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What do you believe....

.... and why do you believe it?    


  
 
Many people work on the principle that God expects us to do our best and at the end of our lives in this world, he will decide whether or not we have been good enough to be admitted into his presence. They believe it because they learned it from someone else - perhaps their parents.

It is a most unsatisfactory notion because even if it were true, we don’t know what the pass mark is.

Others try to convince themselves that since God is good, he will not exclude anyone from heaven. In the light of the appalling wickedness of which human nature is capable, this idea is not easy to believe. Those who still believe it do so because they like it this way.


Yet others try to persuade themselves that God does not exist. On principle they refuse to accept that the beauty and complexity of the universe could not possibly have come about by pure chance. They probably do so this because it relieves them of the idea that they are accountable to God.


There are a few people still around who believe what the Bible teaches.


The question we need to ask ourselves is this: What is our authority for what we believe?’ It sounds like a complex question but in the final analysis, there are only three possible answers:


1.The Church. Roman Catholics are expected to believe everything the Pope says when he speaks ‘ex cathedra’ (when he speaks officially on faith or morals) because when he does so, he claims to be infallible. In this case, the authority for what Roman Catholics believe is the church. (I have met many Roman Catholics in my time but I have yet to meet one who puts everything the Pope teaches into practice.)  The problem we have with this position is the infallibility claim. How, we ask, can a fallible man claim to be infallible? The Papal decree of infallibility was promulgated in 1870. It covers the time before as well as after that date which means that Popes have always been infallible. This is hard to swallow, especially when we remember that at one time in history there were two Popes, each trying to excommunicate the other!
The Mind. By far the greater majority believe only what they choose to believe or what they think is reasonable and acceptable. In this case, the final authority is ‘Me’.

The problem we have with this is even more serious. If we ask six people what they believe, we are likely to get

half a dozen answers. And the popular notion that what you believe is true for you and what I believe is true for me, is totally illogical. If, for example, you believe there is a God and I don’t, how can we both be right?


The Bible. People in this category are persuaded that neither the church nor the human mind are reliable as sources of authority. Both are fallible. In this case, the holy Scriptures are the final appeal in all matters of faith and morality.

Stated belief in the authority of the Bible frequently raises a chorus of protests. ‘The Bible was written by men, so how can it be the word of God?’ ‘Science has proved that what the Bible teaches is not true.’ ‘The Bible contradicts itself.’ 'It is out of date' And so we could go on.


The greater majority of those who raise these objections have never read the Bible seriously and are merely repeating what they have heard. Were they to study the Scriptures carefully, many would certainly change their minds.


Obviously, this subject is too big to address here. One or two examples of the reliability and life-changing power of the Bible will have to suffice. The following words from the prophecy of Isaiah were written centuries before Jesus Christ was born, and yet they  describe in detail the purpose of his death:


         ‘But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our                  iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and               by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray,              each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him              the iniquity of us all’ (Isaiah 53: 5, 6). The words were prophetic;                  written centuries before Jesus was born.


We learn from these words that no-one is good enough to enter God's presence and enjoy eternal life. We have all gone astray. Jesus is the only person who has lived a perfect life and he gave himself in sacrifice to save his people from their sins. As the old hymn puts it:


        There was no other good enough

         to pay the price of sin;

         He only could unlock the gate of heaven

         and let us in.


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This site exists to help people understand the gospel as it is revealed in the Holy 


Scriptures.Thbooks listed are written in a simple 


style for the benefit of readers for whom English is 


a second language and for those who are young 


in the faith.They are available in any bookshop.


The paintings are added to  create interest and 


are not for sale.


I am willing to answer sincere questions in confidence on any subject relating 


to the Christian gospel. Please don't delay - I am in my nineties!!


My email address is: frankallred1@gmail.com