Thoughts to Ponder

You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, "He did not make me"? Can the pot say of the potter, "He knows nothing"?
Isaiah 29:16

How Do I Answer That?

I have read a lot of atheist writings and one central theme runs through a lot of them. They started out as some kind of religious believer. Most don't claim to have ever had a personal relationship with Christ, but they will say things like; I was raised in the Catholic church, or I was a Bible believing Christian, etc... They usually go on to say that they started to question their religion and no one would or could answer their questions. Or they will say they started reading the Bible for themselves and found so many contradictions in it that they could no longer believe in a loving God.

The kind of questions they come up with are questions we as Christians should be ready to explain to ourselves as well as others. I want to list a few of the questions that seem to bother people and then give my answer to them. How can I know that my answer is right? Well I guess I really don't know, but these kind of questions naturally cause doubt in a persons mind if they think there is no answer to them. My point is to show that even though we don't know God's mind, we can understand some things about Him that will help us understand some of the hard questions.

If God really is the creator of everything and is really all powerful, then He must have created the evil side of man. And if He created the evil side of man, than it is not fair for Him to judge us for it.

There are several problems in this question, which show that the person does not understand God and therefore can't understand man and his relationship to God. I do believe that God created everything, including the possibility of evil, but that is not the same thing as creating the evil. When God first created the angels, He gave them free will, they did not have to worship Him. He does not want creatures to worship Him because they have no choice. He wants our respect and worship because we freely give it to Him. Don't get me wrong, someday He will be worshiped by every living being, and some of them will be forced to worship Him, but that is not the way He wants it to be.

The most beautiful, highest ranking angel decided not to worship God. In fact he decided that he wanted to be like God and be worshiped by others. This is the point were we believe that the angels' eternal destiny was established. Lucifer (now known as Satan) was cast out of heaven and one third of the other angels went with him. Did God cause them to do evil? No, but He did allow them to make that choice.

God then made Adam and Eve, and again He gave them free will. He told them they could eat of every tree in the garden of Eden except one. Did He cause evil because He said they could not eat of that tree, while allowing them to make the choice if they wanted to obey or not? Of course not. No more than a parent causes their child to do something wrong just by telling them not to do it.

Once sin was brought into the world by Adam and Eve all of creation was corrupted. Every child born after that was born with the taint of sin on them. So the atheist asks, "How can God judge us on what Adam and Eve did?" Yes I believe in original sin, but I defy any atheist to show me one person (other than Jesus Christ) who has never sinned. (I am excluding infants, because I believe that God's grace covers them until they are old enough to understand) A parent does not have to teach a child how to steal, be selfish, lie, etc... It comes naturally to them. The hard part is teaching them not to do these things.

So you see God has every right to judge us, not one of us is innocent.

Why did God have to send His Son to earth to die for us? Why didn't He just forgive us and be done with it? If He is really all powerful He could do anything He wanted including forgive us without any punishment.

On the surface this looks like a good question. However, it shows that the questioner does not understand God or His nature. God is a holy being. He cannot stand sin. His holy nature demands punishment for sin, any sin, and the punishment for sin is always death, every time, period!!! So God could not just forgive and forget. The debt had to be paid.

This is a place where humans have a problem understanding God. Instead of "man = sin = death" God did the unthinkable, He paid the price He, Himself demanded for our sin. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ (who by the way was also God and had been in existence for eternity past) to earth as one of us. He voluntarily took on human form, and human attributes while remaining God in all aspects. He did voluntarily limit His deity so that He could live here with us as one of us. The Creator became one of the creation for a little while. He lived a sinless life, if He had not, He could not have taken our punishment for us. He would have deserved death for His own sins which He has demanded because of His own holy nature.

When He allowed Himself to be placed on the cross, He took our sins and our shame as His own and paid our debt. On the third day God the Father raised Him from the dead. That gives us all hope of a future resurrection. Now that Christ has already paid for our sins all we have to do is ask Him to forgive us and believe in Him and we are free. Those people who think God should just have forgiven all humans and forgotten about sin, just don't get it. They don't want to be responsible to anyone, not even God. That is the problem, they would have to admit they are subject to God's law in order to ask Christ to forgive them. That is not what they want to do. Yet they blame it on God.

God is a God of hate. Just look at all the people He had the Israelites kill in the Bible. He told them not to leave anyone living, not any men, women or children. See, He is horrible. He says 'thou shalt not kill' then He tells His chosen people to go kill others.

Again they don't understand God. Second they don't realize that every living being is living only because of God's will. If He wants to kill someone who could stop Him? What the people who ask these kinds of questions don't seem to understand is that God was judging the nations by using the Israelites. He often also used other nations to judge them. He also knew that these other nations worshiped pagan gods and if the Israelites did not kill all of them, they (the Israelites) would end up adopting their (the pagans) customs. If you read the Bible you will see that God was right every time. They disobeyed Him time after time and time after time they would turn away from Him.

God is the Creator of all living things. He above all has the right to do with us as He sees fit. Who are we to judge Him? If a person breeds dogs and a dog becomes uncontrollable would anyone blame them for killing it? How much higher is God above us than we are above the animals? Yet we are so arrogant that we tell Him what He can and cannot do with us. People need to wise up and smell the coffee. This is not a game, like it or not God is in control!

It is time that we quit worrying about hurting people's feelings. It is time that we told it like it is. God is a God of love, or He would not have sent Jesus to die for us. He is also a jealous God and demands our respect and worship. He does not do so physically right now, but there will come a day when every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. The problem is that it will be too late for most of them. Don't soft pedal God's message, it is a life and death message.

If God loves all of us why did He favor His chosen people, the Jews? Doesn't that show that He plays favorites?

Are you beginning to see a pattern? These people don't understand God, but they want to judge His motives anyway. Yes the Jews are God's chosen people, but you have to ask yourself why. Could it be that He wanted to show everyone His love and His nature? He gave the Israelites everything. He destroyed their enemies and helped them prosper, and what did they do? They turned away from Him time after time. He proved through them that being kind and giving to them and showing His power to them, did no good. There were some of them that lived good lives and tried their best to follow Him, but most did not. He also gave them many laws to follow. He gave them all these laws so that all humanity could see that no one can live up to His standard. We are all in need of a Savior. When Jesus came to take our sins, who were the ones who rejected Him? The Jews! But God was not finished, He showed that salvation was for everyone, Jew and non-Jew alike.

God's chosen people are those who will call on His name and believe in His Son Jesus Christ. The Jews still hold a special place because God made some covenants with them and He will fulfill them, but believe me they are also going to go through a time the likes of which no nation as ever known before (the time of Jacobs trouble - the tribulation). Look at the suffering the Jews have gone through as a people in just the past 100 years. If anything this should show people that there is something special about them. They have been killed and persecuted just because they were Jews. Hitler tried his best to wipe them off the face of the earth. How does a person who does not believe in God explain the Jews? How does a person explain the predictions about the Jews in the Bible and what has happened to them?

The more I read God's Word and really look at the world, the more I know that His Word is true. Since I am convinced, it is a lot easier to convince others. The very first place to go to find the answers to people's questions is God's Word. Know it, believe it, live it and preach it.

E-Mail Ralph

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