What Should We Believe?
Life is full of choices – what to eat, what to wear, what job to take, or what career to follow, who to marry – if we marry at all. But there are even simple decisions that we make every moment. While there is really no known way to measure it, it is estimates that the average adult makes around 35,000 remotely conscious decisions each day. Young children only make about 3,000 decisions each day. But some choices are more critical than others.
Scripture: “The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” – 1 John 2:17
What we believe about our creation, whether there is a God or not, if Jesus is who he says he is, what happens to us when we die – these are our most critical decisions because they are foundational reference points to which the rest of our belief systems are built upon. And what we choose to believe about these important questions will have a dramatic impact on our lives. I’m not here to try to convince anyone what to believe. But what I am going to suggest is that these foundational matters are the most important ones, and that we don’t choose these beliefs recklessly. Above all decisions, these should be afforded the most rigorous research and thought.
One of the things that I never understood is those who discount the Bible as God’s Word and ultimate source of truth, but never actually take time to read, study, and understand it. A recent survey revealed that roughly 9 percent have read through the Bible, giving it a more serious look, while roughly 53 percent have read relatively little of it, and 1 in 10 haven’t read it at all. In short, 91 percent of Americans haven’t studied enough to make an informed decision or evaluation on their own. (Ref: LifeWay Research – evangelical research firm based in Nashville, TN)
When people go off to college to study, to become a doctor let’s say, it takes years for them to know enough where they can start practicing medicine. It’s not like they read a few sentences from the book and then say, “alright, I’ve read enough to be educated, pass me the scalpel”. No, just like anything that we want to become informed about, like a medical or college degree, this takes years of rigorous study. Similarly, making informed choices on matters of faith, creation, salvation and eternal life, takes years of rigorous study. Only when we earnestly seek, will we find, and truly understand.
Sadly so many people today just believe what others tell them to believe, and never really study of their own. Truth be told, outside of our pastor or someone we know who went to seminary, how many people do we know who have actually read the Bible cover to cover, and thoroughly studied it on their own? Probably not too many. It blows my mind. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m not wired to believe someone without verifying the facts myself, especially in important matters. And this is especially true to me in foundational matters like, where did everything come from, what happens when I die, and is there life after life as we know it?
The world that we know, and its desires, certainly do pass away. No one can deny that we will all die one day. But what happens next? Is there life after death? How do we know? Is this Jesus that everyone talks about real? Is Jesus who he says that he is, the Son of God? And Jesus promises us eternal life – is this true? What shall we believe?
I invite you to find out for your own. Don’t base your decision blindly on what someone else tells you to believe. Verify it for yourself. Isn’t your life worth knowing, for your own peace of mind if nothing else? I invite you, and challenge you, to join a good Bible study. And make sure that you embark on this mission with an expert, just as a physician would shadow a doctor during their residency. That way when you have questions, you can get them answered.
Not sure where to start? Hit me up in the comment section and I’ll send you a copy of the same plan that I follow.
God bless you.
Dear heavenly Father, thank you for your Word today. Thank you for revealing to me the greatest wisdom, love, joy, peace, and fullness that a person could ever know. Thank you for guiding me when I don’t know which way to go. Thank you for helping me when I need you most. Thank you for picking me up when I fall. Thank you for always being there, even when my own stubbornness gets in the way. Thank you for seeing when I cannot see. You are so good, and I am such a sinner. Forgive me of my weaknesses, and strengthen me to face my battles head-on. Lead me away from temptation, and fight my every battles. We give you all the honor and glory, knowing the battle is already won, and the victory is already yours in Jesus mighty name. Amen.
Image courtesy of: 412 digital
Photo By 412 digital
I agree completely! Especially when you study the history of an organized religion (like the Catholic Church or the Pharisees of Judaism) and learn how much humans tampered with and changed God’s will. One great reference I use to learn about who God the Father is/was/shall be and how Yeshua told us to follow Him is Testeverything.net. Another is learning the Hebrew context relative to the scriptures from Nehemia Gordon amongst others.