(My friend is in blue;
I am in black.)
I am curious to know what Jesus said about telling others that you beleived in God. I dont want to know what it says in other parts of the bible, i just want to know Jesus said (as far as you know). and dont worry this is not some amumition for a debate or anything. I am just curious to know what the christian perspective is of people that don't announce (ever) to others that they believe in god or Jesus. I sorta know that basically the bible says you must declare your love to god and jesus, go to church, yada yada yada.. but i want to know if Jesus addressed this specifically.
Good question. Jesus' most famous words on the subject are called The Great Commission.
So who called it the Great Commission?
Church historians, I guess.
Here's the setting: Jesus was crucified, and then after three days he rose from the dead. You know all that. Then for 40 days after that he appeared bodily to his 11 disciples (Judas was dead), plus to all sorts of other people (including a big group of 500+ people all at the same time). At the end of the 40 days, he went back up into heaven. Right before he took off back up to heaven he said these last words (to the 11) --
"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
That sounds pretty clear.
So he didn't just tell Christians to say "I believe in God," but he was a lot more specific than that. This commission is to make disciples, people who will obey and follow God, and then those new disciples are supposed to make more disciples. So it's the principle of multiplication. Get it? Jesus trained 12, then the 12 went and trained more, and those new ones trained more, etc. The account of this early spread of Christianity is recorded in Acts. So the reason Jesus sent the Holy Spirit (you know about him) to live in Christians was so that they could fulfill this job of making disciples.
Why must we have the holy spirit?
The Holy Spirit is the power of God to do what God wants us to do. Before the Holy Spirit, there was just the law (the 10 commandments is a famous part of the law). It showed us what we were supposed to do to please God, but we couldn't do it. So the law basically shows us our need for God and how we can't do it without him. The Holy Spirit is God in us, and all He wants to do is keep the law. So as we line up with the Holy Spirit and let him rule our lives, we're able to love in a supernatural way. Otherwise, we know what we should do, but we're powerless to do it.
Of the 11 disciples, 10 were killed in very gross ways because they wouldn't shut up about Jesus. That's how convinced they were of the importance of "making disciples." The last thing this resurrected guy told them to do was make disciples, and they all got murdered for doing it (except for John, and he just got tortured in nasty ways, but they never could kill him).
This is interesting. Sorta like christians are still getting symbolically murdered in a way.
Yeah, Jesus came in love and got dumped on, and he said "If they dumped on me and I'm perfect, think of how they're going to dump on you." And that's what happens oftentimes.
Christians who emphasize the Great Commission are called Evangelical Christians. On a personal note, I recently asked God, "Why do I need to stay alive and deal with all sorts of crap? No one down here is becoming a Christian because of me. I know I'm supposed to be changed into your image, and the crap helps me change; but can't I just change up in heaven? Can't I have a relationship with you in heaven?"
I expected him to tell me that there was value in just being alive, and I expected him to de-emphasize the importance of my impact (or lack thereof) on non-Christians. But he didn't say that. Instead, I felt like he said, "How do you know who you're impacting for me? You don't know. Just keep doing your best for me, and I'll take care of the rest."
So I think evangelism ("making disciples") is important to God. I think it's why he leaves Christians on the planet, and it's why Jesus came down here in the first place. My primary job in life is to receive God's love. But if God wants to love all his other children too, and Jesus is the one that makes that relationship fully possible, how can Christians not share the joy they've found? Some people take this sharing a bit overboard, but I can understand why. What is strange to me is how some Christians don't even talk about it. I guess it's not as important to them, or maybe they haven't read the whole book or something. Some people aren't ready to hear about Jesus or don't want to hear about him, and I'm learning to respect that.
Most people have a narrow view of Jesus (in my opinion) and it is made worse by the stereotypes.
Apart from all that, though, life goes on. I'm still your friend,
and what can I do but be your friend, talk about the things we have in
common, and hang out with you. Heavy as the truth is, you know where I stand and people just can't dwell on the same thing all day. Besides, what you do about Jesus is ultimately your problem, not mine. I do pray for you all the time though.
And we can talk about this because i think Jesus is really important also.
So that's about three lines of text from Jesus and three pages of
text from me. Anyway, I hope this makes sense. Your question is a good
question. I have asked it to God and thought about it a lot myself lately.
My wife asked me tonight what my last epiphany was? (cool huh!) I said the fact that life is really really really a serious thing. I told her that years ago i knew it was serious but as the years past, it gets more and more and more serious. This is because i feel that humanity is really lacking in some sort of cohesion. SHe confirmed what i said by telling me how mad it makes her that self presentation is so important. She says that people waste so much energy in power struggles over the most stupid stuff. I nodded in complete agreement and i am sure you would of to. We then related small experiences of the day that tell us materialism is basically complete shit in the end. Spirituality and Love is where we set our ship's course. Society is like that damn iceberg in Titanic.
I agree. Here's a reason to become a disciple of Jesus -- You want to love people in a way that will change them and cause them to love other people too. But you don't have the patience. You can't seem to do it. You look inside of yourself and you see that there's just no way. You need help to be the person you know you can be. Who can help you? Who can change you? Who can change the world? Jesus. Jesus brings with him the power of the love of the God who made us. Jesus pours the power of this love out into our hearts and lives. And we are changed for the better. It's real.
This clarifies some things i wanted to know about concepts of christianity. Thank You. i will probably throw more question at you and soon as i digest this and look for signs.
Sounds wise. Ask me anything you like.
I actually feel somewhat exposed.
That is a scary but good place to be with God. Sometimes he exposes us by stripping away some things (habits, comfort zones) so that he himself can cover us. It sounds like God is working in your life.
my group of friends are too interested in bullshit (not always but it seems that way sometimes) and Christ is like the scariest thing in the world to them. I dont know why. i mean give me a break the guy was talkin about love in this really infinite cool way. and also the bad guys loose in the end. etc. etc. etc.
Its like music sometimes... people are too busy disliking a band because alternative is now Top 40. Its just fear of being yourself.
I've often wondered why Jesus gets such a negative reaction from people. Maybe it is because Jesus demands total sacrifice, and people aren't willing to give up control of their lives. Plus, sin brings demons, and demons hate Jesus. And demons can influence people's reactions toward Jesus. The Bible explains a lot of things. It says this about how people will react to Jesus --
"Through us [Christians] God spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Christ. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life." (2Corinthians 2:14-16)
Few people can remain lukewarm about Jesus. Very few people say, "Oh, Jesus, yeah, he's alright." This is one more sign to me that Jesus is the real thing. Nobody starts cussing Budah when you tell them about Budah. "Oh, that damned Budah, he never hears my prayers, he screwed up my life." I can just here it now.
I think being a Christian in this country is going to become kind of an underground thing. I mean a real Christian, someone possessed by Jesus. I wish you could come and see some of these Christian punks at our church on Friday night. It's a trip. I think being a Christian is cool in all sorts of ways. Lately it's cool because I know I've committed my future to God, so I know God's in control. So I don't have to worry about my future or my job. God is alive and he hears my prayers and since I'm submitted to him and not opposed to him, I can trust that my life will work out in the best way, because he loves me and he wouldn't dis me. Here's some more from the Bible --
"I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future."
But that's just one good thing about being right with God through Jesus. There are a million others. Christians have an awesome perspective on art that is really freeing and actually can tend towards serious psychedelia. The main thing, though, is when I hit bottom, there is somebody there who is alive and who is all powerful and who really loves me and knows me and cares about me. You can't beat that. Life's hard. Wear a helmet.