What is The Underlying Struggle Skeptics Have With God?

   Everyone has questions about God. Some are curious and want to know more, but some are accusative and want to put God on trial. Others are troubled by things they don’t understand, and may not know how to articulate the questions they want to ask. 

   Skeptics seem to bring up the same accusations no matter what forum I am in. When it boils down to the issues they have, it appears that they don’t believe that God is good. They basically believe that God is a tyrant who enjoys torturing people. You might wonder how they come to these conclusions.

  Let’s go back to the beginning of time, not too long after Adam and Eve were created. Adam had such a personal relationship with God and you would think he would have learned to trust God. But one day, while Eve was in the Garden, and Adam was somewhere else, the devil came up to Eve in the form of a serpent, and asked Eve some questions. He was trying to entice her into disobeying God. His tactics basically were leading her to believe that God was not to be trusted. He led Eve to believe that God was not good. Adam came along and Eve convinced Adam to eat the forbidden fruit, and he joined her in disobedience. Adam and Eve fell for his trick and plunged the whole human race into darkness. 

  Not too long after this, the first murder took place. People began to worship idols. This led to parents offering their children as human sacrifices to be burned up in torture. By the time we get to Genesis 6, man was inventing ways of evil. God was grieved that He created man on earth. God sent a global flood which destroyed everyone alive, except Noah, his wife, their three sons and their wives. All this happened because one person doubted the goodness of God, and was led to believe that she could be like God.

  Today, the devil gives this same lie to people. He tells them that God is not good, and that God is not to be trusted. So, there are groups of people who say, “How can a good God let children in Africa starve to death?’ or ‘If God is good, then why is there so much suffering?’. Of course, these statements are made as if the speaker were a judge. Sometimes, people have these questions, but they really do want a logical answer. Many times though, they don’t. They don’t take the time to look at the whole picture. They pick and choose what they want to believe about God, then make a case against Him, with their unfounded information.

   “Man is the measure of all things’ is one of the basic beliefs of the Skeptic. It makes sense. If there is no God, then man must be the highest being. Let’s take that belief for a moment. Let’s say there isn’t any God. Let’s say that man is the measure of all things. Take one of the highest ranking human beings that ever existed. Who was the most powerful? Alexander the Great? Hitler? Obama? Nero? Ronald Reagan? Take one of them, for example. Would it be better for one of them to be the top standard of what man should be? Would you like to model your life after them? 

   God wants us to trust in Him, and Him alone. He is the standard and the only standard. But, you might ask, how do we know He is trustworthy? We can take a look at His track record, so to speak. 

   God never breaks a promise. If He says He will do something, then He will do it. God never lies. The Bible says that God never changes. The Bible also says that ‘God is love’. If you look through the Old Testament (which Skeptics will tell you that God in the Old Testament is harsh and cruel), you will find a God who put up with people who kept turning away from Him. God could have said, ‘ To hell with all of you’ and sent a meteor to hit the earth and destroy every living being, but He didn’t. In fact, before He sent the Flood, He made sure there were going to be people on the Ark so that the whole human race wouldn’t be wiped out. So really, if you can look at the bigger picture of the Old Testament, you can see a God who pursues people in order to save them from His wrath. You can also see that in human beings, there is a resistance toward God. Notice that in the Ark, only 8 were saved. But the opportunity for others to come in was there. No one responded. 

   If the Skeptics don’t believe in God, then why are they accusing Him of being a tyrant? If man is the measure of all things, then you can blame mankind on all the woes going on in the world today. But why does God allow suffering anyway? Why do ‘innocent’ people suffer? Be careful when you ponder these questions because if you are not grounded in the word of God, Satan will tempt you also to believe that God is not good and that He is not trustworthy.

   Since the time of the fall of mankind, man has groped in spiritual darkness. Now, because he followed the lie of the Enemy of our souls, he is enslaved in sin. You might not think of yourself as being enslaved in sin, but we all are. We are born in a fallen world, with sinful natures that can’t do anything but sin. On the other hand, because we have been created in the image of God, we have certain characteristics that are common to man, and reflect the image of God. We can be compassionate. We can be creative. We can have relationships. We can hate injustice. Those are some of the traits we have because we were created in God’s image. But that image has been marred by sin. Now we are complex. We are sinful people who were created in God’s image. And, that is why the world is in such a mess today.

    God went through great lengths to make it so we can be delivered. We can be delivered from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light. Skeptics think that God is a tyrant, or a cosmic bully, but they have no idea of what God has done so that we can be delivered from our sins. Think about it. 2,000 years or so, God intervened for the sake of mankind. He came to earth and ‘took on flesh’. We call this the ‘incarnation’. When Jesus came, He put aside His rights and power as God, so that He could live a life that we couldn’t live, and take the punishment we deserved upon Himself. God could have not done that for us, and we would have no way to ever escape this kingdom of darkness and enslavement of sin. But God did not want His precious human beings to stay captive to sin. He provided a way for them to be delivered. Not only that, but human beings can now be forgiven of their sins. They can live eternally with God. If Jesus had not come to earth, this never would be able to happen. 

   Of course, the choice is ours. The ball is in our courts, so to speak. God will not just come into every person’s life that He has created. God deals with our hearts and we respond in either one of two ways. Either we repent of our sins and turn to God in faith, or we stay in our sins and live in darkness and deception for eternity. 

  If we choose to believe that God is not good and not trustworthy, then we remain in darkness. Skeptics do this because they pick out passages from the Bible and construe them to make a theory that they want to believe is true. But if you look at the whole Bible, in its context, you will get a different picture. I have heard it said that the Bible is God’s love letter to human beings and I can see why. God creates. Man rebels. God pursues. Man becomes independent of God. God continues to pursue man. Man continues to grow in love of self. God sends His Son to redeem mankind. Man kills God’s Son. God uses the death of His Son as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. Man accuses God of being a tyrant or cosmic bully. God sends His Holy Spirit to deal with man’s heart and bring him to repentance. Man tries to be ‘good enough’ to go to heaven. God continues to be patient with us, because His desire is for all men to repent and to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. The ball is in our courts. What will you do with Jesus Christ? Your answer will determine your eternal destination.

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