Believe? Believe What?
Jesus constantly repeats, “Believe and you will be saved,” “Believe and you will have eternal life,” “Believe and you will be in the Kingdom of God.”
But what does he mean, “believe?”
Believe in what?
He means, “Believe what I tell you,” or, “Believe that I am Truth.”
We must give up self – and all that self wants to live for – in order to desire to live for God. If God promises us eternal life, love and acceptance, joy, peace, purpose, and blessings, why would we NOT want to live for him instead of for ourselves?? Aren’t these all of the needs that we are constantly seeking?
Because we don’t believe his promises! We want a guarantee. We don’t believe that he is who he says he is!
We don’t believe that God’s character is goodness, kindness, and mercy. Why?? First of all, we don’t really read and study the Bible. If you really read the Bible, even just the book of Exodus, we learn who God is. I mean, really read it. The God of Exodus is not punishing and mean and destructive. He is actually incredibly patient, slow to anger, and merciful!
Second, the church has a vested interest in its members earning salvation. It does not want Christians to live for God; it wants Christians to live for the church! The church propagates a God of judgment, consequences, and wrath. Or it insists that God is only love, forgiveness, and mercy. God is not these things exclusively.
Third, we can’t believe that a being exists by rules other than what we see here on earth. We can’t believe that something can be that good, that kind, and that merciful. This is so contrary and foreign to our own nature. It seems too good to be true. Which, normally on earth it is, but not in heaven! That is the one place where too good actually is true.
Fourth, we think that God is capable of giving us all of those things, but he won’t because we don’t deserve it. Well of course we don’t deserve it! But because God is goodness, kindness, and mercy, he does give us those things without our deserving it.
So, do we believe what Jesus told us, or not? Do we believe that God is such incredible goodness that he gave us free will, sacrificed his own son, and gives us a way out of death? If God really is that good, why would we not want to live for him? Why would we not fall on our knees and worship him? Why would we not feel incredible gratitude toward him?