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Reason 1: You Have Nothing to Lose.

Gamble - Christian Illustrations by Ian CoateGambling is a chancy venture where something is risked on an unknown outcome.  On any uncertainty you can bet small or you can bet large - but would you be willing to bet your life on one toss of a coin or roll of a dice?  Most would not be so foolish.   

Those who don’t believe in God are betting ‘everything’ on when they die there is ‘nothing’ and they will simply cease to exist.  But, WHAT IF death isn’t the exit door to existence?  WHAT IF we have a soul that doesn’t die and continues into eternity?  WHAT IF there is a meaning to life? 
The truth is no one can physically prove God exists but, equally, no one can prove He doesn’t.  The more scientists learn about the universe and existence, the more questions arise.  Ever-changing theories of evolution are based on either missing or debatable evidence.  These theories imply that in the beginning there was nothing – the ‘nothing’ exploded and, with random precision, gradually created everything. 
Are we so foolhardy we would gamble everything on a belief in ‘nothing’, when everlasting life in Heaven can be ours by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ - read John 3:16.
A wise gambler once wrote: ‘I would rather live my life as if there is a God, and die to find out there isn’t - than to live my life as if there isn’t, and die to find out there is.’
Believing in ‘nothing’ is the ultimate, foolish gamble.  If you are right you gain nothing – if you are wrong you lose everything.  Alternatively, believing in the Lord Jesus Christ stacks all the odds in your favour.  By believing in Him you have everything to gain and nothing to lose.

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Reason 2: Creation demands a Creator.

Creator behind Creation - Christian Illustrations by Ian CoateA book requires an author - like a program requires a programmer - like a poem requires a poet - like a design requires a designer - like an invention requires an inventor - like creation requires a Creator.

When we see an artwork, do we believe that the artwork created itself or is it self evident that an artist created it?
Animals are programmed for survival (zoologists call it instinct). Who is the programmer? 
Science acknowledges that all scientific laws are constant and governed. If this is so, who is the governor? 
Science also acknowledges a design to all of creation. Who is the designer? 
There is much talk of the Laws of Nature. Who is the one upholding these Laws?
It would be easier for the most intricate micro-chip to intelligently form itself from raw matter, than a DNA molecule (the most efficient information storage system in the known universe) to do the same.
Did creation really create itself? There is the option of believing in Darwin’s clever ‘Evolution’ which if given enough time can theoretically create (from nothing) all intricately designed creatures and then program them with a moral sense and instinct. Or, we can believe that behind all things in creation is an incredible Creator. (Psalms 19:1)

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Reason 3: It takes more faith to believe in evolution than in God.

Faith Without Evidence - Christian Illustrations by Ian CoateIf someone said he had a theory that elephants evolved from prehistoric flying pigs, we might want to see their evidence before accepting it as fact.  If they said they’d found no evidence or the evidence was missing, it would take an enormous step of faith to believe their theory.

Evolution: a belief that in the beginning there was nothing – the nothing exploded and gradually created everything. 
It would seem the world’s greatest faith is placed in the belief in evolution and its ever-changing theories. Yet generally unbeknown to the public, no palaeontologist has presented any supportable evidence of the magical transition from one species to another, especially when considering more than 250, 000 different fossil species have been found to date.  The link between man and ape remains missing.  All supposed links between dinosaurs and birds have been refuted by experts in the field as unfit candidates. 
To date, no one has witnessed any lifeless chemicals arranging themselves into complex information-bearing bio-molecules needed for life.  The odds of just one single protein molecule (in all its mathematical complexity) being arranged by chance has been calculated at 1 in 100 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000.  However, 239 protein molecules are needed for the smallest theoretical life.
It is ironic that many people refute beliefs of Christianity on the basis of lack of supportable evidence, but happily turn to ‘theories’ of evolution, never once questioning – where is the evidence?

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Reason 4: Life is more than the physical.

Soul Life - Christian Illustrations by Ian CoateWe live in a mechanised world. When an engine breaks down, the problem part is fixed or replaced and the engine works again. When our computer dies, we call someone to fix or replace the dysfunctional component and suddenly it comes back to life.

