How Do We Know?

Over and over one of the atheist guys in the atheist/theist group on Facebook of which I’m a member, has asked Christians how we know. How do we know God exists, how do we know the Bible is not just myth, how do we know we have a relationship with Jesus?

The last question is quite a challenge, but as I thought about it, I realized the Bible had answered it already. Long before Atheist Guy had thought to ask. As near as I can discern, Jesus was talking to a group, including a number of Pharisees, about the fact that a healed blind man had been kicked out of the temple.

Essentially Jesus said, the authorities who kicked him out were blind to who Jesus actually was. The Pharisees who were part of the group said, “We’re not blind too, are we?” Jesus gave a kind of confusing answer, then he told a story about sheep.

We don’t know sheep in western American culture, but first century Jews did. So this analogous story was not in any way odd. It was a good choice to make the points Jesus wanted to make. Here’s part of what Jesus said:

“he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.”

Later He explains part of the analogy to the people He was talking to, but the part that clicked with me was the statement that the shepherd’s sheep know his voice. I’ve watched a number of YouTube videos about sheep and shepherds for a few other posts I’ve done, such as this one, but in those I wrote with the Shepherd in mind. But the truth of what Jesus said about the sheep knowing the shepherd’s voice is very clear.

So that was my answer to Atheist Guy. I know I have a relationship with God, that He counsels me, encourages me, answers my questions, reproves me, because I know His voice.

That wasn’t enough for Atheist Guy. How do I know it’s God and not some other entity or even my own imaginings and delusion?

Well, years ago I’d believed—really hoped—something I’d prayed for was true, kind of talked myself into thinking this was God’s answer. But I had reservations, even journaled about them, because I knew in my heart I was not hearing God’s voice buy my own hopes. So I knew what Atheist Guy said was certainly possible.

But then I started thinking about human relationships. My friend can telephone, not say who she is, and without caller ID, I can know in a word or two who I’m talking to. Same with my sister, my brother, and a handful of others. How do I know their voices? Simple. I’ve spent enough time talking to them that I know them.

That’s true about knowing God’s voice, too. If I spend time with Him, I know His voice. And the more time I spend with Him, the more sensitive I am to His voice, so that I “hear” what He’s saying through life circumstances as well as within the stillness of my heart or the revelation from His word.

Was Atheist Guy convinced? No. But I was. Why wouldn’t we know God better and better if we are with Him more and more? It’s pretty logical, and not at all complicated.

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Published in: on August 8, 2018 at 6:25 pm  Comments (17)  
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17 Comments

  1. Rebecca, just passing by and would like to comment. I’m a believer in death. I believe it is real and that there is only one life. Heaven, God, the afterlife: a wonderful dream. I also believe that it is a scam. It is hard to imagine that for so long Christians and Muslims have been fooled. For me, and the rest of the world, it is not belief in God or Allah that is the problem, it is the end of the monotheist’s story; the end of life on earth. Odd, don’t you think to pray for “The End”? I believe: There is but one life, not two! GROG

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    • Grog, thanks for your comment. Interesting that you characterize the Christian belief as a two-life proposition. I’ve not heard that before. Rather, Christians believe in one life that is characterized by “moving” if you will, from this present physical body, to a new physical body.

      Certainly if God exists, and you say you don’t have a problem with that concept, there must be more than this physical existence. Because, where is God?

      So if there is more, how are we to know what that “more” is, since no one has been there and back? But wait! Someone has been there and back—Jesus who paints the picture of eternity that Christians believe. It makes great sense to believe in such a witness, don’t you think?

      Becky

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  2. Becky, the ‘two-life proposition’: There is this mortal life, then death, then resurrection. The dead mortal body is resurrected, it comes “alive” again to “live” a second life. That is what I mean by two lives. Many Christians believe that they just move from this life “through the veil” into the next one with God. Everything has but one life and those believing otherwise have been scammed. grog, please.

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    • Grog, I understand what you were saying, but I’ll repeat, that “two life” concept is foreign to Christians. We are just one person, with one essential being that is everlasting. When we move from this body to the next, we are still the same person. Instead of changing from an infant to a toddler to a child to a teen to an adult to a middle-aged adult to an older adult, with all the accompanying physical changes, this change is not temporary or fleeting.

      So yes, I agree with you that we have one life.

      No, we are not scammed into believing that the life we have is everlasting.

      We actually have the report of one who has experienced death and received the 2.0 version of His body, so we know what is ahead for us, too.

      I don’t understand why you find comfort in the idea that the end of this body is the end of your life, Grog.

