Choose Life: Part 2
But does God exist?
There are only three possibilities regarding the origin of all things, and of these three the human mind can find rest only in one. Consider them:
That an eternal nothing exists that created both mind or matter; or
That eternal matter exists that created mind; or
That an eternal Mind exists that created both mind and matter.
Only the third possibility satisfies mind and heart. As a Hebrew poet once said, 'Only fools say in their hearts, "There is no God."'
Scientist A. Cressy Morrison wrote: 'So many essential conditions are necessary for life to exist on our earth that it is mathematically impossible that all of them could exist in proper relationship by chance on any one earth at one time. Therefore, there must be in nature some form of intelligent direction.'
Does God care?
Grant, then, the existence of God; but what sort of God? Does he care? A penetrating thinker of the seventeenth century answered this question in a way that has satisfied thousands of thoughtful people ever since. He wrote:
'When God created the human species, either he wished their happiness, or he wished their misery, or he was indifferent or unconcerned about both.'
'If he had wished our misery, he might have made sure of his purpose by forming our senses to be so many sores and pains to us, as they are now instruments of gratification and enjoyment; or by placing us amid objects so ill-suited to our perceptions as to have continually offended us, instead of ministering to our refreshment and delight. He might have made, for example, everything we tasted, bitter; everything we saw, loathsome; everything we touched, a sting; every smell a stench; and every sound a discord.'
'If he had been indifferent about our happiness or misery, we must impute to our good fortune (as all design by this supposition is excluded) both the capacity of our senses to receive pleasure, and the supply of external objects fitted to produce it. But neither of these (and still more both of them) being too much to be attributed to accident, nothing remains but the first supposition, that God, when he created the human species, wished their happiness; and made for them the provision which he has made, with that view, and for that purpose'
"William Paley, Complete Works, pages 503, 504)
How God speaks
If this is the kind of God who exists, why does he not speak to us, that we might know how to live? Why does he not speak to us in order that some of us might find good reason for continuing to live?
He has indeed spoken. The Bible is the only book in the world whose claims are fully authenticated by the lives of both its writers and readers.
First, it is authenticated by the lives of its writers. Here is this book the penmen declare approximately 2,500 times that God told them to write. God either did tell them, or he didn't. If he did not, and these men were liars, we are confronted by the strange phenomenon of forty men telling lies in order to urge man to speak the truth-and the stranger phenomenon of man telling deliberate lies knowing that by doing so they are imperilling their lives. Consider the fate of some of those men. The Israelites tried to stone Moses. Ezekiel was murdered. Jeremiah was stoned by his Jewish compatriots exiled in Egypt. Isaiah was put in a hollow log and sawn in two. Almost all the New Testament writers were martyred. Peter for example, was crucified upside down, and Paul beheaded.
Men have frequently been known to lie in order to get out of trouble, but never has it been known that a company of men would agree to lie in order to get into trouble, and permanent trouble at that!
Yes, the Bible is authenticated by the lives of its writers. But it is also confirmed by the lives of its readers. Millions can testify to the marvellous change brought about in their lives through their contact with this Book.
H.L. Hastings has expressed this fact well:
'There are men who study philosophy, astronomy, geology, geography and mathematics; but did you ever hear a man say, "I was an outcast, a wretched drunkard, a disgrace to my race and a nuisance to the world until I began to study mathmetics and learn the multiplication table; and then turned my attention to geology, got me a little hammer, and knocked off the corners of the rocks and studied the formation of the earth, and since that time I have been happy as the day is long; I feel like singing all the time; my soul is full of triumph and peace; and health and blessing have come to my desolate home once more?'
Did you ever hear a man ascribe his redemption and salvation from intemperance and sin and vice to the multiplication table, or the science of mathematics or of geology?
'But I can bring you, not one man, or two, or ten, but men by the thousand who will tell you, "I was wretched; I was lost; I broke my poor mother's heart; I beggared my family; my wife was heart-stricken and dejected; my children fled from the sound of their father's footsteps; I was ruined, reckless, helpless, homeless, hopeless, UNTIL I HEARD THE WORDS OF THAT BOOK!"'
(H. L. Hastings, Will the Old Book Stand? Review an Herald, page 22)
In this age of scientific method there is a sure way of ascertaining the real nature of the Bible. The book itself suggests it:
'Taste and see that the Lord is good' (Psalm 34:8); and
'Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.' (Romans 10:13)
Augustine, centuries ago, after years of loose living, heard a child's voice crying, 'Take and read.' He picked up a copy of the Scriptures nearby and at that moment he began to live.
This can be your experience. Begin with these promises, and then read all that God has to say to you, and you, too, will live-now and forever.