Christ Alive and Well in New Zealand
Jesus was twelve years old, the family went up to the Feast
of the Passover. After the Feast his parents returned home
unaware that Jesus had stayed behind in Jerusalem. They
went back to to look for him and found him in the temple,
sitting among the teachers. When his parents saw him, they
were astonished. Why were you searching for me?" he
asked. "Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's
returned to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them.
But his mother treasured all these things in her heart.
And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with
God and men.
Why shouldn't I believe in God? It's always
been apparent that there are supernatural influences that
affect our lives. Every single ancient civilization and every
single primitive tribe of indigenous people has worshipped
images of deities they perceived to be gods who had power
over their society and controlled their destiny.
Today, a great many people who state that they don't adhere
to any religious beliefs< will still admit to believing that
their lives are influenced by astrological powers, claiming
that they are Scorpios or Librans or whatever. While they
reject the belief in an all-powerful God, they might still
seek information about their past, or future, from clairvoyants
and tarot card readers. Atheists may be reluctant to admit
it, but it
defies logic to believe that everything we see on earth evolved
simply by chance and will continue to do so in the future,
without believing that there is something that causes it to
happen. Otherwise on what does one place his, or her, confidence
that there will be exactly twenty-four 60-minute hours every
day in the coming future?
Considering the above, it is fair to say that believing in
a supernatural power is as natural as an appreciation of beauty
and a desire for happiness. And if anyone says that they wouldn't
want to be in a place where beauty and happiness was eternal,
there would have to be something wrong with them. One is being
inconsistent, to say the least, if one is obsessed with seeking
worldly pleasures but wouldn't want to
go to heaven if it existed, since Heaven, I am convinced,
is a place where inhabitants will live forever in perfect
happiness. A problem for unbelievers who struggle to accept
the existence of an almighty God,
who created and controls the whole Universe and everything
in it, is that people tend to create an image in their minds
of what they think God should be like if he existed and then
conclude that He doesn't. I'm sure they are right. The God
they conceive doesn't exist. But that's not a basis for denying
that the God they can't conceive does.
WORLD OF DESIGN
Everything in the universe has a pattern that
reveals a designer. Scientific experimentation is only possible
because of the consistency and reliability of those patterns
and laws. If it wasn't God who designed these, what else could
have? It's foolish to think that the laws of nature are all
the result of chance. If the prevailing
rule is that things happen by chance, then it's necessary
that there should be chances that things wont happen. Keeping
this in mind, what do you think the chances are that the sun
won’t rise at exactly the same time as it did today
on this same day next year?
It's possible to chart the precise speed and exact location
of all the known planets hundreds of years into the future.
What keeps them moving with such exquisite precision? What
power keeps them in perpetual motion without fuel if there
is no supernatural being in control?
Without faith in the consistent speed at which
planets travel, space exploration would be a totally fruitless
pursuit. Who boards a plane without the faith that the pilot,
whom the passenger has probably never met, knows how to fly
it? Who would plant fruit trees if they did not believe that
one day they would bear fruit?
How do we know that the sun will rise tomorrow? Do we not
have faith in such things? Anyone who says they don’t
adhere to any faith at all is either a very lazy, or very
Everyone lives according to some type of faith. Life would
be unbearable without it. It's faith that gives hope. Take
away hope and life seems pointless. For me, that's what life
without faith in God would be. My only concern would be to
look after myself. The trouble with that is that it's impossible
to put oneself first without
placing others in a position of being less important. What
hope can there be for a world where everybody's aim is to
gain at the expense of others? If our hope doesn't rest with
faith in God, what is the alternative -faith in chance?
Some people justify their unbelief on the grounds that they
have never seen God. Well who has seen nature? Who has seen
the wind, electricity, the sun’s rays, xrays, microwaves
or sound waves? To my knowledge, all the billions upon billions
of stars in all the galaxies in the Universe are kept in perpetual
motion at predestined speeds by gravity and magnetism. Is
the invisibility of these powerful forces a basis for denying
their existence? Who governs the laws they keep to?
Some people ask, "Who made God?"
It's a pointless question, because if there were a possible
answer we would be left with the question, "Who made
whoever made God?' Then we would want to know who made whoever
made whoever made God. We must conclude that something had
to come first. We also have to conclude that whatever (I prefer
to say whoever) came first had to be greater than whatever
followed. No creation can be superior to its creator.
Although it is impossible for us to conceive how God always
was and always will be, I personally can’t conceive
any other alternative. People who believe that the Universe
started with a big bang cannot possibly escape the fact that
there would have needed to be something there in the first
place to explode and something to cause the explosion. It
couldn't have all started with nothing. Besides, explosions
never produce anything but devastation. At least there is
one thing we can all agree on - the world couldn't have created
It's said that you can’t prove that God exists. I'm
not sure about that. But what I'm absolutely certain of is
that you can't disprove His existence. What the Bible says
seems evident to me, "The heavens declare the Glory of
God." As well as the laws of nature, I believe that there
are spiritual laws, which God has told us about through the
Bible. I also believe that all the problems we humans face
were caused, and will continue to be caused by our (I'm certainly
not excluding myself) breaking these laws by actions known
You can't make any material thing out of nothing,
and you can't reduce anything to being absolutely nothing.
