Q. My 12-year-old came to me last night wondering how she can be sure that Christianity is truth—when it's all she's ever known. She argued that if she had been raised in a Hindu household, she'd probably see that as truth. In this day of relativism and "everything goes," how do I show my daughter that Jesus really is The Way?
A. Your daughter's question reveals a heart that desires to understand the truth. You need to encourage her in her quest for understanding.
You can do that by showing her why our beliefs about God are vitally important. It matters what we believe because that's what determines how we live. Reject God altogether, and you're left with no moral accountability and no foundation for any idea of virtue or sin, goodness or evil. If there is no God, those concepts lose meaning.
We know better. Scripture says the truth about God, including a basic knowledge of right from wrong, is engraved on the human mind and conscience (Romans 1:19-20).
But how do we know that the God of the Bible is truly God? How can you show your child that God is our true Creator and Redeemer, rather than deities worshiped by other major religions?
Encourage your daughter, first of all, to ask God to help her know him through the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, "If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? …. If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!" (Luke 11:11-13, NKJ).
Encourage her also to examine the claims of Scripture and see for herself that they stand up to scrutiny. The 66 books of Scripture were written by about 40 different authors over some 1,500 years of human history, yet they tell one clear story of redemption. Those who have studied it most carefully and most faithfully over the centuries have had no question about its authenticity.
For example, the fulfilled prophecies of Scripture testify to its accuracy. Promises about Christ fill the Old Testament.Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53 were written centuries before the crucifixion of Christ. Read those passages, and compare them with the gospel accounts of Christ's death. There is abundant evidence (for those with eyes to see) that Scripture is inspired by God.
Most of all, encourage her to listen for the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking in Scripture. Scripture is the single most powerful testimony to its own veracity. It is "living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12 NKJ). The gospel itself "is the power of God to salvation" (Romans 1:16 NKJ).
As she studies the Bible with an open, receptive heart, God will make his truth clear to her. The Bible, God's self-revelation to humanity, is more than sufficient to answer all her questions and kindle the fire of authentic faith in her heart.
Meanwhile, may God give you grace and wisdom to be a faithful witness to your daughter. As she sees you seeking to live in obedience to the Word of God, she will naturally be inclined to take the Word of God more seriously herself. Keep that in mind, pray for the eyes of her understanding to be opened, and trust God to do his work in her heart.
Dr. John MacArthur is a pastor, teacher, and an author. He and his wife have four grown children and 13 grandchildren.
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