How I Found My New Phone On The Mountain

aerial photography of mountain ranges during daytime

Introduction

Where did you get your phone from? I found mine when I was out camping in the mountain earlier this year. It was early dawn. The sun had just risen over the hillside when I got out of my tent to do my morning routine. After I had finished, I went out to the edge to admire the beautiful morning landscape. As I took a deep breath of the crisp mountain air, I saw it, sparking off in the distance. Curious, I moved in for a closer look. There it was, hanging off of the lush Apple tree, a brand new and ripe iPhone XS.

“Yes!” I exclaimed, leaping of joy. Finally, I would be one of the first to get this year’s model. I plucked it off of the tree and booted it up. The pixels were so beautiful and crisp. What a wonderful day! Immediately, I rushed home to show it to everyone. They were so jealous. I bet you’re jealous too.

What? You don’t believe me? And you think my story is stupid? Yeah… I agree. Sadly, many people today believe far more foolish stories than this one. For example, atheists want you to believe that advanced biological machines like yourself arose by chance over time. Even though the code in your DNA is far more complex than everything that human programmers have ever written. Bill Gates once said:

Human DNA is like a computer program but far, far more advanced than any software ever created.

Bill Gates, The Road Ahead

DNA has also been called the Book of Life, but comparing it to a mere book is a gross understatement. The amount of information stored in the 3 billion base pairs in the DNA of every human cell is equivalent to that in 1,000 encyclopedia-sized books. The scientist who led the team that cracked the human genome, Francis Collins, was awed by the result of his research. He grew up as an Atheist, but now he believes that there is a rational basis for a Creator and that scientific discoveries bring mankind “closer to God”:

When you have for the first time in front of you this 3.1 billion letter instruction book that conveys all kinds of information and all kinds of mystery about humankind, you can’t survey that going through page after page without a sense of awe. I can’t help but look at those pages and have a vague sense that this is giving me a glimpse of God’s mind.

Francis Collins

Perhaps you’re still going to argue the case for naturalistic evolution. If so, why? Does it bring you joy to think that you’re nothing but the result of random chance? If this world did just spontaneously arise out of nothing, then one day, it will disappear into nothing, and your life would have been meaningless. That feels wrong, doesn’t it? There has to be some purpose for your existence, and you have been searching for that purpose. Why is that? Have you ever wondered where that desire for meaning comes from?

It comes from God

It’s there because you are made in the Image of God. Your life has a purpose because God made you for a purpose. Unfortunately, you have rebelled against that purpose. Think back. Have you ever lied? Stolen anything (like money, candy, pirate copies online)? Lusted? Hated anyone? Blasphemed God’s name? Then you have gone against the purposes of God and broken his holy law (sinned). You are guilty. Everyone is guilty. God tells us that there are none who are righteous, no, not one. You knew what you were doing was wrong when you did it, because of your conscience, but you still did it.

In the courtroom, there are no excuses. Imagine that you were so stressed one day that you drove over 50 mph in a school zone. The police stop you, arrest you, and take you to court. It’s an open and shut case. If you try to charm the judge by telling him about all the philanthropy that you do and how this was only a one-time thing, he isn’t going to pardon you. A good judge doesn’t let criminals go because they’re usually good. You’re in court because of your crimes, nothing else.

Now, if one of our judge on earth has to sentence you based on limited, errant evidence, imagine how thoroughly the judge in heaven has to sentence you based on comprehensive, inerrant evidence. Our judges can only know so much; God knows everything. God has personally witnessed each and every sin that you committed in the dark, and he knows what was lurking in your heart then. Furthermore, unlike the fallen judges on earth, God cannot be deceived, persuaded, or bribed. He loathes injustice. The Bible says that God “will by no means clear the guilty” (Ex. 34:7). So, he judges you guilty and sentences you to prison. That is justice. If that were the end, you would be damned. And not just you, everyone would perish.

Fortunately, it is not the end

This is where the Good News (Gospel) comes in. Because of his abundant love, the Son of God, Jesus Christ, came down from heaven and lived a sinless life. Every moment of every day, he obeyed each jot and tittle of God’s law, loving God with all of his heart, soul, and mind. Then he went to the cross on our behalf, where he was punished for our sins. God unleashed his righteous wrath against him, instead of against us. The Bible says:

God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.

Romans 5:8–10 ESV

Because God is good and holy, he must punish sin. Every one of us would have been damned if Jesus hadn’t come to take upon himself our punishment. To put it simply, Jesus paid your fine. He suffered unspeakable agony for you. He died so that you could live! Isn’t it incredible? What lavish love God must have for you! After Jesus died, he was buried. And after three days, he rose again, conquering death, and was seen by hundreds of eyewitnesses.

To be saved from the wrath of God and experience the eternal love of God, you must repent of (turn away from) your sins and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and his perfect work on the cross. Once you do that, God will forgive every sin that you’ve ever committed and give you the gift of eternal life. He will adopt you and care for you, always.

Now, get to know the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit by reading the Bible and praying. If you’re not sure how to pray, you can begin by reading Psalm 51 and The Lord’s Prayer. And always remember:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16 ESV

Thank You

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A Thief Stole Your Stuff

Imagine this. A thief breaks into your home and steals your stuff. He steals everything, everything. Your house is barren — even the dust is gone.

Remember, God is love (1 John 4:16). So, rejoice in the Lord, always (Phil. 4:4).
All glory to God alone. Grace and peace to you. Amen.
Sincerely, Tom-Roger Mittag.