Why I am Still A Christian.
Introduction – What is A Christian?
The word “Christian” was first introduced in book of Acts 11:26 in Antioch and was often meant to be as an insult that meant – little christs.
To understand what it means to be a “Christian” It is critical to understand who Christ was, how He lived, and what he commission the first century Christians to do (and also you).
Being a Christians starts with your confession of Christ? – This confession does not stop at conversion.
Peter was none as a pebble (little rock)
Jesus referred to himself as a (BIG rock)
Who do you say that Jesus is? Why are YOU still a Christian?
There is a counterfeit Christianity today in our culture that looks very different than what Christianity was in the first century.
Sociologists recognize that Christianity grew at a rate of approximately 40% per decade.
Scholars suggests that the number of Christians grew to approximately 20 million by 310 AD and possibly as high as 33 million by the year 350 AD
April 20, 1999 – Eric Harris asked Rachel Scott “Do you believed in God?” She paused. It was a life-or-death questions. “Yes, I believe in God.” “Why?” asked her executioner. But he never gave her the chance to respond before he killed her.
“Don’t let your character change color with your environment. Find out who you are and let it stay its true color.” – Rachel Joy Scott.
Romans 1:16 – For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes.
WHY AM I STILL A CHRISTIAN?
- Truth – I believe Christianity is true. We are in a cultural truth war. There needs to actually be an object of belief rather than mere belief itself.Satan knows Christianity is true and factual. It’s easy to get lost in the multiple world religions. As a multi faith chaplain I have been exposed to many different beliefs. Some in our modern day say “as long as you believe in something”. This is stupid and possibly destructive. Belief in something wrong and untrue is not good. It is important to actually believe in what is true. Christianity actually makes a lot of sense and there is reason to believe it is true. There will always be people who hate the truth. In a lot of ways truth is counter cultural.
- Suffering – Suffering – Christianity offers the best answer to my pain.C.S. Lewis once argued against God noting that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. However Lewis later questioned how he got this sense of “unjust”
- I asked for strength and God gave me difficulties to make me strong.
- I asked for wisdom and God gave me problems to learn to solve.
I asked for prosperity and God gave me a brain and brawn to work.
I asked for courage and God gave me dangers to overcome.
I asked for love and God gave me people to help.
I asked for favours and God gave me opportunities.
I received nothing I wanted. I received everything I needed.
- (C.S. Lewis – “Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny).
- “If anyone [suffers] as a ‘Christian,’ let them not be ashamed, but glorify God because of [this name]” (1 Pet 4:16). Whoever told you that being a Christian meant living an easier life free of pain and suffering?Jesus taught in Matthew 10:34-36 –34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36 And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household.Some don’t believe in God due to difficult circumstances.
- As a chaplain I have spoken with those who have experienced the worst imaginable trauma Where is God when It hurts? The play God On Trial – Elie Wiesel takes place in Auschwitz during World War II. The Jewish prisoners put God on trial in absentia for abandoning the Jewish people. The question is whether God has broken his covenant with the Jewish people by allowing the Germans to commit genocide. At the end of the trial, they used the word chayav, rather than ‘guilty’. It means ‘He owes us something’. Then we went to pray.”
- Encounter – I still believe due to my experiences with God. It’s not about how much you know about God. Do you know God?An argument is never at the mercy of the experience.. Experiencing God is the most beautiful reality we can ever discover. The key to experiencing God is knowing that it is God Himself who longs -with all His heart- to be close to you. He loves you dearly and longs to become your very best Friend and loving Father. He doesn’t want to be close to only some high and elevated super-Christians.My prayer is that you will experience God.
Conclusion/Call to act
Does your version of Christianity line up with the first century understanding of Christianity?
Why are you still a Christian?
Who Do you say that Jesus is?
What do you believe?