(I am in black;
My friend is in blue.)
I'll tell you this, and you know it's true -- if you die without becoming a disciple of Jesus, it won't be because your friend Curt never told you how important it was. I'm telling you now, letting Jesus rule your life is the only thing that really matters on this planet; there is a hell and it's real; and Jesus is your ticket out of there and to the other place. Besides hell and all, Jesus is the only way to have the cool relationship with God that you were created by God to have. If that bothers you, you're not the first person to be bothered by it, and you won't be the last.
In your opinion then, what will have kept me from becoming a christian?
To become a Christian is to believe Jesus really was who he said he was (God with a bod) and that he really rose from the dead. That's only the first part, though. The devil believes those things, but he's not a Christian. The second part is to pray to ask Jesus to come into your life, to be in charge and to change you. Then he comes in and he starts to do that. Then you're a Christian (you got "saved," as some people say). So until you do that, according to the Bible, you're not really a Christian. The prayer is only the beginning, but without the prayer, it never starts.
I have done this. (about 5 years ago). To tell you I have very little doubt that God exist. I would of probably beleived it when i was even younger if the word "God" wasn't so stereotyped. Basically i am saying there is something out there and it sure is cool.
Yeah, I think most people believe in God. It's Jesus that bothers them, becuase he's so darned specific. And what good would he be to us if he wasn't?
Tell me about what happened 5 years ago. Did anything change? I'm curious. Maybe you are a Christian and God is just wanting to work in more of what's already there.
Yes, it seems that things changed. i askes God and Jesus (i think, i don't remember the details) to change things because i felt like my direction in life was bad (because of decisions i made). The most important thing about this was it was really sincere. The thing about it that sux is that i dont like the fact that it looks like i was just desperate. In fact i dislike the fact that i hear people searching for spirituality when they are up doodoo creek without toilet paper.
things have been slowely changing for the better and i do find it quite strange that thoughts directed toward God and Jesus always seem to bring about small but significant revelations.
All these things could be explained aways but i feel like it would be closed minded not to explore christian concepts. My wife read a book called "The Celestine Prophecy" that opened her mind to ideas beyond that strict "It needs to be proven before i beleive it" type of thinking. She was telling me about how the book talked about events in your life and how you sorta like reap the seeds you sow. It was sorta like i had thought about this concept way before she told me. Spirituality is sorta a new area for my wife and i, probably because we have become so radical in our social commentary and exuasted all new thought in that area . we both sound like broken record players when it comes to capitalism, sexual and racial equality, environment, etc. etc. etc...
Its interesting tho... it (stuff in above sentence) all pisses me off and i am trying to look at with fresh eyes. I will keep praying.
Coming to God desperate means you're coming on his terms, not on your terms. That's really the only way to come. Most people have stories like yours. That's just the way we are. It's so funny to hear people bragging about how they are Christians. It's like somebody bragging that they are a beggar.
Everything else sounds cool. I would recommend the book of Acts. I don't know why, but it just seems like you'd like it now. It takes place after Jesus. It's really the only history book in the Bible after Jesus was here physically. It shows what a bunch of people just like us can do, or what God will do through us. I recommend it to you.
The God in the bod thing can be hard to swallow from other perspectives ( if that makes sense).
Yeah. There are three "holy mysteries" in Christianity. Everything else is supposed to have an explanation. But the three that will always blow our minds are 1)How can God be three people and one God, 2)How can God know the future and yet we are still responsible for causing things to happen, and 3) how can Jesus be 100% God and 100% man? We're finite and stuck in time, so we'll never get our minds fully around those. It's a gaurantee we won't. So if you don't really get it, that's OK. Nobody does. You're just supposed to believe it. You don't have to take everything on faith, but those three will never be fully explained. It's just physically impossible for us to totally understand them.
i'll tell u the truth. i get lost on heaven and hell and all the fear of going to hell. it doesn't seem like a good reason to be a christian. and i think you know what i mean by this.
I do. Nobody wants to go to hell, but I think you can become a Christian just because you want to give God a shot in your life. Hell can be a factor, but it doesn't have to be.
WHy is Jesus the only way to have a relationship with god?
Good question. It's important to understand why Jesus is the only way, or else he's just another way, just a good idea. God made the world perfect and people had no reason to turn against him or disobey him, but we did turn against him. Not many people in America live for God or even believe. So he made us, but we chose not to care about him and we chose to disobey him. (Incidentally, that's also when we began hurting each other.) So at that point someone had to pay a price.
No one has to pay a price anymore in our society, but think about our friend getting assaulted by that guy. Would you agree that that was wrong and that that guy should have to pay a price? The court system finally wound up making him pay a price. So there is a price for wrongdoing in a just world. And God is just.
Very interesting perspective.
