Posted tagged ‘God’

What If Christianity is Wrong and Atheism Is Right?

July 28, 2018

what if Christianity is wrong and atheism is rightChristians believe that Christianity is the only spiritual path that leads to God. More accurately, a relationship with Jesus Christ is the only way to know God. Of course, we try to provide reasons and honest reflection on why we believe this; yet ultimately, it’s what we believe. But……

What if we’ve got it all wrong? What if we’re horribly deluded and deceived, and in fact, Christianity has as much chance of leading to God as crawling over broken glass for 70 years? What if Christianity is just plain wrong? It’s certainly worth thinking about…

Is it Feasible that Christianity Could be Wrong?

Definitely! Christians have the same evidence in the world around them as do other people. They see the same sun rise and set; they see the same common human traits – good and bad. And they have access to the same human mind to think and reason. The difference is in how Christians interpret the evidence around them. In other words, there is no 100% “scientific” guaranteed method of “proving” that Christianity is right.

We trust that God has revealed truth in the Bible, and we trust that he has given us enough information to take him at his word. We trust him, when he promises things like “If you really search for me, you will find me”. But the bottom line is that it’s still trust. Christians don’t have some secret piece of evidence that conclusively “proves” that Christianity is right.

How Would it Affect the Here and Now?

So, if Christianity was in fact wrong, how would that affect the lives of people right now? From the perspective of Christians themselves, it would mean that their attempts to live a life of trust in God would be utterly pointless. After all, if there was no God, trusting in this non-existent god would be useless and silly. Yet, this would be a fairly harmless delusion. For the most part, we would attempt to live morally upright lives, and to contribute positively to society and culture. In reality, we would be kidding ourselves, since there would be no reason to do this, but it wouldn’t really hurt anyone else.

From the perspective of those who were not Christians, it might be a welcome relief. Sure, Christians would still keep talking about weighty matters, like heaven and hell, sin and judgment, life and death; but these would be delusional beliefs. Those who followed the spiritual path of atheism might well view Christians as a nuisance; or as an annoying but harmless itch. (No doubt, this is how many people do view Christians!) Ultimately, they could rest secure in the knowledge that these beliefs were indeed mistaken beliefs, and had no bearing on anything whatsoever.

How Would it Affect Life After Death?

But what about when we die? What difference would it make if Christianity was wrong? Well, largely, the joke would be on Christians. Instead of finding the heaven we had believed in, we would find…nothing. We would die, and that would be the end. We would simply cease to exist, just like everyone else. No God, no afterlife, no heaven – nothing. Those who were not Christians would be in exactly the same position.

What if Christianity was Right?

However, it’s equally worth considering what it would mean if Christianity was right. If the things spoken of in the Bible, and by Christians, were in fact completely true, where would this leave those who were not Christians?

In terms of life after death, it would leave them separated from God forever. Rather than simply ceasing to exist, they would continue to exist, but would know fully that there were no more opportunities to find God. Theirs would be an eternity filled with regret and remorse.

Furthermore, anything done during their lives would be completely pointless. No matter how great the achievement, it would be meaningless in a neverending existence separated from God and all that is good. The Bible refers to this neverending separation from God as “hell”.

While on earth, Jesus often spoke about hell. To describe it, he used the terms “fiery”, and “unquenchable fire”. He spoke of “weeping and gnashing of teeth”, and said that those who wanted to cross over from hell to heaven would not be able to. The Bible also warns of avoiding hell, since those who go there “pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of God”. It is clear that hell was, and is, a place to be avoided at all costs.

Is it Worth the Risk?

So, the question is: Is it worth the risk of not considering the possibility that Christianity is right? In other words, if Christianity is wrong, then Christians have lived around 70 years of a life, which ultimately, is pointless, but harmless.

However, if Christianity is right, then those who are not Christians will face a neverending existence of pain, penalty, regret, remorse, and overwhelming sorrow, away from God, and away from anything good.

Is this prospect worth the risk of not looking carefully at Jesus, and the good news He provides?

Author: Rupert Lineage

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Why Does God Allow Suffering?

July 28, 2018

The first point to note is that God is definitely powerful. In fact, he has all power. So don’t let anyone tell you that God simply isn’t able to stop the suffering in the world. who does god allow suffering

The second point to note is that when people ask this question, they usually include pain, suffering caused by people to other people, and all kinds of “natural” disasters – the whole works. That’s the assumption we’ll make here.

