What is the primary difference between Christianity and all other world religions?

What is the primary difference between Christianity and all other world religions?

The person of Jesus Christ and the Holy Bible differentiate Christianity.

The cross of Christ forever bridged the gap between sinners and a Holy God. The Bible, rightly called the book that made our world, has inspired the best of Western civilization: science, technology, education, and political and economic freedom. Because we are made in God’s image, Christianity values human dignity and liberates those who are often marginalized in other cultures: slaves, women, children and outcasts.

The founders of all other religions are dead. They have offered some sound platitudes for living a moral life, but no hope for eternity based on solid evidence. Theirs are religions of good works and self-sacrifice to gain a pardon for the worshiper’s sins.

If you would like to learn more about Jesus and his power to set you free from sin while offering you an opportunity to enjoy an eternity free from guilt, pain and shame, please go to our Next Steps page.

Why do people resist the loving grace of God?

Why do people resist the loving grace of God?

​ Some Bible scholars think today’s resistance to the Gospel has always been due to the “hardness of men’s hearts”. (Matthew 13). Also an obstacle is delay…people just put off until later to even think about their relationship to God.

Though people refuse to acknowledge it, much of society (humanity) worships idols. They may not be carved images, but are idols, nonetheless. Materialism has replaced spirituality as a driving force in our society. That has led people to resist the loving grace of God.   

One of the reasons for this phenomenon is the need for instant and tangible gratification and pleasure. For example, we are bombarded with electronic media designed to address our every desire. Movies, TV programs, sports, news, advertisements and social media provide an endless array of distractions. Another reason is the growing need to compete for bigger and better everything which feeds the need to purchase unnecessary items and which drives financial decisions.

Lastly, society makes idols of celebrities and sports stars. (Exodus 20:4). Sadly worshiping these idols brings brief satisfaction and distracts people from seeking and knowing the loving grace of God.

As COVID-19, massive demonstrations and violent protests seem to be undoing the foundations on which our nation was founded, some people are rethinking their lives and the assumptions on which they have been built. When man-made idols fail to deliver the physical, emotional and spiritual relief that men and women are seeking, will people turn back to God and discover his loving grace? Perhaps. Throughout history, when people’s idols failed to deliver, many began searching for the one true God who is ready to help them find peace.

If you are wondering what a relationship with God might do for you, take a look at our Next Steps page.

Is Evil an Illusion or Reality?

Is Evil an Illusion or Reality?

Some religions suggest that evil is just an illusion. That it is a condition of the mortal mind. Others have said it is a result of ignorance and superstitions and if you don’t think about it evil will go away.

Our life experiences argue otherwise. We lock our cars and houses. We have security systems. We have laws against murder, rape, child abduction, lying under oath, etc. Yes evil is real.

It came about when Adam and Eve used their gift of free will to disobey God. There was only one commandment and they chose not to keep it. At that moment the human race and the earth began to experience the opposite of God’s goodness, evil.

Evil is the absence of God. We see it expressed in pain, suffering, discord, war and death. The ‘good news’ is that God reigns and one day evil will be overthrown. All those who put their trust in him will live eternally where there is no pain, no suffering and no death.

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Can we really connect with God?

Can we really connect with God?

Connecting with God is easier than one might think. If you are asking the question, you’ve already taken the most important step: you believe that God exists. God promises to reveal himself to anyone who honestly and diligently seeks him. God’s revelation is all around us. From the complexity of each cell of your body to the vastness of the universe, God’s hand in creation is evident. The human mind reveals the work of a designer and creator that has gifted mankind with his own qualities of creativity, imagination, love, and so much more.

In Genesis, in the Bible, we read that after God created the universe, our world and everything on it, he created mankind.

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

Genesis 1:26,27

Because we are made in God’s image, we are able to connect with him. The easiest way to connect is by talking and listening. Speak to God with your lips and with your thoughts. Ask him to reveal himself to you. Then listen. Listening can take many forms, but one of the best is to read the Bible, God’s Word, for in that book you will get to know God and his son, Jesus. You will “hear” in your heart and mind what he want to tell you. You will learn about his love for you and his desire to guide you along a way that brings life to you and those around you.

If you are able, get a Life Application Bible in a good modern translation like the New International Version (NIV) and start reading in the Gospel of John. You will definitely encounter and connect with God as you read the chapters and verses. Be sure to pay close attention to the footnotes that will help you better understand what you are reading.

In addition to reading the Bible, meditate on the scripture you are reading. As you do, you will gain insights into the nature and character of God and be able to discern his will for your life.

