Most people today have questions about the Bible, about God, about faith, and about the purpose of life. Some people are desperately searching for answers to these questions and related issues but they cannot find the answers that can quiet their troubled hearts.
God is present in the world, but people cannot find him. There are many reasons their search does not produce the results they expect. Some people choose not to believe in God because of their difficult experience with religion in the past. Some people are disappointed with the church, because of setbacks in life, because of personal failures, or because of intellectual pursuits that led them to doubt the existence of God.
Others do not believe in God because they grew up in a household where one or both of their parents were atheists or agnostics who did not take time or make the effort to teach their children about God.
I believe that most people today do not believe in God because they do not know the Bible or because they know the Bible but have many questions about the content of the Bible, questions that remain unanswered.
When people read the Bible, they have many questions about God. To them, God is someone who is distant or hidden. They believe that God is unaware of the many problems they face in their daily lives. But when people read the Bible with an open heart and allow God to speak to them, they discover that God is a God who is involved in the world, a God who is aware of people’s suffering, who hears them when they cry in distress, and who has taken the initiative to rescue them from their oppressive situation.
The Bible teaches that God is the Creator who desires to establish a personal relationship with every man, woman, and child. So much so that God took upon himself human flesh, became human, and lived among us. Many people do not understand the reason God became a human being. They also do not understand how Jesus Christ can be both human and God at the same time.
One of the reasons many people do not believe in God is because they believe that the Bible is a book written by men whose testimony cannot be accepted at face value. Or, if they read the Bible, they cannot understand its message. People fail to understand the message of the Bible because when they read the Bible, they read it as a book of history or as a record of what happened thousands of years ago.
But, when people prayerfully read the Bible and allow it to speak to them personally, then the message of the Bible becomes alive and has a transforming power. When people read the Bible with an open and searching heart, God will reveal himself to them and tell them the special message of hope and comfort that he has prepared especially for them. When people begin reading the Bible with an open and searching heart, they will discover that the Bible becomes the means by which they will hear God speaking to them.
If you are seeking answers to your questions about the Bible, about God, or about Jesus, I have prepared a series of seven studies which address some of the questions you may have about religious matters.
I invite you to click on each link below and think about what you read. This is a unique effort to help you look at these seven questions in an open, authentic way.
After you read all seven studies, if you still have questions about the Bible, about God, or about Jesus Christ, send me an email and I will be glad to have a personal dialogue with you.
Enjoy what you read.
Claude F. Mariottini
Emeritus Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary
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