To Be Or Not To Be
Prince Hamlet of Shakespeare said, “To be, or not to be, this is the question.” Well, on a higher level people should say, “To Believe, or Not to Believe, this is the question.” So what does it mean “to believe”? According to Webster it means to like or desire. Also to take as true or real, and to have confidence in a statement or promise of another person. The Bible is thought to be the “statement or promises” of a “person” called God.
The things of God such as purpose, benefits, destiny, etc. are revealed in the “statement or promises” of God, (the Word). So naturally we come to the Word or record of thousands of years of fascinating events & materials on God’s dealings with those who “believed”, (and those who did not believe). Of course when we decide to like or desire God and look into the Book we find “repent and believe” Mark 1:15, which is a matter of changing one’s life purpose of pride & ego & self focus, to a relationship with Jesus Christ & God’s revealed program – John 3:16. Many years ago I personally approached Biblical truth “to believe”, & God confirmed my faith with Divine Presence (link 73), & several miracles (link 33). But some expect God to change, which may be why there is so much darkness & religious confusion in the world.
Then “to believe” what? Our intellectual pride says, “I can’t buy that story . . .” Well, could it be that God tests us by putting hard to believe miracles in the Book to see who will believe Him & who will not believe Him?? Could a lot of miracles be an affiliation test?? And when we start tossing miracles & material from the Book, it’s anybody’s guess where that will end – liberals even reject the Biblical core teachings (derived from miracles) such as virgin birth, sacrificial death, resurrection, & ascension of Jesus Christ. And Jesus is the most amazing miracle of the Bible, but when the miraculous is rejected His Deity & Lordship typically goes too. I’ve heard some liberal clergy say with disbelief & disgust, “Ha, Jesus was just a man.” I personally don’t care who thinks I’m simple minded, those miracles are a beautiful & essential part of the Book – all of them.
Below are a few scripture refs. which touch the matter of “believing”. Let the Word of God speak for itself. . .
-- Genesis 15:6 “And he (Abraham) believed the Lord; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.” (This is the ROOT of saving faith which Paul the apostle completely explains in the book of Romans.)
-- John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
-- Romans 4:13-14 “The promise to Abraham . . . did not come through the law (of Moses) but through the righteousness of faith (believing).
-- Romans 10:9 “because, if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (There’s that affiliation & miraculous element . . .)
-- Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”
-- Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please him. For whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”
The sum total of those references is a matter of being “in Christ”, which is what believing Biblical truth does for us. And those rewards mentioned just above amount to God’s purpose, benefits, & destiny. Things like living to please one’s creator, reaping Biblical benefits while alive on this planet (link 28), and being an heir of heaven (instead of hell) forever. Good stuff – priceless in fact . . . Choose Jesus, He is alive. See also “Faith”, link 75.
Many other interesting titles: www.gospelnotes.net – Link 1 is Index * * F. J. Stone * *