November 16, 2014

Hebrews 11:3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

As many times as I’ve read this, I had not remembered that here we have the perfect explanation of the dilemma of atheism. As some have pointed out, it is actually more difficult to believe that life started in primordial goo and evolved into all the complex life forms we see today than it is to believe God had a guiding hand in it all. Atheists, in declining to believe in a Creator, set themselves the virtually impossible task of believing in totally impossible odds. It’s far worse than the person who spends their money on lottery tickets because they don’t have enough money for the rent. Computer simulations have been run on super-computers (and yes, I know such things are certainly imperfect) to calculate the odds of our current universe existing by chance, and the odds make the term “astronomical” seem completely inadequate. Actually, recent studies show that we are born with a degree of innate faith in a Creator, and it takes some pretty complicated mental gymnastics to get away from that. There are abundant stories of erstwhile atheists in terror on their deathbeds, because they know they are going to meet their Maker. The Gospel is unique not that it stipulates a Creator, but that it tells us He loves us. That He would love us enough to send His Son to die in our place is absolutely mind boggling. It is sad indeed that so many decline to accept the gift of faith that will enable them to receive eternal life.

Ministering in Japan, I am surrounded by functional agnostics. The vast majority of Japanese practice elements of both Buddhism and Shinto, but without real faith in either. That’s why many would like to add Jesus to their god-shelf, so to speak: they have no concept of exclusive monotheism. My challenge with most of them is not to convince them of a Creator, but to help them understand that there can be only one Creator, and that He loves them. Evolution is accepted unquestioned in public schools, just as it is in the US, and that can be a real barrier. I know, intellectually and by experience, that I can’t get through all of that by my own wisdom and strength, so I’ve got to live in active dependence on and obedience to the Holy Spirit. He can and does get through to people, so I’ve got to keep myself available to Him for however He wants to use me.

Father, this is a constant issue, as You know better than I do. Help me remember that in the end Your solution is good indeed, and not be anxious. I am currently ministering to three people who are medically terminal, and only one of them has openly committed to Jesus Christ as Lord. I ask Your grace for the other two, that they would recognize both their need and Your supply, and open their hearts to You while there is still time, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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