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Are you struggling with faith or losing hope for a better future? Do you feel like the trials of this life are overwhelming you, and the issues of 2020 and beyond are just the beginning of troubled times? Do you need spiritual inspiration—now more than ever? The Bible promises that God is real and that you can build your life on a foundation based on His laws and wisdom—a foundation that will not crumble no matter how hard things get.
Life presents many challenges for each of us. Some suffer from physical infirmities. Others experience painful divorces. Businesses fail and layoffs occur. Many throughout history have gone through wars or lost children. Even much smaller struggles, ones that are comparatively trivial, can occupy vast spaces in our lives and minds. There is much pain in life, and the list of trials seems endless. But those trials do not have to seem hopeless. There are three pillars of stability that can help you maintain an even keel during difficult times, just as they have helped many others.
Time heals, or at least the pain of past trials subsides. Most people, for example, eventually get past the loss of a loved one. They can put their loss in perspective, even though they will always feel something missing in their heart. But the greatest stability comes from having the right perspective on your life’s purpose, and knowing the “big picture”—resting on three solid pillars, as one might rest on a three-legged stool—will help you more than even the most positive attitude or the longest passing of time.
The question of God’s existence is not as simple as it might appear. Not everyone agrees on the answer, but there is no “in-between.” Either He does exist or He doesn’t. The answer depends not on our upbringing, but rather on whether we have proven God’s existence to ourselves. It is one thing to have faith in God, but altogether something else to have faith based on factual evidence. Faith is important and does indeed go beyond facts—but faith should not be blind.
Richard Dawkins, one of today’s most outspoken atheistic crusaders, equates faith in God to belief without evidence. “Faith is the great cop-out,” he says, “the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is the belief in spite of, even perhaps because of the lack of evidence” (“Editorial: A scientist’s case against God,” The Independent, April 20, 1992).
When Dawkins says “faith,” of course, he means belief in God. He does not mean belief in evolutionary theory—which he would have to admit also requires faith if he were being honest. In a February 13, 1993 meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which discussed how to deal with “The New Antievolutionism,” Michael Ruse, a giant in the field of evolution and philosophy, acknowledged that “certainly, there’s no doubt about it, that in the past, and I think also in the present, for many evolutionists, evolution has functioned as something with elements which are, let us say, akin to being a secular religion.”
While admitting that evolution is akin to a secular religion, Ruse never used the word faith—but faith is the essence of equating evolution with religion. And, in this light, let’s not forget Dawkins’ definition of faith: “Faith is the belief in spite of, even perhaps because of the lack of evidence.”
Ruse went on to speak of evolution as not only a current form of secular religion, but also an historical one. “I think, for instance, of the most famous family in the history of evolution, namely, the Huxleys…. Certainly, if you read Thomas Henry Huxley, when he’s in full flight, there’s no question but that for Huxley at some very important level, evolution and science generally, but certainly evolution in particular, is functioning a bit as a kind of secular religion…. Certainly, though, as I say, for Thomas Henry Huxley, I don’t think there’s any question but that evolution functioned, at a level, as a kind of secular religion.”
Ruse then commented about Thomas Huxley’s grandson: “I think Julian Huxley was certainly an atheist, but… If you look both at his printed stuff, and if you go down to Rice University which has got all his private papers, again and again in the letters, it comes through very strongly that for Julian Huxley evolution was functioning as a kind of secular religion.”
Lest any misunderstand, Ruse is a hardline evolutionist, as he made abundantly clear in his symposium speech and his answers to questions that followed. Yet he continued to affirm that evolution is a secular religion:
But I am coming here and saying, I think that philosophically that one should be sensitive to what I think history shows, namely, that evolution... akin to religion, involves making certain a priori or metaphysical assumptions, which at some level cannot be proven empirically [proven by the evidence]. I guess we all knew that, but I think that we’re all much more sensitive to these facts now. And I think that the way to deal with creationism, but the way to deal with evolution also, is not to deny these facts, but to recognize them, and to see where we can go, as we move on from there.
As Ruse explained, Dawkins and others like him, who ridicule faith in God, would be well served to look in the mirror and admit their own faith in their Darwinian god. Of course, disproving evolution in any or all its forms does not prove God, but one must ask: Is there any alternative? Panspermia—that is, life being transported to our planet from somewhere else—only kicks the same basic question into another part of the universe. Can life spontaneously arise from non-living materials with no intelligent guidance?
Disproving evolution is not nearly so difficult as one might think, as the shoe is really on the other foot; the problem is proving how it could reasonably happen. How did life originate in the first place? We constantly hear about water being on one planet or another, as though that is all that is needed to produce life. It sounds so simple, but is it?
Bill Bryson is a prolific and captivating writer. Even though he is an evolutionist, he writes time and again about the miracle of life and the impossibility of it just happening by chance. Go figure! In The Body: A Guide for Occupants, he states the following: “You could call together all the brainiest people who are alive now or have ever lived and endow them with the complete sum of human knowledge, and they could not between them make a single living cell” (2019, p. 4).
