As forthright as I can, you must understand Christianity is more crucial than you know.
Christianity’s Importance go Back 5,700+ Years
Yes, you heard this right! Christianity’s roots go back 5,700+ years. This sounds strange because most trace it to the life and ministry of Jesus Christ around 2,000 years ago.
However, Jesus traced his Messiahship back to the Old Testament biblical prophets.
Unlike others who came before Him, Jesus staked his claim on all scripture which came before mentioning Him as Israel’s (and the world’s) promised Messiah. This is what gives the faith more credibility than any other world religion conceived.
Not only did Christianity officially manifest about 2000 years ago, but it was also mentioned in the beginning of what we know as creation.
Even at the mere 2000 years old, Christianity is one of the world’s oldest religions. Prior to this, its expansion was foretold in the Bible’s Old Testament.
Here is but a fractional sampling of this prophesy (Isaiah 11:10-12):
Why is Christianity Needed at All?
The need for Christianity resulted from the original sin of Adam and Even in the Garden of Eden. The Holy Bible tells the story of the first human beings in a way no other religious book does.
Following Jesus Christ has also grown to become one of the world’s most popular belief systems in just a few thousand years. By popular, I mean its adherents zealously recruit others to accept Jesus as Savior.
It is practiced across the globe, and today there are more approximately 500 million Evangelical Christians. There are other “professed” christian faiths, which are nothing of the sort.
Take, for instance, Catholicism. That it calls itself “the church” is an afront to everything Jesus Christ said and lived for!
Jesus even spoke of such false religions, prophets, etc. (Matthew 24 4-5, 24):
It has been suggested that: ‘Christianity is dying a slow and painful death!’ Something most have not thought of is that it should be trusted because our Holy Bible said this would be said!
The Bible foretold, more than 1900 years ago: “Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition.” (2nd Thess. 2:1–3).
No other professed holy book forecasts the prophetic as accurately as does the Christian Bible. This could only happen if it were truly inspired by God, who knows all things.
In recent years, atheists have been increasingly vocal about their lack of belief in God or any other divine being(s). Many younger people have begun identifying as “Nones” when asked religious preference.
There is a direct connection between this worldview and the degradation of society evident to anyone with eyes.
So why should we care about Christianity? What does it offer us? Why does it matter?
Christianity is not Religion it is Relationship
Christianity is less about choosing a set of beliefs and more about entering into a relationship with God. It is not just the idea of a loving God, but actually experiencing a loving God that matters.
Unlike, for instance, Islam, God of the Holy Bible is loving, personal, and cares about you.
He knows your name, understands who you are, and created you. Unlike other so-called religions, you PERSONALLY matter to God.
You might wonder: “If Christianity isn’t about believing certain things, then what is it about? What is the point of it all?”
The Bible talks about how we can have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. God doesn’t just exist somewhere out there in space, separate from us. He doesn’t just observe and throw us into hell and the lake of fire because we are so rotten.
Instead, God desires to talk with us and be in relationship with us. The Bible says: “cast all of your cares onto God because He cares for you.”
Another biblical scripture says (John 3:16):
Religion is often seen as the practice of trying to measure up to some moral code. Since is impossible to measure up, there must be a punishment. To be more accurate: “do this or else.”
It will be dishonest to say that truth doesn’t exist in the church. However, and what is different, as no one will ever try to force convert you.
In the Garden of Eden, God offered Adam and Eve a choice.
This was as far from being forced, or punished quite frankly, then one can imagine. Of course, God warned their failure to follow would result in their death. However, he gave them a choice.
Although it may seem a small thing, think about it like this. A good parent gives instructions and allows the child to choose whether to follow them or not. The good is rewarded while the bad rewarded as well.
For instance, children have favorite foods that they enjoy. The caregiver may prepare those dishes or not. Either way, the child has choice on whether to eat what is put in front of them or not.
A righteous parent is not going to put something in front of a child and enforced her face down into the dish.
One either eats what is put in front of them or they go hungry. Certain world religions such as Islam will grab you by the back of the head and forced her face into the dish.
