heres the thing: I really do WANT to believe in Jesus and be saved and avoid hell at all costs, but if i SAY that i accept Jesus and try and be a moral person...does that mean that i am saved, even if i DOUBT the existence of Jesus? I don't believe that i ever can. The (almost)opposite side(Atheism) provides a MUCH more powerful argument than Christianity--don't try to tell me that Atheism is the influence of Satan, some of my best friends are Athiest, and they are more morally sound than any Christian I know. Anyhow, i have accepted Jesus at least twice in my life already at the age of 16, and I have denied him and taken up Agnosticism instead. The arguments for the belief in Jesus are much weaker than those against him. Help me out. I don't want hell but i'm having trouble accepting Jesus.
My response is in Green:
You say you want to believe, but your message to me says exactly the opposite of that. For instance you don't seem to have a problem believing in hell, since you want to make sure you don't end up there, but you can't believe in God. Second you claim that the arguments against believing in Jesus are stronger than those for believing in Him. Have you read a Bible and really tried to understand it? Have you ever asked God to open your eyes and help you to understand His word?
One of your problems is the reason you are trying to believe in Jesus. You say it is because you don't want to go to hell, but there is more to it than that, isn't it? You want to make sure you don't end up in hell, but the thought of serving God is repulsive to you. That is the problem most people have. You even claim that the argument against the existence of God is more powerful than the argument for Him. I will tell you what God has to say about that: (Psalms 14:1 NIV) The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good. See God does not feel compelled to try to prove to anyone that He exists. The proof is all around you. Take your hand and hold it in front of your face.
Now think about what you are looking at. There are trillions of cells making up what you are looking at. Now how do you think each cell was made? How does a finger nail cell know it is a finger nail cell and not a skin cell? How does a muscle cell know it should be a muscle cell? What about the blood running through your hand? Think about the blood, it has many different cells which do different things, like fight invaders, or carry oxygen to the other cells. Think how that oxygen gets from outside to the blood and then from the blood to the cells. Can you really claim there is a better argument for Atheism than for God? We are complex beings and our design demands that there must have been a master designer. DNA is so complex that we are just now beginning to be able to answer the questions I asked. A finger nail cell knows what it is to be because of the blue print in the DNA. Evolution just does not stand up to the light of day. If you can believe in evolution, with so much going against it, then you will have NO excuse to offer God when you stand before Him and He asks you why you did not believe in His Son. It is a choice.
Take the Bible. If you investigate it you will find that it is different than any other book in history. Not only has it changed more lives and out lived the many governments which have tried to destroy it, but it contains predictions which were made thousands of years before they happened. Just two for example. About 4,000 years ago the Bible predicted that in the last days Israel would be the center of concern for the whole world. Now when the prediction was made most of Israel was captive in Babylon. Not only that but about 2,000 years ago Israel ceased to exist as a country. The people were scattered throughout the world. This has happened to different peoples but all of them have disappeared by blending in with the host countries they were scattered to. Not so for the Jews, they have retained their national identity for these two thousand years. Then in 1948 they became a country again. So what you say, the whole country is just a little strip of land in the middle east. Well can you deny that Israel is the concern of the whole world? Not bad for a book written so long ago, wouldn't you say?
You told me not to try to tell you that Atheism is influenced by Satan. I will tell you exactly that. Let me ask you something, where do those atheist get their morals from? If there is no God, then we are just animals, why would we have morals? Why not let the powerful do what they want, no one could stop them anyway, let the weak die. Why tell the truth unless it serves your purposes? Do you see my point, what are morals?
As for them being more moral than the Christians you know, well maybe you are looking at the wrong people. Anyone can claim to be a Christian, but to be a true one you have to follow what Christ taught and He taught morals. So your argument does not stand the test of light.
See the problem is this, the reason you need to worry about hell is that we were all born into this world as sinners and we have all sinned. Sin is a offense against God's holiness and His holy nature demands that punishment be handed out for sin. The punishment is death. Not physical death, but spiritual death. In other words, the soul is eternally separated from God in eternal punishment to pay for the sins committed.
But that is only half the story. God not only created us, but He loved us. He wants us to have a relationship with Him, but we can't do so in our sinful condition. So He made a way for His holy nature to be appeased and we could still have a relationship with Him. He sent His Son, Jesus to die for our sins. He raised Him up on the third day and He is now in heaven ready to forgive us if we will just ask and believe in Him. But to believe you need to be ready to admit you deserve to die for your sins, and that God is just in punishing you. You owe Him, He does not owe you anything. That is the problem with most people who deny God, they just can't bring themselves to admit that they are not victims, but that they deserve God's punishment and that there is no way they can save themselves.
You said you want to believe in Jesus, then do it. Read the Bible and think about it and what it says. Don't check your brain at the door, use it. Don't play games with God or yourself, if you don't want to believe fine, but don't try to claim you want to, God won't buy it. Don't try to get your ticket out of hell punched, either give your life to God or forget it and take your chances. If there is no God, and the proof to you is overwhelming then you should forget about hell because it is not real anyway. But you better be sure.
(John 6:44 NIV) "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day." Jesus says that there is no way for you to come to Him on your own, if you are concerned about hell and worried about whether there is a God, then it is because God is trying to talk to you and draw you to Him and to Christ. It is up to you. Believing is not the same thing as having no doubt, it means that you are willing to believe. Ask God to help you. Read a Bible, this is what God says: (Romans 10:17 NIV) Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. If you refuse to read a Bible and try to find God, then you are and will remain lost in your sins and you will have no one to blame but yourself.
You will notice I don't candy coat it. It is not my job to bring you to Christ. I couldn't even if my life depended on it, because God gave you free will to make that decision for yourself. It is my job to give you the truth and that is what I am trying to do. It is up to you whether you accept it or not. God is offering you eternal life, but only you can take it, no one can take it for you and then give it to you. Don't use any excuses, stand up and make an intellectual decision. Like I said check out the Bible for yourself. Do a little work, don't just listen to me or a bunch of atheist friends. You can prove without using the Bible that a man named Jesus lived 2,000 years ago, that He did a bunch of either magic or miracles (depending on which you want to believe). That many people followed Him. That He was hung on a cross and died. That shortly after His death, His followers seemed to get strength and that many of the people who followed Him were put to death because they would not renounce Him. Why would a bunch of people be willing to die for a lie since they would have known it was a lie?
It is easy to claim that there is no proof for the Bible or for God, but if you truly seek and look for the truth you will find it. Like I said don't take my word for it and don't take anyone else's either, no one can server your punishment for you, it will be on your head, it is too important to trust to someone else.
E-Mail Ralph (whose comments are in green)
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