by RICK NISCHALKE
Does God exist?
I thought that I had better deal with this subject first because so much of the following content in this series about surviving parental alienation will depend upon your decision about faith for its foundation.
One of the most important questions a person can ever ask is “Does God exist”? The answer to that single question has enormous implications on your views about life, humanity, morality, good and evil and most importantly your destiny. It also has huge ramifications for those of us that have been targeted parents of alienation. And it will greatly affect how and if, we are able to work through our emotions and circumstances and move toward a better future.
Let’s begin exploring God’s existence by examining some the basics of the Christian faith.
- God created everything. Man and woman and the earth that we live on were all created by Him.
- God placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden where they lived in total harmony with nature, animals, each other, and God himself.
- Adam and Eve both sinned (rebelled) against God. Eve followed satan’s lead and Adam followed Eve’s. Both of them disobeyed the command that God had given them (for their own protection).
Just like in our current culture today, they decided that other desires or relationships were more important than their relationship with the loving God that had created them. That is when sin and death entered our world. God didn’t bring sin or death into the world man did. When God created mankind, He placed them in paradise. But man and woman chose to turn against God in their quest for knowledge and power. Not much has changed, has it?
- Satan is real and he is a liar. He seeks to bring destruction to all human beings because we are created in God’s image. He enticed Eve with a lie and has been lying to each one of us ever since. (One of his biggest and most successful lies is that he doesn’t exist.)
An unseen spiritual war is being fought to this very day. Although we may not be able to see the forces of good and evil fighting this war, all of us would certainly agree that we can see the results of a war between good and evil daily, both in the world and in our own lives as well.
- As the creator of mankind God had every right and reason to say “I am done with mankind. There is nothing they can say or do to obtain my forgiveness and favor ever again. They are ungrateful, obstinate, selfish, and foolish. They voluntarily chose to betray my love and trust. They disobeyed the specific instructions that I gave them for their own protection.
And then instead of confessing their sin and rebellion and asking for my forgiveness, they blamed others for their choices and actions. They had their chance and rejected me so I will reject them. I will let them live with the consequences of their sin forever. They can live in the fallen world they have created and be destined to an eternal hell with no chance of salvation, because of the curse they have brought on themselves”. Or God may simply have said “Fine, I will destroy mankind and create another race that won’t turn against me.”
- Instead because of His great love for us, God sent His own son Jesus Christ to live the perfect life that we could not. To voluntarily sacrifice Himself on the cross to pay for our sins.
To defeat the curse of sin and death that we had brought upon ourselves. And to not only provide a way for our salvation, but to actually allow us the privilege of becoming His children. We will live with Him in a new heaven and earth for eternity with no more sin or death! The sacrifice that Jesus made to save us from our sins and eternal judgment was costly, agonizing and humiliating for Him. But He did it anyway because of His incomprehensible love for us.
- Many people are offended by the concept of eternal judgment and hell. They say “It’s not fair that anyone should go to hell. A loving God would never sentence anyone to an eternity of suffering”. Yet God has made it very clear that His offer of salvation and atonement for sin is free and extended to everyone.
He already paid the price for our sin, unbelief and rebellion. All He requires of us is to admit our weakness, sin and need for Him and to confess and believe that He is Lord of all and ask for His forgiveness.
Anyone that refuses to humble themselves (like He did first) by accepting God’s provision for our sin is sentencing themselves to an eternity of pain & suffering. God doesn’t want anyone to end up in hell. People sentence themselves to hell.
- The Christian faith is the only faith that I am aware of where a follower of that faith can’t earn merit or justify themselves to appease whomever they are following in their faith. The Christian faith is clear that we can never earn or merit salvation and a right relationship with God by any works of our own.
With every other religion or faith that I have seen, there is always a list of things that an individual can do (or not do) to earn favor with whatever deity they are following. These faiths all encourage certain actions, ways of life and methods of worship to gain favor with their gods.
The Christian faith makes it clear that there is only one way to end our alienation from God. And that is to accept His free offer of grace and mercy for the forgiveness of our sins. Yet many simply refuse God’s terms like Cain (the son of Adam and Eve) did and come up with some other system of works to make themselves acceptable to God on their own terms instead of His.
Other religions say you have to clean up your act or earn your way by good works to make yourself right with their deity. Since He created us, Jesus Christ understands that we don’t have the capacity to live the sinless life required to be in a right relationship with Him, so He did it for us.
He extends an invitation to come to Him just as we are, in all of our brokenness and pain and He will change us through His power not ours.
If you would like more information about God and His son Jesus Christ I suggest getting a bible and reading it yourself. Start with the four gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. You can also read “Evidence That Demands a Verdict” by Josh McDowell or “The Case for Christ” by Lee Strobel. There are also many fine churches that would be delighted to have one of their pastors speak with you and answer any questions you have.
If you would like to accept Jesus Christ’s invitation to come into your life right here and now, it’s easy to do. You don’t need to take a special class or read anything to accept His invitation. In fact, since none of us knows what the future may hold, I would encourage you to ask Him into your life without any delay.
Remember, you don’t need to have every question answered, or clean yourself up a bit to accept His invitation. He loves you just like you are (but too much to let you stay that way!) ☺
Here’s a prayer that you can pray if you’d like. It’s not a perfect or magic prayer of some kind, just pray from your heart in all sincerity and God will do the rest.
Lord, I am not a perfect person, and I haven’t lived a perfect life. I confess all my sins to you and ask for your forgiveness. Thank you for dying for my sins and for your grace and mercy. Please come into my heart and help me to follow you all the days of my life. Amen.
If you prayed that prayer, feel free to post that on this blog or send me an email to let me know so I can be praying for you!
It’s been my experience through the years that there are really only a handful of reasons that people refuse to believe in (or acknowledge) the existence of God.
- Some of us have never really given much thought or done our own research on the subject, so we end up accepting and repeating what some authority figure in our life told us we should believe.
- Some believe that our cultures’ current version of science has all the answers and they’re under the false belief that no one of above average intelligence believes in Intelligent Design and Creation.
- If God does in fact exist, this truth may require changes in their lifestyle that they are unwilling to make.
- Many become angry and appalled with the injustice, evil and pain in this world. They ask “If God exists how could He let all of this happen”?
- In some cases people that used to believe in God change their view because they feel that God has let them down in some way. They become disillusioned by their own false understanding about who God is and how He operates in our world.
They believe that God has an obligation to answer every prayer the way that they think He should or He must not be real or trustworthy. Or worse yet, if they are in deep enough pain and confusion, they simply walk away from a relationship with Him.
Sometimes they profess not to believe in Him at all, but most of the time they are just angry, hurt and disillusioned by their pain so they refuse to worship, follow or even acknowledge God’s existence anymore.
My next post will deal with each of the reasons listed above. But before I go I wanted to share another interesting fact and perspective with you.
Do you know when the first incidence of alienation occurred according to scripture?
When did the whole concept of turning someone against someone else begin, and who started that mess?
It was satan. And it happened in the Garden of Eden. He effectively drove a wedge of doubt and sin between The Lord and Adam and Eve. This resulted in their (and our) alienation from God. Jesus came to reconcile our relationship with God again. Here are a few scripture verses that describe this:
Colossians 1:19-23 (New International Version – NIV)
19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of[a] your evil behavior.22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.
Adam and Eve were created by God. Since they had no earthly parent, He was in essence their parent. Satan’s tactics have never changed. He does everything he can to destroy the relationship that we have with our children through parental alienation. Unfortunately, there are many that have learned his tactics and like him, are selfish enough to implement them for their own selfish goals of control and power, destroying anyone they consider an enemy along the way.