I’ve always wanted the Loch Ness Monster to be real. I mean…who doesn’t? An ancient dinosaur haunting the murky depths of a Scottish lake – it would just make the world a better place.
A few years ago while were traveling in Scotland, my wife and I parked our rented car at the sacred center, the grand temple, of Nessie lore: the Loch Ness Centre. It was perfect – a stone building that looked like a hybrid between a castle and a Victorian hotel, with a battered yellow submersible vehicle, complete with periscope, parked in the front yard. I paid my entrance fee and entered the shrine with excitement – but it was short-lived excitement.
Room after room of multimedia displays, video footage, and scientific analysis, seemed to have one sole message: the Loch Ness Monster isn’t real. There’s not enough food in the loch to support so big a creature, the Nessie-hunting expeditions had flawed equipment or some other fatal error, the so-called “photos” could be explained away. It’s impossible for the Loch Ness Monster to exist. Stop by the gift store and pick up the official plush green Nessie toy, because that’s as close as you’re going to come to a “monster” here. I entered the shrine with excitement, but I left broken-hearted.
I exaggerate. (Slightly.) But hold that picture in your mind – a “church” that seems dedicated to proving the object of its “worship” doesn’t really exist – while hearing these words from the apostle Paul:
“His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms…” (Ephesians 3:10, NIV)
From the perspective of eternity, the true church of God, bought by the Lord Jesus Christ and formed by the Holy Spirit, has exactly the opposite effect as the Loch Ness Centre had on me. We prove his existence by our existence. There’s no other explanation for a group of sinful men and women who have joined together to worship God and love another! Once we were hateful and hated, Paul writes in Titus 3:3. And then God saved us and made us a people for his own possession (Titus 2:14). Once we were not a people. Now we are God’s people. Once we had not received mercy. Now we have been drenched in it (1 Pet. 2:10).
How do you know the Lord Jesus Christ is real, and all that he has promised to do is really happening? Next time you gather with your local church, look around. See the faces. Remember the stories of redemption each one represents, and remember your own story. How else could these stories have occurred except for Him?
+Photo by Draco2008