Everything you do, your convictions, and the way you live your life will come down to this question. Maybe you don’t ever think about God, but even in that you have decided that He is not worth pursuing. The implications of God being REAL are huge! It means you are forced to acknowledge that you were created for more than just what pleases you; created for something greater than yourself.
Can you imagine if God IS REAL? If He created this world and everything in it? If He actually exists right now and knows you? If He sent Jesus to die on a cross to save us from death; eternal death? Please hang in there if you don’t know what I’m talking about. This is a true story of belief and unbelief. It’s a journey to true peace, true love, and true purpose. You owe it to yourself and your future to at least hear this one time in your life. It’s no accident you found this page.
Here’s my story: I was born and raised in Chicago until my freshman year in high school when we moved to Northwest Indiana. I grew up going to church about 4 or 5 times a year. Although my parents did not attend church much, they wanted us to go to a Christian school, so from grades kindergarten through 7th grade my parents sacrificed a lot to keep us out of the Chicago public schools and in a private school. My school and my grandmother’s influence were where I learned the most about who God is. I learned about Jesus Christ. I learned how God loves us so much that He gave His only son, Jesus, and if you believe in Him you will not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16) At some point in my childhood I became a Christian; Meaning I said a prayer, asking Jesus to forgive me of my sins and letting Him know I believed He died on the cross and rose to life; conquering sin and death and I wanted Him to be my savior. Again, if this seems ridiculus or so weird to you please don’t walk away yet. If what I’m saying scares you then you are right where you need to be.
In high school, my family moved to a rural area and I attended the local public school. My family didn’t attend church anymore and so I lived out my four years in high school without any influence from the Christian faith. I continued to pray to God throughout my high school years, but stopped reading the Bible. I never questioned if God was real, but I think he was more of a genie in a bottle figure for me at this point. I would go to Him for help and wants, maybe throwing in a thank you here and there. If He didn’t help me or if bad things happened I would feel abandoned, angry, or that I wasn’t good enough for God to help me.
In college I started to question my faith. I had an amazing professor who I admired a lot who was an atheist. His theories on why there was no God were so convincing. I started waking up at night in a panic because I felt so empty and alone. I begged God to give me a sign if He was real because I no longer knew if He was real or just someone made up to help people to cope; to feel better about life and death. I started talking to people who had a strong Christian faith, but these people’s belief was all about faith. They kept quoting scripture, but I kept saying what if the Bible is not real either? They believed by faith and not evidence beyond the Bible that God and Jesus are real, but I needed more than faith and more evidence outside of the Bible. There are so many books and articles on both sides of this topic. We tend to believe what we are brought up in, so I wanted to walk away from what I was taught as a child, so I could see for myself what was real. I didn’t want my parent’s faith or even the Pastor’s faith. I wanted to have a faith in Christ because I believed, based on evidence, that this is for real. You can argue with me all day that I my upbringing is what ultimately led me back to Christianity, but you weren’t able to experience the things I experienced in that year of struggling with whether God is real. Sometimes our experiences override what seems to be concrete. Ultimately, faith has to come into play if you are going to believe, but there is concrete evidence too.
A year into my search for God a tragic loss of a close family friend named Rose was when I knew I had to make a decision one way or the other. Through the faith of a husband who just lost his wife and mother of his three young children, I saw a glimpse of a peace I had never known. He was mourning her loss, but was talking about Jesus and how He knew she was in heaven. I’m not saying he wasn’t devastated by her loss, but something was definitely different about the way he mourned. How could this man not hate a God who would turn his life upside down over a tragic accident? God could have prevented the accident from ever happening. What kind of loving God takes a mother away from her three young children? Still confussed and angry, I started reading a book given to me by a friend about the “Most Profound and Complete Near-Death Experience Ever”. I’ve never been into these kinds of books, but maybe I was able to get into the story because the death of Rose was still so raw and I needed something to hope for. The author of the book described heaven and her experience in such an amazing way. It was a vision of the most unimaginable place. When I turned the last page of the book I sat and thought for a while. This story could be completely made up. Even if God is real the author’s vision of heaven could be wrong. Or it could be right. She could have been given a gift that most of us won’t get…a glimpse of what happens after we die. Scientifically speaking, many researchers attribute the glow or visions to the effects of anoxia, or oxygen deprivation, which can affect the brain and optic nerves. Another theory holds that the brain releases massive amounts of endorphins, or natural painkillers, when the body is gravely injured. Those endorphins may “override” the optic nerves, causing the victim to see a peaceful glow.
