Belief and Truth

Is It True Because We Believe It, or Do We Believe it Because It is True?


I decided to pursue being a Pastor over thirty years ago because I became convinced that Jesus was the savior of the world.  I wanted to help others see and discover whatI believed God had revealed to me, which is that Jesus was the Son of God, thathe loved me, and that I could have a real relationship with the God of the universe through Jesus!  It has been a crazy ride since that decision!  That decision changed the trajectory of my life significantly, and it also changed the trajectory of my family.  In many ways it has felt like a roller coaster ride over the years since that decision- sometimes it has been exhilarating, sometimes it has terrified me, sometimes it all made me sick and I just wanted out, and other times I have been going so fast that I wasn’t sure where I would end up. I can say confidently, though, that God has taken care of us in crazyand miraculous ways through it all.  It hasn’t been easy, but what in this world is easy?  Life is challenging whatever we do.  Because I was convinced of Jesus’ reality, I felt I needed to make it my life’s focus to tell others about him!  But, as you who also put your faith in Jesus know, it is hard to convince others about who Jesus really is.  In light of all that…


Is Jesus really who he says he is?  Is being a follower of Jesus just another religious philosophy that isn’t founded in reality?  Is our belief just a “crutch” for people needing something to believe in? Is what Jesus says all true just because we believe it, or do we believe it because it is true?  


There is a big difference between the two.  If it is true just because we believe it, then to those who don’t believe it, it is not true.  This would be a truth dependent upon our personal opinion only. If it is really true, though, then it is true for all people, in all places at all times.  It would then be a truth that God established and wouldn’t be determined by man’s opinions of its accuracy.  Do you see the difference?


Jesus’ disciples were convinced he was the Messiah, the Son of God.  We can be assured of that because of the way they lived out the rest of their lives after his death and resurrection.  If anyone knew the reality of Jesus’ resurrection, those first Jesus followers did. Why would they be willing to sacrifice their lives for something that they knew wasn’t true?  Why is it that none of them backed down from telling others about Jesus' death and resurrection even when they were arrested and killed for their stance?  They absolutely believed Jesus was God here on earth and that his death and resurrection really happened.  They bet the rest of their lives on earth on what they were convinced of.  If it meant death for sharing what they believed, so be it. They were excited to share what they believed was real, no matter the consequences.  They knew what Jesus had promised in regards to eternity after death and were willing to live their lives on what Jesus promised!


Jesus claimed that he was the Son of God.  He claimed that he was the only door that people could pass through for eternal life.  He claimed that no one could go toGod the Father unless they went through him. He claimed that all will eventually confess that he is Lord of everyone.  He claimed that all authority in heaven and on earth was given to him. He claimed that the Father had given him authority to judge all those who were living and those who had died. When he was crucified everyone thought that would be the end of his claims, including His disciples.  But three days later his disciples, and many others who say they personally saw him, claimed that he had risen from the dead and that they were eyewitnesses of that fact. They went around telling people everywhere that his resurrection proved his claims were true. They believed he was alive again because they saw him alive again! They were convinced to the point that even if you killed them, they wouldn’t stop spreading what they believed was true!  


Is all of the above true just because they believed it then and because we believe it now, or do we believe it because it is actually true?  If it is really true, then it will stand the test of time whether it is believed by us or not.  


There are several reasons I wanted to focus on this for anyone who reads my blog.  

One reason is that statistics show that people all over our great country, even if they happen to go to church regularly, don’t really believe that Jesus’ claims are true for everyone.  There are many paths to the same God, they would say.  A second reason I wanted to focus on this is that I am often confused about how us Christians live out our faith.  I am speaking as someone who has worked as a pastor for years and have observed us “Jesus followers”.  Is the way we live our lives reflecting what we really believe about Jesus?  Please bear with me and let me vent some thoughts as I give you just a few examples. I promise you that I am not trying to make anyone mad, but here are some of my observations:  


● Why is our worship time in our weekend church services often so boring?  If we believed Jesus' claims wouldn’t we be pretty engaged in our time of worshiping him?

● Jesus promises to “move mountains” when we gather together to pray for needs - especially those bigger than we are able to handle.  If we really believed that, what would our prayer times look like?  Why are we so reluctant and afraid to join hands with others and ask God for a miracle or just for God’s intervention if we believe what Jesus says is true?

● Jesus said that heaven and earth would pass away, but that His words would never pass away.  If we truly believed that, then wouldn’t we spend a considerable amount of time reading, and studying his words? I would think we would want to know what God is saying!!!

● Finally, why are we so timid to share Jesus with others if we are convinced that what he says is true?   If his claims are true, then we would be actively seeking ways to help others discover what we have been convinced of!


I think it is time to be honest with ourselves and with others.  If this Jesus stuff is just a “crock”, then let’s quit playing the church and Christian game and party on!  If it is really true, then let’s act like we really believe it.  If Jesus is God, then let’s worship him, let’s take our problems to him, let’s share his love with others, and let’s celebrate the greatest news ever!  If Jesus is truly “Lord of all”, and if it is true that God so loved us that he sent Jesus to give us the best life ever for all eternity, then let’s lock arms and shout out about the most extravagant love ever! That is what the early church did, let’s do the same!



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