Discipleship:

The really big questions

Christ had a way of asking incredibly powerful questions.  He was not into small talk.  We have questions about life and our relationship with God and our fellow man, and about the meaning of life and our purpose.  The Bible provides the answers.   “Ask, and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock, and it will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7)

Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do you say that I am?”

The trajectory of your life, literally into eternity, depends upon your answer to that question.  Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” – John8:58). At that pronouncement, the Jewish leaders sought to kill Jesus for blasphemy, for he was claiming to be God incarnate!  Jesus had used the same words with which God identified himself to Moses from the burning bush. (Exodus 3:14).  “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to God except through me.” (John 14:6).  Who do you say that Jesus Christ is?

How can I have peace with God?

”We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:1)

How does God show his love for us?

”For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

What separates us from God’s love?

”For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)  Sin is disobedience, selfishness, arrogance, evil, anything which separates us from God.  The Ten Commandments are a list of possible sins against God.  (Exodus chapter 20)  For example, the Bible states that we have committed adultery if we have ever looked with lust at another person, or placed family or career before God (idolatry), or ever told a lie.

What do we deserve for sinning against God?

”For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

What did Jesus Christ do for sinners like you and me?  What is the good news to sinners like us?

”God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

What must you and I do to receive God’s gift of eternal life?

”If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)

”For by grace you have been saved through faith.  And this is not by your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

You can accept God’s gift of eternal life right now by sincerely praying to God and acknowledging your sins and putting your faith in Christ Jesus as your Lord and savior.

How do I grow as a Christian?

As a Christian you will grow in your faith by:

– Reading your Bible every day. (Psalm 119:105)

– Talking to God in prayer each day.  (1 Thessalonians 5:17, Philippians 4:6).  Repent of (acknowledge and turn away from) your sins. (Acts 3:19)

– Join a Bible preaching church of fellow believers, and worship, using your God given gifts and talents to build the community of believers.  Be baptized as an outward sign and confession of your faith. (Acts 2:38, Mark 16:16)

– Live your life daily to the glory of God. (Matthew 22:36-39)  The purpose of our life is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.

– Share the good news of salvation in Christ. (Matthew 28:19)

Why share the Gospel (the good news of salvation in Christ)?  Why me?  Why am I not swept up into Heaven after being saved?

One very good reason to evangelize is because Christ commands us to.  But, theologically, or logically, might we be forgiven for asking the question “Why?”  Especially if we belong to those denominations, such as I do, who believe in the Calvinistic interpretations of the Biblical principles of predestination and the elect.  I mean, that’s clearly in the Bible also, right?  The Apostle Paul speaks of those concepts.  So, why evangelize?  The way it was taught to me years ago is that I am not God and have no way of knowing who is predestined or not, therefore I cannot, should not, judge unto condemnation… or salvation.  I came to the point in my life when I accepted Christ as my Lord and savior through a Billy Graham Crusade while in junior high school.  Tonight on TV I watched Franklin Graham give the familiar altar call to thousands in Hanoi, Vietnam.  Watching that life changing event was a bit surreal… and very uplifting.  Former mortal enemies, now brothers and sisters in Christ.  Perhaps in God’s infinite love and wisdom he allows us to evangelize to strengthen our own faith and hope.  To evangelize is as much for our benefit as for those we give the Good News to.  As Christians, we are the vessels of living water, and a part of God’s plan.  If it were otherwise, would not God draw us up into his presence immediately upon our acceptance of Him?  Why evangelize?  Why life?   That we might glorify Him and enjoy Him forever.


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