Meet Jon Aaron.
Jon Aaron has this favorite purple and black striped sweatshirt. I think I’ve only seen him without it a handful of times. That’s it in the picture, but you can’t tell cuz it’s black and white. It’s cool and quirky, just like he is. We all know when he’s arrived at our house on Monday nights due to the incessant ringing of the doorbell. It’s become his thing. This week, trying to be polite (I think), he didn’t ring the doorbell.
I made him go out and ring it obnoxiously. It’s how we do things. We love kids for who they are, quirks and all. Everyone of them is special.
Jon Aaron has a lot of deep thoughts and beliefs. I knew if I could get him to write me a devotional for the Wired Sage site, it’d be fantastic. I’m not disappointed…so go ahead, take a seat, listen to the wisdom of this young man’s thoughts. You’ll be glad you did.
(Courtesy of Jon Aaron)
Here is the scenario: a person who is strongly opposed to Christianity asks you – “Why you are a Christian?”
Stop and think about that for a second to yourself. Why are you a Christian?
Most people will probably mention something along the lines of hope of eternal life in Heaven, what they have been taught, being free from sin, being free from hurt, etc. The answers vary, but generally fall under the same categories.
Examine yourself. What is your reason for being a Christian? Let’s say your reply to our anti-Christian person involves the “being free from sin bit”. Most likely, it would include that. After all, isn’t that why Jesus died on the cross, to free us from our sins? So you tell your challenger, you are a Christian to be free from sin.
Now I’ll pretend I’m the antagonist. I would probably ask, “Okay, you are a Christian, which means you believe in the Bible, right?” Your answer would probably be yes. “Now your entire life then is centered on the teachings of this book. You have given me your reasons for being a Christians. However, can you tell me where in the Bible it says what you just said? Where at does it say we are sinners? You tell me to be free from sin and to have hope of eternal life. What I want to know though, is can you tell me where in the Bible it even explains why I need forgiveness? Where are these specific verses that explain salvation? Your entire life is based on this book, so you should know, right?”
Many people would stumble when faced with these questions. We can often explain why we are Christians, but can’t support it very well. Our antagonist made a good point. As Christians, our entire lives are centered on the teachings of Bible. Then shouldn’t we at least know it well enough to tell where it speaks on how to be a Christian and why? John 3:16 doesn’t have that much meaning to someone who isn’t a Christian.
Before I was a Christian, I became really ticked off when I heard references to that verse, especially if little or no reference was made to other verses. I would start to ask “Why do I need someone to forgive me? I’m not a bad person.” Christians love to dwell on that verse a lot.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s an amazing verse, but if you want to be taken seriously or even stand half a chance against someone like our antagonist, you need to have a little more to back up your faith than that one verse. I have a question for you. What does John 3:17 say?
Look up Romans 3:22-24. I’m not typing it up here because I want you to underline it in your Bible. In this passage, it tells us that we are justified through faith in Christ and that every single one of us has sinned, and that there is no difference between us because of that. We’re all equal. Don’t look down on someone who has made more stupid mistakes in their life than you have. We’ve all sinned. We are all put down on the same level. Romans 3:10 also states that not even one of us is righteous. Underline every Scripture I refer to. Romans 6:23 tells us the wages of sin is death. Ephesians 2:8 tells us that salvation is a gift from God and not because of anything we have done.
Now before I go on, stop and think about all that for a moment. In summary, you deserve to die and are equal to the worst of sinners. It’s a tad humbling knowing without faith in Christ, we are just as condemned as the rapists we see on the news. John 3:16-18 tells us Jesus did not come to condemn the world and that those who believe in Him are not condemned. This also tells us God loves us. So this guy must love us a lot.
You deserved to die, but while you were still condemned, (Romans 5:8) He let his own son die for you. Imagine having the closest person in the world to you die for people that had betrayed you, and you knew would betray you again. You would have to love those people a lot.
Hebrews 2:18 and 4:15. Read it. He not only loves us more than we can understand, but He can also relate to us. Usually our favorite songs are ones we can relate to. We love the characters in movies and books we can relate to. Everybody loves a super hero, but it’s characters like Batman and Spider-man that win our hearts because they’re human and relatable. It means a lot to us if someone helping us with tough situations can relate to us. A person who has been tempted can relate to another person who has been tempted more than a person who hasn’t been tempted can relate to them. God can relate to us on a personal level since Jesus was tempted.
We see now that God is wanting an intimate relationship with us. 1 John 4:12 tells us that God is love. Stop and read the fifteenth chapter of Mark. What a brutal way to die. All that for some people who would deny His name, betray Him, hate Him, and even claim He does not exist.
Now wait a minute.
How do you become saved? Isn’t there that sinner’s prayer? Romans 10:9. See Christianity is not about praying a specific prayer to be saved. The sinner’s prayer is not actually in the Bible. It was created to just try to make it easier and simpler to understand.
I don’t want to bash the sinner’s prayer. As far as I remember there’s nothing wrong with it. So often though in youth events and church services I have heard people pray this prayer, but they weren’t taken through the Bible to really understand what it was they were doing, much less where in the Bible it even speaks about these things. Salvation is watered down so much. This wasn’t even diving that deep into salvation.
If this book is what we base our lives on, we need to at least be able to tell someone where it talks about how and why to become a Christian. I didn’t even really go into what it means to be a Christian. If you are a Christian, then I challenge you to study that for yourself.
Wow, a lot taken in in a few paragraphs. Sounds like Jon Aaron has a challenge for you, Christian or not. Will you take it?