Do You Need An Answer About Life?
I was originally brought up Catholic, at the insistence of my parents. I quickly lost interest after going through my confirmation and began doing my own thing. After many years of drinking and partying, I got very bored and thought, "Is this ALL there is to life?!?!" I thought, "If there really IS any truth to a 'life after death', I should at least TRY to find the answer." I started to do some research on science and religion to see if I could come up with any TRUTH about the "meaning of life".
In school, I was taught that mankind was evolving and getting better, but it didn't appear that way to me. It "SEEMED" as though modern science had proven that God didn't exist. As I did more research on my own, I found out that this just isn't the case. I learned that the Universe and ALL matter have a DEFINITE beginning. Most atheists and re-incarnationists believe that the Universe has ALWAYS existed, but this contradicts the fact.
Cause and effect tells us that the Universe must have been caused. It is logical to believe that an invisible, non-material Being had caused the beginning of the Universe. Some think that aliens and U.F.O.'s have something to do with our existence, but even if they DID exist, THEY would need a beginning as well! The evolutionists believe that evolution is a FACT, and that the fossil record PROVES it. I learned that neither evolution NOR creation are FACTS, they are only THEORIES! There is NO way to PROVE either one because they CANNOT be re-created in a lab experiment. Whatever THEORY you believe, you MUST believe by FAITH. I learned that when something dies, it does NOT become a fossil, it rots away VERY quickly.
Fossils are formed by RAPID burial and destruction, NOT over SUPPOSED billions of years! What the fossil record DOES prove, is that there was a TERRIBLE global disaster. Scattered across mountain tops all over the world are fossils of both modern & extinct ocean and land creatures ALL MIXED TOGETHER. This fact can ONLY be explained by a RECENT Creation and a WORLDWIDE FLOOD, and NOT by evolution. I thought that evolution was true just because the majority accepted it. The MAJORITY also used to believe that the Earth was FLAT!!!
Then I was confused about all the different religions out there. "Which God should I serve?!?!" "Does it REALLY matter as long as I am sincere and a 'GOOD PERSON' ??" I thought, "What if I am sincerely WRONG!?!?" I started to do some more research to try to find the TRUTH. The only other major religion which believes in only one God, besides the Judeo/Christian is Muslim/Islam. Islam was founded by the "MAN" Mohammed, who was born as late as 570 AD. He had visions that he had "ASSUMED" were from his god, Allah. After being convinced by his WIFE that the visions really WERE from Allah, he recorded these in his book "The Koran" before his death in 632. The books of the Bible have been completed about 450 years before Mohammed was even BORN!
There are also MANY prophecies written about Jesus before he was born, which are recorded in the Bible's "Old Testament", but NONE were ever recorded about Mohammed. Look at Isaiah 7:14 & Chap. 53 in the O.T. for just a couple. I used to think that the Bible was a myth or only an outdated book that was written by superstitious men. I tried to read it, but I couldn't make any sense out of it. I doubted that ANYONE could really understand it or REALLY know if it was the TRUTH. Then I found out that there are A LOT of books that explain the Bible and give good, historical, scientific, archaeological, and logical reasons to believe it. These types of books are called APOLOGETICS. I was VERY skeptical, but I did a TON of reading! I figured that the chance that I may spend eternity in hell and NOT in Heaven was a subject worthy of my further investigation. Here are some more of the questions that I had, and the answers that I found.
"Who wrote the Bible?" The Bible contains 66 different books that were recorded by about 40 different people across about a 1600-year time span. The Bible contains an AMAZING consistency, which could have ONLY been maintained by God. "Which Bible should I read and believe?" I found out that EVERY Holy Bible has the SAME message, it is PEOPLE who confuse it. Now, this is the main message of ANY Bible that you would pick up, and seems to be the only meaning to this CRAZY life. EVERYONE is born a sinner and separated from a relationship with God (Romans 3:23). God became the Perfect, sinless, Human being as the Person of Jesus Christ (John 1:1, Matt 1:23, Isaiah 9:6) EVERYONE who believes/trusts in Jesus Christ (John 3:16) is "BORN AGAIN" (John 3:3) and is restored to a relationship with God and HAS eternal life. BUT, whoever does NOT believe in Jesus, CANNOT have a relationship with God, and will be separated from Him forever in Hell (John 3:36).
