Monday, April 19, 2010

What Do You Believe? Skeptics, Scoffers, and Doubters - April 19, 2010

2 Peter 3:3-5 (New International Reader's Version)
3 First of all, here is what you must understand. In the last days people will make fun of the truth. They will laugh at it. They will follow their own evil longings. 4 They will say, "Where is this 'return' he promised? Everything goes on in the same way it has since our people of long ago died. In fact, it has continued that way since God first created everything."

5 Long ago, God's word brought the heavens into being. His word separated the earth from the waters. And the waters surrounded it. But those people forget things like that on purpose.

Think about it. Why do you think that anything about Christianity is constantly under attack? Why is it that every Christmas and Easter season, especially in the United States the belief in the God of the Bible and the atoning work of Jesus Christ on the cross is always under attack? This past Easter season the Discovery Channel aired a program questioning the validity and accuracy of the events of the crucifixion and resurrection, and you can count on Newsweek and other magazines to have a cover story that seeks to diminish or criticize our belief.

Last night I watched again on the National Geographic as skeptics and very "learned" men studied and speculated the validity of the Shroud of Turin. Right after that program was one stating that the story of Noah's Ark was a myth. Programs like this disputing something concerning our faith can be seen almost daily on television and the assault on Christianity does not let up. Then there are the movies such as the Da Vinci Code, The Last Temptation of Christ, The Golden Compass, Religulous, Jesus Camp, Dogma, and many others. It seems at every turn anything Christian is ridiculed, slandered and discounted.

Why do other major religions, such as Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism get a pass? Have you seen any program doubting the prophetic visions of Mohammed, or that he traveled to and from Heaven from the Temple Mount in Jerusalem? Have you seen anything criticizing the Buddhist belief of re-incarnation and the endless cycle of suffering and rebirth? Did you see any program that called into question the Hindu moral law of cause and effect called karma? The many programs about these faiths tend to lift them up, venerate and revere them, and yet anything having to do with Christianity unless its produced by Christians is always presented in a negative light.

I see it like this...the reason Christianity is always under attack is because it must be true. Our faith believes that we are all fallen sinners in need of a personal Savior. God hates sin and we cannot have any hope of being reconciled to Him on our own efforts( if you study all of the other religions, they are about how you have to do something to be made right with God, or you get numerous do-overs until you get it right). Jesus Christ, became a man and led a sinless life preaching, teaching and healing, and although he was innocent of any crime, he was executed on a cross on our behalf(of course this does not make sense, because how could anyone give up their own life to save the lives of others?) Then proving that He was God, he stepped out of the grave and appeared to over 500 of his followers before returning to Heaven. And if we put our faith, hope and trust in Him for our eternal salvation our lives will be radically changed here on earth and for eternity. Wow! Now that is something wild to believe in!

John 15:18-25 (New International Reader's Version)
18 "Does the world hate you? Remember that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you like one of its own. But you do not belong to the world. I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.
20 "Remember the words I spoke to you. I said, 'A servant is not more important than his master.'—(John 13:16) If people hated me and tried to hurt me, they will do the same to you. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you like that because of my name. They do not know the One who sent me.

22 "If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. But now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Those who hate me hate my Father also.

24 "I did miracles among them that no one else did. If I hadn't, they would not be guilty of sin. But now they have seen those miracles. And still they have hated both me and my Father. 25 This has happened so that what is written in their Law would come true. It says, 'They hated me without any reason.'—(Psalms 35:19; 69:4)

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