The Truth of The Gospel Surprises Critic
By Amy Reid
The 700 Club
CBN.com -“I was going from one thing to the next,” says Greg. “So you know, I'd buy a new car, and then when that didn't do it, I'd go out and buy clothes or take a trip. And then I went through hobbies, you know, I did triathlons. I did running. I took up wine as a hobby. I mean, on and on the list goes.”
Dr. Greg Viehman was convinced he had everything he needed to find happiness --the successful career, the lifestyle– but it never seemed to be enough.
“It was a combination of, you're sad, you're empty and yet at the same time you're kind of angry and frustrated because you're thinking, ‘Well, why? What's wrong with me? You know, why aren't I fulfilled? Why don't I feel like I have achieved what I've worked my whole life for?’” Greg recalls. “And you're embarrassed, so you’re not going to tell anyone so you keep it inside. And then what you end up doing is taking it out on other people.”
He also had all the answers. His wife, Ruth, explains. “He was good, but he had a short fuse. He was arrogant. He was always right. He’s the type of person, he’s his own person, he’s the boss, you know? He always did well his whole life. He was always number one at everything.”
Greg was quick to take issue with others, including his Christian neighbors, who Greg thought were giving his family the cold shoulder.
"I'm going to get a Bible and I'm going to prove to them that they're not practicing what they preach," Greg says.
Greg started reading the Bible and was shocked by what he learned. “I realized that Jesus was claiming to be God in the flesh--the God-Man on Earth--and I never heard that before,” says Greg. ‘“So that quickly got my attention because I realized if it did happen, it was the most important event in human history, and if it didn't happen, then I was just a religious fairytale that someone made up. So I quickly forgot about the neighbors and decided, ‘Hey, I need to find out if this really happened.’ I really got interested when I heard Luke’s prologue where he says he checked everything out because he’s a doctor, and doctors would normally disprove miracles, not authenticate them.”
While Greg’s curiosity was academic, Ruth had been on her own search for truth and accepted Christ as her Savior. She knew her husband needed more than a subject to study.
“I was worried about his salvation,” Ruth recalls. “I would tell my friends in the Bible study, ‘I’m worried about Greg. He’s never going to accept the Lord.’ And I told Greg, you know, ‘There’s a place called Hell and it’s real. And, you know, if you don’t believe, you might go there.’ And I was praying for him, I really was. It got to a point where I was just like. ‘I give up.’ I’m like, ‘Really?’ I’m like, ‘God--you’ve got to do something.’”
Greg spent weeks studying and researching. He realized Christianity hinged on one event—the resurrection.
“I started looking for every possible explanation that would say it didn't happen. Did Jesus – maybe He didn't die. Well, that wasn't true. Even in the Journal of the American Medical Association doctors had concluded that He definitely died. Maybe the apostles stole the body. I mean, maybe they were seeing hallucinations, all these different theories. But the problem was none of them were credible. None of them made sense,” says Greg. “The only explanation from the historical facts, the way it was set up with the Roman guards and everything, was that the tomb was empty and He actually rose. The real thing that got me was the apostle Paul. Because here's a guy, he's Jewish. He's killing Christians, he has nothing to gain, what in the world could make this guy go and be the greatest evangelist ever? There was only one explanation and that was that he saw the risen Lord Jesus Christ. So when I looked at the resurrection, looked at the evidence of these guys and their changed lives, I said, ‘I have to believe it!’”
Now Greg had the answer. Or at least he thought he did…
“Christianity is, ok, He really did it, and if you believe and He sees that you go to church and you're trying to do the right thing, then when you die, you'll go to heaven. I mean, what more could there be?”
Greg was about to find out. It started after he treated a walk-in patient at work.
“I went in told and told him if he had any questions to ask me. He was just staring me dead in the eye and just said, ‘Have you accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior?’ and I about passed out. I wasn't expecting that. And all this other stuff was happening at the same time. I'm like, ‘Well, how does he know? Why is he asking me this? Who is this guy?’ and I kinda just bolted out of the room and says, ‘I'll be right back,’ ‘cause I didn't know what to do.”
A few nights later, Greg began thinking about his life.
“There were things in my life that I wanted to change--the anger, the frustration-- but I didn't have the power to change,” says Greg. “And so it just kind of all culminated where I just kind of broke down crying and asking God to forgive me. And basically, just you know, kind of repented of my sins and asked Him to change me, and that I wanted to live a new life.”
The very next morning, Greg noticed something was different.
“I was just like completely peaceful. I wasn't frustrated; I wasn't feeling angry; I felt content for no reason. So I quickly expected everything to dissipate and go back,” Greg recalls. ‘“But as I began to live that day, I realized, ‘You know, hey, there's something really different.’ So if I was different and feeling completely different, I had to have been changed or something in my biochemistry of my body had to be changed. And I said, ‘Well, maybe somehow my antihistamine got switched out for something like Valium.’ So I went and checked my medicines and, of course, you know, that wasn't it.”
Greg found out why he felt different in the book of Romans, chapter six.
“Basically what it said in there was that when you become a believer and get saved and the Holy Spirit comes into you, which is something that I was completely unaware of, that the old person that you were somehow dies. And then it cross referenced that to Galatians 5:22, which talks about how the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness - and I'm like, you know, ‘Hey, that's it! That's how I feel. I've got that list!’”
Later that night Greg told Ruth what happened. “It was a miracle to me because I didn’t ever think that Greg could ever change,” says Ruth. “He was suddenly concerned about other people, which shocked me.”
Greg went looking for the patient who had talked to him. “The problem was his name wasn't on the schedule anymore,” says Greg. “I mean, it was handwritten in ink and I knew exactly when it was and it's not there. And I checked for like the whole month and the guy basically wasn't there. His record was completely gone; there was no evidence that he ever came in the office.”
Greg says while there’s no doubt the life, death and resurrection of Jesus are true, the real proof is in his changed life. “I would say since the day I was saved, I've never felt alone. I've never felt empty. I've never felt all that discontentment and stuff,” says Greg.
“I feel like I’m married to a different person,” Ruth declares. “I feel like, you know, my old husband is not around anymore and I’ve got this new husband who’s awesome.”
For Greg, the truth is clear. “Every other religion is man seeking God; Christianity is God seeking man.
There's a real test for Christianity. You call on Christ, put Him to the test. He won't just forgive your sins, but He's going to change you right now so that you know that it's true, and that’s a big difference.”
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