People often claim that if Jesus would appear in front of them they would believe. They claim that the reason they just can't believe is because they can't see Jesus or any evidence of Him.
So why would a loving God, who wants us to believe not show Himself to us so that we would all believe? The answer is simple, He tried that once. Look at the life of Jesus; He taught here on earth for 3 years, and many people did believe but many still did not. He healed the crippled and made them walk, he healed and blind and made them see. He even raised people from the dead. Still many people did not believe that He was the Son of God.
He even told a story of a rich man who had it all and died and a poor man who also died. The rich man was in torment but could see the poor man who was now taking it easy in what we would consider heaven, but at that time, (before Jesus died) it was called paradise. After being told that there was nothing that could be done to help him, the rich man asked that the poor man be sent back to talk to his brothers so they would not end up where he was. (Luke 16:31 NIV) "He said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'" This verse is very important, remember Jesus told this story before His own death and resurrection. He was right, many of those who refused to believe before His death still refused to believe after He arose from the dead.
We talked before about how the disciples were changed after seeing Jesus after His death, but they did not have a clue until they saw Him. (John 20:27-29 NIV) Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe." Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!" Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
Do you realize Jesus was talking to Thomas about us? We are the ones who are blessed because we believe even though we have not seen Him. But don't miss what He told Thomas: Stop doubting and believe!
I believe God gave us many of the same emotions that He has. For instance lets say that you are on one side of a deep pit and another person is on the other side. There is a bridge over the pit but you know that it is not safe so you tell the other person not to go out on it but they tell you they don't believe you. They then go out on the bridge and start jumping up and down, and sure enough the bridge gives way and they are killed. What will your reaction be? Will you admire them because they checked everything out for themselves? Or will you think they were stupid, because they would not listen to you? They could not see that the bridge was weak, so why should they believe you?
Does it make you feel good when people trust you? Does it make you mad when people refuse to trust what you say? I think God feels the same way. He has done many things to prove to mankind that He exists but we keep refusing. He takes trust and belief very seriously. (John 3:18 NIV) Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.
What does God require of us to be saved? People asked Jesus the same question: (John 6:28-29 NIV) Then they asked him, "What must we do to do the works God requires?" Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent." The one who was sent was Jesus. That is all God requires of us, that we believe.
People claim that because God does not show Himself to them proves that He does not really want to save everyone. That is a lie: (1 Timothy 1:15-16 NIV) Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners--of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.
Don't blame God if you refuse to believe. We have looked at how you can be sure Jesus rose from the dead. We also looked at why Jesus had to die for our sins. You have all the proof you need right before you, all you have to do is believe and you will be saved. The decision is up to you now. Don't forget that you can only make this decision while you are still alive. Once you die it is too late, your fate is sealed.
E-Mail Ralph (whose comments are in green)
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