      Becky

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      • Becky I understand that you believe that you have only one life, me too. But, you believe that the part you live after death is just a continuation of this one, right? I am considering the life after death, the life after the resurrection, as a second (stage if you will) life. Your remark that I find comfort in the idea that the end of the body is the end of life is asinine! Life is life and death is the end of it. Resurrection is the perfect scam, because once hooked it is impossible to admit to it or even seriously challenge it. Question: Are you a convert or did you get it from your parents? GROG

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        • I’m glad we’ve reached this agreement—that Christians don’t believe a “two-life” concept though that’s what it appears to be to you

          I find it interesting, Grog, that you offer no evidence, no contradiction to the eyewitness evidence in the Bible of the resurrected Jesus Christ. You you are so confident in your position that you call a belief in eternal life “asinine” and a scam. On what basis are you justifying your opinion? On the fact that YOU have never seen the resurrected Christ? It’s kind of a weak position. That’s like saying, well, I’ve never seen gravity, so I don’t believe in it. Or, I’ve never seen a black hole, so I don’t believe in it. Or I’ve never seen Mercury, so I don’t believe in it. Oh, you might argue, but I’ve seen pictures of those. So, the testimony of others works for you on some basis. Why not the testimony of eyewitnesses to the resurrection of Jesus Christ? Just wondering.

          Becky

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          • Becky, the Bible is fiction. Everything dies and does not come back again. Prove otherwise, please. I didn’t say eternal life was asinine, I was referring to your comment. Since the story came out that Christ had risen, billions of people have been deluded into believing that they too can have a bit of a go after they die. Delusion abounds, Becky. One big factor in belief, and why you are stuck on God, is because He is your personal God. You feel that when you pray, He listens to you and understandsyouandloves you,eternally. The joy and elation of being special, of feeling special, knowing that one day God will sit next to you in heaven, is addictive. It is a scam, believe it or not. GROG

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          • No, Grog, just by saying the Bible is fiction does not make it so. Read what Bible scholars say. They have thousands of manuscripts or fragments that show the New Testament, for instance, was written when tradition says it was. There’s internal evidence. So when Paul wrote his first letter to Corinth and said there were multiple witnesses of the resurrected Christ, people were still alive who could have stepped up and said, no Paul, you’re making this up. There were people who could have said, no, we have the body of Jesus right here, come see his bones. But they could not. Because the fact was true, not made up, witnessed over and over and over again. It’s simply undeniable except by those who stick their fingers in their ears and close their eyes.

            Grog, you know knowing about my faith. As a matter of fact, I am not special. If there were no other people in the world, just YOU, Jesus would have died for your sins.

            A scam is only a scam if there is something you are cheating other people out of. Instead, Christians announce, there is a free gift available to anyone who wants to take it. Anyone. I don’t see that anyone is losing out there. Nobody is being scammed.

            Becky

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        • “Becky, the Bible is fiction. Everything dies and does not come back again. Prove otherwise, please”

          Grog this is not my place but I am calling foul here. Things don’t work that way. You don’t get to make broad sweeping assertions, demand they be disproved, then think you have made a point. This is actually where you prove the Bible is fiction and that they is nothing after death. Proof, not repetitive claims with no substance.

          I eagerly await your proof

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          • Wally, you make a good point. I’ve actually used the fact that we all die as proof of sin since the Bible ties the two together. But that has nothing to do with the eternal life in Christ that we enjoy because we believe in him. As I explained to grog earlier, this is not a second life, it’s a continuation of this life in a new house, a different jar or tent—the Bible uses these metaphors. And the resurrection of Jesus proves it is so.

            Becky

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          • That proves it all doesn’t it Becky? Amen

            Liked by 1 person

          • Wally,
            Sorry, I guess I should have said “please”? Maybe you are an old hand and know all the in’s and out’s here? If you are, I am certain you have read a bit on the other side, from the believers. All I said was the opposite of what (you) believers say. Where is the proof for anything, certainly not the Bible. I say death is natural and permanent, believers say something miraculous happens following the demise of a functioning brain. Where is the proof that anything happens, other than decomposition? GROG

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          • Grog. You said this as a statement of fact:

            “Becky, the Bible is fiction. Everything dies and does not come back again. Prove otherwise, please”

            I am not the one who said that, you are. Sorry, but you don’t get to make what appears to be a statement of fact, then use the fact that another person does not DISPROVE your statement to prove your statement.

            I aways your proof that the Bible is fiction and that everything dies and that’s it. Oh, and be careful, proof is generally reserved for mathematics LOL.

            He who makes the assertion bears the burden of proof, as the atheists are wont to say. You made it. Prove it

            We await.

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          • Death is final. Believers in the hereafter say it isn’t the end. They are making the claim, so it is up to the claimants to attempt to prove that it isn’t. And of course, it can’t be proven, because it is a scam. It’s a dream machine of salvation.
            “We await.” I like that because Christians have been waiting an awfully long time for the Second Coming. GROG

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          • Sigh Grog. Find a claim I have made. You however clearly made one. This places the burden of proof solidly on you. I understand your sad dilemma however. The incoherent and void world view of militant atheism is in fact impossible to defend. Your only option is to shift goalposts and demand constant answers from Christians.

            No Christian bears any obligation to prove anything to any one. God has provided more than sufficient proof of Himself. You are without excuse.

            May you never find peace as you flail impotently against God

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          • Goodbye… GROG

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  3. I am interested in high performance. Michelangelo, Raphael, Bach, Mozart, Newton were on to something. The painting “Faust on Easter Morning” by Johan Peter Krafft is one of the most moving paintings ever.

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