This begs the question: “if God is able to stop suffering, does that mean he doesn’t want to?” Not at all. In fact, there will come a time when God puts a stop to all evil. Obviously, that time has not yet come. In that case, the even bigger question is this: “why hasn’t God put a stop to suffering and evil yet? What is he waiting for?”

And the answer: He’s waiting for as long as possible, to give as many people as possible the opportunity to make their peace with him. To put it another way:

“God is not slow about his promise, as some count slowness, but is patient towards you, not wanting anyone to perish, but wanting everyone to come to repentance”

That’s the bottom line. God could quite easily put an end to all suffering and evil now. Instead, he’s waiting to give all of us an opportunity to respond to him. In any case, what if God decided to stop all evil at 5 pm today. How many people would be left living at 5.01 pm?

What Would God Have To Do?

Just think for a moment what God would have to do to get rid of the painful consequences of human choices:

Every time someone used a weapon for violence, God would have to make the weapon harmless. He would have to turn bullets into paper, knives into plastic, and grenades into polystyrene beads.

Every time someone drove a car out of control, God would have to intervene, somehow interrupting the laws of nature to protect that person.

Every time a parent yelled at a child in anger, God would have to mute the sounds, and somehow turn the expression on the parent’s face to an expression of care and love.

How Did It Start?

Evil and suffering made their appearance when the first humans, Adam and Eve, chose to disobey God. In a garden of every imaginable delight, they ate the one and only piece of fruit that God had told them not to. That was the first human sin. Since that time, the world has seen a lot of pain and suffering, but it was never God’s preferred option. Natural disasters are all part of the suffering caused by sin.

Sure, God could have removed the option of choosing to disobey him, but he wanted people who chose to love him. Love is never forced. And so, God put in place a plan to rescue humans from their own self-destructive ways.

Here’s a story to make the point:

A vicar and an atheist barber were walking through the seedy part of their city. As they saw the suffering around them, the barber said “This is why I could never believe in a God of love. If he is as kind as they say, why doesn’t he do something about all this crime, disease, poverty, drug-dealing and vandalism?”

The vicar said nothing until they came across an unkempt and filthy man with hair down his back and far too much stubble on his face. The vicar said to the atheist: “You can’t be a very good barber, or you wouldn’t let people live around here without a haircut and a shave.”

More than a little offended, the barber answered: “Why blame me for that man’s condition? I can’t help it if he’s like that! He’s never given me a chance! If he’d only come to my shop, I could fix him up and make him look respectable.”

The vicar replied: “Then don’t blame God for the condition of these people. They’ve never given God a chance. If they would only come to him, he would fix them up and turn their lives around.”

Even though God is completely powerful, he has not yet removed suffering and evil from the picture. He’s waiting…waiting for as long as possible, to give as many people as possible the opportunity to make their peace with him.

Not Sure If You Are A Christian?

April 9, 2018

 male icon imageimage of a woman     If you want to test yourself to see whether you are a Christian, ask yourself these questions and answer honestly:

1. Do I believe that Jesus Christ came from Heaven for the express purpose of reconciling mankind to God the Father?

2. Do I acknowledge that the fallen human nature is predisposed to sin, and that only Jesus can redeem my life from sin and make me acceptable to a holy God?

3. Do I believe Jesus died on a cross, that God raised him from the dead and that he is now alive for evermore?

4. Do I believe that when Jesus died on the cross, he paid the price for my sins?

5. Have I ever acknowledged to God that I am a sinner, in need of God’s forgiveness?

6. Did I ever pray to Jesus to become a Christian? If so, was I sincere in my heart about what I was asking?

7. If someone asked me, could I give examples of some sins that God has forgiven me for?

8. Do I believe that I can talk to Jesus in prayer and he will answer?

9. Do I believe Jesus is able to forgive ALL my sins and make me a brand new person?

10. Do I accept Jesus as my Lord, in charge of my whole life from now on, putting him first instead of myself?

11. Am I doing my best nowadays, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to live a changed life that will please Jesus my Lord?

12. Do I want to forgive others in the present – and also from the past – for what they did to me?

13. Do I have a desire to read the Bible regularly?

14. Do I pray regularly, not just asking for “things”, but to cultivate a personal relationship with God?

15. Do I want to meet regularly with other Christians, to encourage and be encouraged by them?

16. Do other people see genuine evidence in my life of a love for God and my neighbour, as Jesus commanded?

17. In what ways do I lay down my life for my fellow man?

18. Do I know what it is to experience persecution for my faith in Jesus Christ?

19. Do I have stories to tell of how God has worked through me to bless others?

20. Are any of your family/close friends Christians? If not, have you ever witnessed to them about the importance of your own faith?

