A few weeks ago we began talking about Jesus speaking the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares. This was one of the few parables he actually interpreted for his followers, and in that interpretation he revealed it was a prophecy about the difficult future of Christianity. He spoke of false Christians and an entire age when the true and false would grow together – outwardly indistinguishable from one another - until the "harvest" time. We traced some of the corrupting influences through the long history of the church and began to see how the gospel was treated (and mistreated) along the way. Jesus, after speaking the Wheat and the Tares Parable, spoke two other parables. We believe they further described the corrupted condition of Christianity. So, what do these other parables tell us? Are we in danger of being deceived? Is the gospel even intact here and now in our present world?
Jesus gave many prophecies and you might be surprised to learn that some of them gave his followers then and now a warning about what would happen with this new movement he started. Christianity corrupted! What did Jesus predict and can we see that around us today?
Christianity is about transformation - at least, that’s what it is supposed to be about. The problem is when we look at Christianity, what we often see is something else, something different. In some ways it seems as though Christianity has fallen into the trap of a competitive evangelism – recruiting as many new believers as possible. Now wait a minute – aren’t we supposed to do that? Yes we are, but how are we supposed to do it? What do we believe the name of Jesus saves us from? What do we believe a Christian life should look like? What do we believe is God’s plan for the masses? Do any of these things really matter? Should we just be focusing on being good, honest and loving?
Is Christian faith different? Is it somehow more magical or extensive than the faith of other religions? Is it less credible than the faith we have in science or medicine? Is Christian faith based on long-standing traditions, feelings, the Bible, or what church you go to? Is Christian faith transformative? Should Christian faith be a recommended staple in everyone’s diet?
Several weeks ago, we began working on a response to a YouTube video sent to us by a college student entitled “Why I am no longer a Christian,” a 1½ hour step-by-step presentation of how another young man went from devoted Christian to atheist. It was a well done, non-inflammatory treatise on why the author now believed Christianity to be just a story. Today is Part III of this three-part series, and we will primarily focus on the core issues of his reasoning that drove him away from Christianity and into the camp of atheism. How valid are these points? Stay with us and judge for yourself!
Salvation – it is at the very core of Christian faith. Salvation is something we all want and something that we as Christians all claim. That’s good...for us. Now the harder part. What about unbelievers? Where do they fit? Do all unbelievers have the same opportunity as we do? What about those who never heard of Jesus and died in that ignorance? Does the Bible give us concrete answers to these questions? Stay with us as we open and discuss an incredibly difficult question – can one who dies an unbeliever still be saved?