Sadly, we cannot deal with the problem of a human death mechanically. When a person dies, we can’t fix or replace the broken parts, switch them on and – hey presto – like Frankenstein’s monster – they come back to life.
Today, there is technology to keep a person’s body functioning externally, yet when doctors pronounce someone dead, they acknowledge that something has left the body and no amount of treatment or equipment can bring them back. So, does this mean we have a soul? 
We know so little about life.  Some say life is simply the result of the perfect balance of chemicals, ions and memory-association cells.  But this does not explain self-awareness or that spiritual sense of self which never grows old even when the body does, (Ecc. 3:11).  If life was simply biological, we should be able to resolve the problem of death with an operation - but this will never be the case. Unlike mechanical death, human death is permanent – something, our soul, leaves the body and doesn’t come back, (Ecc. 12:7). 
We should all question: When we die, where does that something (the real us) go?  We get so caught up acquiring wealth and status that we give little thought about death, but as the Bible states: ‘For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?’ (Mark 8:36)

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Reason 5: We are what we believe.

Reprecussions - Christian Illustrations by Ian CoateAs a rule, decisions we make are based on what we believe to be true – thus there will always be consequences as a result of our beliefs.  If we do not believe in the laws of gravity, will our beliefs stop us from the consequences of falling? 

We should really consider what we believe. If our beliefs are based on a scientific theory like evolution (lack of supportable evidence means it is a theory, not a fact) we believe we are cosmic accidents with no high purpose - born simply to breed, suffer and die.
Sadly this is the grim message being taught as fact to our children in schools.  They quickly learn the irony that the ultimate point of evolution is that all existence is ultimately pointless. As a society we are now reaping the consequences - in high suicides rates, depression, lack of direction, lack of hope, break-down of family, rampant crime and a mass dependency on drugs.  If, as a society, we believe and teach that our existence is ultimately pointless, do we think there will be no repercussions? 
The Bible states, ‘The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God” (Psalm 14:1)’; even though God’s handiwork is plainly seen in creation (Psalm 19:1).  If we reject the biblical claim of God and Jesus Christ, what are the consequences if we are wrong?  John 3:36 says, “He who believes in the Son (Jesus Christ) has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
There are always repercussions to our beliefs.  Even if we fence-sit or say we believe in nothing, all our decisions will be based accordingly and we should consider the cost - both individually and collectively as a nation. 
So what are the consequences of a belief in Christianity?  It offers everlasting salvation, a code of integrity, a sense of purpose, a hope for the future and a meaning to all existence. (John 3:16)

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Reason 6: Christianity is a relationship - not a religion.

Business is a pleasure for very few people.  For most, business is hard work endured in order to pay the bills.  Pleasure is relaxing with family and friends.

Christianity was designed to be a wonderful relationship with God - not a religion.  Sadly, the greatest obstacle for many people coming to Christianity is religion.  It has turned what should be a pleasure into a business.  Religion, burdened with its numerous works, rituals, cults, intolerance and atrocities, has distorted the true meaning of Christianity. 
God isn’t interested in religion – He doesn’t need our insignificant works or our meagre money to complete His purpose.  He is God, the Creator of the universe – Governor of the laws that sustain science – Possessor of all knowledge and riches.  God doesn’t need our help – we need His.
God is like a loving parent whose children have run away.  His greatest desire is for us to choose to come back to Him.  God created mankind with free will.  He cannot and will not force anyone to love Him.  We are created in His image – just as we desire people to freely love us, so too does God want us to freely love Him.  He desires a personal relationship with each of us.   As a parent, He wants to protect and provide for us. He wants to impart His wisdom, not to spoil our chance at happiness, but to increase it. 
Christianity is not a set of meaningless rituals, but a restoration of a family relationship with our Heavenly Father.

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Reason 7: Salvation is a free gift.

A Gift - Christian Illustrations by Ian CoateA gift is usually something ‘paid for’ by another and given free of charge – no strings attached.  We do not earn or deserve a gift, otherwise it would be a payment or a reward.  However, when a gift is given, it only becomes ours when we freely accept it.   

God gave us the greatest of all gifts.  He humbled Himself and became a man (Jesus Christ) and willingly went to the cross to pay the penalty for the sins of the world so anyone who chooses may have everlasting life instead of judgement.
All that is left to receive everlasting-life is for us to simply accept it as a gift - by faith.  We must understand that salvation is not a reward or a payment, (… it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. Eph. 2:8-9). If we think we earned or deserved it, then we have not received it - everlasting life is a gift paid for by another (Christ).  All we have to do is simply ‘believe’ the gift is ours and it becomes ours – forever.  Furthermore, God does not take back His gifts.  Once in our possession, it always remains in our possession - for eternity.  We did nothing to gain the gift - we can do nothing to lose it.  No one can steal it from us and we can’t return it to God.    
John 3:16 states, ‘God so loved the world that He gave His uniquely born Son (Jesus Christ) that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.
Don’t be one who eternally regrets declining the greatest gift ever given, when by accepting it is as easy as ‘believing’ that it belongs to us.  As it is freely given - it must be freely received. (John 6:40)

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Reason 8: To avoid the impending disaster.

