WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE

by Kevin Rutherford

 

Do you believe everything you are told?Probably not, and you shouldnít. Do you believe everything you see on television?I hope not.Do you believe everything that professors and scientists say?Intelligence and research donít always erase personal agendas so be careful.Do you believe everything religious people teach?Of course you donít, because you canít.They donít all teach the same thing.

We are constantly bombarded with the religious, philosophical, and personal views of different groups and individuals.In order to see the truth we must sort through a vast variety of conflicting views.To come to a proper conclusion we must gather the evidence, examine the evidence, and then make a common sense, reasonable, logical decision based on the facts.A police investigator must do this.When he does, it is important that he lays aside all prejudices that might influence his conclusions.A scientist must use this approach also.But, he too must be careful not to allow his conclusions to be colored by his preconceived prejudices.Those who are seeking religious truth must take this approach as well.Like the investigator and the scientists, they too much cast aside their preconceived notions and be honest with the facts.

This is a Biblical approach. The Lord said to Judah, ďCome now, and let us reason together (Isaiah 1:18).Ē Also notice some facts about Paulís approach to teaching the truth, Paul reasoned with them (Acts 17:2). He didnít seek to influence them through emotionalism or covetousness (1 Thessalonians 2:1-12).Furthermore, Paul reasoned with them from the scriptures (Acts 17:2). The scriptures contained the facts, and the evidence from which he argued the truth about Christianity. Also, Paul explained, demonstrated, and persuaded (Acts 17:3, 4). The facts were presented and explained. Then Paul sought to use those facts to persuade men of the truth.

When the Lord judges the earth, we will be held accountable on an individual basis (Romans 14:12). This means we need to know that we are saved because we have based our salvation on the facts, the truth (I John 5:13). We donít need to plug along lazily with doubts hoping that what someone else taught us was true. We must learn to think for ourselves. We must collect the evidence, examine the evidence, and draw an unbiased conclusion based on the evidence.

We use this approach in determining the existence of God.There is evidence in this universe of clear and highly intellectual design. There is evidence from observed scientific principles such as cause and effect. There is evidence in the moral conscience of man. Collect the evidence, examine the evidence, and draw the conclusion. There is a God.

We use this approach in concluding that the Bible is from God. The unity of the Bible, the scientific foreknowledge of the Bible, and the prophecy of the Bible are three types of evidence available for examination. These and other types of evidence, when examined, lead to the conclusion that the Bible is from God.

We use this approach when determining what man must do to be saved. If I should go to Acts 16:31 only, when studying salvation I might conclude that all one has to do to be saved is to believe. However, when I collect up other passages of scripture I understand that there are some other things involved in salvation, including baptism (Mark 16:16).

This approach brings us to the truth on many matters with regard to the church also. Questions such as how many churches did God establish, how are we to worship God, how is the church to be organized, etc, are answered by collecting the evidence, examining the evidence, and drawing a conclusion.

Truth can be known (John 8:32). But, knowing the truth is going to require some thinking. Are you thinking?