From a subscriber comes this comment:
“You can become a Christian in a moment
spend the rest of your life
finding out what that means.”
For more use the DOOR.
Thank you, Stephanie, for your “time-sharing” about being a Christian. It reflects what I believe the Bible teaches, as well as some honesty on your part. Often Christians are quick with answers that don’t seem to cover all the bases.
Bases that we stomp on or bump over in the baseball diamond pathways our lives.
People sign up to be Christians by repenting of their sins (as best as they can) and trusting in Jesus Christ only for their eternal salvation. All kinds of Bible verses support that.
But what does that mean as the sun rises and sets over the days that follow? In short, once you were lost, now you are found, saved. Saved forever by God for His eternal kingdom. That’s the message of the Bible. It’s like going through a doorway. Click, the door opens for you. Click, it shuts behind you.¹
You live out the rest of your approximate 3,000,000,000 heartbeats². You love, laugh, cry, hope, dream, get excited, become afraid, are terrified, get encouraged, get educated, win friends, marry, have children and grandchildren, work at several jobs, retire, and eventually come to the end of things like everyone else. What’s the difference? Non-Christians can do wonderful things. Christians can behave badly, or seem so off-and-on in their behavior. What does being a Christian actually mean?
THE answer? I’m not sure how to answer that because one size doesn’t seem to fit all.
Without offering a single Bible verse, let me suggest that being a Christian involves these: (1) Opening yourself to letting God–not just some “outside-of-you spirit”–possess you. (2) Giving yourself a chance to aim your energy away from yourself toward God first, your family, and others. (3) Giving yourself a chance to consider and follow along with others a playbook (the Bible) that has been taken seriously for thousands of years. And (4) Giving yourself a chance, following that playbook, to regularly whisper or throw into the air words (prayer) that express thankfulness or joy, or that ask for or about anything, words that just may be taken seriously³ by a real God who made you and everything around you–nearby and far away. Let me just add that many who’ve done this have shown by their changed lives the benefits considering Christ and the Christian way.
As we’ve said over and over: Orderly and imaginative scientific investigation is invaluable. It has been, and should be, pursued vigorously. But much of our world is beyond the reach of science. For more than two thousand years, Christian faith has addressed many questions alongside science, or beyond the reach of science.
¹ In real life one is or is not a Christian. If one becomes a Christian, there is a point in life where one wasn’t and then one was a Christian. The original language (Greek) indicates that. Just exactly where that occurs may be presumptuous to point out. That’s God’s business. A discussion about “eternal security” is complex and not our purpose here. It must be recognized, however, that even in the Bible there were those who seemed to be Christians who turned and walked away. Whether they were or were not Christians, as we said, is God’s business. Practically speaking, in many situations we have to take people at their word as to whether or not they are Christians.
² See our post on Feb. 13, 2013.
³ So be careful what you ask for!