Why Do I Believe That?

I needed new tires. Graduate school had us financially strapped. While reading the community paper, I came upon a classified ad for a pair of tires. They, by my great fortune, were the same diameter I needed. Here's the problem.


I prayed asking the Lord to help decide if I should buy or pass on those tires. There were plenty of other uses for the money. I arose from my knees and called, "Yes," they were still available. Traveling on my bald tires I found the seller and tied the tires to the roof of my car. When I arrived home, I investigated further and found both tires were not for a car, but a small truck. What happened and what is the relevance for us?


Follow the process. I found what I thought I wanted, prayed, traveled to the seller, and made the deal. But upon further inspection, I had made a poor transaction. What happened? My desire skewed my thinking and good sense. I did not investigate thoroughly because, "Doggone it, I wanted those tires!" I wanted to believe I had been industrious enough to have found what I needed, had the skills to negotiate a fair price, and could be viewed by my wife as the hero who provided safe transportation. What a flop. I made an unwise, foolish decision based upon my own want instead of level thinking.


Being a man of the Vietnam War era, I have often wondered how the men who exited the United States during that time reasoned with themselves. Did they say, "I'm against the war and I'm leaving so I don't have to show support of the government in waging this conflict?" If that was, indeed, the reasoning I wonder how fear and cowardice may have played a role in helping that individual come to their position? How could they know that it was purely altruistic motivation leading their decision-making process to defy what they saw as an unjustified war? I write this not to condemn, but to recommend that we weigh our own desires when taking a stand on an issue or in declaring our position politically or while making life decisions.


None of us is omniscient, but perhaps we may want to reflect before placing our shoes in the cement of saying we believe a certain way. Should we believe something because a loved one believed it? While tradition has a wonderful place in our lives, we should not risk eternity upon what someone else believed. What if we have based our thinking upon faulty information? What if our "want" to believe has led us into inaccurate and untrue realms? If a person has established their spiritual beliefs in the past and never revisited them, poor things may await them. While reviewing what we hold sacred, we should ask, "Are the facts that drove me to this belief still valid? Did someone allow their own misconceptions to lead them stray? Am I be served well by believing this?


Consider the following questions and ask yourself honestly, "Do I really believe this?" Where did you come to have these convictions? For example: Most churches teach that a person goes to heaven or hell at the instant of death. Is this true? Is that the example Jesus left us? No, it is not. Did Jesus go to heaven the moment of his death? Three days after being crucified on the Cross, He said to Mary Magdalene at the tomb, "... I have not yet ascended..." John 20:17.


Read the story of Lazarus in John Chapter 11. As you do, ask God to lay aside what you may have heard or learned from childhood. Request of the Lord that He will show you the truth. Jesus had been away during the sickness that had ended in death. Arriving in Bethany, Lazarus' sister Martha stated that she knew she would see her brother again at the last day, at the resurrection. When Lazarus was resurrected, Jesus did not call for him to come down from heaven or to come up from hell. Jesus said, "Come forth." Lazarus was in the tomb. Look up how many times Jesus called death a "sleep." When speaking of the passing of Lazarus, Christ said he had fallen asleep, meaning he had died. Jesus said he was going to awaken Lazarus from sleep. Paul, in 1Cor. 15 says we shall not all "sleep," but we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. At the resurrection, we awaken from sleep. Death in a dreamless sleep. Time means nothing to the dead. It will as though they have a long rest in sleep and are awakened by the trumpet of God at the last day when Christ comes back. And He IS coming back soon.


The signs Christ foretold that would take place just prior to His return are quickly being fulfilled. Soon all the dead in Christ will come forth from the grave with the youthful vigor of immortality upon them. It happens when Jesus comes back. Do you see why this is the great hope of the Christian? At Jesus, return, all those who have surrendered their lives to Him will come out of their dusty graves and begin eternal life. They will enjoy living in a place of perfection from age to age. This is reason for loudcryministry's existence. We want you to have the certain hope of eternal life in Christ. He was a real man, and He was a real God. His coming the first time is historical fact and His return is also a fact. Eternal life is real, just as God is real. This and all God's other promises can be yours by accepting Jesus' life to cover your faulty one. When God upon you He sees you as perfect because He looks as you through Christ's sacrifice. You are a perfect child to Him because you have accepted Jesus as your substitute in the judgement. He was condemned so you could go free. He lived so you could live. Accept Him today for the time grows short. Open your heart to God for His is open to you.


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