Saturday, February 15, 2014

Sure Thing

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 smartphone, a digital camera--or even a cruise. Whatever it is, you've got a big decision to make. And there are so many 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 Choiceabout virtually any product. Some sites feature reviews from the 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. But many of the best product websites feature comments from consumers. Their observations can be particularly helpful because they tend to cover the product's pros and cons without the manufacturer's marketing spin and hype. That glossy brochure might rave about a tablet computer's speed and futuristic design. But if a few actual owners write that this same device is difficult to use and prone to freeze-ups, 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 that's true for microwave ovens and hybrid automobiles, how about 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 as many 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 for today and for eternity. Several of those who traveled with Jesus during His 3-year-long ministry wrote about their experiences and confirmed that Christ really is who He claimed to be. What's more, they personally witnessed His miracles--how He raised people from the dead, healed the lame and made the blind see.

Luke, the physician who wrote the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles, also wanted the real scoop about the Savior. So he interviewed the people who knew Jesus best and could attest to His authenticity. Consider the opening lines of the Scripture:

"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."

Are you uncertain about trusting what's in the Bible? Is all that stuff about Jesus rising from the dead really true? And if it is, how should it make a difference in the way you live each day? These are vitally-important questions. So why not avoid a costly mistake and read some in-depth reviews from the folks who know their stuff: the authors of the Gospels.

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