The Good News
I am a "born-again" Christian, and want to share THE good news with you! What is
a "born-again Christian", you ask? Born-again Christians have realized they're sinners and are eternally separated from God. The only way to overcome the separation sin has caused, is to accept the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. God sent Jesus (his one and only son) to die on the cross for our sins. He alone is the only way to God.
Why Should I Believe this God/Jesus thing?
Christianity is unique because, unlike most other religions, Christians believe there is not a single earthly thing we can do that will get us closer to God. Because of this, God sent his only son, Jesus, to pay the penalty for our sins. In other words, God condescended to earth to give us a way to be with Him.
But, I'm a good person. I try to live a good life.
Like everyone, we all have the ability to do good things. However, God has made it perfectly clear in his Word that we are a sinful and fallen race. Every single person on this planet is inherently evil; you don't have to teach a baby how to be bad, they're just born with selfish instincts. Everyone lies, everyone has taken something that doesn't belong to them at one time or has done something to hurt someone else. That's called sin. God does not tolerate sin, which is why we can never do enough good things to "make up" for the bad.
Okay, so I've sinned a few times. Does that really mean I won't go to Heaven?
That depends. Let's assume we're on trial for our sins, and God is the judge. Based on the evidence of our sins (when compared to God's standards and law) we are all found guilty. The our sentence is eternal separation from God, which is also referred to as "death" in the Bible. At that moment Jesus enters the room and tells the judge He will accept the sentence on our behalf. The judge looks at us and says, "My son, has offered to pay the penalty for all of your sins. By doing so, He will be put to death for the sins you've committed, and you will be free to go. Do you accept?"
We have a choice! God loves us so much that He's given us a choice to accept the gift of Jesus or not.
Sounds good! I'll accept that gift!
Not so fast. God is sovereign, so He knows the motivations in our heart. He knows if you accept Jesus's sacrifice for your own selfish motives. He knows if you never really change...that after the trial ends you walk out the door and keep living the same life you had been living. As such, it's a change of heart that needs to happen before you accept Jesus. You accept the gift because you want to leave your old life and begin a new, holy life guided by God's will for you. This means you need to turn away from your sinful ways and seek God's perfect standards. By doing that and accepting Jesus's sacrifice can you truly be seen as worthy by God.
So, if God loves us so much, why does he allow terrible things to happen to people (earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, etc.)?
Remember, we are all born evil. There is no such thing as an innocent person on this planet. As such, we don't deserve anything. Since God created us, He has the right to do or not do anything He desires. As humans, we cannot possibly comprehend the thoughts of God outside of what Scripture teaches us. God doesn't have to explain himself to us, so why question God's authority? Everything that happens on Earth can be used for God's perfect plan. As much as I may not like it, I trust it implicitly.
You may be familiar with the fish-shaped symbol frequently seen on cars or advertised by small businesses. This fish is actually called an "icthus", which Greek for the
word "fish" and is also an acronym for "Jesus" "Christ" "God" "Son" "Savior".
Early Christians used the icthus as a secret identifier since they could be killed
for their faith. It's believed when a Christian would encounter another person,
they would draw an arc on the ground. If the other person could complete the
symbol, it proved they were a Christian.
The fish symbol was adopted by Christians since the Bible frequently refers to fish
and fisherman. Christians are called to be "fishers of men"; that we have
a responsiblity to share the Good News of Christ with other people.