Although I grew up attending a conservative Protestant church I never accepted anything without a good reason. Blind faith was never an option to me; it had to be reasonable. But I cannot remember ever thinking there might not be a God; it seemed self-evident to me that there must be one. But as time went on I became more and more disillusioned with the ignorance and apathy displayed by the adults in church concerning the reasons they believed and defense of the Bible. So I started doing my own research, and I’ve never stopped. God gave me an unquenchable thirst for the Bible, and I just can’t get enough of it. I began to read the Bible and everything related to it that I could get my hands on.
But most intriguing were the books by authors who were formerly atheists. They had set out to destroy the Bible and Christianity by digging up evidence from archeology, literature, history, etc. and hoping to publish damning evidence for all the world to see. But a funny thing happened: instead of proving Christianity to be nothing more than a psychological crutch and the Bible a collection of fables, the investigators became Christians! Not because of someone’s eloquent preaching or family tradition, but because of the evidence. That strengthened my faith in God, particularly in Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.
When you know something is true, you are faced with a choice to either accept it or live in denial of it. I’m not one to try and fool myself or deny what is plainly true, and I was convinced that Jesus (1) is God, (2) who died for the whole world, (3) and rose again. But I also was not content with merely accepting this as a personal conviction. To me there is no “sort of” or “half-way” in following Jesus. To accept him as God our Savior who will return for us and not live accordingly was unthinkable to me, and still is.
Only the Bible tells us of a God who, instead of being an impersonal force or karma counter or an implacable tyrant, loves us more than we can imagine. A God who would stoop down to our level to save us from our sin, loving us while we hated him, dying for us while we lived for ourselves, and raising up to conquer death while we ridiculed him. That’s a God worth living and dying for! How could I live like this doesn’t matter?
The glaring differences between Christianity and others is also a great source of confidence. No other religion has writings that even come close to the content of the Bible. Instead, they can only offer alleged visions and experiences, and they appeal to how well their religion “works” or the quality of the people who practice it. Just as even the most flawless counterfeit bill is still a counterfeit, a “working” false religion is still a false religion with a false god. It doesn’t matter how “good” the teachings are, how well the practitioners behave, how long it’s been around. The important thing is to determine its origin. If it cannot prove divine authorship it is a fake. And none of them really answer any questions or even try to be historically, scientifically, or logically accurate, let alone try anything like predicting the coming of a savior with great precision.
Therefore, I have chosen to put my faith in the God of the Bible. No, I’m not saying the Bible is God’s Word just because it says it is, but because it produces the proofs of 100% fulfilled prophecy and records the words of the One who was raised from the dead. Can your religion do that? No one predicted the coming of Muhammad; Buddha did not rise from the dead; Joseph Smith’s predictions proved false; humanism ignores the reality of the First Cause. Only Jesus rose from the dead, and he identified the Bible as God’s Word, which predicted His coming (among a lot of other things).
Every way I look at it, the Bible wins. Jesus wins. End of story.
Statement of Faith
I believe that the Bible is the Word of God, that it is without error in its original autographs, that nothing can be added to it or subtracted from it, that it consists of 66 Books as listed in most translations, that it is above reproach such that all else is judged by it, and that it is therefore the highest and only Authority. This authority comes not from the written pages themselves, but from God who authored them. The words of God are no less authoritative when written rather than spoken.
I believe that Jesus is the Messiah predicted in the Old Testament, as proven by hundreds of fulfilled prophecies (Luke 24.25-27, John 1:29), his miracles, and his bodily resurrection from the dead. He is therefore the one and only Savior of the world; there is salvation in no one else and no other name. He is both fully God and fully Man at the same time. He had no human father, was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, laid it down as the atoning sacrifice for all mankind, and took it up again in a new and immortal body. He then ascended back to heaven where he “prepares a place for us”.
I believe that salvation is by placing one’s trust in the Jesus of the Bible alone, understanding that he died for our sins and rose again. Nothing beyond this can be added to salvation, for salvation is purely a Gift and thus impossible to earn even partially.
I believe that God is a Trinity as must be concluded from a careful study of all of Scripture, consisting of the Father, the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit. This Spirit personally and permanently indwells a person the moment he or she places trust in Jesus as explained in the previous paragraph. The three members of the Trinity are not mere offices, titles, or manifestations, but are distinct entities or persons.
I believe that this current age, the Church Age, is the “mystery” revealed to Paul the Apostle (Eph. 3:6), and is a time in which God focuses His attention on the Gentiles. This age will end at the Rapture, when Jesus takes all believers to heaven at once. At that moment God will again turn His attention to the nation of Israel, to finish the prophetic timetable outlined in the “seventy weeks” prophecy of Daniel. At the end of that seven years, Jesus Himself will return to the earth, bringing believers of all time with Him to set up His earthly kingdom.