Confused by religions of the world? Take fresh look at Jesus
by Billy Graham
May 04, 2013 12:00 AM | 712 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Q: I've been studying various world religions, and I've come to the conclusion that none of them has the answer. To be honest, this has left me kind of sad, because it means it's impossible for me to find God. I suppose you'd disagree, but why? — W.T.Y. A: I can understand your confusion; I too have studied the religions of the world. Often they contradict each other, and none presents a sure way to know God. Some of their founders claimed to be prophets sent from God, but how can we know they were right? This is why I hope you'll take a fresh look at Jesus Christ, for He claimed to be not only a prophet sent from God, but to be God in human form. The Bible tells us that God not only created us but He also loves us, and He wants us to know Him and love Him in return. And He has made this possible by coming down to earth in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ, who gave His life so we could be cleansed of our sins. The Bible says, "No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only (i.e., Jesus Christ), who is at the Father's side, has made him known" (John 1:18). How do we know this is true? Because something happened to Jesus that had never happened before, and has never happened since: By the power of God, He died and then came back from the grave. I urge you to look at the life of Jesus as it is found in the pages of the New Testament. As you read, ask yourself two questions: Who was Jesus — and what difference can He make in my life? Jesus offers hope — to you, and to all who put their faith and trust in Him. Q: Where does evil come from? My friend says it all comes from the devil, but I wonder if that's just an excuse to get us off the hook. Instead, I think we're responsible for the bad things that happen in the world. — G. McL. A: The Bible doesn't answer all our questions about evil; in fact, it calls evil a mystery or secret that God hasn't chosen to reveal to us (see 2 Thessalonians 2:7). Someday in heaven we'll understand where evil came from and why God allowed it to exist — but not yet. But the Bible does reveal two important truths about where evil comes from. First (as your friend suggests), evil comes from the Evil One — that is, from Satan. Don't think of Satan as a cute cartoon character dancing around with a pitchfork and a red suit. Satan is a powerful spiritual being who is absolutely opposed to God, and is far stronger than most of us realize. He isn't equal with God, but is totally evil, and repeatedly works against God. Jesus called him "a murderer from the beginning.... a liar and the father of lies" (John 8:44). Second, the Bible tells us that evil also comes from within our own hearts and minds (as you suggest). Satan is responsible for the evil in the world, but so are we. Jesus said, “For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly” (Mark 7:21-22). Someday, Satan and all his forces will be defeated, and Christ will reign forever. But today Christ already can defeat the evil in our own hearts and minds — and He will, as we yield our lives to Him. Is this happening in your life? Send your queries to “My Answer,” c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit www.billygraham.org.
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