"How could a LOVING God send people to Hell?" People ALLOW themselves to end up in Hell !!! GOD loves YOU, sooo much!! Whatever you may have done,you haven't been so BAD that HE won't forgive you if you ask Him!! Since GOD created you to be in a relationship with Him, if you die without accepting His love in THIS life, you will be separated from Him in the next, and in Hell. God gave us all free will, He will not FORCE you to choose to love HIM.
I used to think that being "BORN AGAIN" was some crazy cult, but it isn't. Being born again means to have your mind, heart, and life renewed for the things that honor God, instead of selfish things. It makes NO difference whether you're a Catholic, Protestant or belong to ANY OTHER denomination. YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN INTO A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS CHRIST TO SPEND ETERNITY IN HEAVEN WITH GOD!!!
"What about the Jehovah's Witnesses and The Mormons/ Church of Latter Day Saints?" At first, groups like these APPEAR to be just another Christian denomination, but I've learned that this is NOT true. BOTH of these groups were founded as late as the 1800's by MEN who "claimed" that people have been misinformed for THOUSANDS of years, and that they are each God's only TRUE Revelation to mankind. The Jehovah's Witnesses even have their OWN version of the Bible called "The New World Translation" , which they have SUBTLY distorted to mean something completely different than every other Bible(Compare John 1:1). It didn't make any sense to me that a loving God would have His Word around for 1900 years, but withhold the REAL TRUTH up until NOW, like BOTH of these groups insist. Both of these groups mention the name "Jesus", but he isn't God like the Bible PLAINLY teaches. ANYTHING ANYONE SAYS OR DOES SHOULD BE CHECKED CAREFULLY WITH THE BIBLE TO MAKE SURE THAT THEY ARE TELLING THE TRUTH!!!!
"Was Jesus REALLY God, or ONLY a "good" man and teacher?" Jesus believed and TOLD people that He was God, so He could be God, a liar, or a lunatic, but never ONLY a "good" man. "How do I know if Jesus even EXISTED?" The 15th edition of "The Encyclopedia Britannica" uses more space describing Jesus than Aristotle, Alexander, Caesar or Napoleon. Josephus, the Jewish historian, mentions Jesus in his writings.
"What about the Jewish people?" I learned that Jesus not ONLY began new relationship between God and ANYONE who wishes to have a PERSONAL relationship with Him, He was the FULFILLMENT of the Jewish religion. The animal sacrifices of the O.T. were ONLY a FORESHADOW of the once and for all, perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Isaiah 53 in the O.T. PLAINLY describes Jesus as the Jews' suffering Messiah. Isaiah was written about 700 years BEFORE Jesus was even born. This early recording of Isaiah has been confirmed by the finding of the "Dead Sea Scrolls". The ONLY way for the Jews and ANYONE else to have a relationship with God is through Jesus Christ (John 14:6).
I learned a LOT! Much more than I could ever put on this one page. There are many books and Internet web sites , which explain things MUCH better than I EVER could. Some of the best books that I have read are "A Ready Defense" by Josh McDowell, and "Many Infallible Proofs" by Stephen Caesar. For these and MANY other APOLOGETIC books with LOGICAL reasons to believe in the Bible call Chirsitian Book Distributors,a world wide, mail order book company. If you go to their website, you can have them send you a big, free catalog. They have a TON of books and their prices are less than the stores. You can also find a good local church and Bible study to check out and ask questions.
I am just writing this paper because I was SO surprised that I was able to find REALLY satisfying answers to all my questions, when I thought that no one could EVER really know the TRUTH for sure. I read some books on life after death and re-incarnation by people who have "CLAIMED" to have died. Then I thought "If these people were REALLY dead, then they STILL would be!!" I DON'T expect anyone to just believe me or this paper, but I would HOPE that this article would at LEAST make people think about all of this on their OWN and do some of their OWN investigating!!
I just wanted to share what I have learned and to give people a head start. I know how difficult it is to listen to someone else tell you about their religion, I was there. It all seemed so confusing to me, at first. Since I've done all this research, I KNOW that the Bible is TRULY God's Word to all mankind, and I believe it. I pray that THE LORD JESUS CHRIST uses this paper to open up the minds and hearts of everyone who reads this so that they may be saved from an eternity separated from GOD and in hell. Eternity is a loooong time to gamble with. If you died right now, do you know where YOU would go !?!?!
About The Author
Dave Samm; firstname.lastname@example.org
Just a guy that's done some reading.