This robs us of something fundamental God provided in the Garden of Eden: free will.
Yes, if one does not partake in eating the dish they will go hungry, but they have a choice on whether to starve or not. False religion doesn’t offer choice. You either do what they say or forfeit your life.
God does not condone removing anyone’s free will even in His service.
Christians are Still Humans Who Struggle
Our free will often leave us struggling between doing what is right and wrong. Followers of Jesus are humans who struggle in this flesh.
Jesus, himself, struggled with remaining obedient to his mission.
The Bible says about him (Hebrews 4:15-16):
Christianity makes us more human because it requires recognizing our flaws and honestly assessing our lives.
Have you ever known someone who thought they never did anything wrong? They always act so perfect?
Yeah – so you have been to church to, huh?
In Christianity, this is what God thinks of them: “if anyone says they are never wrong (sin), they are liars and the truth is nowhere in them.”
Accepting we are wrong, and evil can be painful and uncomfortable, but it is also necessary for growth and change. Christianity recognizes that we are all broken, that we all make mistakes, and that this is not something to be ashamed of.
Even prior to becoming a Christian, shame still has value. Before I was saved by the blood of Jesus Christ, it was my shame at how I live which brought me to him. The point is, whoever you are, even your shame can work towards a better future.
There is no area in your life which you should withhold from God. Christianity is valuable in this point because it is not about living in shame! No beloved, it is about living free from shame.
In fact, this freedom is worth celebrating.
Instead of trying to deny our weaknesses and flaws, Christianity encourages us to acknowledge them, and love ourselves and others anyway. We are all fallen human beings, but we are loved by God in our brokenness.
This is why Christian imagery often includes realistic depictions of human bodies. These bodies may not be perfect, but they are beautiful, nonetheless.
Our Faith Teaches Vulnerability and Love
Christianity teaches us to be vulnerable with others and ourselves. It asks us to be authentic, open, and honest. We are people who serve broken people.
At its core, Christianity is about loving others regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation.
This doesn’t mean sexual orientation can be decided by those who are confused about it. However, loving those who are different, loving those whom we might not understand, and loving those who have hurt us is a core tenant.
One may not “love what they are doing” but that is much different than not “loving them.”
We are called to be vulnerable with each other, tell our stories, and sharing our hearts. A Disciple of Jesus must reveal themselves to lead others to Him.
The Holy Bible teaches Christians: “all have done evil and come up short of God’s glory.” Even me, a Pastor, has evil and struggles I deal with. Following Jesus Reminds us No one Is Perfect
It further reveals the reality that we are fallen creatures in need of help! We have fallen short of our potential, made mistakes, but that we are loved anyway. Being human means being fallen and much less than perfect.
Our faith (not religion) recognizes this and reminds us that it is okay to be a work in progress. It is not about being perfect, but about growing into the best version of ourselves.
To be a part of our “body” will often remind you that regardless of how bad you mess up, you are loved anyhow.
God’s Holy Word, which is Jesus, also assists in understanding why our bodies are flawed, broken, and in need of eternal repair. There is something much more wonderful to hold onto as well.
Did you know the Holy Bible says this about us (Genesis 2:26-27)
We are all created with a specific purpose, and Christianity helps us discover this.
The Bible says this: “I know the plans that I have for you, to prosper you and not harm you.” God also said to a Prophet: “Before I formed you in the belly Jeremiah, I knew you.”
Christianity is all about a relationship with God that is lived out in this world. It is about being present here and now, and using our gifts and talents to love God and others.
More than anything, this faith is about relationship with God that goes beyond Sunday church services. There are many millions of false adherents who will here Jesus Christ say this: “depart from me, you who do evil. I never had a relationship with you.”
It is a relationship that is meant to be lived out in our everyday lives. Our faith is meant to be lived out in our relationships with family, friends, and even enemies.
It is meant to be lived out in our work and hobbies. It is a relationship that you are invited to enter into now. So, what are you waiting for?
Header Image Courtesy of Emily Porter @ Unsplash