Date: Mon, 31 Jul 2000
Hi David, I'm a Catholic. A real confused one!! Well, what I wanted to know is:
1)Why did God Create this world together with all the happenings in the world when He already knows what is going to happen?
2)I've always wanted to read the Bible, but I don't where to start. Can you help me?
April 12, 2009 Update:
This verse in the book Revelation gives additional insight into why God created us: "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created." -Revelation 4:11
And as explained in my answer below from July 31, 2000, we are in the here and now with the free will to choose God or not. If we choose God, then there are more things for us to do while we are here such as obeying the commands of Christ and sharing the Word of God with others.Date: 31 Jul 2000
Your first question is a tough one. I don't think anyone can fully comprehend the awesome power of God. There is no doubt about the fact that God knows all and sees all.
The Bible does say that time for God is different from the time that we know. In fact, Psalm 90, verse 4, says that a thousand years to us is like a single day to God.
God knows the past, present, and future. The important thing for us to know is that we are here in the present and that we have the free will to choose God or not to choose God. Nothing can stop us if we want to give our life to Christ. In Romans 8, verse 31, Paul said: "If God is for us, who can be against us." In that respect alone, we are predestined to be with God for eternity if we so choose.
God wants us to desire him with all our heart. He is not going to force us to spend eternity with him if we don't want to be there. So, God created us, the world, and all its happenings to give us the opportunity to choose Him. Its an opportunity that I am very grateful for. I am so thankful that He put me here to give me the opportunity to choose eternity with Him.
Now, for your second question. There are many different ways to study the Bible. Personally, I have enjoyed reading straight through my NIV study Bible. I started with the New Testament and now am finishing up the Old Testament. The NIV study Bible offers additional notes on almost every verse. However, I have found a few cases where a verse found in the King James Version has been left out of the main text of the NIV with only a small footnote referencing it. So, I am starting to lean more towards the King James Version. I originally started reading the NIV because I graduated from a Christian University. We used the NIV Study Bible in all my Bible classes there. The NIV has served me well.
However, I continue to notice inconsistencies. Also, it seems to me that the study notes tend to explain away and trivialize the works of God. And, complete verses have been omitted out of the main text of the NIV.
Here is just one example of where my NIV leaves a verse out of the main text of the Bible:
"But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting."
My NIV Bible skips from verse 20 to 22! Also, I became frustrated with my NIV while doing a search on works. In some places the word 'works' is used and others the word 'deed' is used. That inconsistency forced me to go to the KJV which uses the word 'works' not 'deeds'.
An example of the study notes explaining away a miracle of God can be found in my NIV at Exodus 7:17.
"...By this you will know that I am the Lord: With the staff that is my hand I will strike the water of the Nile, and it will be changed into blood."
The study note says that God probably really didn't turn the water into blood. It was just a result of flooding of the Nile which caused red sediment to turn the water red.
Personally, I believe the Bible which is the inspired word of God rather than some scholars personal opinion on what "really" happened.
I just think that it is very dangerous to start trying to change the wording of the Bible and trying to explain away the miracles of God. Before long, what we have will barely resemble the Bible.
I have placed a link on my web site to an online KJV Bible.