Sunday, October 13, 2013

Believe It or Not

Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"

-- John 11:25-26 

Let's say you're planning to make a big purchase. Maybe it's for a new car, a computer, a smart phone...or even a cruise. Whatever it is, you've got a big decision to make. And there are plenty of choices.

If you're like most folks these days, the Internet is your next stop. With just a few clicks of the mouse, you can find dozens of websites featuring helpful information about virtually any product. Many sites even feature reviews from experts. If you want to compare a Nikon camera's white balance and exposure compensation ratings with comparable Canon and Sony models, that information is easy to find.

Even more helpful are those websites that feature comments from consumers. Their observations can be particularly helpful because they tend to cover the product's pros and cons without the manufacturers' marketing spin and hype. That glossy brochure might rave about a fancy computer's speed and futuristic design. But if a few actual owners write that this same computer is prone to system crashes and viruses, you'll probably start looking for a better option. The lesson here is that taking advice from those who know can help you avoid making costly mistakes.

If this principle holds true for microwave ovens and hybrid automobiles, how much more does it hold for things of eternal significance--like the existence of heaven and hell? If heaven exists, how can you get there? And what's the surefire way to avoid hell?

Ask these same questions to 20 people on the street, and you'll likely get a similar number of different answers. But God doesn't want His people to be confused. So He personally came to Earth through His Son, Jesus, to live a perfect life and reveal how we're all to live both for both the day and for eternity. Several of those who traveled with Jesus throughout His 3-year-long ministry wrote about their own personal experiences and how Christ really is who He claimed to be. They personally saw His miracles and documented how He raised people from the dead, healed the sick and made the blind see.

Luke, the physician who wrote Luke's Gospel and the Book of Acts, also wanted the real scoop about the Savior. So he interviewed the people who knew Jesus best and could attest to His authenticity. Let's consider the opening passage of Luke's first book:

"Many people have tried to tell the story of what God has done among us. They wrote what we had been told by the ones who were there in the beginning and saw what happened. So I made a careful study of everything and then decided to write and tell you exactly what took place. ... I have done this to let you know the truth about what you have heard."

The Apostle Peter also reassured some of the faith's earliest believers with his own testimony:

"When we told you about the powerful coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, we were not telling just clever stories that someone invented," he reported. "But we saw the greatness of Jesus with our own eyes."

Do you ever wonder if you can really believe what the Bible says about Jesus? Is all that stuff about Him rising from the dead really true? And if it is, how should it make a difference in the way you live? These are vitally-important questions. So why not take it from the folks who saw it, wrote about it and shared their testimony with the world?

They're the experts--the folks with the personal experience and unique insight about God's plan His creation: the authors of the Gospels.

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