Belief in God, good, and evil – unshakeable?
Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God. – Hebrews 3:12
2 Peter 3:17 I am warning you ahead of time, dear friends. Be on guard so that you will not be carried away by the errors of these wicked people and lose your own secure footing.
It would seem that in the 21st century, that belief and confidence in the God of the Bible, and the Bible itself have been greatly undermined, and often disregarded. Many seem to have turned their backs on God completely. However, a significant number of Americans still have a more or less traditional faith (this information is excerpted from Pamela Danziger).
A Pew Poll of some 6,500 American adults, conducted in late 2021 revealed that: Most Americans believe in the Biblical God, Heaven, and Hell and they believe that God is not to blame for human suffering (Pamela Danziger, December 8, 2021).
A majority of Americans (58%) define their God as the one described in the Bible. Another one-third (32%) believe in a god or spiritual power, although not necessarily that of the Bible. All told, 9 out of 10 Americans believe in some higher power working in our world.
Nearly three-fourths of all adult Americans (73%) believe in heaven. Slightly fewer (62%) believe in Hell.
Americans do not blame God for suffering. 80% of Americans believe the suffering in the world comes from the actions of people, not God. This is because God gives us free will. A slightly smaller percentage (about 9 out of 10) agree with the statement: “Human beings are free to act in ways that go against the plans of God or a higher power.”
There is also a widespread belief that everything in our lives happens for a reason (68%) and that reason is part of God’s greater plan (56%). Few (14%) let the suffering in the world shake their belief in God. Further, some 44% believe that Satan is largely responsible for the suffering in the world.
When Americans observe horrific things happen in the world, 62% feel sadness for those affected and 40% have a desire to help those in need. It’s not surprising, then, that the United States is the world’s most charitable nation.
Not only do Americans believe in God who has a plan for their lives. They also believe that God hears them and cares for them. Some 67% believe they can get a definite answer to prayer, while 46% believe they have had their prayers answered.
Just about all adult Americans (91% in total) believe some higher power is in control of the things we cannot control. Science or natural causes cannot fully explain the world as we see it and the things that happen in our lives – a truth with which 83% of Americans agree.
Most Americans believe in God, be it the Judeo-Christian God or some other higher power. Why is this so? One answer is that the existence of God offers a logical, reasonable explanation for how the universe came to be and why each of us was placed on this earth at this time in history. It is an unshakeable belief that most Americans profess (Pamela Danziger).
REFLECT & PRAY
The Father gave us the Scriptures to facilitate our spiritual growth and maturation. They teach the truth about God, our world, and ourselves. They correct us when we’re wrong. They explain how to become ever more effective servants of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Father thank You for giving all children of the King an unshakable foundation, the Word of God.
The Father is not surprised by any world events. He knows everything before it comes to pass, and in many cases has provided prophecies to warn us of things to come.
2 Timothy 3:1-5
1 You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times.
2 For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred.
3 They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good.
4 They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God.
5 They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly.
After the apostle Paul delineates the horrific convulsions that will occur in the last days, he gives explicit instructions to Timothy on how to be ready and prepared. Those instructions are just as valid as they were nearly 2000 years.
2 Timothy 3:10-17
10 But you, Timothy, certainly know what I teach, and how I live, and what my purpose in life is. You know my faith, my patience, my love, and my endurance.
11 You know how much persecution and suffering I have endured. You know all about how I was persecuted in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra – but the Lord rescued me from all of it.
12 Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
13 But evil people and impostors will flourish. They will deceive others and will themselves be deceived.
14 But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you.
15 You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus.
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.
17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.
The Father God has provided the foundation of our faith in the Scriptures. It is the firm foundation upon which we build our lives. Timothy had been raised by his Jewish mother in the rich tradition of the sacred writings of the Jewish people, the Old Testament (2 Timothy 3:15).
In addition, Paul had transferred to Timothy the knowledge of the message. Down through the centuries, the Scriptures have revealed the way to find God. How extremely unwise to neglect what the Scriptures say. In our search for the truth, due diligence, researching the word of God truth is essential.
Amazing things happen when we expose ourselves to the word of God.
“In Brazil, Signor Antonio of Minas bought a New Testament, which he took home to burn. He went home and found that the fire was out. Deliberately, he lit it. He flung the New Testament on it. It would not burn. He opened out the pages to make it burn more easily. It opened at the Sermon on the Mount. He glanced at it as he consigned it to the flames. His attention was caught; he took it back. ‘He read on, forgetful of time, through the hours of the night, and just as the dawn was breaking, he stood up and declared, “I believe” ’” (Barclay).
All Scripture is true and dependable, it is “God-breathed.” It is true, truth.
The Holy Spirit used people to write the word of God (2 Peter 1:20-21). “The Spirit did not erase the natural characteristics of the writers. God in His providence prepared the writers for the task of writing the Scriptures. Each writer has his own distinctive style and vocabulary. Each book of the Bible grew out of a special set of circumstances. In His preparation of men, in His guiding of history, and His working through the Spirit, God brought about the miracle of the Scriptures” (Wiersbe).
The Scriptures are profitable. The Greek word translated as profitable is ophelimos. It refers to something which has the characteristic of usefulness: profitable, useful, beneficial, helpful, or advantageous. When read, comprehended, and applied, children of the King are equipped to live successfully in a fallen world.
The world is not getting better. It is on a collision course with the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Children of the King can be better prepared to successfully navigate the troubling times that have only just begun.