Until we hear the gospel, every other reason for believing in God is of our own making. Until we hear the gospel, we believe in God like we believe in the tooth fairy.
Until I had heard the gospel, I had believed in God like I had believed in my parents. If I do good, I get rewarded. If I don’t, I get whacked. This seemed to work but kept me always trying to do what seems good to avoid consequences. Then I learned that despite all my “goods”, I still suffered, and that my “goods” are not always appreciated or not always as good as I had thought they were.
But then I heard the gospel, and the gospel set me straight.
“At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.” (Titus 3:3-7)
“He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Matthew 5:45)
“And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.” (John 12:32)
The gospel set me straight. What a joy! The gospel set me straight!