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Josh McDowell - What the Bible Says about God's Love  (6:14)

Josh McDowell - Part 2

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The Source of a Changed Life

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Video transcript:

I left the university, travelled through the United States, England, Germany, France, and the Middle East, gathering the evidence to write Evidence that Demands a Verdict against those students and professors, and to refute Christianity.

I was sitting in a small museum library in London, England. I'm going to try to find this library when I go back there in a couple weeks. It was a Friday night, about 6:30. I remember I was quite tired, and I leaned back in my chair and I cupped my hands behind my head, and right in front of everyone, which was probably three people, I said, "It's true! It's true! It's true!"

Now what I meant by that, was a reference to the New Testament, not that it was the word of God. Oh trust me, I wasn't anywhere near that position. What I had concluded as an antagonistic, obnoxious, agnostic university student -- now that's a mouthful, but that's probably the best way to describe my attitude at that time -- what I meant by that was I had concluded as a total non-believer that there were two things true about the New Testament.

One, that what I held in my hand as the New Testament was literally what was written down 2,000 years ago. It has not been changed. Don't you let anyone come along and tell you that the Christians came along and changed it. That's historically incorrect.

And I believe in Evidence That Demands a Verdict, New Evidence, now it's called the New Evidence That Demands a Verdict -- I believe in there the right document, that I could reproduce the New Testament to a 99.5% pure text.

Second thing that I concluded, was not only that what I had was what was written down, but this was more important, that what was written down was true. Cause my mother didn't raise any dummies. If what was written down wasn't true then I could care less that what I have today was what was written down. C'mon, I'm not stupid. And I concluded, it was true, in this sense, that this is what Jesus said and what Jesus did. Not necessarily that what Jesus said was true, that's another story, but that it was true that he said it and he did this.

I'm so glad God didn't give up on me. He knew the bitterness in my heart. He knew the blasphemy, the anger that I had, and he still pursued me. And I couldn't have thought this way without God creating it within my mind.

I said, "Ok, if it's possibly true, I'm not saying it is, but if it's possibly true even, what Jesus said then what does it say about me? What does it say about me?" This is when I first read in the Old Testament, in Exodus 30:14, your translations, most translations have it this way, "You should worship no other God but the Lord. For He is a God who is jealous." But do you know what that really means? I think it's best brought out, the Hebrew is best brought out here, in the New Living translation. This is what jealous means there. "You should worship no other God but the Lord. For He is a God who is passionate about His relationship with you."

I went, "Whoa, God, you're saying that if you are, you are passionate about a relationship with me?" I said, "Ok God, if you are, and if you are passionate about a relationship with me, what will it look like?"

Oh men and women. This is weird, as a totally non-believer, I discovered the love of a personal creator God. I discovered four things about God's love as a total non-believer. Only God could have done that.

One, I learned that God's love takes the initiative. In I John 4:10 in the New Testament it says this, "This then is love. Not that we loved him, but that He loved us, and gave his Son as atoning sacrifice for our sins."

Second thing I learned about God's love is that it's sacrificial. Boy that was a new twist. "For God so loved the world he gave his only begotten Son."

Third thing I learned about God's love is that it's all knowing. Psalm 139:1-3, it says that he knows everything about you.

You know one of the problems I had? After I started to be persuaded, you know, God exists and the Bible is the word of God, my greatest fear was this. Oh it was vivid in my life. If God really knew me, He would never love me. You know what I learned? He knows me and He still loves me. That's what I discovered as a non-believer! That if he is he knows me best and he loves me most and that he is passionate about a relationship with me.

Fourth thing I learned about God's love is that it's all encompassing. I learned in the New Testament, in the book of John 15:9, Jesus is speaking to His disciples and he says, "Guys, just as God the Father loves me the Son," now get this, "as much as the Father loves the Son," Jesus said, "I love you." And this caused a major crisis in my life. A major crisis.

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