What do you mean when you say that you believe in God? In a recent Gallup poll 79% say they believe in God and 10% are not sure. That leaves 11% who say that there is no God. Through the years of 1944-1998, 94-98% of Americans said that they believed in the existence of God. Since that time, more and more Americans have suddenly began to question if God is real. Also found in the latest survey of Americans, only 71% believe in heaven, 64% believe in hell, and 61% believe in Satan’s existence. 20% of Americans no longer have any religious affiliation.
What is even more in question is what do people call God. 83% of all Americans have a Judeo-Christian faith (46.5% of Americans are Protestants, 20.8% are Catholics, 15% are Evangelical). That leaves 13% who have a completely different definition of what God means (e.g. Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and a smattering of individual mentions). More importantly, how does the Holy bible describe God and what does He want from all of us?
The Bible presents unto us a living God who is a person, a divine person, who is very much in touch with his creation, a prayer-hearing God (Psa. 65:2), a God before whom we may be well-pleasing or displeasing. In order to be well-pleasing, one must “believe that he is, and that he is the rewarder of them that seek him” (Heb. 11:6). God is not just an abstract idea or impersonal creator, but a “living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and all that in them is” (Acts 14:18), and “who gives to us richly all things to enjoy” (1 Tim. 6:17).
Consider some other attributes of this living God. He is a spirit being, not flesh and blood (Jn. 4:24). He is One (Deut. 6:4 f; Eph. 4:6), manifested in three persons all agreed and united in plan and purpose (Acts 5:3-4 f; Jn. 1:1,14; 17:20-21). He is omnipresent (Psa. 139:710 f; Jer. 23:23-24). He is omniscient – all knowing (Eccl. 12:14 f; Heb. 4:13). He is omnipotent – all powerful (Gen. 17:1 f; Rom. 1:20). God is infinitely just (Psa. 89:14); infinitely holy (Isa. 6:3 f; 1 Pet. 1:15); infinite in goodness (Psa. 100:5); eternal, immortal, invisible, and unchangeable (Psa. 90:2 ff; 1 Tim. 1:17; Jam. 1:17). He is love and light and in him is no darkness at all (1 Jn. 4:8 cf; 1:5).
God is not far from everyone of us, for in him we live and move and have our being and He desires that you seek him (Acts 17:27-28). He would have you come unto repentance in view of his righteous judgment, not desiring that any should perish (Acts 17:30-31 f; 2 Pet. 3:9).
God sent His only begotten Son to die for our sins. If we believe in Him we will not perish but have everlasting life (Jn 3:16). To believe in God is to obey God (Matt 7:21-23). Jesus sent his apostles into all the world to preach the gospel to every person (Matt 28:19,20 ff; Mk 16:15,16). All confessed believers who repent and are baptized shall be saved (Rom 10:10 f; Acts 2:38). Anyone who doesn’t know God and obeys not the gospel of Christ shall be cast into a lake of fire with the Devil and his angels (2 Thess 1:7-9 f; Rev 20:10-15).
I seriously wonder, if these biblical definitions of God were presented to the American public, how many would believe in God? Do you believe in the biblical God or the god described to you in the doctrines of men? Read, study and learn about the only true and living God and perhaps you can say what the apostle Paul definitively said to a young Timothy, “For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day” (2 Tim 1:12 f; 2 Tim 4:7,8).