A Dummies Guide to God (by one of the biggest dummies of them all)
God created the universe. He created the Earth and all things in and on it. He created man.
He created Adam and Eve. Everything was perfect in every way.
I don't know if Adam was one man - or representative of many men - but it doesn't really matter right now,
perhaps God will explain it to me one day. Personally, I tend to think he was one man but see him as representing us all.
Now, God gave us freewill, I don't know why but I suspect that He might want us to love Him by freewill rather than by pre-programming
us like automatons. I think it was very brave of Him.
Well, of course, we screwed up with our wonderful freewill and made a bunch of bad decisions and God threw us out of the
perfect world He had created for us. You might sometimes hear the phrase "fallen world" and "fallen state", well,
that's us - we have fallen from Gods favor. God keeps an eye on us and doesn't let things get as crazy as they might - but I think
He also says "if that's the way you want it, have at it!" We can hardly complain (though we do) when things go bad whilst,
at the same time, telling Him we don't want anything to do with Him.
God is perfect, in every way, and He will not have imperfection in His presence.
We are imperfect, even the sweet old lady down the road may indulge in the occasional piece of gossip - and so needs to become
perfect before she may enter into God's presence. God has told us that if we sin (go against His natural order) that the wages
we will receive will be death - spiritually and physically - it means we will go to Hell,
a place reserved by God for those who reject Him, a place where God will not be
(imagine how bad it is on earth now, with God holding back the worst, and how bad Hell will be where all restrictions are removed).
We all sin, so we are all headed towards death. Jews used to sacrifice a lamb, if they could afford it, for their sins,
ceremonially transferring their sins onto the lamb - and the lamb dying in their place (ever wonder where the phrase "Lamb of God" comes from - read on).
God went on to provide a sacrificial "lamb" for all of us in the person of Jesus. So, who is this Jesus guy? Well, let's start off with God.
God is more than we will ever be able to comprehend, so do not put Him in a human sized box.
God has chosen to reveal Himself to us in three ways - as a Father, as a Spirit and as a Man - He may have more faces He could present to us,
but these three are all we can manage for now.
So, God, as a man named Jesus, came to earth to live among us - and Jesus was destined to take all of our sins upon
His shoulders and die in our place - only God is big enough to do that, nothing less would do. He died for you.
He died so that your sins were washed away in His blood and, should you accept His sacrifice, you can now come into God's presence.
So, how does all this death, sacrifice, forgiveness and everlasting life thing work? For a start, we are told we can't earn it,
one good deed does not cancel out a bad one in God's eyes - we are still flawed. To get us going we need faith - and true faith is a gift
directly from God. That faith goes on to give us belief, belief that Jesus died for us and that
His death set us free - and truly believing this in our hearts and accepting that our price has been paid - giving us the gift of salvation
and everlasting life in the presence of our creator.
But "I don't believe" I hear you cry (because I've been there myself), "I don't have faith", "how can I move on from where I'm at to what you are
describing?" It's very easy - and very hard. Find a quite place, get down on your knees and humble yourself
(admit that, even though you say you don't believe, you might be wrong) and ask God to please, please give you the gift of faith -
and keep on praying, He might just want to know you are serious. Don't let up, be dogged, let it become a consuming passion,
pursue Him and He will let you find Him. Guaranteed.
Well, as I said, this is the abbreviated version. If you want to learn more please be brave and ask - me,
others here at the Garden, your local pastor, a Christian friend. Don't give up - your life really does depend upon it.