For more than 50 years, the Gallup organization has been surveying the religious beliefs of the American people. Here are some of their findings: In 1947, 93% professed faith in God, 73% expected an afterlife, 90% affirmed that they pray, and 41% attended some kind of church service frequently. In 1997, the survey findings were virtually the same, except that professed faith in God went up to 96%.

What most concerned one analyst, however, was the content of the faith of the 96% who said they believed in God. He wondered if many of them believed in “a celestial Santa Claus” or a “disengaged clockmaker” who set the world in motion but now couldn’t be bothered by human needs.

If we take the Bible as our guide, we worship the one true God. He is the holy, eternal, almighty, infinitely wise, and gracious Creator, who abhors sin and yet forgives on the basis of the sacrifice of His Son on Calvary. This one true and living God is the God who can assure us of life forever in heaven’s glory.

Even though it’s unlikely that 96% of Americans believe in the God of the Bible, this is the God in whom we all must believe.