I believe God created everything. Heaven, earth, stars, planets, people … maybe even little green men from outer space. Who knows?

I believe He created us so He could love us. At the same time, I believe He left us to decide whether we’d love Him back. Why would He do that? Well, think about it. What kind of relationship would it be if He simply programmed us to love Him? We’d be like Stepford wives. It wouldn’t be real. And that would leave God very lonely.

I believe we messed it up in the Garden of Eden when we decided we needed to know what God knows. Silly us. We can’t know everything He knows. But satan (I won’t even capitalize his name, that’s how much I despise him) tricked us into thinking we could. That led us to sin, which is separation from God. We had paradise in the bag. After the fall, we got our eyes opened to the real world. We became slaves to sin.

I believe that our colossal blunder cost us eternity with God. Because God can’t have filthy people in heaven (or anything less than perfection, for that matter), our sentence became an eternal party in the lake of fire, hosted by satan himself.

I believe that God loved us so much, however, that He just couldn’t stand to see us suffer for all eternity. So He made a way for us to be washed spotless — by sending His son, Jesus, to die in our place.

I believe Jesus did come to earth, born of a virgin (yep, a virgin), and lived among us, teaching us everything we needed to know in order to carry out God’s plan. The religious leaders of the time felt threatened by His presence, so they conspired with the Romans to have Him put to death in a gruesome manner on the cross. They thought they had defeated Jesus, but they didn’t know it was all part of God’s plan.

I believe that Jesus rose from the grave after three days, defeating death and completing the job He had been sent to do, fulfilling the prophesies of Isaiah and others from hundreds of years earlier. He made a way.

I believe He returned to heaven to be with His Father, after a time with His closest friends.

I believe God then sent the Holy Spirit to be with us and guide us until the day Jesus returns.

And finally, I believe that I — along with anyone who chooses to believe in what Jesus did for us — will live eternally with God someday in an unimaginable paradise.

It seems like a lot. It’s actually very simple. And the question is … what do you believe?