Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. – 1 Peter 3:15
The specialty of humans is in their ability to reason. Our ability to reason grows in proportionate to our knowledge. Our children are equipped with more reasoning than us. They ask more logical questions than we might have asked at their age.
The question today is do we have reasons for our hope in our spiritual life to justify to ourselves, our children and to others? Well, the question is applicable only if we have hope, so that we can apply the reasons. So, let’s put the hope in order first.
Here are my hope statements. I am sure you will have yours too.
1. God exists. He is beyond time, matter and space.
2. He created me, loved me, died for my sins and rose again on the third day.
3. He revealed His attributes to me so that I can know him, follow him and get forgiveness from him.
4. Life on earth is a journey and Heaven is my destiny.
Let’s look at the reasons that convinced me on the above hope.
1. Historic Evidence in Bible:
Any religious belief needs a combination of evidence and faith. This includes atheism, which requires considerable faith than theism to believe there is no God. My belief in the hope is based on the evidence provided in God’s word. There is no other book which is as authentic as the bible. The historical authenticity of the Bible amazes me. The intersection of the ancient kingdoms such as Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, and Persians with the kingdom of Israel are accurately documented in the bible. The years match exactly with history. So, do the locations and sequence of incidents. The archaeological evidence confirms history and matches it with the bible.
The life of Jesus is not only confirmed by apostles in the bible but also by the historians (Tacitus and Josephus). His life was documented within 30 years in four gospels. For life story to become a folktale it takes a minimum of two generations. History is an evidence for it. Hence the true story of Jesus never got a chance to become a folktale since it became a living document within 30 years. It was written by the people who saw him, spent time with him or directly heard from the apostles.
Jesus resurrection immensely changed a bunch of fishermen to martyrs for God. Logically, why would a man die for a dead man? Why would anybody agree to get crucified for the sake of another crucified soul, who is already dead buried and disappeared from the grave? But so many came forward and willing to put their life for sake of Christ. They witnessed and confessed that they saw Jesus alive after his Crucifixion. Some even claimed they touched him, spoke to him and ate with him. If Jesus is not resurrected and not witnessed by disciples, they would not have died for him.
Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance.
The only thing it cannot be is moderately important. – C S Lewis
2. Scientific evidence in Bible
The Bible starts with the sentence “In the beginning ..”. What a start to this glorious book. It took many millenniums to prove the world had a beginning. We will discuss in a few seconds what is so big fuzz about the word “Beginning”. But it took a combination of a genius and an atheist to prove the world has a beginning. He started his experiment to prove the world did not have a beginning but ended up proving the world did have a beginning. His name Sir Albert Einstein. He was so frustrated with his own results. But he can’t hide and run away from his own results. He tried his best to hide the results in his invention of general relativity by introducing a constant called cosmological constant to make the world static (i.e do not have a beginning), which was later accepted by him as his biggest blunder. It was Edwin Hubble (after his name Hubble telescope was named), who proved that universe is expanding, and it is not static. The dummy cosmological constant has to die.
Why beginning of universe so important? As per the cosmological argument, everything that has a beginning has a cause. This is empirical in other words proven scientifically. Even a car that runs automatically with artificial intelligence has a cause. It was designed and created by somebody. It is on the road for some reason. It was manufactured by somebody for a cause. Everything that has a cause has a creator. Now applying the same principle to the universe, if the universe has a beginning then it has a cause. If it has a cause it needs a creator. It scientifically proves the fundamental our systematic theology – “God Exists”. The bible simply puts in its very first statement “In the beginning …”. The scientific proof on the beginning of universe gave evidence for God's creation theory.
For a genius like Einstein, it took the invention of general relativity that proved universe had a beginning. For a simpleton like me, it was Bible that proved the universe had a beginning in its very first verse.
Over the past centuries, there were many scientific evidences that were confirmed by the Bible. On the other hand, there were biblical truths which were misinterpreted by theologians. For example, for a long time, Christians wrongly misinterpreted the world as flat before agreeing to reconcile with scientist and bible. Scientist for a long time believed the universe is static before agreeing to reconcile with the Bible and theologians that It has a beginning. Independent of who is wrong or right, it was the Bible which always came out as a winner.
3. My Personal Relationship with Christ:
My third reason for my hope is my relationship with Christ. He found me when I was far away from him and revealed himself to me. The relationship with him was not smooth. He was holding firm on his commitments, while I was searching for what I have committed. He was patient until I found my commitment and always willing to wait for me.
He never tried to prove how perfect he is though he has every right to do so. Our relationship was a perfect match of perfection and imperfection. He is a faithful father. I am a prodigal son, not once but many times. I am still a Christian just because Christ never gave up on me.
I always had my own free will and choice to run away from him. God had his own way to bring me back. At times, he gave me a fair count of slaps to wake my conscience. It was his stick and his discipline that kept me going. Its God’s way of discipleship in my life. I know for sure, he is not going to leave me. I have tested it too many times, it is proven and beyond empirical now.
4. Is there another option?
Do I have another option to place my faith and hope, when the odds are stacked with evidence of Christ? If God can prove himself historically, scientifically and personally, what more evidence a man needs? When there are so many evidence for God, what human needs is truly a mustard seed size worth of faith to know God.
I have my reasons for the hope that I have. Do you have yours? Are you ready to believe him?