If you want to know WHY you should become a Christian after reading this, see  this page

 

So You Want To Become a Christian?

January 18, 2018

 holy bible  So you want to become a Christian and  know the basic facts about Jesus?      

Basic facts are here: http://www.newchristian.org.uk/twokingdoms.html

If so, read on below.

You probably want to change things about your life and your behaviour and so far have got nowhere. That’s actually a good place to be, since only Jesus can change you deep down where it matters, and from the inside out.

He knows your heart attitude, so you can’t fool him! But the good thing is, he’s ready and waiting to do for you what you can’t do for yourself.

The easiest way is to take time out one day and pour you heart out to him in prayer, just simply talking to him in your mind, or out loud if you prefer. Tell Jesus how you feel, what you need, and how you now realise that He’s the only one who can change things.

Coming to Jesus in prayer and asking for forgiveness of your sins and surrender of your life to Jesus is how you become a Christian. hand lifted up in prayer

Jesus wants all of you, not just a part. He wants to be the most important person in your life. This is an act of your will – to choose this course of action. God never forces us to do anything, that’s why he gave us free will.

Once you’ve settled that in your mind, the next step is this. Ask Jesus to forgive all the sins you ever committed. All sin is primarily against God. He’s the one you hurt the most when you sinned. Even though you did things to other people, God’s the one who’s been most hurt by your actions.

Through his death on the cross and subsequent resurrection, Jesus paid the price for all your sins. All sin has to be paid for, for justice to be done. Instead of paying for your own sins, Jesus did it for you, in advance. How amazing is that? But you have to ask for and receive that forgiveness for yourself.

The ideal way to approach Jesus to forgive you is this way. Take time out and make a list of things you’ve done that you know to be wrong. Don’t rush it – take your time. For example, list lies you’ve told, people you’ve wronged or hated, folk you’ve deceived, things you’ve stolen. Pour your heart out to Jesus and ask him in prayer to help you write the list.

handwritten listWhen you’re done making the list, talk to Jesus and ask Him to forgive you everything on your list, plus all the sins you’ve forgotten about.

There’s nothing you’ve done that Jesus can’t forgive. Then after your prayer of confession to him, thank him that he now HAS forgiven you all these things. Jesus has promised to come and live with us when we choose to surrender our life to him and so he will come and live in your spirit by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit enables us to live a life that honours Jesus and he gives us the strength to live for him, in the face of opposition or other problems we have.

Once you’ve written your list, this is the kind of prayer you could use, as an example:

“Dear Lord Jesus, I believe that you came from Heaven to Earth to reconcile me to God the Father, and that you did this because you love me. I thank you that when you died on the cross and rose again from the dead, you paid the penalty price for my sin. These are the list of sins I am able to remember…………(your list). Please forgive me of all these. Please also forgive me the many sins I committed but have since forgotten about.

I realise you are the only one who is able to forgive me these sins, for only you were good enough to pay the price for them. I offer myself to you as a living sacrifice, so please use my life for your glory and honour. I turn from everything I k now to be wrong.I place my trust in you for the future. Please help me to live for you, and give me the strength I need to live my life for you for the rest of my days. Thank you for hearing and answering this prayer. I am weak and need your strength, so please fill me with your Holy Spirit power now. Amen”

Once you have done this with a sincere heart, you have become a follower of Jesus and an “apprentice Christian” (my phrase). You can then destroy the list of your sins that you wrote, because they have now all been forgiven by Jesus and forgotten about by him.

 

The Need For Repentance Preaching Alongside Signs and Wonders

November 20, 2017

note with important messageDISTURBING PROPHETIC DREAM posted by a young Aussie,  Jeremiah Johnson:

“Several months ago while I was extensively studying Matthew 7:22-24 and asking God for increased revelation, I had one of the most disturbing prophetic dreams of my life. The Scripture I was studying in Matthew says,

“Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name did we not cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will say to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.”

In the prophetic dream at night, I was taken to hell where I saw all these leaders and individuals who had performed miracles, cast out demons, and prophesied. What I was shown next, I will never forget. The Holy Spirit showed me long lines of people behind all of these leaders. He immediately revealed to me that these were all the people that had received the miracles, prophecies, and had been at one time delivered. As I gazed at the people in these lines, He said to me, “Did they not RECEIVE miracles, prophecy, and deliverance, yet I never knew them?”

