The following are responses to frequently asked questions about Christianity. If you have further questions, please feel free to make contact with the Church to discuss.
Billy Graham tells of a young man who came to him very upset. He'd failed to make anything worthwhile of his life, he said. As he finished, he threw up his arms in despair, and said through his tears, 'I guess ! was just born wrong!'
Many of us feel lost like that. We're not the persons we ought to be. We don't live up to our ideals, and sometimes deliberately do what's wrong.
The Bible calls this 'sin' - and sin is anything we do (or even think) which is disobedient to what God wants for us and is harmful to ourselves and others. More than that, sin is what we do not do that we should be doing! it's man's inhumanity to man, creating a mess in our world and its structures. It's falling short of the beautiful way God meant for us to live.
But the astonishing thing about God is that He loves us, in spite of our rebellion, selfishness and apathy. God is not only great and all powerful, He's very gracious and forgiving. He comes looking for us, wanting to save us from our sin and 'lostness' This is why He sent His Son Jesus into this hostile world - to give us liFE - life in all its fullness (John 10:10b).
He wants us to become 'truly human' - He wants to remake us, from the inside out!
Q: What do I have to do to become a Christian?
- First, you realize that you - like everyone else - are a sinner (Romans 3:23}
- Confess this to God, accepting gratefully His complete forgiveness (1 John 1:9)
- Commit yourself totally to Jesus, God's Son, and tell Him you want to obey Him always (John 1:12, 3:16, 5:24,14:6,15:11-13)
It's as simple and as demanding as that!
Q: What happens when you become a Christian?
Jesus comes into your life - to stay (Revelation 3:20).
'But what if I don't feel any different?' That's O.K. Feelings go up and down; they're very unreliable. It's trusting God and His sure promises that is important, not your feelings!
You can begin the great adventure of following Christ any- where at any time. If you haven't yet accepted Him as your Lord and Savior, why not do it now? Here's a prayer you can pray, perhaps on your knees:
'Loving God, ! admit I've been running my own life, and I've sinned - against you, against others, and against myself. I'm really sorry for my sins. Thank you for sending Jesus, who lived and died for me, to rescue me and forgive me. ! want to belong to you completely. I'm totally willing to let Jesus control my life, all of it, from now on. Thank you, my God, my Father, for accepting me into your family. Help me now to become a new person, with the help and power of your Holy Spirit who now lives in me. Amen'
If you've said that prayer - and really meant it - do you realise what's happened?
- You have become a child of God -'born again' into His family!
- You've been 'made new all over again'! (2 Corinthians 5:17).
- You will live a beautiful 'eternal life 'forever' (1 John 5:11-13).
- You've begun a new relationship with a wonderful caring friend! He'll stick by you - right through your life, and beyond.
But perhaps you're thinking, 'I'll never make it. I'm sure to muck it up, just as I've often done in the past'. Well, that happens to all of us. But God will be there to help and forgive you (1 Corinthians 10:13, 1 John 1:8-9). After all, it is He who does the changing. We simply live in a way that is open to God's purposes (Romans 12:12).
The Christian life is a great adventure. It won't all be easy (worthwhile adventures rarely are!). For many Christians life gets 'harder and harder' as it gets 'better and better'
Q: How do you become a strong Christian?
- Spend some time each day reading the Bible. Perhaps start with Mark, then John, then Acts. God's Word will keep you strong (Psalm 119:9,11).
- Then spend some time thinking and praying about what you've read.
- Talk to your heavenly Father just like you'd talk to a friend. Prayer is your 'life-line' to Him, and His answers to your requests will always be the best for you (John 15:7, 1 John 5:14,15).
- Obey your Lord and Master: if you really love Him you'll want to be His disciple (John 14:21).
- Help others in any way you can. You are now one of Christ's 'witnesses' - an ambassador for Him wherever you go.
- You'll want to talk to others about Christ (not everyone you meet, perhaps: pray for God to guide you each day to those who need to hear the 'Good News' from you).
- Make sure that your behavior is consistent with what you're saying! (1 Peter 1:13-15)4
- You have a deadly enemy - Satan - whom you'll be fighting all the time. Learn how to use the 'spiritual weapons' God gives you for this battle (Acts 1:8. Galatians 5:16-17, 22- 23).5
- Meet regularly with other Christians - at your church, in a small group, and, if possible, one-to-one for Bible study, sharing common problems (and successes!), and prayer (Galatians 6:2, Hebrews 10:24,25).
- You've begun a new relationship. Grow in your love for Him and your understanding of His ways. Trust Him - with everything. He'll never let you down (1 Peter 5:7,2 Peter3:18).