We Care About You!
We care about you personally. It is not my intention to be too personal, irritating, or self-righteous. Like all mankind, you have been created in God's image (Genesis , 27) and are special to Him. We hope you will read these words with this perspective.
We’re Not Ashamed:
For many people faith in God is so personal that they are unwilling to discuss it with anybody. That was not the kind of faith that the first Christians had (Acts ; 8:1-4), nor is it the nature of our faith.
Of Our faith in God
The so-called intellectuals of our day scoff at faith in God as unscientific. Yet God has given us ample evidence of His existence (Romans -22). The design found in nature demands a designer (Hebrews 3:4). This universe is not the product of chance.
It is the theories of evolution that, though touted as fact, violate scientific laws. These theories teach that order naturally arose out of chaos, life came from non-living matter, and that intelligent beings came from non- intelligent matter. That I'd be ashamed to believe.
God is the logical answer to mankind's questions concerning our origins. God's existence violates no scientific laws. We are without excuse for not believing in Him. We’re not ashamed to affirm that God exists.
Of believing Jesus to be God’s Son
History acknowledges that there really was a Jesus of Nazareth. Many say He was a good man, a great teacher, a profound thinker, etc. However, many of these same people will deny that He was the Son of God.
Jesus could not have been a good man and a chronic liar and deceiver. He intentionally led many to believe that He was the Christ (Messiah), the Son of God (Matt. ,17; Mark ; John ; Acts ). Either He was an imposter or He was who He claimed to be. He can't be both a fraud and a good man.
Through the power of His resurrection from the dead, Jesus demonstrated that He was the Christ, the Son of the living God. Those apostles who had forsaken Him during His trial later boldly preached that Jesus was both Lord and Christ (Acts ). They wrote about His miracles and teaching so others would believe (John , 31). Only their actual witnessing of the resurrection (2 Peter ) could have changed their cowardice to conviction! Paul, who had at one time persecuted Christians, later affirmed that He was not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes (Romans 1:16).
Jesus said, "If you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins" (John ). Likewise, He warned against people being ashamed of Him and being unwilling to confess Him before others (Mark ; Matthew , 33). We’re not ashamed to confess to you that we believe that Jesus is the Son of God.
Of God's word as truth
Jesus declared that God's word is truth (John ). He promised His apostles that He would send the Spirit to guide them into all truth (John ). Thus divine power revealed all that is pertinent to godly living (2 Peter 1:3).
Scripture does not originate with men (2 Peter , 21). "All scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). We’re not ashamed to claim Scripture as our standard of truth.
"What is Truth?"
As Jesus stood on trial He said, "for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice." In response, Pilate asked, "What is truth?" (John 18:36, 37).
Unfortunately, Pilate's rhetorical question is a typical response today. Many have come to believe that there is no absolute truth. Hence, we have a culture that has trouble discerning good and evil (Hebrews -14).
This ambiguous approach to truth has even infiltrated the churches of our land. It is not at all uncommon to hear so-called church leaders questioning the doctrinal and moral truths of scripture.
This is not new! From the beginning God's truth and authority have been challenged (Genesis 3:1-6). For thousands of years God's word has withstood the onslaught of the enemies of righteousness. It is still here. Time and again it has proven itself reliable. Jesus said, "Know the truth and the truth shall make you free " (John ) However, truth that is not applied to one's life is of no benefit. Truth has not been revealed for theology majors and seminary students but for the common man, for you and me.
Those who decide that they can't understand the Bible underestimate God. He created us with the ability to learn and reason. He has communicated to us on our level. You and I can know God's will!
The division and apostasy that has occurred over the years is a direct result of ignorance. When the blind lead the blind, both fall into the pit (Matthew ). Too many have blindly followed the doctrines and creeds of men. True faith is not blind, but informed. Can you give a reasoned defense of your hope (1 Peter )?
"My Heart's Desire"
As we indicated at the beginning, our reason for sharing these thoughts with you is because we care about you. We realize that we may already agree on some of the points that we have made. Yet, we are also aware that there may be many things about which we disagree. While many would be content to leave things that way, we are not.
said, "My heart's desire and prayer
to God for
Likewise, our heart's desire and prayer to God is that you may be saved. It is that desire that has prompted me to give you this in an attempt to open up a dialogue on what many consider to be a sensitive subject.
The apostle Paul was not content to merely ignore the differences he had with others on spiritual matters. His appeals to reason with people from scripture were received differently in each city. For example, in Thessalonica they ran him out of town, but in Berea they were more open-minded "in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so" (Acts 17:11).
No, the Bereans did not blindly accept Paul's teaching. They searched the scriptures to confirm that what he taught was true. We are not asking you to blindly accept what we believe. We are looking for a willingness on your part to discuss and search God's word together on matters that pertain to our salvation. No matter how much you anticipate we would agree or disagree, we would like the opportunity to talk, because we care.
The Good News
It begins with bad news. God's word says that we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans ). Many don't think sin is very serious, but that is merely because we're used to its stench.
Quite simply, sin is lawlessness (1 John 3:4). It is behavior contrary to God a law. God is holy (1 Peter 1.15-16). In Him there is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5). He is pure (1 John 2:3). Our sins separate us from Him (Isaiah 59:2). Likewise, God is perfect in justice (Deuteronomy 32:4) He cannot let us get away with sin and be just, any more than human judges can let people get away with murder and be just.
Thankfully, however. God is also loving and gracious. While God's justice does not permit Him to arbitrarily ignore our sin. His love does not allow Him to ignore our plight. So, He gave His only Son as a sacrifice for us (John ). Through this willing sacrifice on the part of Jesus, God remains just and is also the justifier of those who have faith in Jesus (Romans 3:26).
So, what shall we do? To this question Christ's apostles responded by saying, "believe in the Lord Jesus us and you shall be saved" (Acts ) and "repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins" (Acts ).
It is essential that we crucify ourselves with Christ (Galatians ). We are buried with Christ in baptism and we are raised with him through faith in the working of God to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:3, 4; Colossians , 13). We die to sin and live for Christ. Have you done this?