarding experiences: I don’t think our experiences with God necessarily confirm that our beliefs about God are all correct. It is possible and probable that I don’t have all the right ideas about God. But I don’t think God waits until all of our ideas are correct before he interacts with us. Who could he have a relationship with if he waited for us to have a perfect image of him? All humans are (in some ways) feeling around in the dark when it comes to truth. Some people have more truth than others. I truly believe that Jesus is the Savior of the world, and the only hope for humanity. But I have Muslim friends who seem to have a lot more truth than some Christians I know. Our ability to receive truth has less to do with our religion, and more to do with our openness to receive from God.
When I say that I can’t deny God because of my experiences, I’m not talking about my foundational belief in a Creator (which is acquired by simple reasoning). I am talking about 20 years of daily having my life touched in a variety of ways. I’m touched by the words of the Bible, I’m constantly enamored with the perfection of God’s plan of salvation. And though subjective, I’ve had hundreds of experiences of God’s presence. I’ve seen many people instantly healed of things. I’ve seen a broken bone healed in 30 seconds. I am daily talking with God and being in relationship with him. All of these experiences COULD be explained away. Group thinking and our imagination are powerful forces indeed. But if I dismiss all these experiences as group thinking or imagination, and I start from scratch trying to understand the universe, I still have to explain my existence. The only worldview that makes any sense to me is the one I have. I don’t have all the answers. I can’t explain why God seems to be deeply involved in my life while people in Yemen are in dire straits. But I can’t get around the fact of God’s existence. And I can’t come up with a better plan to fix the world than the one that the Bible describes.
A common accusation against God is that He allows children to starve. But is God responsible for children starving? This video is a response to a question that repeatedly comes up in the comments section of my other videos. It highlights the power and responsibility that each person has to make the world a place where children don’t starve.