God was easy to prove in the days of the prophets. God revealed himself in a physical way. If Israel sinned, God punished them until they repented. If Israel did well, God rewarded them. God was to Israel a reality more than a work of faith. Their faith was basically by sight. However, today, faith is the substance of things unseen (Heb 11:1). Man sins and God does not correct him. If man does well he is not rewarded for it (2 Tim 3:12). Thus, faith in God’s existence is to believe that the Holy Bible was totally inspired of God (2 Tim 3:16,17). If mankind believes the bible proceeded from God, then God verily exists. If they don’t believe the Bible emanated from God, then God is no more than a fairy tale created by a group of men.
Faith Is Essential
The Hebrew writer expressed it: “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Heb. 11:6). God is not just an imaginative object. He is living, knowing and active. He is the true and living God as depicted by Paul in Acts 17:24-31 and in 1 Thessalonians 1:9. It is not enough just to believe that God exists. One must also believe He has the power both to reward and punish (Mt 10:28).
Christians must draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith and “faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1). We gain faith by what we read in the scriptures. “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17).
Christians must “hold firm to the profession of our faith without wavering . . . provoke unto love and to good works” (Heb. 10:22, 23, 24). The judgment of God is sure and vengeance belongs to Him (Heb. 10:3). “The Lord shall judge his people.” Thus, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb 10:31).
Do You Believe In God?
This is not a question I ask of sinners but of professed Christians. Ask any so-called denominational Christian and they will immediately claim that God exists, but they deny His Word. Jesus said, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out devils? and in your name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity” (Mt 7:21-23).
Belief is a work of God which requires more than words but also deeds. Jesus answered and said unto them, “This is the work of God, that you believe on him whom he has sent” (Jn 6:29). James said, “Faith without works is dead” (Jam 2:19,20). Man is not justified by “faith only” but also “by works” (Jam 2:24). Jesus, after his resurrection from the dead, commissioned his own apostles to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every person. They declared by God’s consent, “He that believes and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believes not shall be condemned (Matt 28:18-20 f; Mk 16:15,16). Thus, the works God wants each of us to do is to believe Jesus is the Christ and to be baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 22:16). If one is not a believer, then to be baptized is worthless. Even so, if one is a believer and is baptized not, this too is worthless. Faith requires action and that action has been properly defined as baptism.
Why call Jesus Lord and do not the things which he says? Why say you believe in God, who gave utterance to every word Jesus and his apostles said and wrote in the scriptures, and yet obey not the gospel of Christ (Jn 12:49,50 f; Jn 16:13)? Paul said, “They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate (Tit 1:16). If we truly believe in God we will do the works of God. If we believe in God, we will obey the gospel (Rom 10:17 ff; Rom 10:10; Acts 2:38; Rev 2:10), we will worship God in spirit and in truth (Jn 4:23,24), and we will continue in the apostle’s doctrine which is the doctrine of Christ, which is the doctrine of God (Acts 2:42 ff; 2 Jn 9; Jn 7:16,17).
“And they come unto thee as the people comes, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear your words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goes after their covetousness. And, lo, you are unto them as a very lovely song of one that has a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear your words, but they do them not” (Ezek 33:32,33).