I’ve been studying the Bible for several decades now and I want to share with you my basic understanding of what I’ve learned. This is the truth as I see it, based on my own reading of the Bible and the instruction I’ve received from the many Bible scholars who have influenced me over the years. What follows is my best explanation of who God is, what he’s up to, and how we fit into his plan.
God is the Creator of heaven and earth, me and you, and everything else that is not man-made. This one true God has an adversary referred to in the Bible as the devil, or Satan. A lot of people these days want to pretend that the devil is a metaphor and not a real spirit being – that is wrong – the Bible teaches that the devil is as real as God. Both God and the devil are spirit beings. We feel their presence in our lives every day. When we act out of love for others and care more about others than we do ourselves, we are under the influence of God. When we act out of our own selfish self-interest, with little regard for others, we are under the influence of the devil. We are in a constant battle between good and evil. God is good. The devil is evil. We all feel this spiritual battle going on inside ourselves. The Bible clearly, without question, establishes this fundamental truth – God has designed this earth to be a battle between good and evil.
The Bible doesn’t tell us precisely why God created Earth as a battlefield. Only God knows. Nevertheless, there are some clues in the Bible that hint at why we are here. The Bible teaches that we were designed by God to be eternal beings – the spirit that currently resides in our human bodies has the ability to go on forever – it could be in the body we have now, or another more perfect body, or as a spirit being without the need for a body. God, in His infinite wisdom, has decided that this battle between good and evil is the perfect training ground for our eternal existence. God could have created us with all the knowledge of the universe, however, for some reason he has determined it to be better for us to experience good and evil first hand. Therefore, we live in a world that has horrific evil, poverty, hunger, pain, and distress, as well as wonderfully loving, caring, charitable, uplifting experiences. We can’t truly know good if we don’t truly know evil. This world provides us with a comprehensive learning experience that will prepare us fully for our eternal life ahead.
If you’re in horrific pain right now, it may be extremely hard for you to see any real value in the experience. I’ve been in horrific pain, I’ve gone through life shattering experiences, and I know the overpowering feeling of despair that comes with both emotional and physical pain. There is no explanation in the Bible for why some endure great pain and others almost no pain. All we are told is that God is in control. The Bible teaches that if we put our trust in God, he will see us through any amount of pain. That doesn’t mean the pain will ever go away, it may be with us throughout our life on this earth; however, God will always be by our side to help us make it through each day. That’s His promise. Furthermore, the Bible implies that those in pain have been granted the power to endure that pain. Keep in mind, your pain is a valuable teaching tool for others. If we never see or experience pain, there is no reference for the true value of living a pain free life.
Yes, our life here on this earth will always be a battle. Even when life is going well, we don’t have to look far to find someone who could use our help. There will always be circumstances beyond our own lives that could use our attention. If we ignore those who need our help, we are traveling with the evil forces that are opposed to God. This battle will continue until everyone on the planet is happy, healthy, and well cared for.
Our victory is found in Jesus. The Old Testament of the Bible clearly establishes the battle between good and evil. The New Testament of the Bible is the battle plan for victory. In the first book of the Old Testament, God took away our ability to live forever because Adam and Eve fell victim to the deception of the devil. The entire Old Testament is dedicated to the understanding that there is an eternal consequence for turning your back on God. Furthermore, the entire Old Testament is dedicated to the understanding that God created us to be dependent on Him. God wants us to be connected to him – not disconnected. The devil wants us to believe we can make it on our own – we cannot. Don’t be deceived. We cannot overcome evil on our own. We need help. This is why God provided us with a Savior.
Our salvation through Jesus Christ is all about the blood. The life that God created for us is found in the blood that flows through our body. Without that blood, we are nothing. How is it that our blood keeps us alive? This is not science – this is God. God designed our blood to keep us alive. The devil wants us to trust science more than God. It is because of the devil’s deception that our eternal life was taken away by God. The Bible does not precisely explain why God allowed this result; however, for some reason the devil was given some measure of power over life and death. In order to demonstrate once and for all that our life is only in the blood because God put it there – God sent His Son to walk the earth as a man and then die on the cross – losing all of his blood – only to be brought back to life by God three days later. This remarkable event demonstrated beyond any doubt that God is completely in control and the devil’s deception is a useless distraction.
Jesus taught that when we place our faith in his death and resurrection, we are once again granted the gift of eternal life. We have been given victory over death once again because we have connected ourselves to God. When we turn our back on the devil’s deception and trust God with all of our heart, we are guaranteed to live forever. This is not a metaphorical tale, this is an actual event in history that happened over two thousand years ago and is why there have been followers of Jesus Christ ever since that day.
God supplied us with victory over death through his Son Jesus Christ.
We overcome this world by following the teachings of Jesus. If everyone on earth followed the teachings of Jesus – that is to love God and to love your neighbor – there would be no room for evil in this world. Unfortunately, that is not likely to happen until Jesus returns. The Bible tells us that evil will be destroyed when Jesus returns. What a glorious day that will be! The Bible also implies that the more we follow the teachings of Jesus, the more quickly he will return. We are not waiting on Jesus, he is waiting on us to move closer to him by following his teachings.
A better question is, would the world be a better place if everyone loved God and loved their neighbor? This is what the Bible teaches. From my point of view, love is without question the remedy for all the problems of this world. That is, without question, absolute truth.