If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)
Years ago, I was dating a young woman named Reneé whom I loved very much. The only problem was that she was a committed Christian and I was an atheist. And to her, the truth that God had sent his Son, Jesus, to teach us, forgive us, and offer us a new way to live changed everything about her life—including who she would marry.
I didn’t fully understand this. I was one of those “what’s true for you may not be true for me” kind of people. Why couldn’t we all just be happy? I couldn’t believe in Jesus just because he was a nice person and he made me feel good. I needed evidence that Christianity was actually true.
So, prompted by my love for the girl I would someday marry, I decided to research the claims of this whole Christianity deal. I read everything from comparative religion and philosophy to archaeology, science, faith, apologetics, and history. My mind raced as I considered, maybe for the first time ever, the fundamental questions of our lives. This is not a book about apologetics, so I won’t try to summarize all that I learned. But I will share my conclusion.
I came to believe that the most plausible explanation for the universe was that God was real and he had created all that we see; that there was a painter behind this incredible painting, an author behind this astonishing story.
I also came to believe that Jesus of Nazareth was indeed God incarnate—that God had taken human form in order to inaugurate a new and deeper kind of relationship with us. I based my belief on both historical evidence for the resurrection and also the inherent ring of truth I found in Scripture. It had a depth and solidity to it, a consistency that spoke for itself, that felt “self-evident.” The evidence for the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus seemed as unimpeachable as the evidence that Julius Caesar had been the emperor of Rome.
So I knelt before the God of the universe one day in West Philadelphia and said, Yes! Yes, I am your child. Yes, I want to know you and learn from you, and yes, I want to live every day of my life with you, yes!” And I also knew that my life would never be the same because Jesus changed everything.
What has your journey to faith looked like so far?
Father, thank you for your word, your Holy Spirit, your church, and your creation, and how they all work together to reveal you. Please help me find the truth just as you helped Rich.