I bet it’s been dozens of times I’ve told someone, “The only way America can have peace is if we return to God.”
And dozens of times, the person I’m talking to fired back: “Who’s to say YOUR God is the true God?”
It was always downhill from there as I quickly found myself in a fruitless philosophical discussion, trying to ‘prove’ my position.
It always, always turned out to be a waste of time.
That’s why I concluded a long time ago there is a better way to answer the challenge. In fact, the apostle Paul’s monologue to the Athenians (Acts 17) even gives us a template for our response.
Here is what has now become my simple answer to what seems to some a complicated question:
“Who is the true God? He is the One who created heaven and earth, even everything visible and invisible. He is the One clearly revealed to us by nature and about whom the heavens and the earth shout His praise. He is the One who revealed Himself to humanity through the Judeo-Christian Bible, and who finally and definitively revealed Himself through His Son, Jesus Christ.
And, oh, by the way, it is only to this Creator, this true God, that we must repent for our sins. It is only this God whom we must obey.
How do I know all of what I just wrote is unerringly true?
That's really easy to answer. Here is how Paul did it for the skeptical Athenians: “God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”
Look again at that last clause. It is the key to the question why I know everything I wrote here about God is true. If Jesus did not rise from the dead, nothing I’ve said about God – none of it is true.
None of it.
Will everyone to whom we speak suddenly see the proverbial light and fall on their knees in homage to the true God? Of course not. Most of those who listened that day to Paul sneered and walked away.
Ah, but some, we are told, believed.
When I talk to unbelievers who inevitably challenge the certainty of my faith, I try to avoid complicating the simple truth, which is this:
The God of the Judeo-Christian Bible is the only true God. It is He who created everything, visible and invisible. It is He who reveals Himself through nature, through the Scriptures, and through His resurrected Son.
The skeptic might remain skeptical. But God calls us only to plant, or to water.
It is He alone who causes the growth.