Statesboro, GA, USA
Here I am! How did I get here so late on this one? My computer was in the hospital. Probably a good thing ... judging from the controversy here.
This is just another example to me of taking all the controversy surrounding God, and Jesus Christ, and making it an excuse not to believe. Human minds can chop these things into a hundred thousand splintered doctrines and controversies and scandals. But I know that the Gospel as was delivered to those fishermen in Palestine, the death, burial, and ressurrection of Jesus Christ is true.
Regardless of what is said, the men who spent much of their lives with Jesus himself, record that he said things like "I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes to the father except by me". Should I trust men who live centuries later, or the men who were right there with him ... and who had nothing to gain by proclaiming that Jesus had risen from the grave?
When he was crucified, those men were afraid, disillusioned, depressed, and heart-weary. Would a man who denied Christ in front of a young girl during his arrest, turn around and waylay Roman guards in order to steal the body so he could save face and preach the "good news" of another dead religious icon? I don't see it. If the Romans had the body, all they had to do was show it publically, and Christianity would have disappeared off of the face of the Earth.
As mere ethical religion, Christianity has nothing to offer much more than what's already around. There are historical facts to back it up. Can you doubt the veracity of the records, of scripture, of the character of the men who proclaimed these things? Of course you can. There is always freedom to disbelieve. If God made the truth so evident that we could not deny it if we wished, that would not be faith, but forced.
So what can I say. I believe it. And far from it being just the word of men of long ago, Christ himself has confirmed it in my heart. Once you meet him and know that you know, nothing can take it from you. It's hard to argue with deity in person, especially when the scars in his hands and side tell of his eternal love for us. My prayer is that many of you also would come to believe the good news. Because this I know, life is hopeless without him. No philosophy, worldview, motive, sources of happiness and wellbeing, or anything that humanity has, has anything without him.
We all are under the sentence of death, because of a fallen world, and because of our sin. The valley of the shadow of death we are walking now, not just when we get old. We are born dying in a sense. In the face of death, only Christ has the answer. The scriptures say he has the keys to hell and death. He overcame that we might overcome in him. Without whatever he has, we are lost and eternally so. We are like branches broken off from the tree, able to boast of a few green leaves and maybe a little fruit, but time is moving. One life destined to face the Judge of all, no giving of multiple lifetimes to work out the cosmic Karma, just one Savior given to take care of all of our sin and griefs forever.
If you haven't prayed to Christ and asked him, I would encourage you to. Also, don't be satisfied with others conception of scriptures in the Bible. Read it for yourself. It's WORTH the time. Start with the gospel of John and judge for yourself if this teaching is of God or of man. Paraphrases aren't enough. Sometimes a long look may change things. What if it were true?
(phew ... thanks guys for enduring that one)
[This message has been edited by Stephanos (08-01-2002 06:15 PM).]