== Love God == Delight in Light ==

Monday, April 21, 2008

My Choice

In my last post in this series on why I believe in God, I summarised the points that I have been talking about in the previous posts and concluded that, as I see it, there are two options regarding the origin of the universe and life:
  • God exists and the universe is the way it is because He created it that way, or
  • God doesn't exist and the universe we see today is just one of a vast number of multiple universes and is the way it is simply as a result of random chance and natural processes.

So how do I decide which of these two options I will choose* to believe in?

Now, of course, if you have been following along, there is no secret about the fact I choose to believe in the "God exists" option. But let me explain the "why" behind that choice.

The first reason is simply that this is the option that seems more likely to me to be correct. As I said before, both options, when you really think about them, are rather mind-blowing. However, the alternative option (multiple, eternal universes) just seems more unlikely to me - particularly since it would require the laws of physics to be fundamentally different in different universes. You may disagree, of course, but to me the existence of God is, in the end, the more plausible of the two options.

The second reason is the personal implications of getting the answer wrong. The fact is that one day I will die. If I am right about what I believe, then it may be that this is true:
... at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord ...
[Phil 2:10-11, NASB]
In other words, it may be true that when I do die I too will see "The Creator" who made this universe and will, no doubt, respond is the same way as John (one of Jesus' closest disciples) did when he saw just a vision of Him as He appears in heaven:
Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me... When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man.
[Rev 1:12,17 NASB]
But then, if I am right about what I believe, the good news is that the Creator's response to me will be similar to what His response was to John in that last passage:
And He placed His right hand on me, saying, "Do not be afraid ..."
[Rev 1:17 NASB]
And I'll go on to live forever in a place that is more fantastic than anything I could even dream of alongside a God who loves me more than I can understand.

On the other hand, if I am wrong (and God doesn't, in fact, exist) then I will still die with the anticipation of all those wonderful things. And that will be that. I will never know that I was wrong.

The alternative would be for me to believe that God doesn't exist. If I did choose that option, and I was right, then I would die with the expectation of death being the end. And it would be - although I'd never actually find out that I was right.

On the other hand, if I choose to believe that God doesn't exist then when I die I may just find that I was wrong and it is, after all, true that (like it or not) "every knee will bow". I may just find out that I too will "fall at His feet" in fear.

And maybe I'll find that He won't place His hand on me and say "Don't be afraid".

Call me a coward if you like, but that's not a mistake that I am particularly keen to make. In fact, I would want to be absolutely convinced - beyond a shadow of a doubt - that God doesn't exist for me to risk not believing in Him.

Particularly since believing in Him, though it costs me my life in one way, gives me so much more than it takes - even this side of death.

So there you have it - that concludes this (very brief) summary of some of the reasons why I believe what I believe.

As I said in the introductory post, what you choose to believe is up to you. Of course, since I do, in fact, believe what I believe, I believe that what I believe is true (otherwise I wouldn't believe it). Which means that I believe that heaven is real. And that means that, if I had any say, my preference would be for you to make that same choice - because I'd really like to meet up with you in heaven and have a good old chat with you over a nice cup of coffee (or, more likely, something far more enjoyable than coffee).

After all - we'll have all of eternity to get to know each other!

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.
[Eph 3:14-21 NASB]

* This assumes that I have a choice. If God doesn't exist then we don't really have any choice about what we do or believe because all that is really happening is that our brains are responding to electrical and chemical impulses in the way they are forced to do by the laws of physics. If God does exist, then we have choice if, and only if, (and only to the extent that) He gives it to us.

Note: This is the last in a series of posts about why I believe in God. See my post "You Believe that Stuff???" for more info and links to the other related posts.

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