Article Library of Christian Thoughts November 14, 2018
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To Believe or Not to Believe
This talk was delivered by Brother Orin Pinkerton during a youth session of the Jamaica Queens Wesleyan church. Please click on the link.

When you are little, you will believe anything. Children have vivid imaginations. I'm always amazed at how easily you can convince them that you're a monster. In a flash, Daddy becomes a 'monster' who is about to gobble them up or your hand becomes a menacing spider about to snatch their toy and they run away shrieking in fright. There was a time when your parents meant everything to you. You bawled and cried your eyeballs out whenever they disappeared from view even if it was for a brief moment. There was nobody that you trusted more than your parents. Then you grew up and other influences began to impact on your life. Then your horizons were expanded and you began to see life in ways that were drastically different from the ways in which your parents saw life. This is normal and correct. Children have got to grow up and learn to think things through for themselves. In every generation, rebels (revolt) against the manner of thinking of the previous generation. What I want to say today is this. Rebel or (revolt) as much as you want. Live for your generation. But whatever you do, don't reject God. Don't reject the Bible. Don't reject Jesus.

  • Don't Reject God. One day, my friend stood up on the campus of the university and jabbing his finger into the sky, dared God to strike him down. Well, nothing happened. So he concluded that God did not exist at all. I've heard people ask with great bitterness and skepticism: If God exists, why does He allow such horrible human suffering? Why are there so many injustices and natural disasters in the world? Does He not know what is going on? Does He not care? Is He unable to help? Maybe we've got Him wrong. Maybe He exists in some lower form. Maybe we should refer to Him as Mother Nature. Once you have arrived at that conclusion, your view of life becomes very different from what they've been telling you in Sunday School. There is nothing good or bad in nature. Nothing really is wrong or right. It all depends on the circumstances. Man is just another evolved life form. You're no different from a plant or an animal. You've got a beginning, a brief life and an end. Nothing more. There is no hereafter, no eternity. Life is what you make it. It's all up to you and fate. So, do whatever you have to do to survive. Make the most of your brief existence. There is no heaven, no hell, no judgment, no Creator, no God. When it comes to the existence of God, the Bible's position is somewhat simplistic. There is no fossil evidence. There are no lab results. It just states the facts. This is what it says in Psalm 14: 1: The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God. [You're stupid if you think that God does not exist.] Psalms 19: 1: The heavens declare the glory of God: and the firmament showeth His handiwork. [Whenever we look at nature and recognize beauty and complexity and order and purpose we have no choice but to conclude that all this is God's handiwork.] Genesis 1:1: In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. Hebrews 11: 6: But without faith it is impossible to please Him; for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a Rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. When it comes to the existence of God, it's all a matter of faith. Faith is the basis of Christianity. Now that you've become a grownup - once you've graduated you are a grownup - are you going to choose to believe that God exists or not? It's all up to you to believe or not to believe.
  • Don't Reject The Bible. The Bible that we use consists of 66 books. By the beginning of the 2nd Century the early Jewish rabbis and early church fathers had already decided which books would be accepted and which books would be rejected from the Bible. Over the centuries, many attempts were made to destroy, to wipe out all knowledge of the Bible from the face of the earth, but God has preserved His Holy book in remarkable ways. The original texts were written in Aramaic, Hebrew and Greek. Today you can find translations in just about every spoken language, but what you would never find are the original texts. They are all lost in antiquity. Not a single museum or library has them. Only copies and translations exist today. What does the Bible have to say about itself? 2 Peter 1: 21: For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. [And so we understand that the Bible is inspired and accurate in the original texts.] 2 Timothy 3: 16: All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. And here is where the important decision has to be made. How are you going to decide what is wrong and what is right? Where are you going to get your knowledge about the future from? What are you going to do to become a better person? Are you going to look to yourself, to your friends, or maybe to the politicians for such spiritual guidance? Are you going to be one of those people who would choose to live just as they please, so long as they are happy? Or are you going to let the teachings of the Bible direct the way in which your life should go? Are you going to believe that the Bible is truly the inspired Word of God? It's all up to you to believe or not to believe.
  • Don't Reject Jesus. Imagine a homeless Man, a vagrant. He wanders from town to town with 12 of His cronies. He comes from an ordinary family. His father is a carpenter. He grew up in the little known village of Nazareth. He is uneducated. He speaks the language of the common people. He is constantly running into trouble with law enforcement. Could He be the long expected Jewish Messiah? Could He be the Christ, the Anointed One, the Redeemer, the Lamb of God Who would take away the sins of the world? There are those who consider the teaching that God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are the same Person as ridiculously impossible. Obviously, our limited (finite) human intelligence could never fully explain or understand God. If we were brilliant enough to do this, then we would be as great as He is. And so, are we going to humbly accept Jesus for Whom He claims to be? Are we going to believe the Biblical teachings about Him? Isaiah 7: 14 ...Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. And St. Matthew 1: 23 (explains) ...which being interpreted is, God with us. Isaiah 9: 6: For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Thomas addressed Him as, St. Johns 20: 28: ...My Lord and my God. Jesus asked Philip, St. John 14: 9: ...Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me Philip? He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father. He claimed to be the Great I Am. St. John 8: 58: ...Before Abraham was, I Am. Time and time again He forgave people's sins prompting the religious leaders to ask, St. Mark 2: 7: Why doth this Man thus speak blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God only? In the end He was sentenced to death by the Jewish High Court for the crime of blasphemy. And so the question is, what do you think of Jesus? Are you going to reject the sinless Lamb of God Who died for your sins? Or are you going to accept Him as your Lord and your God? It's all up to you to believe or not to believe.

Basically you have only 2 options. Either you believe or you don't. You could choose to see yourself just as a tree or an animal. You were born. You live. You die. That's it. Your life has no meaning, no purpose, no eternal future. You must make the most of your brief existence. Do whatever has to be done to survive. Do whatever has to be done to be happy. Just don't get hurt. After that, leave the rest to fate. Or you can choose to believe that God exists. That He created you for a specific reason. That He loves and cares and is willing to help. That after death there is a heaven that He has prepared for His people. You can choose to believe that the Bible is God's Word giving us spiritual guidance and Godly insight. You can choose to believe that Jesus is God Who alone can save your soul from hell. To me it's a no-brainer. You would mess up your life for all eternity if you choose to reject God, the Bible and Jesus. May God help you all to make the right choice. God bless you all. Amen.

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