Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and forever.
Hebrews 13:8

Flies In My Ointment


“What about Jesus?”

“What are you going to do about Him?”

These were the troubling questions that kept coming to my mind; the “flies in the ointment”, so to speak.

These are still questions each of us must ask ourselves, but I’ll come back to that.

Please, let me explain. I used to be an agnostic. As you probably know, an agnostic believes that there is some kind of god or higher power, and from there the door opens to innumerable possibilities. I was never an atheist because they don’t believe in any God. Being an atheist takes way to much faith for me. Being an atheist flies in the face of conventional wisdom. All you have to do is look around you, spend a little time in contemplation, and you will, if you are honest with yourself, come to the inevitable conclusion that there is a God.

Now, granted, not everyone will agree on which God, but there is definitely a God. The Apostle Paul explains about those who do not believe in the one true God in Romans 1:19-23, They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. 20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.

21 Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. 22 Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. 23 And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles.1 (NLT) (Emphasis mine)

I was one of these fools! I had received a little bit of Sunday school training as a child. Not a lot, but a little bit. However, I received a tremendous amount of training about evolution by way of our fine public school systems. As I think back (way back), I do not remember evolution being taught as much as a theory, which it is. It was presented more as undisputed fact.

God and evolution!

Irreconcilable differences?

Now, I was considered an intelligent kid. I finished high school with a 3.8 grade average. I even made the Dean’s List in college. However, let us keep in mind that knowledge does not equate with wisdom. In the immature musings of my mind I formulated my own image of God; a different type of idol, but an idol none the less. I decide that God is Time!

This endeavor to blend two seemingly diverse schools of thought made perfect sense to me.

Christians say God created all. Evolutionists say all was evolved through time. Blend the two together and voila, God is Time!

My God was a compilation of ignorance; an attempt to combine truth with error. That just does not work! Truth and error do not work well together. I had yet to learn that bad company corrupts good morals (1 Cor. 15:33).

I had become educated beyond my intelligence. Common sense had ceased to be common and had, in actuality, become a rarity. Thinking I was wise, I had become an utter fool just as Paul said.

Ah, but now come the “flies” I mentioned earlier.

“What about Jesus?” “What are you going to do about Him?

You see, Jesus was my “stumbling block”. How could I make Him fit into this neat little package of nonsense that I had created? I never questioned His existence. There is overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Of course He existed. As I considered my dilemma, I soon realized that my first decision was whether or not Jesus was the Son of God. If He was not, then my problem was obviously solved because He would become a non-issue. If He was not who He said He was, then I didn’t have to concern myself with Him at all.

My research began and quickly led me to Biblical prophecy. (Rev. 19:10) I found that Jesus, in His birth, His life, His death, and His resurrection had fulfilled somewhere between 333 and 456 prophecies from the Old Testament. The exact number depends upon your interpretation of some of the prophecies. The bottom line is that we are talking about over 300 prophecies. I could only guess at the mathematical odds of that happening; however I found that a Professor Peter Stoner (1888-1980) had already performed the calculations. Stoner was Chairman of the Departments of Mathematics and Astronomy at Pasadena City College until 1953, and Chairman of the Science Division of Westmont College from 1953 to 1957. Stoner calculated the probability of one man fulfilling only a few of the over 300 Messianic prophecies. In 1944, he published his research results in Science Speaks: Scientific Proof of the Accuracy of Prophecy and the Bible. Stoner concluded that the probability of one person fulfilling just eight of the specific prophecies was one chance in 1017 (one followed by 17 zeros). How about one person fulfilling just 48 of the over 300 prophecies? Stoner calculated these odds at one chance in 10157 — way beyond statistical impossibility! 2

In order to help us comprehend this staggering probability, Stoner illustrates it by supposing that “we take 10 to the power of 17 silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas. They will cover all of the state two feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly, all over the state. Blindfold a man and tell him that he can travel as far as he wishes, but he must pick up one silver dollar and say that this is the right one. What chance would he have of getting the right one? Just the same chance that the prophets would have had of writing these eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man.”

I already believed in a God and it was really not a stretch to believe that a God could pull that all together; if He couldn’t, He wouldn’t be much of a God now, would He? Needless to say, I was convinced that Jesus was the Son of God.

“What are you going to do about Jesus?”

My ointment was developing an odor and it was not pleasant at all. Now I had to learn more about Jesus to see if I could find somewhere to place Him in my maze of erroneous ideas and perceptions.

As I had been studying the various prophecies about Jesus (I wasn’t taking anyone’s word on anything) some things had already begun to stir in my heart. I later learned that it was called conviction. Now as I read about Jesus and the things that He said and taught, I found myself drawn to him and wanting to know even more. It was as though a hunger and thirst for Him and the things of God had been unleashed within me and the more I ate and drank, the more I wanted. The craving was seemingly insatiable!

Somewhere in the midst of the studying, I can’t say exactly where, my focus upon fitting Jesus into my pre-conceived notions faded. My quest had become a pursuit of truth. The more I learned of His goodness and purity, the more I recognized my own depravity. I did not have to be convinced that I had sinned as some folks need to be persuaded. Perhaps at this point I had been exposed to the light of so much truth that there was no place for the darkness of self deception to hide.

“What are you going to do about Jesus?”

Face to face with Jesus! There was nowhere to run! There was no place to hide! And I didn’t want to run or hide. I wanted to see Him! I wanted to know Him! Jesus said, “If you’ve seen Me, you’ve seen My Father.” (John 14:9) I wanted to see Him as He is and not just what I wanted Him to be.

As I said, I knew I was what the Bible called “a sinner” and, at this point, I was very much convinced that I did not have any grounds based upon my own merits to stand before God. But, what I had learned and had also settled in my own heart and mind was that Jesus was exactly who he said He was and that He had given His life upon the cross as a substitution for me in order to purchase my freedom from sin and death and to give me eternal life. If I would believe in my heart that God had raised Him from the dead (which I did) and confess with my mouth that He is Lord (which I also did) that I would be saved and given a relationship with God. (Romans 10:9)

What did I do with Jesus? I took Him at His word and accepted Him as my Savior and asked Him to be the Lord of my life. I no longer profess that God is time. God is my heavenly Father. He has adopted me and made me a joint-heir, with Jesus, of His Kingdom. (Romans 8:17)

Jesus said that the truth we know will set us free (John 8:32). When you search for truth, you will find Jesus. (John 14:6)

“What are you going to do about Jesus?

Have you found a place for Him in your life, yet? If you want to get to know Him, just ask. He will reveal Himself to those who truly seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6; Jer. 29:13) He wants you to see Him as He is, not just as what you want Him to be.

“What are you going to do about Jesus?

Ask Jesus today to be real in your life! Jesus promises that all you have to do is believe that He is who He says He is, that He died for you and that God raised Him from the dead, and confess with your mouth that He is Lord of your life, you will be saved.

If today is your day to say “Yes, I believe!” to Jesus, please contact me. Send me an email at Bob@f4sc.org. I want to celebrate with you and help you to take the next steps in your knew walk of faith.

[1] Tyndale House Publishers. (2004). Holy Bible: New Living Translation. (2nd ed.) (Ro 1:19–23). Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers.

2 Peter Stoner, Science Speaks: Scientific Proof of the Accuracy of Prophecy and the Bible, 1944, 109-110.

 

Bob Haught