What Makes Real Christianity Different?
A friend once asked me what I felt was the most important doctrine in Christianity. I responded simply,
He was amazed! As many times as he'd asked that question, this was the first time anyone answered that way. I was amazed, too. So I asked him what response he usually received, and he told me usually people said it was the Crucifixion. Did they not realize that, without the Resurrection, the Crucifixion would really not have mattered? Many people had been crucified in Christ's day.
Now I ask you: If someone offered you a million dollars for doing nothing but accepting it, would you do it? No doubt you’d be hesitant. You'd think there were strings attached. You'd think, surely there's something I have do to to earn it.
But no, he tells you it's yours if you just accept it.
Then someone else comes along and says, "I'll offer you a million dollars, maybe, but you're going to have to work your tail off for it, suffer for it, try to follow all the rules and regulations I'm going to set out for you to obey if you want it, then maybe, just maybe, in the end I'll give it to you if you met all my expectations."
My guess is, you'd think that was a more genuine offer than the first, but you'd have to admit the first sounded a little better.
But suppose then you find out that the first offer was legitimate. The one offering it demonstrated that he was able to give you the money, had done it for others, and showed himself to be honest and trustworthy. Would you take it then?
That illustrates the difference between TRUE Christianity and every other religious or creedal system known to man. Christ didn't just die for our sins and tell us to be good and try to be like Him and then "maybe" we'd get saved and go to Heaven. He said no matter how hard you try, you are imperfect, you are a sinner whose actions contradict God's will, and there is nothing you can do to "earn" your way into God's Heaven.
But what about all those laws and sacrifices that came before Him? What about the Commandments? Those were given for the exact reason I just stated: To show us that, no matter how hard we try, we CAN'T follow all the commandments perfectly. No animal sacrifice is going to change that. The sacrifices were what is called a "type" or example to show us that one day God would provide the ultimate sacrifice for us. He Himself would condescend to become one of us, but perfect in every way, and the perfect sacrifice for our sins. God became man, was sacrificed on our behalf, and then demonstrated who He really was in the ultimate show of power: He resurrected HIMSELF! Nobody else could have done that. He did it Himself.
Now God offers us His free gift of salvation, worth an eternity of treasure to us and to Him, not just a measly million bucks. We do not have to give alms, go to a certain church or religious building, follow a certain creed, kill off infidels, kneel a certain way, take a certain form of communion, hang out prayer flags or turn prayer wheels, nor any of the myriad other inventions MAN has come up with to try to do things his own way. God did it. You don't need to.
But once you receive His gift, once you know His salvation, once you've experienced the Resurrection and the hope of Eternal Life, what then?
YOU CAN'T BE QUIET ABOUT IT.
YOU HAVE TO TELL SOMEONE.
YOU CAN'T HOLD IT IN.
YOU WANT OTHERS TO KNOW.
Christians who proclaim the Gospel are not fanatics. They're not trying to impose another "religion" on you. They're not trying to force you into "their" mold. And by the way, my own relationship with Christ is not based on what others do. So if there are bad people who call themselves Christian, that's their problem, not mine. And of course it's just what God's enemy, Satan, wants.
True believers just want you to know: "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free." (John 8:32).
FREE. Not a new set of shackles. No pillars you'll have to uphold. No thick new rule book. No bunch of boring, repetitive rituals. No empty prayers that no one's listening to. Just an empty tomb.
FREE. It's FREE. Don't crucify Him again. He's already been resurrected and you are not going to stop Him. Satan thought he conquered Christ at the Crucifixion. Three days later, Satan knew he had been defeated FOREVER.
Accept God's FREE gift and your eyes will be opened, and I guarantee you won't be able to remain silent!
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