February 13th, 2005, 19:05
Would you like to know the benefits of being a Christian?
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What's in it for me? This is a common question in our modern world. I will try my best to explain the benefits of being a Christian. When I say "Christian" I do not mean it in the common watered down way, as just a form of religious practice, i.e. being Christian as opposed to being Buddhist. Here Christian means the same as it did nearly 2000 years ago in Antioch, Syria where the term was first used. Then it meant, "followers of Christ," the risen Savior, the Son of God, followers who have entered into a personal relationship with God through Jesus.
When most people contemplate their death, they have difficulty visualizing what will happen. The grave seems like a black wall, an end of existence, or a great unknown. It is difficult to contemplate and makes one shudder at the possibilities. It seems impossible to accept the end, the finality of our existence.
The benefits of being a Christian are numerous. As a Christian, a born again believer, I know what there is beyond the grave. The Bible tells us that "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him." This tells me that no matter how wonderful I picture eternity in heaven, it's even better. This gives me, as a Christian, a great peace, knowing that the future is better than the present.
Have you ever wondered why people who seem to have everything, mess up their lives with artificial happiness, or commit suicide? I used to, until I realized that it is because their lives are empty. They have money, fame, looks, health, attractive companions, yet their lives are so empty that they turn to drugs, alcohol, illicit sex, and all other manner of worldly stimuli to find relief from the emptiness. Some, who find no fulfillment at all, take their own lives. Everybody who does not know Jesus as their Savior knows this emptiness to one degree or another. It is especially noticeable when one contemplates the meaning of their life. When a person understands that no matter how famous they are now, how loved by their family, how big their bank account, what they built, even how many children they have, a hundred years from now the mention of their name will bring a quizzical, "who?" as a response. Then, it is realized that fame, family, and fortune are all fleeting and life has no meaning beyond now.
In Christ we have a fullness and a purpose in our lives. No matter how mundane our present life is now, there is still a heavenly purpose if we are walking close to Jesus. Galatians 5:22 tells us that, "the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. In Philippians 4:7 the Apostle Paul tells us that, "the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." We have an inner peace and joy that comes only from knowing Jesus as Lord of our lives. Its called a joy inexpressible in 1 Peter 1:8 and is given as a promise of our life in Him. "Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy." (1 Peter 1:8) I can absolutely testify to this joy, it is true, words do not describe the joy I have in knowing Jesus in a personal way. It far exceeds any happiness I ever had from any outside sources.
Views of Life
The Evolutionist View: If one accepts the common evolutionary view of life, then life really doesn't have any meaning. We as humans are no more than the result of an indeterminable number of chemical accidents and reactions, nothing more. Our existence is strictly here and now, there are no later consequences for anything one does on this life. There is no right or wrong, these are just concepts that were thought up by some other human or humans. The only thing a person must do, is avoid getting caught, and paying for what society says is one shouldn't do.
The Christian View: The world and everything and everybody in it are the creations of God. We have been put on this Earth for the purpose of serving and loving God. There are eternal standards of right and wrong, and we will bear the consequences of our choices in eternity. We can come to know Jesus in a personal manner and thereby secure our existence in heaven for eternity. We live in the peace, joy, and forgiveness that was purchased by Jesus on the cross.
The Great Gamble: I hold the Christian view. If I am wrong, then I have lived a life of peace and joy. I have given some of my time and treasure to a church in the belief that I am serving God. These personal sacrifices only add to my joy. I don't miss the time or money spent in service to my God. When I approach death, it will be with an sense of anticipation for what lies ahead. When I die, I die without fear, because I have faith that I will be in the presence of the one I worshipped for eternity future. If I am wrong, I have lived in peace, died in ignorance, AND I WILL NEVER KNOW THAT I WAS WRONG.
If I held the atheist view, I may be able to live in peace. I may help financially and physically with some charities, for the betterment of mankind. I will always know, that my life has no real meaning beyond today. No matter what I do, I will eventually just be forgotten history. The only way my existence has any meaning is in the genes that I pass on to my progeny. When I approach death, I will be approaching the end of all consciousness, but I may have fears and doubts because of religious people I have met, or religious material I may have read. When I close my eyes for the last time, that will be it. If I am wrong, I WILL KNOW FOR ALL ETERNITY THAT I WAS WRONG. I WILL REGRET FOR ALL ETERNITY NOT MAKING THE RIGHT DECISION.
There is the great gamble, as a Christian, I am in a no lose situation. My beliefs and faith give me peace and joy that is inexpressible. If I am wrong, I don't care now, and I will never care later.
The atheist non Christian is in a no win situation. He has no joy, because his life is, in reality, without meaning. He has no peace, because of the infinitesimal doubts that he may be wrong. In eternity he will forever have to pay the consequences of rejecting salvation through Jesus Christ.
So my question to you is, do you know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?
Is that your "final answer?"
Makes "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" seem inconsequential.
You can become a Christian and share in all the benefits that come with it.
The Bible says, "For ALL HAVE SINNED, and come short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)
Let's see if you have ever "sinned." We will do so by looking briefly at the Ten Commandments. Have you ever told a lie? If you have, then you are a liar. Have you ever stolen something (value is irrelevant)? Then you are a thief. Jesus said if you look with lust, you have committed adultery in your heart. If you hate, then you have committed murder in your heart. Have you loved God above all else? Have you made a 'god' to suit yourself (having your own beliefs about God)? Have you used God's name to curse, kept the Sabbath holy, honored your parents, or been greedy? Judge yourself--have you broken the Ten Commandments? Knowing that God has seen your thought-life, and every deed done in darkness, will you be innocent or guilty on Judgment Day? You know you will be guilty. So, will you end up in heaven or hell? Don't look to God's "goodness" to save you from hell. If God is good, He will punish murderers, rapists, thieves and liars. He is so righteous, He will punish all sin.
The Bible also says, "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5 : 8 )
The only thing you can do to be saved from His wrath, is to repent (feel remorse or be sorry for sinning) and put your faith in the Savior, Jesus Christ. When He died on the Cross, He took the punishment for our sins. He stepped into the Courtroom and paid the fine for us. Then He rose from the dead, defeating death.
This passage explains how to be saved, "For if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." (Romans 10:9)
You can be saved right now and on your way to Heaven if you will open your heart to Jesus and pray the sinner's prayer out loud.
(Say out loud) "Jesus, I need You. I believe You love me and want to save me. I agree with You that I am a sinner. Please forgive me, and help me avoid sinning again. I believe that You bled and died on the cross to pay the penalty for my sins. I believe God raised You from the dead. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life."
If you prayed the prayer and meant it, God heard you and has come into you. He has saved you and has given you a new life, because you've been born again and your name is written in the lamb's book of life. You are now a born again believer and a Christian son or daughter of God and you will spend eternity in heaven. Welcome to the family of God.
Here are some websites with free online Christian videos.
Here are some more Christian websites for you.
February 13th, 2005, 19:28
and this has to do with free webhosting how?!!!