April 21, 2011

That other Stuff

The road to salvation for many people is cluttered with stuff that stands in the way to reaching the goal.  The secret to completing the trip is to find a way around the policies, creeds, arguments, etc that provide interesting, but distracting, hindrances to reaching the goal.

Some of the stuff is indeed interesting and worthy of study. In fact, many learned men and women spend a lifetime studying these things.  I don't pretend to know all the distraction nor am I able to explain them. But I do know that spending valuable time on them can be counterproductive when one is considering whether to seriously consider or commit to God and the actions of His Son Jesus. The distractions below are presented without explanation, but rather as an acknowledgement they exist. 

1. Why are there so many different groups of Protestant Christiens?  If they can't agree on their own religion, how can I know what to believe?

2. The history of Christian nations is filled with stories of war and greed and other decidedly non Christian activities.  The crimes committed in the name of Christianity are well known.

April 19, 2011

Christians get help on Judgement Day

Well, I said Christians are different from other religions as it regards to a future judgement day when our sins will be evaluated and our eternity decided. To recap, we believe all men and women have sinned in some way. The sin may be small or large, but it is sin nevertheless, In other words, there are no levels of transgressions, no relativity, no point system based on the severity of the sin.

Think about that for a minute, no difference in the severity of sin? So lying to Aunt Milly about that broken flower pot is the same as stealing $1 million from a bank or committing adultery or killing someone?  Jesus raised the standard when he equated hating to killing and lust to adultery. This seems terribly unfair doesn't it?  But that's where we are different.  Christians know when Judgement Day comes, we will stand before God and answer "guilty" when asked if we have sinned. And we know the consequences of that sin is figurative death or separation from the presence of God for an eternity. Let's not talk about the conditions in that place of separation for many opinions exist about the place we name Hell. For Christians, separation from God is our Hell!

April 18, 2011

Christians are different

People have been asking that for centuries ever since that day when the crowd begged Peter to tell them, “Brothers, what shall we do?” Peter was the first evangelist preaching the message, "You must be saved and this is how to do it!" 

Salvation generally means being saved from eternal damnation.(John 3:16-17) But salvation has another meaning for this present lifetime.  Jesus said "I have come that you might have life and have it abundantly" (John 10:10). The bottom line is quite simple, believe in Jesus and live an abundant life here and live eternally with Jesus after the death of your physical body. 

The key is to believe, by faith, that Jesus is the only source of that exciting promise.  A word of warning is in order.  Throughout this process, do not get hung upon the many questions arising from those who are struggling with their faith. The simple first step is like that of a child learning to walk.  She wobbles away from the chair and trusts her mommy will catch her if she falls.  Paul says another way. When I was a child (in the faith), I thought like a child. (1st Cor 13:10-11). The first step is trusting that God's Son, Jesus, can free you from the penalties associated with sin.

Reaching that point where an individual is "saved" can happen in a heartbeat or over a period of years. It can be as simple as John 3:16 or as complicated as a 1,000 page book. In my experience, and perhaps I am unique, there seem to be several steps a person goes through on their journey to salvation.

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