I was recently reading the comments under a news article on the Fox News website. Wow, what an experience. What frustration, anger, fear and disrespect for others flowed out of the discussion. And that was mostly from folks who claimed to be "Christians," or at least referenced Christian values. Then there were the atheists who claimed that there was no evidence that God was real... Christians believed in a myth. I decided to take the last statements at face value and look at things from that perspective. AND to be objective about it as well. Not an easy task, but here's how it went.
First, I considered the Biblical account, but noted that atheists don't believe in the Bible, so I would have to look for evidence of God somewhere else. I remembered some of the scientific research and teachings of the creation scientists that look at the universe from a Christian perspective and attempt to prove the existence of God and the creation with real science. Hmmm... some good stuff, but would that be enough by itself to persuade the atheists that God exists. (See Psalm 19 and do a search on "creation science."
Next, I considered (trying to be logical here) that even in the worldly legal system, eyewitness accounts of a crime or event is highly valued and can determine the results of a trial. Physical evidence along WITH witness testimony is VERY powerful. Sooo, take some of the physical evidence (creation science,) add in eyewitness accounts, and let's see what this looks like.
There is a wealth of info online about the creation science aspect, so I'm going to focus on the eyewitness part.
My Personal Experience
I looked (objectively) through my life experiences for "evidence" that God is real. From my first encounter with God 35 years ago on a snowy highway, where HE miraculously delivered me from an impossible situation when I prayed something like "God, if you're real, get me out of here." He then spoke to me directly, and told me three things. First, He told me that He knew my name, next that He loved my without any conditions, and third that I would have to give up everything if I wanted to follow Him. After examining "the evidence" for a couple of weeks, I decided to follow Him, regardless of the cost. He taught me that the blood of Jesus cleansed my sin and that believing on Jesus established my eternal relationship in God's family... that I was considered a son of God. Wow... this wasn't just some philosophy or doctrine... it was real!
From that point in time, there were many miracles and much revelation, as the Bible came alive and as I witnessed God's works and power. I personally witnessed many physical and emotional healings, demons being cast out, people being set free from addictions and terrible life situations. These were real! I saw them with my own eyes! And have seen these changes being confirmed through the years in folks that I know personally. God was (is) alive and active in the affairs of men in THIS world, presenting Jesus to the world by HIS Holy Spirit!
The Experiences of Others
If my experiences were the only ones around, I'd need to consider (if I remained objective) that perhaps I was having some kind of mental breakdown or psychotic episode. Maybe too much pizza or some mind altering drug. But similar eyewitness accounts exist from millions of others around the world. People are being added to God's family, healed, delivered from addictions and demonic activity, experiencing the love of a perfect Father, learning to love one another and walk together as God's family. There are many accounts of people all over the world seeing visions of Jesus inviting them into His kingdom. The Holy Spirit is pursuing the hearts of people and speaking to them just as he spoke to me on that snowy highway years ago. In the court of law, the testimony of witnesses along with physical evidence determines the outcome of the trial. Therefore, take these "stories" to heart. God may be speaking to you through the testimony of His people.
How Do We Judge These Things
Romans 14 says that the kingdom of God is Righteousness, Peace, and Joy in the Holy Spirit.
Galatians 5:22ff states that the fruit of the Holy Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control... the works of the flesh are immorality, impurity, indecency, idolatry, sorcery,enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, divisions, envy, murder, drunkenness, etc.
John 10:10 the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy. I (Jesus) came that they may have life, and might have it abundantly.
I know that personal testimonies are very important in God's kingdom, but we should look at them carefully. Do they lead us to life and Godliness, or do they promote death, domination and despair?
Deuteronomy 30:19 I call heaven and earth to witness this day against you that I have set before you life and death, the blessings and the curses: therefore, choose life, that you and your descendants may live and love the Lord your God.
Blessings, please choose life!
Let's DO Life!