Everything, according to nature's law, can be transformed
but it can never disappear. It is what scientists call the
first law of thermodynamics. Water can evaporate, wood can
completely go up in smoke and metals can be ground into very
fine dust. But such things never go away completely; they
absorbed in other substances. Likewise, no part of our physical
being totally disappears when we die. It will either turn
to dust if we are buried, or it will be transformed into smoke
and ashes if cremated.
But what happens after death to that invisible part of us
that we might call our spirit; that part of us that thinks,
imagines, is creative and distinguishes our own personality
from those of others? Is it not reasonable to believe that
if our flesh doesn't dissolve into nothing when we die then
perhaps our spirit doesn't either? Surely our spirits are
more intrinsic to our individuality than our flesh, organs
and bones, which seem to be interchangeable without affecting
our personalities. The fact that no one returns from the after
life doesn't rule out the possibility of there being one.
Did a butterfly ever turn back into a chrysalis? Did a frog
ever revert to being a tadpole?
IS THE BENEFIT?
So what have we got to lose if we believe in
God anyway? If those of us who believe are wrong, in what
way will the atheist be any better off at death than we are?
For the dying believer, at least there is some comfort in
the hope they have of a new eternal life. Dying is the most
crucial problem we will ever have to face. We can choose not
to think about it, but we wont be able to avoid it. Why not
try to make it less sorrowful? On the other hand, let's suppose
that those of us who believe are right. Aren't we going to
be infinitely better off than the non-believer? Well, not
necessarily, according to the Bible. Just believing that there
is a God without caring to know about him or obey him is not
enough. As the Bible says, "Even the Devil knows there
is a God and Trembles." (James 2:19)
Christians, like myself, not only believe in one true God,
but we believe that he sent His one and only divine son, Jesus
Christ, to offer Himself up as a living sacrifice for our
sakes so that we might regain the right to eternal life, which
was lost when the first two human beings, Adam and Eve, whom
we all descended from, chose to sin against God. Jesus told
us that by offering up his own perfect sinless body - as He
did on the cross - He would purchase eternal life for all
of us who wanted it. All we have to do to qualify is to acknowledge
that we are sinners, ask God to forgive us (as he is only
too willing to do), and then trust and obey him.
Millions of people have undergone a life changing experience
through this simple act of humbling themselves and inviting
Jesus into their lives, because the feelings of bitterness,
resentment, and hatred for others that they carry in their
hearts starts to wash away. It's like being born again into
a new life. After all, how can you possibly have peace of
mind if you are constantly angry with others, or constantly
feeling sorry for yourself? I can't see how it could be possible
to have constant joy until one has arrived at having constant
peace. And I’m convinced that constant peace cannot
be derived unless one has peace with others, peace within
themselves and peace with God. If I am right, then it stands
to reason that one can’t be at peace with God if one
refuses to accept that he is real.
A MAN OR GOD?
Christians reject the thought that Jesus was just a very good
man, as many religions teach. Jesus made claims that no other
person, if he wanted to be taken seriously, would dream of
making. He predicted that he would be martyred, he claimed
he would rise from the dead, he stated that the only way to
eternal life was through him. He said, "I am the Way
the Truth and the Life. No man comes to the Father (God) except
through me." (John 14:6.) Anybody who made such claims
if they were false could not possibly have been a good man.
One would have to be either a blatant liar or crazy. But there
is nothing in the known facts about Jesus that could even
remotely indicate that he was either of these things.
Some might argue that Jesus was truly only just a good man
but those who wrote about him distorted the truth, especially
when they wrote that he rose from the dead. But as the great
apostle Paul said, "If Christ did not die on the cross
and rise from the dead, then everything I and all the other
apostles have preached has been in vain." (1st Corinthians
It confounds me what the motivation would have been for the
apostles to want to give up everything they had; all their
personal possessions, their homes, their jobs, their former
religion and even their very lives, so that they could run
around the country and abroad spreading stories about Jesus
if they didn't believe them themselves. It's not as if they
expected to gain good fortune from it. Jesus told them to
expect hatred, suffering and persecution; and that's exactly
what they got. Doesn't it seem peculiar that anybody would
preach love, joy, peace, patience, kindness and honesty in
order that people would believe the lies they were spreading?
For at least 50 days after Christ's reported resurrection,
the apostles expressly stayed and preached about it in Jerusalem,
the very city where his crucifixion took place. All that was
needed for the apostle’s detractors to refute this claim
was to produce the body. What happened to it?
Jesus said the whole law is summed up in these few words,
"Love the Lord your God with your whole heart and your
whole soul and your whole mind, and love your neighbour’s
as yourself." (Matthew 22:38-40.) What reasonable objection
can there be to that? I can only presume that the objection
comes from a desire to be able to sin without feeling guilty.
Without the fear of answering to an almighty judge, one can
feel free to seek satisfaction from a life of indulgence.
But can the reader honestly think of anyone who succeeded
at finding satisfaction in that? As Jesus said, "What
does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but suffers
the loss of his soul?" Is there anything at all more
worth thinking about?
Christ Alive and Well in New Zealand