by Bill Nugent
Some people attack the Bible by claiming that parts of the Bible are unreasonable. How do I respond? Let me start by showing you the most irrational, unreasonable verse in the whole Bible. I’ve scoured the Bible from end to end and found a verse for you that’s the least rational. I want to display it for you, right in the store window, before we go on to discuss anything more. Well, here it is: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” I’m sure you recognize it as the oft quoted John 3:16.
The most irrational word in John 3:16 is the word “loved.” God loves the world so much, He gave His Son. He gave His holy Son in exchange for a world that’s in rebellion against Him! That’s not rational folks. Any parent can tell you that’s irrational. It’s emotional. God has emotions and He expressed them in redemption!
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9). We must face the fact that God’s ways are often inscrutable. If we are uncomfortable with biblical truth which we do not understand we should consider that the Gospel truth is confirmed by miracles. “Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs” (Acts 2:22). Jesus worked miracles of healing that showed His love for us and the miracles proved He is the Son of God. His words, even His difficult words, must be obeyed.
The fact that God gave His Son means that God allowed His Son to be crucified and die in our place. Jesus took the penalty of our sins upon Himself. “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness . . . For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us to God” (I Peter 2:24 & 3:18 NASB). The just was given over to torturous death for the unjust. That doesn’t sound rational. But it makes sense if God loves unjust humanity and He does.
God poured out His wrath on His Son in our place. This is called substitutionary atonement. Wrath is also one of God’s emotions. We could discuss wrath, but for now let’s stick to love.
Only Jesus Christ died for our sins. No other religious figure in all of world history can make this claim. Jesus came in fulfillment of hundreds of Old Testament Messianic prophecies. The prophets foretold His death and resurrection on our behalf. We must come to Christ alone for forgiveness of sins and entrance into heaven.
In the west, we tend to focus on the logic and rationality of God. It helps to step back and appreciate the emotions of God. God loves His creation. God allowed His creation to stray from Him but He redeemed it!!! “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” (Romans 11:33)
Steps to salvation:
Jesus said “Ye must be born again” (John 3:7).
Prayer to receive salvation:
“Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).
To receive the salvation that Jesus purchased for us at the terrible cost of His suffering and death on our behalf I invite you to pray this simple prayer:
“Dear heavenly Father, I thank you for sending Jesus, the promised Messiah, to die for my sins. I admit that I am a sinner. I repent of my sins and I ask for your forgiveness on the basis of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I ask you to fill me with your Holy Spirit to empower me to serve you under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, Amen.”
If you prayed this prayer in the humble sincerity of your heart then you have received everlasting life, which includes power to live right in this life and entrance into heaven in the afterlife!