by Dominic Steele
I know God is there because I speak with Him every day and I have a sense of His love for me, Him guiding me through His word, and of His fatherly goodness towards me. I also have the frequent experience of answered prayer – I ask Him for things and He delights in answering my requests.
Also, I know God is there because He made the world. I am not prepared to accept that something as beautiful and complex as our world just came about by accident. You and I are more than just "slime plus time".
And most importantly, I know that God is there because He has revealed Himself to us. When God wanted to communicate with us, He came to earth personally in the birth of Jesus. Jesus walked the planet, talked to people, dealt with their problems and helped them. I could have met Jesus personally, and sat down and had a coffee with Him – if only I had been born in the right place and at the right time (i.e., 2000 years earlier in the town of Nazareth).
Jesus demonstrated the authority of God in all areas of life – over nature, sickness, death and evil. Some say each of these incidents could have been illusions, fakes or that there have been other spiritual people who have managed to do similar things. However, in response to that we just have to look at Jesus' resurrection from the dead.
The act of God raising Jesus from the dead was a powerful supernatural sign: breaking through the death barrier. It is a feat that demands our attention, as it shows an authority greater than anything we will ever see here on earth.
The evidence for the resurrection of Jesus is strong, as the Apostle Paul records:*"Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, He appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all He appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born" (1 Corinthians 15:1-8).
It is significant that Paul made his claim public as there were 500 people alive who could have contradicted it. Also, the fact that his letter was regarded across the first century world as fact and not fiction – when those people were alive – gives it a ring of truth.•