Return to 2nd Quarter 2020 articles.
This quarter's theme has two major steps. The first part has to do with convincing people that God is real and that he does exist. John's ministry is all about convincing people of God's existence based on the overwhelming evidence all around us. That is apologetics, and John has devoted most of his Christian walk to this endeavor. I cannot do justice to the subject in a couple of paragraphs. Check out all of the Does God Exist? information online (www.doesgodexist.org) and share it with others.
Once someone accepts the fact that there is an intelligent, divine Creator who designed and made everything with purpose and meaning, then we can begin the next step. That involves teaching them who God is, what his nature is, and what purpose he has for us. That is when we introduce them to the Bible and Jesus. The Bible is God's inspired (God-breathed) message to us (1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21). It is a love letter from our heavenly Father. In it, we learn who we are and why we exist. God created us in love for a relationship with him. However, love cannot exist without choice, so God gave us free-will to choose whether to love him or not. From the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, who chose to disobey God (Genesis 3:11-13), to each one of us, we all choose to follow our selfish desires and rebel against God (Romans 3:23). The Bible describes in detail our sinful nature (Romans chapters 6 and 7; Galatians 5:19-21) and the consequences of sin, which is spiritual death (Romans 6:23) — separation from God here and eternally.
Fortunately for us, God knew we would sin and planned a way to reconcile us to himself. He provided a way that we could have the loving relationship he wants us to have with him in this life and in the life to come. He showed us his love by sending his only Son, Jesus, to become human and pay the consequences for our sins by dying on the cross (John 3:16-17; 1 John 4:9-10). Only Jesus could do that because he was sinless (Hebrews 4:15).
Because of God's love for us, each human soul has value and purpose. God is no respecter of persons (Galatians 3:28). He does not show favoritism (Acts 10:34). He judges our heart, not outward appearances (1 Samuel 16:7). He loves each soul, and each soul has an opportunity to choose whether we will love God and follow him. This choice not only affects our life on Earth but also our soul's eternal destination. Choose wisely!
— Cynthia Clayton
© Julie Marcussen
Scripture links/references are from BibleGateway.com. Unhighlighted scriptures can be looked up at their website.