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Monday, November 7, 2011

My Name's Michelle and I'm a Christian

In my last post I shared the basic beliefs of the Mormon religion and how they differ from Christianity. Today I'll share the same type of information in the same format about the Christian faith and tell you why I am a Christian.

First, a brief history. The Christian faith was founded by Jesus Christ around AD 30. Jesus, who fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah 7:14 that foretold of "Immanuel" which means "God with us," is also called the Christ, the long-awaited Messiah of the Jews. In Matthew 16:18 Jesus is talking to his disciple Peter and says, "And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it." At the age of 33, Jesus was crucified on a cross, was buried, and rose from the dead on the third day. Eyewitness accounts of these events are recorded in the Bible's New Testament. If one believes these events to be true, accepts Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, then that person is a Christian. Although there are various Christian denominations, belief in several key elements is essential. They are:

GOD has always existed. He is not a created being. He does not have parents. He is the Creator of everything. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." (Genesis 1:1) God exists in three forms: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness..." (Genesis 1:26)

JESUS is God, Immanuel. His mother was Mary, a virgin, who "was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit." (Matthew 1:18) Because Jesus is God, he created Lucifer (Satan) and all the other angels. Jesus did have earthly brothers and sisters through Mary and Joseph, but he is the only son of God. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16) Jesus' death on the cross is the complete atonement for our sins. "God presented him a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood." (Romans 3:25) We are saved by his blood, not by our works. "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)

The BIBLE is the Word of God. Many books have been written on Christianity, but only the Bible is accepted as the Word of God.

The CHURCH are people who believe in Jesus Christ (see above). It is not a building, although we do call buildings where we meet "churches." There is no one denomination or group of people who can claim to be "the one true Church." (See John 3:16 again)

HEAVEN and DEATH. Through various scripture we understand that God the Father exists in heaven with Jesus sitting at his right hand. There are numerous descriptions of heaven throughout the Bible. All who believe in Jesus (as described above) as their Lord and Savior will go to heaven after our earthly bodies die. "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise." (Luke 23:43) Those who do not believe in Jesus as their Lord and Savior will not enter heaven (John 14:6) but will spend eternity in the lake of fire. "If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire." (Revelation 20:15) We will be like the angels according to Jesus in Matthew 22:30: "At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven."

I am a Christian because I believe all the above. I believe in a Creator God because there is simply no other explanation for why we exist. Humans are far, far too complex to have "evolved" from some glob of goo. Animals, insects, creepy crawlies. There are so many, many different species that there is no possible way they just happened. Go to the grocery store produce department and take a look at all the different kinds of fruits and vegetables and nuts and berries. Can you honestly, intelligently say they simply appeared on earth with no help from the hand of a living, thinking God?

I am a Christian because I believe that God loved me so much he willingly came to earth to take the burden of my sin onto his shoulders and be the Sacrifice needed to make my heart pure again. I am a Christian because I believe God has power over death and that Jesus was indeed raised from the dead. I believe the tomb was and is empty.

I am a Christian because I believe God promises life after death. Jesus said he was going to prepare a place for us and that we would be with him. (John 14: 1-4)

My name's Michelle and I am a Christian.

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This week's Prayer Shout-Out countries are:
USA, Russia, United Kingdom, South Korea, China, Australia, Ukraine, Germany, Uganda, Canada

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