Hell - Bible Illustrations by Ian CoateIn times of impending natural disaster, there are those who choose to stay in their homes despite all the warnings to leave.  Later, when we hear they have died, we naturally grieve at their unnecessary demise, at the same time realising they took a chance as a matter of choice.

Mankind was created to enjoy a perfect relationship with God.  We were also created with free-will.  Through bad decisions, sin entered the world and our lives.  Consequently, a disaster called Judgement is heading our way.  God desires none to perish.  He came as a man (Jesus Christ), and paid the complete penalty for our sin on the cross.  However, due to the unchangeable law of free-will, God can only save those who freely accept His gift of salvation.  He has warned us many times in the Bible – Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved.  It is now a matter of choice.  For those who choose to reject God’s offer of eternal salvation, or choose to make no choice at all (after the age of accountability), God must ultimately respect their decision - and leave them to their own devices in a place set aside, where His provision (which has long been taken for granted) will be eternally absent. 
We must understand that God is the One upholding all the universal laws of order and science.  He is the source of light and comfort.  Those who reject God also reject His provision which will ultimately leave them in a chaotic vacuum that, for lack of a better word, is called, ‘Hell’. (John 3:16-18)

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Reason 9: To receive heavenly citizenship.

Today, many oppressed people risk their lives, braving open seas or paying a fortune to flee their tyrannical county of birth.  They will risk everything for a chance of becoming citizens in another nation rich with opportunity, freedom and prosperity. 

The greatest nation of all time is the Kingdom of Heaven - sadly, none of us are born citizens.  Mankind, through bad choice (sin), sought independence from God and is now imprisoned in the tyranny of a corrupt and fallen world.  Because of those choices, there is now a barrier (called judgement) between mankind and God.  This barrier separates us from ever being citizens in the Heavenly Kingdom.  We can’t do anything ourselves to gain citizenship – we can’t bribe a church or do any number of good deeds to become an acceptable candidate.  The truth is that only God can pay the necessary price on our behalf - and the astounding news is the price for our citizenship has been completely paid. God so loved the world that He gave His uniquely born Son (Jesus Christ) that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).  Through the willing sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, a way was made through the barrier.  Heaven awaits any who accept Christ’s gift (sacrifice) on their behalf.
God never intended this corrupt planet to be our eternal home.  He desires all to be citizens of His Heavenly Kingdom and gain the magnificent eternal privileges and prosperity that it offers.  Right now the border is open, the walls are knocked down and all we need do is accept Jesus Christ’s gift to become citizens of the most splendid Kingdom ever to exist.  The choice is ours.  If you haven’t crossed the border (by believing in Christ) - do it now.  Citizenship will not be offered after life on Earth – do not miss the greatest opportunity of eternity. (Romans 5:8.  Ephesians 2:8 -9)

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Reason 10: Believing in God is a chance worth taking.

Believing is seeing - Christian Illustrations by Ian CoateTo prove our capabilities in certain endeavours, we often need someone else to take a chance and believe in us. When given such a chance, we then have an opportunity to prove their faith in us was well founded. 

The world’s greatest intellects can neither prove nor disprove God’s existence. It all comes down to personal belief. If we adamantly don’t believe in something, we sceptically explain away all proof. We live in a world where seeing is believing; however, one of the greatest acts of trust we can show in another, is believing in them before the evidence is seen. 
God does not coerce our free-will. That is why belief is the currency that He demands before He vindicates Himself. Only those who step out in faith see the evidence of God working in their lives. This explains why many Christians have a strong faith; by believing they have seen – and once seen it is easy to believe.  
In a world of reason it seems foolish to believe in something before seeing the evidence, but if we always disbelieve in God we inadvertently close the door on Him ever proving Himself. Give God a chance.  We must remember, God does not need us – but we certainly need Him.  God does reveal Himself through creation and His Word (the Bible), but if we wish for God to reveal Himself further in our life, we must choose to seek Him. 
How do we start? The Bible states in John 10:9 that Jesus Christ is the door and by believing in Him we will receive everlasting life and an eternal relationship with God. (Hebrews 11:6. 2 Corinthians 5:7)

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Believe in Christ by Ian Coate
for a clear presentation of the
Message of Salvation
These illustrations may be copied or distributed without permission as long as no cost is charged and author is recognised.

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Thank you to the many people who have sat through a session of me reading Illustrations at them. Special thanks to my Mum, John Mennen and David Webb who have given graciously of their time to edit these Illustrations and to Alan and Caroline whose support has enabled these Illustrations and web page to come to fruition.
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