I woke up from the dream alarmed and startled. I said to the Holy Spirit, “So there are not only people that will perform signs, wonders, and miracles that will be sent to hell, but also people who receive all these things that will be in hell. Why?”

Immediately the Holy Spirit spoke again to me and said, “Because those that worked miracles, prophesied, and cast out demons never preached the full gospel of Jesus Christ which is the message of repentance. They were so in love with the gifts that I had given them that people became trophies and souvenirs to them.

When My power would manifest in their ministries, they would tell people that I loved them, but never that they needed to repent for their sins. I tell you that a great deception will sweep over the note with important messagesigns and wonders movement in the earth. Beware of the ministries where miracles and prophecies will flow, but the message of repentance is not preached. You have been warned.””

Transgender Person in Difficult Circumstances

July 28, 2017

I noticed the woman in the leather jacket had many horizontal scars on both arms where she had cut herself with a blade. She had lost both her parents in a car crash when she was 7 years old and was then brought up in an orphanage. She became a Christian 16 years ago, never regretted it and subsequently married a Christian man. She showed me the inside of both wrists that had Bible verses tattooed on them. One was from Isaiah, the other from the Book of Acts. She told me God had never left her. When she was homeless on the streets of Bristol for 6 months He had looked after her and she never suffered any harm.

When she told her husband she was transgendering to a male he freaked out and started abusing her. As a result, she ended up in hospital.   transgender

She told me she wanted to find a church. Some churches she had been to had struggled to relate to her situation and she had become discouraged.

Suddenly I was overcome with compassion and was fighting back the tears as I absorbed her story. I instinctively gave her a hug and she clung on to me for a long time. She said no-one apart from her husband had hugged her for over 2 years.

She said she had legally changed her name (to a man’s name) recently, but church people didn’t want to use the new name.

I suggested a local church which I thought would accept him and his new name in a loving and compassionate way. We looked up the phone  number of the pastor, whom I knew, and I suggested he phone him and explain his situation and ask about church services. He said he would.

 

 

The Question Is Not “Do You Believe In God?” But “What Kind of God Do You Believe In?”

October 21, 2016

I said to him: “I’m guessing you may be a Christian” He replied: “Well I believe in God, but wouldn’t call myself a Christian”.  I said that many profess a belief in God, but the issue was which God did they believe in, since we can all make Gods in our own heads that don’t truly exist. I may sincerely believe in a four-headed God living on the Moon, but if it’s not true it’s a waste of belief on my part. The Christian believes in God as revealed in Jesus Christ of the Bible. If you make up a belief in a God of your own making, from within your own mind, you’re on dangerous ground.christian cross in gold colour

He pointed out to me how all the different religions claim to be the way to God. I replied that they believe different things, so can’t all be right, which he agreed with. I highlighted to him a fundamental difference between Christianity and all other religions: all other religious leaders said to their followers, in effect: “I am showing you the path to the God/Gods/Nirvana (or whatever)”. Uniquely, Jesus Christ in the Bible said it otherwise: “I am the Way, the Truth and The Life”. He declared He alone was the Way to God, and also, exclusively, that “no-one comes to the Father except by Me”.

I said to the guy: “Suppose you were on a journey, came to a crossroads and didn’t know which way to go. There were two men by the roadside; one was dead, the other was alive. Which one would you ask for directions?” Obviously you’d choose the man who was alive. “This”, I explained, “illustrates another difference between Christianity and all other religions. The founders of all other religions are in their graves, as conceded by their followers. No-one disagrees that Buddha, Mohammed, Confucius are all dead in their graves. Jesus is the only religious founder who rose from the dead and is alive today, as claimed by his followers”.

He thought he might go to Heaven when he died, but when I asked him what the pass mark was for entry into Heaven he said he had no idea. I said to him that surely God would let us know how to get to Heaven, otherwise he wouldn’t be a very kind God? I explained how Jesus was our substitute, who died on a cross in our place and took the punishment our sins deserve. We receive our pass mark from Jesus who got 100% due to his sinless life. When we become Christians his 100% is conferred on us as “born-again” believers. Theologians call this “imputed righteousness”.

We discussed repentance, which he seemed to understand, but by the end of our conversation I concluded that he was happy to sit on the fence and take his chance on Heaven. He agreed that was pretty accurate.

We shook hands, I wished him well and said I hoped we might meet up again in another environment.