God Has Spoken and God Speaks to You
In the first book of the Bible we read that God spoke and the universe, the earth, and everything in it came into existence. Throughout history God continued to speak to men giving them direction that they could not find in their own wisdom. Many of the things that God spoke over a period of over 1500 years were written down and have been amazingly preserved in the book we call the Bible. And nearly two thousand years ago God spoke in an equally powerful way by sending His Son, Jesus who is the Messiah or Christ.
Many people claim that God is unknowable or that we create God through our own thoughts. Others believe that there is a God but do not bother to listen to Him. I invite you to take a few minutes to consider what God has spoken through His creation, His Word, and His Son.
God Speaks Through Creation
Many people are happy to believe that billions of years ago a massive explosion or Big Bang occurred. Somehow through this accident the entire universe was formed. But many questions are never or rarely asked. Where did the matter that exploded in 'Big Bang' come from? How did this original matter come together so that it could explode? How does an explosion create order?
The Bible without giving us all the details tells us that God created out of nothing the entire universe and everything in it. Through His incredible power spoke and all came to be. The earth was formed to be the ideal place for God to create life. Though for many, many years some scientists have hoped to find life somewhere else in the universe, life only exists on the earth, which has been placed in the perfect position in the universe. Recently scientists have come to see that the universe has been 'fine-tuned' for the existence of life on the earth.
Animals and plants also show the amazing wisdom and creativity of God. Over one million different forms of animals and plants have been classified. And although plants and animals can change (micro-evolution), we have never seen a plant or animal evolve into a totally new plant or animal (macro-evolution).
On the sixth day of creation, God formed man from the dust of the earth and God breathed into man the breath of life, and man became a living being. The human body is made of trillions of cells that work together. Each cell of our bodies contains the complex plan, our DNA, which describes every part of our bodies. Scientists in the last 50 years have learned how complex each cell of our body is and the amazing way that cells are able to work together. We have been created in an amazing way.
Even more amazing than our physical bodies is the mind that God has given to us. The mind works with the brain but it is more than the brain. Our emotions can affect our bodies, but they are more than simply our cells working together. Humans have a will and a conscience. We can appreciate beauty. We are able to love and hate. We can create and sadly also destroy. These abilities cannot simply be explained through physical processes. A chemistry lab full of chemicals will never be moved by the beauty of the Grand Canyon or a sculpture by Michelangelo. How can we understand this? The Bible tells us that men and women have been created in the image of God. This does not mean that in anyway we look like God, but we are able to think and act like God. God made us in a truly special way unlike the rest of the animals and plants that God also made.
But if God did create the world in a perfect way, how do we understand the diseases that kill us and genetic defects that make some suffer all their lives? Everywhere we look we can see God's order and power, but we also see the presence of pain, suffering, and death. How do we make sense of this? The answer to this can only be found as we look further in God's Word.
God Speaks Through the Bible
In the Bible we come to understand that although God made a perfect world it now is filled with pain, suffering, and death. Little children sometimes get cancer, and far too many children and other helpless people are mistreated and abused. We live in a world where even 'good' people suffer. Why is this? In the first book of the Bible we learn that God created two original humans. Many think that the story of Adam and Eve is just myth, but it is the true history of the first man and woman. Adam and Eve were placed in the most beautiful garden ever made - the garden that God made, often called the Garden of Eden. God provided all that Adam and Eve needed and gave them only one command - they were not to eat of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Taking the form of a serpent or snake, the devil tempted Adam and Eve to do what they wanted to do instead of what God told them do. Eve took some of the fruit and ate it and also gave some to Adam who was with her. (The Bible holds Adam most responsible). As a result of Adam's sin, suffering and death entered the world. Other curses came upon the once good and perfect creation. Adam's sin has affected every single person who has come into the world.
The first part of the Bible's story tells other important events that took place early in the earth's history. Thousands of years ago, God sent a flood that wiped out all life on earth save for that which was saved in Noah's ark. Many evidences of this flood are found all over the earth. Some time after the flood God scattered men all over the earth after causing them to speak different languages.
Also several thousand years ago, God called a man named Abraham and gave him the promise of many children and a land. Eventually Abraham had a son and eventually his descendants became a nation and came from Egypt into the land promised to them - what is today the nation of Israel. All throughout the history of Israel, God was preparing the way for the coming of Jesus the Messiah or Jesus Christ.
God Speaks Through His Son
Two thousand years ago a baby was born in Bethlehem. Nothing is special about the way Jesus was born, but there was something truly special about how Mary, Jesus' mother, became pregnant. Mary became pregnant, not through anything she did or through normal means, but through the miraculous working of God. God the Holy Spirit caused Mary to become pregnant. The baby in her womb was Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Jesus was a real person just like you. Jesus is also God. He is fully God and fully man.
Jesus lived a perfect life. For much of his early life he likely worked with his father, a carpenter or one who worked with stone. But when he was about the age of 30, Jesus started a new phase of his life. He began teaching those in Israel more about the true God and showed that He was the true Messiah that Israel had been waiting for. Some believed and followed Jesus, others were confused and not so sure, and many of the religious leaders of the day understood what Jesus was saying and hated him for it. After about three years of teaching, Jesus was arrested. The religious leaders of Israel did not have the power to put anyone to death, but they were able to persuade a Roman leader named Pilate, to allow Jesus to be crucified. One morning starting about 9 a.m. Jesus was crucified on cross. After six hours of suffering, Jesus died. He was put in a tomb. Most people thought that was the end of the story. But after three days, Jesus was raised to live through the power of God. For the next forty days, Jesus showed his followers that He was truly alive. He then went back to heaven.
But before he went to heaven, He commanded those to follow Him to first teach others in Israel and then to go to other nations and tell others Him.
Jesus died on the cross not for anything He had done. He was totally innocent. But in his death, he took the punishment that all other people deserve. Every person is guilty of doing something that God has forbidden or has not something that God has commanded. As a result all people deserve to die. All people at the end of time, will stand before God at what is called the Day of Judgment. There is no way that any person can stand perfectly or even do enough good things in life to outweigh their sin. Only those who come to believe in Jesus and trust that His death on the cross took the punishment they deserve can ever stand before God on the day of judgment and spend eternity with God.
The message of the gospel or the good news is this. Jesus came. Jesus died. Jesus was raised to life again. All who those who believe in Him can know that they have eternal life. Those who believe in Jesus are called to turn from sin. Those who believe in Jesus are also called to be baptized and to join with other believers for worship, the study of the Bible, and service to others.