As you encounter Jesus in John’s Gospel, decide to put your faith and trust in him as both Savior and Lord. Why? Jesus is the key to your connection to God and to both a meaningful life and to eternal life.  Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to God the Father except through me.”  (John 14:6) His words here are both exclusive and all inclusive. That actually keeps things clear and simple. It is only Jesus and no one else.

Finally, have a quiet time of prayer each day with the Lord sharing your life and listening for God’s responses. When you practice these activities regularly you will get connected to God. Guaranteed! Then share what God has revealed to you with others. You will be empowered to love your neighbor as yourself with that unconditional love that God alone provides.

Can anyone really know if they will have eternal life?

Can anyone really know if they will have eternal life?

This is one of life’s most important questions. The Bible is God’s Word. There you will read these words of assurance:

“If you confess with your mouth Jesus Christ as Lord and believe in your heart God has raised him from the dead you will be saved.”

Romans 10:9,10

The certainty of eternal life is a consequence of two actions on the part of an individual, but, paradoxically, the actions that guarantee this eternal life took place 2000 years ago. Jesus, the son of God, came to earth to die and atone for all the wrong actions of every man and woman who ever lived and whoever will live. When you, or anyone else, sincerely believes that Jesus provided a way to cover your sins, as if they never happened, and if you confess that you accept his death and resurrection from the dead on your behalf, you can be secure in knowing that you will spend eternity in the presence of God. This promise of God is sealed and guaranteed by the Holy Spirit. At that same instant God’s spirit becomes part of your body, mind and soul. From that moment on you are a new creation in Christ, a child of God and a member of God’s family.
 
Now for the practical evidence of that decision. Here are some questions for you to consider:

  • Do you tell others about Jesus and what he has done for you? (Your personal testimony)
  • Do you read and live by the truth of the Bible, God’s word?
  • Besides just reading the Bible, do you study to discover God’s plan for your life?
  • Are you acquiring a Biblical worldview?
  • Do you experience God disciplining you like a father teaches a son or daughter?
  • Is your conscience and heart right with God? Do you fully trust and obey Him?
  • Do you reflect God’s love in your relationship with others?
  • Do you attend a church where Bible truths are taught clearly and regularly?
  • Do you enjoy collective worship of God and fellowship with other Christians??
  • Do you feel forgiven of all your past sins?
  • Do you pray regularly and continue to ask God for forgiveness when you do sin?

If these things are true for you, then you can rest assured that you are really saved and are a Christian and can live in the joy of God’s love now and forever and have a life full of meaning and purpose.   

Image by Karin Henseler from Pixabay

What does it mean to have God’s Spirit in you?

What does it mean to have God’s Spirit in you?

Great question and the answer can be very lengthy, so let’s start. We all are one in body, soul and spirit. However, when we place all our faith and trust in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit comes into and indwells us. Mark 1:1-8 (and many other Bible passages.)
   What’s known as the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is part of that mystery of the Trinity, God the Father, God the Son Jesus Christ, and God the Holy Spirit, and yes, the Holy Spirit is NOT an ‘IT’ but a being who has all the attributes of a personality. Once this commitment to Jesus Christ is made, many changes occur as a result of the Holy Spirit indwelling us. The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin and calls us to repentance. Previously, sinning did not bother us and often we were not even aware of our thoughts and actions that alienated us from God. The Holy Spirit enables us to be free from our slavery to sin.
   The Holy Spirit through His Word, the Bible, and speaking directly to our minds gives us inner peace and contentment in now knowing for certainty where we will be when this life on earth ends. The Holy Spirit will change our desires and what we think is important. Previously, perhaps earthly gains, fame or money were our objectives. Now it is to grow closer to our Savior every day of the rest of our lives. God’s Spirit will reveal His plan for your life as a Christian, giving it real meaning and purpose.
    Friends will change because our interests and priorities will differ from theirs. The Holy Spirit will guide you to seek fellowship with fellow believers who will help each other grow in the knowledge of His Word. Love for one’s children and family and our ‘neighbors’ will become stronger when we personally experience the love of God in Jesus.
   The Holy Spirit will additionally open our eyes and hearts to the needs of others that includes their physical and daily needs but also and more importantly their need to say ‘yes’ to Jesus and experience this new life too. There are many more benefits to elaborate on but suffice it to say, having God’s Spirit in you is the greatest thing that can ever happen to you.(Gal. 5:22-23)
   We pray that you may experience this indescribable new life TODAY.  Just invite Jesus in. He is waiting at the ‘door’ of your heart.  Open it wide and His Spirit will come in and reside with you forever.

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