December 17, 2010

Can We Be Sure?

Matthew 3:1-6; 11:1-6

“The kingdom of heaven has come near.” …


“Are you the one who was to come?”
Matthew 3:2; 11:3

Sometimes we wonder if everything the Bible teaches is really true. Was the Son of God born of a virgin? Did God really become human? Can we believe everything the gospels tell us about Jesus?

Christians sometimes ask questions too. A young woman who was dying of a hereditary disease asked me three days before she died, “Can I believe everything you told me about life after death? Will I really see Jesus when I die?” So many things the Bible teaches can seem unbelievable.

Even John the Baptist, the man who had proclaimed the coming of the kingdom, had doubts. The same person who had pointed to Jesus and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29), began to have second thoughts. While locked away in prison, John sent his disciples to ask Jesus, “Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?”

Maybe you sometimes wonder, “Has God’s kingdom really come? Has the birth of Christ made a difference?” The answer is “yes.” We know, as a children’s song puts it, because the Bible tells us so. We accept it by faith. And faith comes from hearing the word about Christ (see Romans 10:17). Listen carefully to Scripture’s witness. And discover that God’s Spirit is testifying to our spirits of the truth of the good news.

Lord, you have confronted us with so many mysteries that, at times, make us wonder. Please erase our doubts and help us to believe your Word is truth. Amen.

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

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