Apostasy

So you have decided that God does not exist because you cannot prove it. I am quite sure that you do not know that there have been thousands before you that have chosen to take that stand, to their detriment I might add.

It is written:

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.  They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good.”  Psalm 14:1; 53:1

Proverbs 10:14  The wise lay up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool brings ruin near.”

Proverbs 12:15  “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.”

Proverbs 14:3   “By the mouth of a fool comes a rod for his back” 

Proverbs 15:5    “A fool despises his father’s instruction, but whoever heeds reproof is prudent.”

Proverbs 18:2   “A fool takes no pleasure in understanding.”

Proverbs 28:26   “Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.

I Corinthians 1:18. “ For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing.

I think it is abundantly clear that God calls someone who does not believe in Him a fool.  I pray that you will consider what i am presenting to you today.

The word prove is interesting. It seems to me to indicate that there is a substance that must be tested to see the veracity. Of course, I think right away of a chemical application. So, let’s take that meaning and have a look at what it means to test God’s existence.

Perhaps the most famous atheist that I know of is the Frenchman Voltaire. The following is a brief synopsis taken from Wikipedia.

François-Marie Arouet  21 November 1694 – 30 May 1778), known by his nom de plume Voltaire, was a French Enlightenment writer, historian, and philosopher famous for his wit, his attacks on the established Catholic Church, and his advocacy of freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and separation of church and state.

Voltaire was a versatile writer, producing works in almost every literary form, including plays, poems, novels, essays, and historical and scientific works. He wrote more than 20,000 letters and more than 2,000 books and pamphlets. He was an outspoken advocate of several liberties, despite the risk this placed him in under the strict censorship laws of the time. As a satirical polemicist, he frequently made use of his works to criticize intolerance, religious dogma, and the French institutions of his day.

Voltaire was educated by the Jesuits at the Collège Louis-le-Grand (1704–1711), where he learned Latin and Greek; later in life he became fluent in Italian, Spanish, and English.[3]

Like other key Enlightenment thinkers, Voltaire was a deist, expressing the idea: “What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason.”[48][49]

In a 1763 essay, Voltaire supported the toleration of other religions and ethnicities: “It does not require great art, or magnificently trained eloquence, to prove that Christians should tolerate each other. I, however, am going further: I say that we should regard all men as our brothers. What? The Turk my brother? The Chinaman my brother? The Jew? The Siam? Yes, without doubt; are we not all children of the same father and creatures of the same God?”[50]

In a letter to Frederick II, King of Prussia, dated 5 January 1767, he wrote about Christianity:  (Note this is toward the end of his life)

“[Christianity] is assuredly the most ridiculous, the most absurd and the most bloody religion which has ever infected this world. Your Majesty will do the human race an eternal service by extirpating this infamous superstition, I do not say among the rabble, who are not worthy of being enlightened and who are apt for every yoke; I say among honest people, among men who think, among those who wish to think. … My one regret in dying is that I cannot aid you in this noble enterprise, the finest and most respectable which the human mind can point out..”[53][54]

However, Voltaire also acknowledged the self-sacrifice of Christians. He wrote: “Perhaps there is nothing greater on earth than the sacrifice of youth and beauty, often of high birth, made by the gentle sex in order to work in hospitals for the relief of human misery, the sight of which is so revolting to our delicacy. Peoples separated from the Roman religion have imitated but imperfectly so generous a charity.”[63] Yet “His hatred of religion increased with the passage of years. The attack, launched at first against clericalism and theocracy, ended in a furious assault upon Holy Scripture, the dogmas of the Church, and even upon the person of Jesus Christ Himself, who was depicted now as a degenerate”.[64]

Judaism

Telushkin states that Voltaire did not limit his attack to aspects of Judaism that Christianity used as a foundation, repeatedly making it clear that he despised Jews.]

According to the historian Will Durant, Voltaire had initially condemned the persecution of Jews on several occasions including in his work Henriade.[72] As stated by Durant, Voltaire had praised the simplicity, sobriety, regularity, and industry of Jews.However, subsequently, Voltaire had become strongly anti-Semitic after some regrettable personal financial transactions and quarrels with Jewish financiers.

As I read Voltaire’s biography, I was struck by the unrest, the constant movement from thought to thought, person to person, place to place, seemingly not ever finding what he was seeking, progressively getting more degenerate in his thinking, seemingly filled with more and more hate and anger.  He seems to have been in a constant state of turmoil all the while in attack mode, using his wit and humor to do so. He was creative, certainly, this gift is from God, but because He did not know or understand who God truly is, the gift was used against man and God.