In the next paragraph, he refers to life as a “miracle.” Bryson understands that DNA is needed to make our cells, but what is DNA? “Your DNA is simply an instruction manual for making you” (p. 6). But how did the “instruction manual” come to be? And how did the first protein come to be, since proteins need other proteins to assemble them? There are so many admissions in The Body—and in A Short History of Nearly Everything, another book by Bryson—that any truly thinking person ought to wonder how anyone can believe such a preposterous theory as evolution.
Michael Denton, who holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry, is one individual who concluded that evolution is impossible and that the evidence does not support it. In Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, Denton writes, “Although the tiniest bacterial cells are incredibly small… each is in effect a veritable micro-miniaturized factory containing thousands of exquisitely designed pieces of intricate molecular machinery… far more complicated than any machine built by man and absolutely without parallel in the non-living world” (1986, p. 250).
Read that again! Consider that he is speaking as a scientist, not as a theologian. He writes further: “The complexity of the simplest known type of cell is so great that it is impossible to accept that such an object could have been thrown together suddenly by some kind of freakish, vastly improbable, event. Such an occurrence would be indistinguishable from a miracle” (p. 264).
When we consider the incredible complexity of life—from the tiniest cells, to the organs that work together to make us function, to the beauty and harmony of the natural world—the evidence points to a Mind that has put it all together, and that Mind is great beyond any description. If you do not have copies of our resources The Real God: Proofs and Promises and Evolution and Creation: What Both Sides Miss, be sure to order your free copies and prove God’s existence for yourself. This will give you one strong leg on which to stand in times of trouble—however, there is more to remaining stable than leaning on a single leg.
One can hear the disdain coming from Richard Dawkins in a quote from The God Delusion, where he ridicules what both Christians and Jews claim is their source of doctrine and inspiration—the Bible.
To be fair, much of the Bible is not systematically evil but just plain weird, as you would expect of a chaotically cobbled-together anthology of disjointed documents, composed, revised, translated, distorted and “improved” by hundreds of anonymous authors, editors and copyists, unknown to us and mostly unknown to each other, spanning nine centuries (2006, p. 268).
Dawkins may sound knowledgeable to those ignorant of the Bible, but his facts are not quite correct. He fails to see the overall picture and the unity of thought found in the Scriptures. For example, a comparison of the first and last books of the Bible—Genesis and Revelation—shows common themes that “bookend” the overall narrative. Yes, these books were written fifteen centuries apart, in two different languages, from two different locations—yet The Companion Bible lists 30 parallels between them, such as the beginning of sin in Genesis and the end of sin in Revelation, and the tree of life being rejected in Genesis and the tree of life being accepted in Revelation (E.W. Bullinger, “Appendixes to the Companion Bible,” 1972, pp. 5–6).
The fact that this amazing series of books was written by some 40 different men, over a period of 1,500 years, from Iraq to Italy and places in between, and written in the forms of history, poetry, song, letters, and prophecy—all in its two primary languages of Hebrew and Greek, and to a lesser extent in Aramaic—only serves to make the Bible’s unity of thought more remarkable. We should also note that it has been translated into hundreds of languages and dialects and that there are far more copies of it than of any other book.
Perhaps the most remarkable thing about the Bible is its fulfilled prophecy. Jesus predicted nearly 2,000 years ago that the world would come to a point where all life could be snuffed out—and, in fact, would be snuffed out—unless He returned to stop mankind from its madness (Matthew 24:22). This was never possible when His prediction was written, nor was it possible during most of the 1,900 years that followed. But, beginning with the dawn of the atomic age some 75 years ago, it became a real threat.
Much earlier, the prophet Zechariah predicted that Jerusalem would be a troublesome spot with a Jewish presence (Zechariah 12:1–3; 14:1–2). This could not have been fulfilled from 135 AD, when the Jewish people were expelled from Jerusalem, until at least 1967, when they once again controlled the city. Today, however, it is an ethnically divided city, as Zechariah 14:1–2 predicted.
Some prophecies of the Bible are obvious and easy to understand. Others are more obscure and admittedly more difficult to understand, for a variety of reasons. Then there are those whose meanings are obvious, but only when pointed out. As an example, we read of two men who, by the power of God, prophesy and plague the earth for a period of three-and-a-half years to get rebellious mankind’s attention. At the end of that time, they will be killed in the city of Jerusalem.
When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three-and-a-half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth (Revelation 11:7–10).
Notice that people all over the earth will see their dead bodies and celebrate for a period of three-and-a-half days. How is this possible? We take instant communication for granted today, but it required the invention of new materials, rocketry that launches satellites into earth orbit, computers, LED screens, smartphones, etc. This prophecy could only be fulfilled in our modern age, as it predicts something not remotely possible 1,900 years ago.
