Someone asked me a pointed question last night.
“If there was some proof/evidence 100% disproving all religions and seeing it would mean you know it is not real, would you want to see it? Remember it is a yes or no question.”
He posed another question:
What about you, what would make you stop believing?
My first response was this;
“NOTHING will ever cause me to stop believeing because I found out something very valuable. Jesus believes in me. This is why He stopped me from taking my life. He believes in me and He has a purpose and a plan for my life. I don’t question what His plan is, I am just super duper thankful that He has included me in His plan.”
This morning as I was doing my chores, I began to ponder on his two questions, asking myself this question.
Why … do I believe in Jesus with all of my heart, mind, body and soul?
I decided to take the two ‘religions’ of Islam and Christianity to compare ‘what I know of each’, making this disclaimer that I only know of a limited scope of the extreme Islamic faith.
On the one hand you have an un-known face of a man who took a walk out into the wilderness and while in a cave, in the mountain region of Mecca, Arabia had this huge epiphany that he would preach about the revelations he was shown in this cave. He proclaimed himself a prophet and messanger of the god who made these revealtions known to him, never even thinking for one minute that it just might be… The Creator of the Universe, not to mention the very wilderness that he walked in and the cave that he received his revelations. His subjects who would come to believe in him and his self proclaimed prophecies, would later be taught that if one refuses to believe in his god that they should die at the hand of man, not him or his god, but his followers. His god has no background to proclaim his deity. The self proclaimed prophet, is not listed in the present Qur’an but the followers of this book boasts to tell the world that his god ‘great, very great’. Yet Mohammed’s god nor it’s text make a claim to be able to save anyone from the sting of death, promising only so many virgins in the after life to those who would sacrifice their own life for the sake of their faith, in a mere man and his self proclaimed prophecy of the revelations that he received.
This man nor his god claim a disposition to even love their followers. He doesn’t claim to want to bring peace to a world, but rather instills hatred and terror. Yet many, (not a whole lot in comparison over the span of time) wholeheartedly, sacrifice not only them selves for this man and his god, but their children and wives as well.
Why are his followers commanded to kill those whom do not believe in their great great Allah? Because if you can shut everyone else up about their faith, then that god can stand on his own because he is left with no one to oppose him and his god. No one left to challenge his authority. This religion is domination, murder, hate and terror and all for what? A bunch of virgins that he can have here on earth and as many as he wants, yet in his after life, the virgins that he gains are limited to a given amount.
On the other hand you have an incredible indescribable story of a sprit, placing His seed in the womb of a young girl, lives His life as a child, teenager, young adult and then an adult who suffers the same joys and atrocities that every man and woman does. One who over time, OTHERS stake their lives and reputation on a belief and faith that this man was the prodigal Son of a God of such wealth in the heavens. A wealth such as complete peace and tranquility that at the mere mention of a word from His mouth, land rises up from the bottom of the depths of the sea. This God enthroned in the heavens above us way beyond the blue, one day just left all that He had. Gave it all away, just to come to an earth, ( a foreign country) to live and die at the hands of the humanity that He created and why?
In a nutshell the Bible tells a story from Genesis to Revelation of a God with such a deep burning love and desire for mankind (that He created) who one day chose to take a journey to the earth (that He created) and all for what? Just to get His family back.
How did He do that? His life begins by being born in a food trough and yet He is manna from heaven. As He grows up, He learns just like you and I do about poverty, physical, mental and verbal abuse, rejection, betrayal and pain. He learns what it’s like to have someone leave their imprint of pent up hatred used against Him, using bits of glass and metal and leather straps across His back and sides and all for what? So that we might be healed? A man who not once ever makes a claim that He is great.
And finally, He learns what it is like to feel hours of agony AFTER having raw iron spikes, savagely pounded through His flesh, tendons and then His bones. Then hanging on a tree, suffering from thirst and is only given bitter water to drink as a token of a joke and why? So that He would truly learn what it is like to live life as a human, suffering as a servant for all mankind who would hopefully one day, wake up and realize that He did all of this to bring freedom to a dying world and to provide the atonement of His own blood so that we might be set free from our sin, our transgression against His law that only teaches humanity how to co-exist in the beautiful world that He created for us? He exchanged His life … for ours.
So ultimately the choice between just these two ‘religions’, you can either die an instant death and never be heard from again according to their scenario. Or refuse to believe in Jesus and at the end of all things known to mankind be cast into a lake of fire where you swim for the rest of all eternity, only to come to the top of the heap to be drowned again in the same flames of fire that never goes out with a bunch of spineless dark angels and their leader who all his life chose to oppose the One True God who originally placed him in pretty high authority and who is now pretty upset about the poor choice he made and is mad ‘in hell’ where he finds himself? Whew, that was a mouthful!
Why does The Bible make such a claim when a claim could have been so simple like the claim that Mohammad makes? The story of Jesus is a story of deep devotion and desire, compassion, sorrow, disappointment, pain and suffering and yet a celebration of undying love and a promise of an eternal life of joy, peace and harmony.
What about these bold or daring yet extremely original claims of the Bible? For centuries it has posed a question mark for all mankind, creating a dividing point between Christianity and other religions.
The Hebrew nation would have went nuts if Moses would have all the sudden made the claim that he was a god no different than how crazy the Muslims would have been if Mohammed would have claimed that he was the great great Allah.
Hindus believe in many incarnations not just one. Buddhists don’t even try to conceive a sovereign god becoming a human being but yet Jesus, who came in the flesh as a human being did. Saying, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.” and “Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am” and “I and my Father are one.” Yet is is clear to all who read the scriptures that Jesus Christ was and is indeed, God wrapped in flesh for the redemption of sins, the once visible of the invisible God. Yet, during His ministry only one culture of people, His own kinsmen rejected Him as their Messiah, the same Son of man who was later nailed to a tree that He created, by the same humanity that He created and came to save.
What does a person do with such a story? You either extend your belief and take a measure of faith that was given and believe every incredible, un-imaginable blazing a trail of a story or you don’t. It is just that simple. It all boils down to faith. The same faith that caused Peter to say, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” It was on this man’s confessed rock hard faith that Jesus would build His church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
This is why I believe in Jesus with all my heart, mind, body and soul. His story is personal, just like my life story. He shared His life story and then He shared His life and still continues to share His life with me, every day, all day and night long, and promises to do this, as long as I have the breath that He breathed into my lungs. And what about when I die. “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.” He wouldn’t even think to miss this precious moment of my death. He and His extremely tender heart will be right there with me, perhaps holding me in His arms.
All the days of my life I want to gaze upon His beauty and seek His Kingdom and His righteousness to one day meet Him in His Holy Sanctuary that is way beyond the blues. The One who will some day soon return in all His glory to bring me complete salvation to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in me, the hope of glory.
Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: let thy glory be above all the earth. O the waiting! Even so Lord Jesus, come quickly.