To the Christian and Non-Christian alike: what do you think Christianity is?
Let me offer some possible answers that you may identify with:
1. Membership in the Republican party (and avid watcher of Fox News)
2. Unscientific and illogical
5. Church attendance
9. Fire and brimstone
If you identify any of those things as the essential nature of Christianity then there is only one word to describe your perspective: wrong.
I say this not in a critical or harsh way, but that you may know the truth of the matter. Allow me to describe, as briefly as possible, the essential nature of the Christian faith and hide this in your heart for future reference:
God is holy. Humans are evil. God judges evil harshly. Humans are in danger of God’s coming judgment. Jesus comes to pay the humans’ penalty. God pours out His eternal hatred of evil and His judgment against it on Jesus instead of humans. Those humans who don’t repent and trust in Jesus perish according to their rejection of God’s offer of pardon. They will die forever. Those humans who repent of their sin and put their complete trust in Christ are spared from God’s wrath. These people are Christians. They treasure Jesus, worship God, walk according to the Spirit, and are sent out to share this good news with the rest of the world. They will live forever beholding the glory of their Lord with full delight in Him.
Let me now share ten contrasts to the above ten things that you should see in Christians as a result of God’s mercy on them:
1. They honor and pray for every government official (1 Tim. 2:1-2; 1 Pet. 2:17)
2. They know the love of Christ which surpasses all knowledge (Eph. 3:19)
3. They understand that they have offended God just like every other human and desire that all other sinners be saved and come to a saving knowledge of Christ (1 Tim. 2:3-4)
4. They contend for the lives of unborn children since no child is a mistake regardless of the circumstances of that child’s conception (Ps. 22:10, 82:3)
5. They delight to be with other Christians encouraging one another (Heb. 10:24-25)
6. They see all humans as equally created in God’s image and they know that in heaven there will be folks from every “tribe and language and people and nation” (Gen 1:27; Rev. 5:9)
7. They know that God has created everything which exists (Isa. 40:28; Jn. 1:3)
8. They realize that no matter which mode of schooling Christian parents choose for their children, they are charged with raising them up in the “discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4)
9. They understand the reality of hell and eternal punishment and so they proclaim the way of salvation through Christ so that people may know Christ and live forever to the praise of God’s glorious grace (Mt. 25:41; Rom. 10:17)
10. They know that there is no other name by which people can be saved than the name of Christ (Acts 4:12)
To the Non-Christian:
Please hear me when I say that you must put your trust in Christ to be saved! This is not some religious invite to be a part of my club. This is what God demands from you: put your faith in His Son so that you may be spared from His righteous anger against you for your sins. He will lavish you with grace and He will become your supreme treasure in this life and the life to come!
To the Christian:
Ditch any measure of identity that you find in the first ten things I listed. They will not save you, nor do they please God. What pleases God is Christ, so be found in Him. Think about the Good News as often as you can, love God with all that you are, and give your life so that people may come to know the Savior.
“Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” Jude 1:24-25
With love and grace,