Another proof of the Bible is often overlooked, even though anyone can plainly observe it. Contrary to the opinion of some, the law of God is still in effect and is a powerful proof that the Author of the Bible is smarter than any human being. Dawkins and others tout science as the ultimate arbiter of truth, so let us look at the evidence as one would in a scientific experiment and prove the truth of this ultimate book of wisdom.
Take one of the biblical Ten Commandments, “You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14). All is well when two people live by this law, but when either party violates it, bad things happen; the marriage often ends in divorce, leaving hearts broken and children confused and hurting. The effects are often lifelong. Expanding the intent of the law, sex between two unmarried people also carries harsh penalties. How many suffer untold misery as a result of sexually transmitted diseases? How many single mothers are forced to drag their children through poverty due to a foolish decision to flout this biblical injunction? Yet no harm comes from patiently waiting until marriage and then remaining loyal to one’s commitment. This being the case, what is the scientific conclusion? That God knows best!
The Bible also instructs mankind on meats that are fit for people to eat and other meats that are not fit (see Genesis 7:1–3 and Deuteronomy 14:1–21). But most people—including most scientists and dieticians—think they know better. Yet scientists and epidemiologists know that SARS, MERS, Nipah virus, Ebola, the 1918 flu pandemic, the swine flu of 2009, and more are the result of handling these unfit meats as food. While the source of COVID-19 is a very controversial subject, at the bottom of it all, the virus originated in bats, whether in a wet market or manipulated in a biohazard lab. This is to say nothing of the many parasitic and bacterial diseases contracted because of the consumption of these biblically unclean animals every year. If you are unfamiliar with our resources on the subject, we invite you to contact our regional office nearest to you or click the link and scroll down to the "media" section to order a copy of God Answers His COVID-19 Critics, one of our many free DVDs.
Proving to oneself that God exists and that the Bible is His revelation to mankind is invaluable, but one also needs a third pillar to bring real stability during times of stress. One must develop a heartfelt relationship with God the Father, Jesus Christ His Son, and His holy Scriptures, and that means more than repeating a few words. So, what exactly does the Bible reveal about God’s will for you?
Many think they know—but, once again, we must ask: Have they proved it? Most people accept the religious beliefs of parents and peers. While many individuals at least temporarily stray from religion after leaving home, normally Protestants remain Protestant, Catholics remain Catholic, and Muslims remain in the Islamic faith. But are all religions equal? Do “all roads lead to heaven,” as some believe? Try to get to Detroit that way! No, there are contradictory doctrines even within dominant religious categories. Consider how many Protestant denominations there are. Some believe baptism by immersion is necessary, others that you are only saved if you speak in “tongues of angels.” My friends, they cannot all be right!
These questions must be asked and adequately answered from Scripture: What is God’s will for mankind? What is His plan of salvation? What does the Bible say that may be opposed to the traditions you were taught growing up? Does the Bible agree with what your minister preaches? Most take for granted that their minister, who may be an inspirational speaker, is telling them the truth—but is he? Are his messages in true harmony with the biblical message?
A young man came to me one time and questioned a scripture that I had read. His minister had said that the law of God is burdensome, but the scripture I had quoted said otherwise. Who was he to believe? The answer is found in another question: Will you believe your minister or Christ’s Apostle John? Read what John said in 1 John 5:3 and decide for yourself who to believe.
Has the law been abolished? Read 1 John 2:3–6.
Did Jesus come to end the law? Read Matthew 5:17–19.
Did the Apostle Paul dismiss the law? Read 1 Corinthians 7:19 and Romans 3:31.
Do you believe your Savior? If so, read what Jesus told the young man who wanted to know what he needed to do to inherit eternal life in Matthew 19:16–19.
The question of where God is working is not one that can be answered in a single article, but it can be answered if one is willing to investigate. Tomorrow’s World offers many resources to help you. The Tomorrow’s World Bible Study Course provides an excellent starting point. We also offer booklets such as What Is a True Christian? and Satan’s Counterfeit Christianity. All our resources are free of charge, easy to understand, and based on the Bible—referencing the relevant passages of Scripture.
The year 2020 was stressful—and the years ahead are shaping up to be even more stressful, as the Bible clearly foretells. We need to be well grounded when life seems overwhelming. This begins with knowing that the Creator God exists, proving His existence for yourself. It also requires knowing for certain—based on facts, not traditions—that the Bible is the true word of the Creator. And it requires studying that remarkable book so that we know the plan of God—what He expects of us and the wonderful reward He offers us.
These three pillars must then stand upon Jesus Christ as their foundation (1 Corinthians 3:11), for He is God (John 1:1–2, 14), He inspired the word of God, and the Bible expresses His mind. When you prove these things, you can be reminded of the big picture when troubles overwhelm you, as you stand upon the stable foundation of these three pillars.