The other night, I was talking with a very good friend of mine from University of North Texas. We were discussing a conflict that I was having internally over an acquaintance of mine and an issue that I had offended them with. I was upset, because it was over something that I just couldn’t give on. I don’t really like offending people, but this issue was something upon which I cannot budge. I’m not going to go into details, but the issue was essentially this: I had basically stated that Christianity was the only religion that guaranteed eternal life, or at least, that’s what it sounded like I was saying. This offended some people like I knew it probably would. However, some things that were brought to my attention discouraged me, because I realized that some of you didn’t understand what I was saying and I couldn’t think of a better way to say it. But now I’ve thought of one more way to put it, so let me give you a little piece of my “Case for Christ.”
For starters, I would like to clarify something. I wish nothing bad upon anyone. I’m not saying what I say because I want everyone but Christians to go to hell. I’m saying what I say because I want to see you glowing with joy at the feet of your Lord and Savior, both now and for eternity. This may sound extremely “Christian-cliche,” and if it does, I’m sorry, but if you knew God like I know Him, you would understand how wonderfully amazing that sounds.
Okay. So in my last post, I kinda said something along the lines of “Christians are the only people who receive eternal life.” This may sound harsh, so let me back up a bit. Here’s the bottom line that I have been harping on since my first blog: You cannot receive the merciful gift of eternal life after death unless you believe that you can do nothing to guarantee your spot in heaven. There is no number of good works you can do, no sum of sins you should avoid, to get you into heaven. The only way you can do that is by accepting that YOU CAN’T do that, but GOD DID do it for you through the death of Jesus. I have laid out the Scriptures for you in previous blogs, so if you don’t believe me, go read my other posts before you say I’m making all this up.
Now, if you can find a way to fully understand and believe that God (as Jesus) came down to earth and died for your sins because He loves you so much that He wants to be with you again, and there’s nothing else to be done to earn you a spot in heaven, and you can still practice another religion, then I will disagree with you on so many issues, but I will also look forward to seeing you in heaven. This is a difficult possibility though, because no other religion preaches that Jesus was God or that good deeds are unnecessary to get you into heaven. Only Christianity preaches that Jesus was the Son of God and that the only way to get into heaven is by acceptance that the loving sacrifice He made IS the only way. This is what being a Christian is. believing these things. Being a Christian isn’t going to church or reading the Bible or singing “Amazing Grace” or telling everyone you know about the astounding love of Jesus. No that’s not being a Christian; those things just come along the way. In fact, I don’t go to church every Sunday. No I have work every Sunday morning. I don’t like not going to church. I think I should find a church to go to for purposes I’ll define at later time. But I’m not losing any “Jesus points” by not going to a church weekly. I don’t read the Bible every day. I wish I did for reasons I’ll explain at another time, but it doesn’t happen every day. However, that doesn’t make me any less a Christian. What I’m trying to get you to understand is this – Christianity isn’t actions it’s a single belief. People can be doing all the things that are associated with Christianity, but they do not believe this one important truth, they are not Christians.
But how do I know that what I believe is the one and only truth? How can I be sure that the Bible is the only Holy Book and that everything I believe is not wrong? The answer to that is the Holy Spirit.
Recently my mom, an author who has a blog that at some times discusses and promotes other books, promoted and interesting-looking book on facebook. It was called “Messages” by John Michael Hileman. I’m about a quarter of the way through it on my Kindle (also reading like 4 other books) but it has one thing that really stands out to me. The main plot has to do with this man named David Chance who sees the future in words put together by the letters and words in items surrounding him. Like the word “Joe” on a coffee mug, the word “needs” in a Home and Garden magazine, and the word “help” on a note posted on the refrigerator put together the sentence, “Joe needs help.” In this hypothetical event, David would go to his friend Joe’s house to find him having a heart attack and in need of his medicine and an ambulance. The story here is not important to my point though. The purpose of my telling you of this book lies in David’s reasoning for “listening” to these messages his eyes bring to him. He describes the feeling he gets upon putting the sentences together: “When I see the words, they stand out, but there’s also a kind of feeling, somehow I know what they’re saying is true.”
This is what I want to talk to you about. This is what what makes the true Christian faith unique from any other religion: The Holy Spirit. When you become a true Christian (that is, realize the full value of the sacrifice of Jesus and how there is no other way you can get to heaven but through this sacrifice), you receive another gift from God – His Holy Spirit. “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” [Acts 2:38]. This Spirit of God does the exact same thing that the fictitious character described above talks about. Upon receiving the Spirit, your faith and the things you are convicted of (just like the sentences David received through the scramble of words) will be confirmed through this Spirit. This is how I know that my belief in Jesus is the right one. I am not one to go around telling anyone “you’re wrong.” I more so like to point out facts and let that person realize they are wrong, and I have been kind of trying to do that, but sometimes, you have to do say things you don’t like saying in order to help people understand you better. If you do not believe this one thing, you will not get into heaven. You are condemned. The Spirit confirms this fact in everyone who knows Him – that salvation is through Jesus Christ alone. And that is how I can have 100% certainty in my faith and this faith alone.
That’s the best way I can put it to you. It’s something that cannot be described, but something that you have to experience for yourself. But the first thing you have to do is accept the fact that you cannot get into heaven by your own accord. There is nothing you can do to guarantee your life with God eternally. The only way to heaven is through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, who was God Himself, for our sins. After that, I will not say that the road gets easier. In fact, it gets harder. But it will be a path you no longer have to walk alone. God’s Spirit will always be with you, giving you help when you ask for it, giving you joy and peace when you seek it, and supporting you in your faith.
These are the words I have for you today. This is a taste of my “Case for Christ.” This has been a tough one for me to write, because I wanted it to be worded just right in order to put across my point to its highest potential. I hope it did at least a little to help you understand what I am saying. Please, if you have any questions or concerns or disagreements, you can leave a comment here or even message me on facebook. I’m sorry if this is a hard pill to swallow. I know some of you have been raised to believe completely different things, and having me tell you that your belief is wrong is highly offensive. I’m not trying to pick a fight, I just am trying to help you understand what I’m telling you. I can give you more if you want it, but your best bet is looking through the Bible. Every page of those 66 books has something on it that God wants you to know (yes even those crazy long lists of people’s names who appear no where else in the Bible). You will find what you need if you just seek it. God wants you to find it so badly. He wants you to be with Him, but He loves you so much, He also wants it to be your choice. Please realize this love and amazing mercy and feel the joy that accompanies it. It’s so amazing. I pray for you guys who read this all the time and will continue to keep you in my prayers. Please keep me in yours too, because I need God’s presence in my life every day.
In Christ’s Love,