Why would I tell you about the scientific theories against God, heaven, and visions that people claim to have? Because for the rest of your life you will have to deal with both sides of this topic. It wasn’t that I believed what I read in this book about the afterlife, but it was another thing that confirmed that I will always find people, books, and articles that are for both sides. If you don’t research yourself and then make a decision based on your own research and convictions and then ultimately make a stand of faith you will be swayed every time a new theory arises. For me personally, I decided that while I looked for evidence of God I would also pray to Him asking for His help finding Him. If he isn’t real then no harm done, but if He IS real then He could help.
There are wonderful theories on both sides and overwhelming amounts of evidence that Jesus was not just a real person, but the Son of God.
So, I continued to ask myself questions? Will I ever (in my mind) have 100% evidence for God’s existence? NO. (If you asked me today if God is real I would say yes 100%, but at the time of my questioning I could not say 100%.) Is there enough concrete evidence to believe that God is real, that He sent His Son, Jesus, to earth to live and die and rise again? YES. At some point will I have to let FAITH be enough? YES, because this world is filled with questions and things like evil, disease, and accidents that we can’t explain. We will always want to ask, “Why?” I think asking why is good, but if you never get past it, it can be harmful in your ability to move forward, to grow as a Christian.
My last question came down to, “Will I follow God and believe wholeheartedly that He is real or will I walk away from believing in a god at all? I don’t want to live as an agnostic. That summer of 1997, I recommitted my life to Christ and made the decision to follow Him no matter what. Now, that’s not to say I didn’t struggle with thoughts of His existence here or there, but when the thoughts would come, I would remind myself of the journey to get where I was. It was a journey of faith for sure, but is was also one packed with concrete evidence and the witness of His power and Spirit working in people and situations around me.
If you wonder if God is REAL listed below are a few of many books on the topic. If you read these books, other materials, and interview other people and decided there is enough evidence for you to believe then you will still need to make a heart change…not just a head change. What I mean is if you decide Jesus is real than you need to decide if you will follow Him (give your all to Him, to be guided by Him). There is a prayer at the bottom of this blog if you are ready to pray to God, accept that He is real, and want to dedicate your life to Him. Next step: get a Bible and read it. God is REAL and the Bible is true. Your heart will change as you study the Bible and start living out your life based on Scripture and time spent praying. Also, you need to find a Christian church. If you really want to grow and learn about who God is you can’t do it alone. I use to think churches were full of people who were just indoctrinate and part of a “I think I’ve got it all together club”. This is not true! A good Christian church is a place filled with people who, just like you and I, have faults, but decided that God and His Son Jesus are very real and they want to know Him better, live for Him, and ultimately love others, sharing the gospel of Christ.
*The Case for Christ by Lee Strogel A Chicago Journalist’s Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus. He also has other books on the evidence for God, Jesus, and Creation.
*Answers in Genesis is a Christian organization with a ton of books and information on the evidence of God. We’re talking scientific evidence here.
*Billy: The Early Years of Billy Graham DVD This movie examines Billy Grahams younger years in ministry and his crossroads with faith and doubt. Amazon Prime sells it for $6.99. Sometimes Christian movies get a bad wrap for bad acting, but this movie is very well done!
*Redeeming Science by Vern Poythress Can science and God coexist? How does God relate to science?
*The Reason for my Hope by Billy Graham “There are two classes of people in this world: the saved and the lost. Both have the same opportunity to choose Him or reject Him…”
*Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis He defends Christianity by building a logical foundation for belief.
From the Bible:
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life.”
John 10:10 Jesus said, “I came that you may have life and have it abundantly”
Romans 3:23 For all have done, thoughts or bad things, which the Bible calls, “sin.” “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Romans 6:23 The result of sin is death, spiritual separation from God.
Romans 5:8 God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
1 Corinthians 15:3-4 “Christ died for our sins…He was buried…He was raised on the third day, according to the Scriptures”
John 14:10 Jesus is the only way to God. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, but through me.”
From Billy Graham: “We can’t earn salvation; we are saved by God’s grace when we have faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. All you have to do is believe you are a sinner, that Christ died for your sins, and ask His forgiveness. Then turn from your sins—that’s called repentance. Jesus Christ knows you and loves you. What matters to Him is the attitude of your heart, your honesty. We suggest praying the prayer below to accept Christ as your Savior.”
“Dear God, I know I’m a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that you raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.”
If you just gave your life to Christ you can go to this website https://billygraham.org/devotion/salvation-is-free/
scroll down to the “Do you need to give or recommit your life to Christ.” Click on this.
At the bottom of the page you can click on “Yes, I prayed the prayer” to receive free resources.
If you gave your life to Christ today please let me know. I would love to talk and/or pray with you. If you haven’t or you need more information please let me know. The same link above also has a “No, I need more information” button to click on if you didn’t say the prayer. They also have live CHAT.
I pray that God will open your eyes to how real He is and you find out just how much He loves you and wants to be a part of your life.