Jesus paid our price. That's why we need him. That's why he had to go through all of that bloodiness and pain on the cross. That was our price. Jesus is the reason God can forgive us. Without Jesus, you wind up in the end having to pay your own price. Jesus was infinite and perfect. Since he was perfect, he didn't have to pay his own price. Get it?
I think so.
I can't die in your place, because I'm guilty too, and so I'd only be paying my own price. So Jesus is the perfect sacrifice. Since he's infinite (he's God, right?) that's how one death could pay for everyone. But if it would have just been to bring you alone back into right relationship with the Father, Jesus still would have done it.
So Jesus was God. God punished his own son instead of us, and Jesus agreed to receive our punishment; because they both want us back in right relationship with them so much. They love us. So Jesus is the bridge; he's God's way back; Jesus is the God that became man so that we could know God; he's the God that suffered for our sin so that we don't have to suffer for it. And he's unique. Jesus is the only one who was capable of such a sacrifice. That's why he's the only way. But God's cool. He doesn't force the gift on you. You have to say, "Yeah, I hear that story and I believe it's true. I see Jesus was bleeding and his blood was for me. And I accept that and I'll let him have his way in my life." It's free, but you've got to pick it up off the ground and work it into your life.
Do i accept Jesus as my salvation? I don't know what that means, I've just heard it so many times its not funny. When I say "I don't know what that means", i mean i have heard many many explanation but they seem to be empty human words.
Does what I said above make sense? I think that's the basics of it.
Let me try to clarify this. When i hear about christ i hear someone talking loud saying " WHat the ____ yall think your doin?" And i think Cool, i get that. But then me and my wife constantly discuss the lack of love in the world (not you guys, you guys are great). This is basically something that i have to write ten pages on to explain.
Maybe i am just superimposing my thoughts on scripture.
I agree with you totally. I think there is lack of love in the world. Christians say that without God, it's impossible for us to love each other. Oh, we succeed here and there, but mostly we can't do it. And doesn't it make sense why we can't love without God? If God is the source of love, but we've cut ourselves off from him, how can we love? We want to work it another way. We want to do anything but submit to God, because by submitting, we admit that we're needy. Well, I'm needy. I need God.
I can pretty much hate everyone, but somethings tells me everyday to fight that feeling and be nice. To me thats God, Love, goodness, or whatever word it wants to be... it seems to right in the end. it sure as heck makes things easier.
Yeah, I think everybody is built to knows what's right. A lot of times, though, people ignore this and just seek pleasure. You can get pretty far gone in sin to where your heart is hard and you don't feel conviction for wrong anymore. (Look around you at some people.)
Some Christians don't even admit their need for God. That's why some Christians are so obnoxious. They got the free gift of Jesus' sacrifice and they got the free gift of the Holy Spirit, but they're not really letting God work himself into their lives. But God's trying. And since they took the free gift (if indeed they actually did), then that's good enough with God. They're still Christians. God's not trying to keep anybody out, but he's not going to let anybody in the wrong way. You want people at your wedding, but you don't want them coming in with chainsaws and guns cussing at you and your bride. He loves us, but he's still in charge. He still makes his own rules.
This is a little off topic but why do muslims(islamic) and jews not beleive Jesus was God?
Muslims believe that good works get you into heaven. Their problem is, they never know when they've done enough good works, said enough prayers, blown up enough planes in Allah's name to earn heaven. So their whole lives they just keep trying to do good hoping it will be enough but without any assurance that it will be. Jesus goes against their religion because he says, "You can never do enough. You need me to do it for you, and I did. Now I need you to have a relationship with me." So the Muslim religion is based around what you do, whereas Christianity is based on your relationship with a person who is God.
Some Jews do believe Jesus was God. They are called messianic Jews, or Jews for Jesus. Judaism prepared Jews for a Messiah, and Isaiah 51; written 700 years before Jesus, perfectly describes Jesus and the cross. But as you'll recall, the Jews crucified Jesus. They wanted Messiah to be a political figure like King David. The idea that Messiah, the deliverer of God, would be crucified, they just couldn't grasp that kind of love. To them, the power of love was in warring yourself free. But Jesus showed the power of love was in sacrifice. They didn't get it. They thought Jesus was too weak. The cross was a scandal to them.
Plus, a lot of Jews are proud of their religion, and Jesus said, "without a relationship with me, your religion will get you nowhere." So again, it's people who wanted their rules and customs instead of having to deal face to face with the person of the living God.
But later, some Jews did become Christians. All of the twelve disciples were Jews. Paul was a Jew, and he wrote most of the new testament. Actually, almost all of the Bible was written by Jews. Spiritually, Christians are Jews. We're just not Jews culturally or ethnically. I hope that makes sense. We came into God's nation through the tribe of Judah, that's Jesus' tribe.