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Christian worldview

by Jacob Ninan

Dear friend,

After we spoke last, I was thinking about the series of misfortunes you have experienced in your family even though you have enjoyed a comfortable level of financial security. You could not understand why this should be so, and so you felt like resigning yourself to the concept of karma or fate.

I too don't know why things have happened to you like this. There are mysteries about life than none of us knows fully. But I thought, as a friend, I could describe to you my 'worldview', or what I believe about the way many things work in life, for you to consider. Perhaps this may throw some light on your situation, and maybe we could talk together again some time. I know these concepts may be new to you, and so as I try to explain them to you, you will have to make an attempt to think outside your box in order to understand them.

 Essentially this worldview is about God and us, why He created us, what went wrong with us, and what God is seeking to do for us now.

The Christian understanding of God is from the Bible, which we believe was given by God to tell us about Him, supported by the experience of millions of people who have trusted Him and got to know Him in their personal experience. This is very different from the way people have thought up their concepts of God based on their own imagination or interpretation. God is a Person somewhat similar to us in that He thinks, feels, makes decisions and implements them. But unlike us He is infinitely powerful, able to do whatever He wants. He has no material body or form but exists in a spirit form. He is everywhere at the same time, knowing everything that is going on in the minutest detail. He is the one who has created everything that exists, from nothing. After creating the world, animals, birds and fish, He finally created man and woman. The brilliant design that is seen in the universe and everything there is in it shows the brilliance of the Designer.

He has created us by design and not by a process of evolution. We have a body, soul (thinking, feeling, deciding, memory) and also a spirit. Animals only have body and soul. It is because we have a spirit, just like God who is a spirit, that we can communicate with God. Even ancient civilisations felt this need to communicate with God, and many devised their own ways to do that. But we never see even the most intelligent animals doing anything 'religious', because they don't have this spirit.

God is absolutely good. He wants to do only good to us. He is also absolutely righteous and just, without bias or prejudice, in all His ways. When He created everything, it was all absolutely perfect. But something went wrong afterwards.

Before God created man, He created spiritual beings called angels with powers that we would consider supernatural. They can move invisibly from place to place and they can show themselves in different human and other forms when they want to appear to people. Unlike God, their powers are limited. They can be only in one place at any time, and their knowledge is limited to the past and the present. (God is timeless, and He knows the future also.) They cannot create anything out of nothing (only God can do that). They are subject to God's control, and they cannot do anything without His permission. They can put thoughts into our mind through our spirit even though they cannot know what we are thinking (except through an intelligent guessing process learned through years).

Sometime in the past, before man was created, the leader of the angels called Lucifer rebelled against God. He wanted to become like God and was dissatisfied with being less than God. When this happened, he was thrown out of the presence of God (heaven), and he managed to take with him one third of the angels. All of them then became evil, and were called demons from that time. Lucifer began to be called as Satan or Devil, and he is the leader of the demons. Satan and the demons now turned all their fury against God and the people He created.

Satan was the one who deceived the first human beings, Adam and Eve, and led them to disobey God. God had warned the couple that if they disobeyed Him they would face the consequences of 'death'--which meant spiritually getting cut off from God, and ultimately dying physically too. When they disobeyed, their life became full of problems--sickness, quarrels, death--and everything on earth became corrupted too. The perfect earth that God had created became subject to decay.

Satan and his demons are now bent on turning people away from God, by deception. He promises them wealth, fame, pleasure, etc., but demands allegiance to him. In the beginning we may be so thrilled by the 'offer' that we may not recognise that there are strings attached. But sooner or later the strings begin to tighten and then pain, confusion and frustration begin to hit us. He may give us 'good things' in the beginning till he gets us into his hands, and then he will begin to turn the screw on us. Remember Satan does not really intend anything good for us, and his ultimate aim is to attack God through us. We may end up doing that when the pain hits us and we question 'God' for doing it to us! Satan has 'created' many 'gods' for people to worship and those who worship such gods do not realise that it is not God they worship but only some demon who is counterfeiting God through display of supernatural power, etc. If we don't know that everything supernatural is not from God but a lot of it may be from demons who are out to mislead people, we get easily misled.

Demons also attack us personally by planting 'wrong' ideas into our minds, e.g., to steal something when nobody is looking, sign a false statement in order to make money, hit out at someone we don't like, etc. We may think that these are our own ideas and go ahead, and then we get deeper and deeper into the demon's net. We can understand something of the chaos this kind of activity has caused in the world. I believe the increase in suicides, immoral and perverse activities, violence, loss of value systems, etc., in the world shows an increasing activity of demons misleading people.

God hasn't been passively watching this happen. When He created angels and people, He created us with 'free will' by which we can choose to obey Him or disobey Him. He knew that some would disobey Him, and that is what we see now, with 'evil' people who do evil to others. But He also knew that without this free will, no one could actually choose to love Him. He wants a genuine loving relationship with us, and that is why He took the risk that they would also be those who would hate Him. When God saw Adam and Eve choosing to disobey Him in spite of all the good things He had provided for them, and the warnings He had given against disobedience, He also made a 'plan of salvation' for bringing disobedient mankind back to Him. That is what He has done through Jesus Christ.

Every one of us has done wrong, sinned--disobeyed God by the choices that we have made. According to the justice of God, all of us deserve to be punished. God has created a place for the disobedient to be punished in, hell. But as God who loves us and wants to do only good to us, He does not want us to end up there. Therefore He took on Himself our punishment. Jesus, who was God coming down into this world as a man, died in our place, even though He was sinless and even His enemies could find no sin in Him. Now God says that since our punishment has already been taken by Him, we can be accepted as if we were sinless. That is all we need to do now--accept our position before God as those who deserve punishment in hell for all the sins we have done, and then receive our new position now as God's children because of the sacrifice of Jesus.

From whatever circumstance we are coming, from whatever gods we have worshipped, from whatever sins we have committed, when we come to God in this way, accepting His forgiveness and acceptance, our lives will get changed. When we get to know God personally as one who knows everything about us and loves us, our heart will begin to love Him in return. When we get to know the things He has done from the beginning and what He means to us now, our life will have true meaning.

This world is heading for the end. God is going to ask everyone to stand before Him and give an account for his/her life. Those who have chosen to love God by receiving the gift of salvation through Jesus will be given a never ending life with God in heaven. But those who have defiantly lived their lives apart from God will face judgment and an everlasting torture in hell.

I guess all this may be too difficult for you to understand immediately, and you may have lots of questions too. Do write, and let me see how I can help you.

Sincerely, Jacob Ninan

Write to me, if you wish.

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