Voltaire had humanistic leanings; he was democratic in his philosophies and alignments to some degree, but certainly class conscious and believed only the enlightened really understood what was going on in the world. He exalted the mind above all and he used his beliefs to influence those in high places; power is a hard taskmaster, ever requiring more and more of the one seeking it.

It was interesting to me that tolerance was used to describe his view of “religions and ethnicities”. If there is one word that characterizes America today it is tolerance. We are told to tolerate lifestyles and activities that fly in the face of what the Bible says. America was founded to be a home for all classes; all colors, all races, all religions, but not that any of them impose their belief upon the many. America was founded by Bible believing Christians and today many would tear away that foundation and replace it with tolerance for anything anyone wants to do or believe, thus allowing the few to dictate to the many. It is a sad day indeed.

When a man turns his back upon the God who created him, he immediately begins to take on the character of the adversary of God. Voltaire was no exception. As we read history, it is clear that he went from religion to atheism. There is some doubt as to what happened on his deathbed. It was thought that a Catholic priest who was at his bedside asked him to repent, but he refused. Others have said that his fearful last words were, “The Nazarene, the Nazarene” In any case he did not die in faith, as far as it can be known.

I think that it is important at this point to clarify the difference between religion and relationship. A man can be religious without having any relationship with the God he intellectually believes in. I have personally known people who can quote scripture and espouse the tenets of the Christian faith, whose lives were a clear indication that their faith was superficial at best. It is clear from the word of God that believers in Jesus are not only to hear the word of God, but to do it as well.

The churches are full of people who believe in God who have never come into relationship with Him. It is not unlike knowing a famous person, knowing all about them but not knowing them personally. If they were to meet the famous one, that one would not know them.

It is written:

“Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on the day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name and driven out demons in your name and done many mighty works in your name? And then I will say to them openly, I never knew you; depart from Me, you who act wickedly disregarding My commands. Matthew 7:21-23

Is the one who sits in church believing in God but not having a living relationship with him any better off than one who chooses to disbelieve, in my opinion, no?

This brings me to the thought of proofing a substance or proving an idea. In order to do this you must start from a point of truth. The substance must be true, pure, if it isn’t you will get a false reading. Proving an idea, a concept is no different.

It is written:

“The heavens declare the glory (manifest presence) of God; and the firmament show and proclaims His handiwork. Day after day pours forth speech, and night after night shows forth knowledge. There is no speech nor spoken word [from the stars]; their voice is not heard. Yet their voice [in evidence] goes out through all the earth, their sayings to the end of the world. Of the heavens has God made a tent for the sun.” Psalm 19:1-4

In the darkest places of earth, God can be known by creation, and has been known. There is the story of a man from a tribe in Africa that was unreached by the gospel, who looking at the heavens thought there surely must be someone who made it. He cried out to that being for knowledge and God faithfully sent someone to tell him about God the creator and the way of salvation.

When the man Nicodemus, who was a religious leader in Jesus day, came to Him with questions, it was because he saw signs and miracles that no mere man had power to do. As they sat and talked, Jesus helped him see that these signs, wonders and miracles were done because of His relationship with God, and in order to enter into that relationship you had to believe truth. Truth is the starting point of proof. Jesus is the truth; He is the starting point of faith, the way, the very door into the Kingdom of God.

Nicodemus struggled to understand. His religion, his intellect were giving him a problem, they always have and they always will give a man a problem, because faith is not of the head, it is of the heart. (“For with the heart man believes and is saved and with the mouth he makes his confession.” Romans 10:10) So Jesus spoke to him of birth. Birth is the beginning of human life on earth according to western tradition. In Jewish tradition, life begins at conception. So too there must be a new birth of the spirit in order to enter in to the Kingdom of God. Nicodemus struggled.

It is written:

“How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter his mother’s womb again and be born?” John 3:5

Jesus spoke: “What is born of [from] flesh is flesh [ of the physical is physical]; and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not [do not be surprised astonished] at My telling you, you must all be born anew (from above). The wind blows (breathes) where it wills; and though you hear its sound yet you neither know where it comes from nor where it is going, So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” John 3: 6-7

Jesus further assures Nicodemus that He is not here at this time as the judge, that He did not come at this time to reject, condemn or pass sentence on the world but that salvation would be offered to whoever would come to Him and find safety in Him. Under the law, apart from Jesus as Savior and Lord, there is only condemnation and judgment both here and in the end of the world when all will stand before God to give an answer for their time on planet earth.

Salvation in Jesus is so simple that a little child can believe and receive it. It is simple…unless you believe “The Lie”.

The wind cannot be proven, but its effect can be seen. Electricity cannot be proven, but its effect is known. Love cannot be proven, but its effect can be seen and known.

