Saturday, April 5, 2008

Can We Know For Sure?

Can we know for sure that God exists? And that Jesus is his Son, and that he died for our sins and rose again. And can we know for sure that if we believe in him, we will spend eternity in heaven with him? Can we know for sure, or is our understanding of God’s existence and our eternal destiny dependant on a “hope and a prayer?” Is there any way we can know the truth for sure?

Well, we can know, but there is only one person that can reveal the truth to us and that is God himself. That may sound a bit funny. How can God prove it to us if we don’t even know for sure that he exists? Think about it for a minute; if God exists, who else could reveal the truth about his existence to us? I know that I can’t prove it to you. And neither can anyone else. Because God cannot be seen or touched or measured in the natural, if he does exist, he really is the only one who can prove his existence. And if Jesus really is God’s Son and the savior of the world, it is only God that can prove that. And yet it will take a step of faith on our part to go to him and ask, whether we believe in him or not.

You see, God protects our free will. He leaves knowing truth up to us. If we open our heart and take a step of faith toward him, he will be able to reveal himself and reveal truth to us and then we will know. But if we don’t really want to know, we don’t have to.

It is good to note here that spiritual things can only be known through our heart, not our head. Our heads comprehend natural things, not spiritual. Our hearts are the spiritual part of us and can comprehend God and spiritual things. That is why you may hear Christians say that we must “receive Jesus into our heart” to come to know him.

You still might say to me. But how do you know this for sure? I can say this because I have accepted Jesus into my heart and I know. But I am not so presumptuous as to say that I can prove anything to you. I can only tell you what I have come to know, and then point the way to you. The rest is up to you.

What I have learned is that when we open our heart to receive Jesus, we open the door for him to reveal himself to us. If we don’t open up our heart to receive him, we keep the spiritual part of us closed, and no spiritual light will ever get in. We will only know natural things. We can try all we want to figure these things out in our own mind, but it will be to no avail. Jesus said, “Except a man be born again, (that is, accept Jesus into our heart) he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (Jn. 3:3, parenthesis mine) What Jesus is saying is that unless we accept him into our heart we won’t even recognize the existence of God or of his kingdom or of the reality of his Son. We just won’t “see” it or come to “know” of their existence. We’ll just continue to be guessing.

When I invited Jesus into my heart, I didn’t know that he was the Son of God. I knew from history that he walked the earth and was a real person and made great claims of himself. But I didn’t really know if he was who he said he was; and I certainly didn’t know if he rose from the dead. But I wanted to know. So I simply said something like this. Jesus, if you are real, come into my heart and life. I open up my heart and invite you in… But if you are real, you are going to have to prove it to me yourself. And then, pragmatic as I am, I simply began to read about his life in the Gospel of St. John. John is my namesake so I thought that might be as good a place to start as any and as it turned out, it was. What I found out, (and this is vital) was that reading about him was a real key in his revealing himself to me. You’ve got to “feed the seed” or it won’t grow. Well, I had read parts of the bible before, both in the Old and the New Testament, but never before had I invited Jesus in my heart before doing so. And I was amazed at what I began to “see” and to know. It was almost hard to believe. Yet I knew I was beginning to realize something I had never known before, and along with that, that a real change was occurring inside of me. I had tried changing things in my life many times before but this was a real intrinsic change, a transformation I had never experienced before. It was not just a behavioral change using my own will power. The best way I can describe all this is that I was becoming new and fresh and really changed on the inside, and that the bible’s words and the reality of Christ as a living person began to become “real” to me. Things he said began to come alive and take on new meaning. It was amazing.
All I can say is that within about a month’s time I “knew” that Jesus was real and that he was in my life. I was sure for myself for the first time. Nobody had shown me, and I didn’t figure it out myself, and yet I knew he was real and I had been changed; like never before. It wasn't until later I learned that it was God himself who revealed himself to me and changed me because I had opened my heart for him to do so.

Well, you say, that was good for you. Yes, it was. And if you haven't already done so, it can be good for you too. But like I said, I can’t prove any of this to you. I can only describe to you “my” experience and tell you how to experience the reality of Jesus for yourself. The rest is up to you. There is no one who can do this for you, and there is no one else who can reveal the truth to you. Yet, if you do this you will find that there is nothing in the world as good. Now, I didn’t say there is nothing as easy. I said there is nothing as good. And it would just be a beginning. It is not a one time thing; it is a lifetime thing, and it is a development of a relationship.

It has been about 35 years since I invited Jesus into my heart, and though times of doubt came in the early years, as I continued to keep my heart open and search his word, and to ask God to know more, he became more and more real to me and he has been able to continually enhance my life more and more right up to this day. The wonderful thing about all of this is that I know this for “myself” and that no one can take it from me. There may be many of you reading this that know exactly what I mean and that it is the most wonderful thing in the world.

So, measure the cost before you invite Jesus to come into your life because it will be new and life changing; and as wonderful as it is, like anything else that is worth anything, may be very difficult at times... but also measure the possible cost if you don’t invite Jesus into your life.

Jesus said, “…what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? (Mk. 8:36) Our eternal soul is so valuable that a price cannot be put on it. In fact, there is nothing as valuble.

I know from personal experience that Jesus loves all of us, wants to reveal himself to us and will give us a healthy and prosperous life beyond anything we can imagine; both here and hereafter, but it is up to each individual to find that out for themselves. And that will be between them and God because only God can prove himself to us for sure.

Yet think of it… Knowing; finally knowing for sure! Whew!

Submitted by John B. Agati
Author of : “Suffering (God’s Will?)”

More information about this and an upcoming book “Suffering, Unanswered Prayer, (And How to Fix the Whole Thing),” along with a short bio may be found at: www.

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