The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near.
Repent and believe in the good news!
Why I’m a Christian
I’m a follower of Jesus of Nazareth because after he was killed he rose from the dead. I’m convinced that event happened, and that makes all the difference in the world.
I’m convinced it happened because there is no other credible explanation. Nearly all historians say Jesus lived in Palestine and was crucified by the Roman authorities about 33AD. See the historical Jesus. There is some dispute about him rising from the dead because that is highly unusual. I’m sure it happened because
- his followers recorded seeing him on multiple occasions
- his followers took some convincing – they didn’t expect it and found it hard to believe (remember doubting Thomas?)
- he appeared to more than 500 people at once
- his body was never found – the Jewish authorities could have immediately stopped Christianity
- his followers were totally transformed: from scared people hiding in a locked room to people who ‘turned the world upside down’. Nearly all of them were killed as a result of their claim that Jesus rose from the dead. People may die for what they believe in, but not for things they know to be a lie.
It makes all the difference in the world because rising from the dead proves Jesus claim to be God is true. That is, his claims to be able to make us right with God and to take us to live with him forever are true.
The difference being a Christian makes
Whether rich or poor, strong or weak, clever or silly, one fate awaits us all: death. We often put that out of our minds, but that is the ultimate destiny of all.
Being a follower of Jesus changes that ultimate destiny and so changes my perspective on life. While I have many of the joys and struggles that everyone has, I know, in the end, everything will be alright.
Jesus promises his followers that they will be resurrected and live with him for ever. That is, after I die I will come back to life (physically, but in a different form), just like Jesus did.
That contrasts with other views of death, and provides unassailable peace. It also assures me that all the injustice I see around me will one day it will be put right.
Other views of what happens after death:
- you rot (the atheist’s view). That is, death is the end and there is nothing else. Your body becomes worm food.
- you are reincarnated. You come back as something or someone else, based on your ‘goodness’. No evidence for that I think.
- you are remembered. You live on in the memory of your loved ones and perhaps others, but only for a time.
Thanks to Col Adamson from St Thomas North Sydney for the four Rs of death: rot, reincarnated, remembered or resurrected.
Why Christianity is not a religion
All religions are about making yourself good enough for God to accept you. By following rules, having nice thoughts, being kind, looking after others, etc.
Being a Christian means I recognise that I offend God by not treating him as he deserves to be treated, and there is nothing I can do to make myself good enough, no matter how hard I try. No-one can do it. Being a Christian means accepting that Jesus has taken the punishment I deserve and that I’m right with God on the basis of that; I contribute nothing.
Sure, I try to live a good life (and often fail), but that’s because I’ve already been made right with God, not to make me right.
More about Christianity – christianity.net.au