Just a few decades ago if asked the question “is there a God?” the resounding answer would have been yes.
Whether you actively attended church or worshipped God was a different matter – but few would question whether God existed.
Now, there seems an ever growing number of those falling into the unsure category or, even more prevalent, the definitive “no”.
As we have kicked off a new year it got me thinking … what have we as a church done wrong to escalate this outcome?
After all, there is historical evidence of Jesus.
Beyond the early writings that now form the New Testament, the incredible accounts of the apostles, and the rapid explosion of the church throughout the known world … there are also non-Christian writers as well.
This includes a Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus who wrote a history of Judaism around 93CE. He acknowledged Jesus lived and even that he was referred to as Christ. Also had a brother, James, who is credited as written the book of James now in the New Testament.
Jesus’ death by crucifiction is affirmed by Roman politicians, Pliny and Tacitus – neither of who were supporters of Christianity.
So Jesus’ existence seems without question – he lived! Whether he died and rose again may be up for conjecture however few scholars would argue that Jesus walked the earth.
Yet, who wants to dig deep to find this out nowadays?
The issue is though … the question IS THERE A GOD? should be something everyone deeply considers.
For if there is and Jesus is who He says He is then there are eternal consequences for disinterest.
If I were to warn you that the brakes in your car didn’t work would you check before you drove it? Or if I were to say that there was a brown snake in the entrance to your house – would you walk in tentatively – looking? Or if I were to tell you that what you were about to eat was laced with arsenic, would you reconsider eating it?
Well I’m hoping … if you are reading this … to tell you that I believe there are significant risks in not at least exploring deeply, to really challenging yourself on whether or not there is a God.
In Luke 16:19-31 is a story that Jesus shared about a rich man and a beggar. Upon death the rich man is in torment but sees the beggar comforted and so asks to please warn his family so that they too don’t come to the place where the rich man finds himself. But receives the reply that his family have every opportunity to hear the outcome – if only they would pursue it.
Jeremiah 29:13 says if you seek me you will find me.
So as we launch into 2019 could I encourage you to genuinely ask your self the question “is there a God”? Explore it, dig into it, make an educated decision as your answer could truly impact your eternal existence.