Saturday, August 20, 2011

Still Worried About Being Politically-correct?

I talked with a guy about Jesus. He, a third-generation Catholic, stated that he believed that people of other faith-systems—“Hindu, Muslim, etc.”—all believe in the same ‘god.’ So as long as you are a “good person” (evidently according to his own standards), and you practice the generic set of moral codes every religion follows, then one will “go to Heaven.” This is basic Universalism. We all, according to the side of the mountain we are starting on, are all climbing the same mountain to reach ‘god’ atop.

Blasphemy.

I let him know that I, a preacher’s-kid, atheist, turned believer—based on my own studying and personal experiences—am 100% certain of one thing:

Jesus was born into this earth some 2000 years ago, to declare that He “is the way” (THE ONE AND ONLY WAY), the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the father except through me.” 1 In other words, there aren’t any other routes to the top of that mountain.

People tend to want to view Christianity in the lens of being mainstream. What we must realize is that Jesus was anything but mainstream. He single-handedly ignited a revolution. Judaism was the establishment. Jesus, a Jew, came to tell the Pharisees, Sadducees, and the rest of the world that He was the God, “manifested in human flesh,” 2 that they had always worshipped.

I told the guy that Jesus was the only human being in the history of mankind that was without sin. If you don’t BELIEVE that He died for your sins, and He resurrected Himself in 3 days—then you are not a Christian.

If you don’t BELIEVE in the grace of an otherwise vengeful God: “That Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right RELATIONSHIP with God and new life.” 3 That, “We have all sinned, and fallen short of the glory of God.” 4 But God so loved the world, that Jesus bore the wrath of a vengeful God for everyone. If you do not believe these things to be true, then you are not a Christian.

If you aren’t a Christian, whether you call yourself Catholic, Baptist, ‘non-denominational’—let there be no mistake about it, you aren’t going to Heaven.

You will spend an eternity in Hell.

I know this is politically incorrect, but Jesus was politically incorrect. 'Christ' may not be the winning campaign slogan... He was a radical revolutionary that challenged public officials—both kings and high priests. The Pharisees probably thought they were good people, that they did a lot for the community, and that they had surely earned Heaven based on their works. Jesus said, “broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it,” the “road that leads to life is narrow.” 5 In other words, you can go to Hell any way you like, but there is only one way to Heaven. Him.

Believing that Jesus died for your sins makes Him your Savior. Believing in the super-natural, that He resurrected Himself in three days makes him the magnificent Messiah He claimed to be. The Messiah the Hebrew Bible (the Christian Old Testament), prophesized about.

If you believe these things about Him to be true, He then becomes your Lord. A Lord is someone you submit to and follow entirely. If He is your Lord you seek a RELATIONSHIP with Him. You want to find out everything that is written about Him and everything He has said through the Gospel. You strive to be as Christ-like as possible, and though you can’t be perfect like He was, you repent every day and give Him your all. And as Jesus promised, you accept Him and you will receive the Holy Spirit. In Acts 2:38, Peter tells everyone on the day of Pentecost that, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

These are the signs of not only a believer, but also a disciple: You learn Him, you love Him, you live Him, and you lead people to Him—because He loved you first.

1 John 14:6

2 1 Timothy 3:16

3 Romans 5:18

4 Romans 3:23

5 Matthew 7:13-1

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