What is the lie? “There is no God, you cannot prove it.” You have set yourself up as god; your mind is judge and jury. You came into this world tainted with the sin of Adam, created with a God-size vacuum inside your spirit and only He can fill that place and bring you the peace and joy you need. Throughout your life without God, you will try to fill that void with many things, none of which will bring you satisfaction. In the end, all will become “ashes in your mouth”.

Many think that money will make them happy or power or fame, only to find that they are empty when they come to the end. At the end of yourself, you will die as all men do whether you are “rich and increased with goods” or “poor as a church mouse”, whether you have accumulated all that the world holds dear or you die in defeat, the end is the same and the destination is the same for a man or woman without God. Destination: Hell.

It is written:

“God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.” John 3:16

It has been said, “There is a Heaven to gain and a Hell to shun.” I don’t know the source.

It is written:

“I have been young and now am old, yet have I not seen the [uncompromisingly] righteous forsaken or their seed begging bread.” Psalm 37:23

God promises that His children will be with Him forever, never to know separation again. If that were all there was, it would be enough; but the Kingdom of God offers so much more than salvation. The favor of our Father, the blessing of peace, relief from the burden of sin and the joy that comes from knowing you can walk free, healed of the sin sickness you endured and suffered from for so long. There is angelic protection that we are given and the provision of God’s promises for a myriad of things that we face every day. Beyond this:

It is written:

“Eye has not seen nor ear heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man what God has prepared for those that love Him.” I Corinthians 2:9

God is not a god who is far off, one that we humans must placate because he is angry with us every day; or a god who requires us to jump through hoops so that we can satisfy his unjust requirements, or his unreasonable manipulations. He is a God of love, who is ever near to those He loves, those who have chosen to be His. His smile and favor are upon those He loves. He loved us first and we respond to that love.  He gave all and we give all to Him. We are blessed to be His now and through all eternity. There is no one like Him.  He is worthy to receive all praise and honor.

There will come a time when King Jesus will show up on planet earth and those who thought that He was dead, those who rebelled against Him, rejected Him and thought He did not exist, will, in fact, know that He is, has always been and always will be. Jesus will once again come to planet earth, but when He comes again it will not be as the suffering servant but as the ruling King. He will set up His kingdom on earth and His will is going to be done here as it has been done in Heaven. Most people do not understand Kingdom. You can buy, and I recommend, books by Myles Munroe about the Kingdom of God at Amazon online or at Barnes and Noble. Some Christian bookstores may carry them also.

It is written:

That at the name of Jesus every knee will bow of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth.” Philippians 2:10

“A man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument.”

I have been born of the Spirit of God for 63 years. I have multitudes of experiences with God. You can not talk me out of, or reason me out of what I know by experience. However, I do not rely solely upon my experience, for the enemy of my soul does his best to make it appear as though God does not care for me, that He is not there when I need Him.

In those times I lift the eyes of my heart to God my Father, I purpose to believe what I know is true. Jesus is my Lord, I am yielded to His authority and I believe He will do what He said He would do. Holy Spirit comforts me and I know that truth will ultimately prevail, it always has and it always will.

There is continual war between the Kingdom of Light and the kingdom of darkness. Humans are what the fight is all about. I face each day knowing that there is a battle going on for my soul, and the souls of those I love. That is why I pray. That is why I put the Word of God, the promises of God in my mouth, decreeing and declaring them. Firstly, so I can hear it and secondly so the enemy can hear my faith. God sees my heart, has a perfect time for everything and moves accordingly. I trust Him and I rest in His love!

God loves His children and all humans are children of God, His creation. Not all are in His family however, because that is by choice. Those who are not in covenant relationship with God through the new birth, through Jesus blood, are subject to the whims of the enemy of God whom they serve, whether they know or would admit it or not. Some of these prosper and seem to be beyond anything that most face and others always seem to be “behind the eight ball”.

I stay my soul upon the written Word of God, I trust in, lean on and rely upon Jesus the Living Word of God, and I experience Him every day of my life.

It is written:

Ephesians 3:14-21 (NAB)
“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that he may grant you in accord with the riches of his glory to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner self, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the holy ones what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to accomplish far more than all we ask or imagine, by the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”

I would suggest to you that your very existence proves the love of God.  You are here because God has a plan and a purpose for your life. I pray that God will keep you as you seek to find your way in life. May you find Him finding you.

Without God a man is without direction and must make his own way in a hostile world.  If you stand at the “fork in the road”, and you must choose which way to go, choose the way of  a wise man and not the way of a fool.  When you stand before God, the righteous judge, and you will, you will be glad that you chose wisdom over foolishness.

My prayers go to Him for you’ because He cares, I care.

Joy

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