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BEING A CHRISTIAN TODAY

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A CHRISTIAN TODAY?

Let’s face it: the person of Jesus Christ does not have the place in our lives that He ought to have. Could it be that we have not yet really understood what it is to be a Christian?

A pagan or natural religion is a religion of code or cult. People realize that someone else created this world before us here and so they ask about the ground rules or a moral code. They realize that they must express some acknowledgement and gratitude of this “someone else” or Creator.  And so a cult is born. The American Indian would hold up slice of a slain animal to someone above as recognition of God. This is a cult.

Let us ask whether Christianity is more than this? We know as Christians that Jesus died to redeem us. Do we truly understand what it means to be “redeemed”? Our Lord’s death on the cross did not just change the Father’s attitude to us, but it did something very profound to us.

Christ died so that we might change, interiorly, in the very core of our being. Because we are redeemed, we are now called, and able, to think as men have never thought before, to evaluate things in this world in a way that overturns all previous standards of judgment , to act in ways that are as far beyond what we usually understand by “morality”:

We are ready to lead a new life and to share what we call a life of grace: a sharing in Christ’s life, that is His thinking, His choosing, His appreciating, His knowledge and loving and suffering and rejoicing here on earth – right here and now and not only sharing His joy fully and forever in heaven.

So is our religion a matter of morality and doing the right thing in order to get to heaven: a code or cult Christianity? Or is it a search for communion with the mind and heart of Christ? You need to have a deeper understanding of the Lawmaker. You must think beyond your channel of reasoning. You must be aware of the revelation of God speaking through the Scriptures.

Do you think that the challenge will be too much for you?

CONNECTING CHRISTIANITY WITH LIFE

The trouble with Christianity is that it’s like your voter registration: if you don’t use it you lose it.

We start wandering around, going from one little sensation to another. Our lives get stuffed with newspaper items, television stories, and gossip. Then our minds lose the discipline of discerning between what leads us closer to God and what doesn’t, and our hearts gradually lose their spiritual sensitivity.

Are you living a form of “civil religion” inspired by acceptance of the values of one’s society rather than those found in the Bible? Civil religion is simply another name for paganism. It’s what nice people in our society do.

We can become a god unto ourselves with this thinking. You begin to set God apart from life in this world. You begin to live this compromise. It is like saying that you are driving your car toward California while reading the tourist brochures about Florida.

You may be a couch Christian. You do take some “time out” to acknowledge occasionally the theoretical dependence on God before you rush into the real business of making a living in the world. For your religion may have nothing significantly to say about life. Your religion may be fine so long as it does not interfere with the way you live.

HOW SERIOUS ARE YOU?

Are you like a contestant in Olympic Games? Each contestant chooses what to eat with only one guiding principle in mind: what will help you win the contest. A serious contestant will not eat whatever is served just because it is polite or because everybody else is eating it.

You can clearly identify a true Christian be the obvious fact that they clearly eat and drink and do everything for the glory of God. They are guided by a desire to live completely and totally by the gospel of Jesus Christ. They are not people who “fit in”.

Christians do not set out to be nonconformists. They actually have a set of values that do not conform to the seeing and thinking of this world.

CIVIL RELIGION

“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” Luke 12:48

CIVIL RELIGION

“He (Jesus) replied, ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what they have will be taken away.” Luke 19:26

If we are going to be real Christians, if we are going to know Jesus Christ, we are going to have to reform our lives. This doesn’t mean tightening up this little laxity in our lives, but a reshaping of the whole pattern, giving a whole new direction and form to everything we do.

Christianity

Should we not be challenging consumerism, affluence and waste? Should we not be concerned with our brothers and sisters in the underdeveloped nations? Should we not use our time on this earth as a precious talent God has given us to invest for the Kingdom of God?

If that effect is not all-embracing and “radical”, which touches every root of our existence, then we have to face the fact, sooner or later, that we have never truly encountered Him and that He is not “real” to us.

Let’s hope that doesn’t take place on Judgment Day.

We do not take our money, our social status, our worldly power into the next world; but we do take the quality of our love. At the end of our lives, we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made or how many great things we have done.

life looking

Much of this post was inspired by the book, His Way, by Father David Knight.

NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCES

PROOF OF HEAVEN

VISIONS OF HELL

HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED HOW TO BECOME A CHRISTIAN?

god proof

Continue reading BEING A CHRISTIAN TODAY

NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCES

THE 10 NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCESNEAR DEATH EXPERIENCE

Our Near Death Experiences showed us thatGod has prepared a future for you filled with more exhilaration and excitement, most breathtaking beauty, more love and depth with friends and family than you have ever experienced on earth. “Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away …He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:1, 4

How did hundreds of people — doctors, airline pilots, bank presidents , tenured professors– who didn’t need to make up wild stories to make money (and would lose professional credibility doing so), come to describe an amazing similar place.

The prophets like Isaiah were told by God that the new Heaven and new earth will have similarities to the beauty of the present earth, but restored and improved:

“See, I will create
    new heavens and a new earth.
The former things will not be remembered,
    nor will they come to mind.
But be glad and rejoice forever
    in what I will create,
for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight
    and its people a joy.

They will build houses and dwell in them;
    they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit.

Before they call I will answer;
    while they are still speaking I will hear.
 The wolf and the lamb will feed together,
    and the lion will eat straw like the ox,
    and dust will be the serpent’s food.
They will neither harm nor destroy
    on all my holy mountain,”
says the Lord.:”                                            Isaiah 65:17,18;24,25

God tells Isaiah His Holy City will be a place of beauty and joy, with plants and trees, vineyards and fruit, mountains and valleys, where all the creatures finally will live in harmony — as we intuitively know it should be.

A FEELING OF OVERWHELMING LOVE

In 69% of the cases, NDErs felt that they were in the presence of an overwhelming love in the company of family and friends or other mystical bodies. “The kind of love I experienced cannot be expressed in words” in an unworldly realm. It is beyond our finite, earthly language.

NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCE

MENTAL TELEPATHY

The ability to communicate with the people or entities through a kind of mental telepathy was reported by 65% of the experiences.

GOD

Meeting a figure that appeared to be God or some divine being was reported by 56% of experiences. Interestingly, 75% of people who consider themselves atheists reported these divine figures.

TREMENDOUS ECSTASY

A tremendous joy of being in this place: free of their bodies and earthly troubles, and in the presence of loving beings. This incredible peace was experienced by 76%. It was a heightened sense of being more alert than normal: no more pain and doubts.

imagine heaven

UNLIMITED KNOWLEDGE

Many times (56%) they were in the presence of unlimited knowledge, and sometimes even received some or all of this knowledge, as if the wisdom and secrets of the universe were shared with them (which were lost on returning to earth). Heavenly travel was at the speed of thought.

AFTERLIFE LEVELS

They traveled through or were made aware of different levels or realms. Some were even shown – even experienced – what they thought was Hell, a place a great anguish.

TOLD NOT READY

Just less than half (46%) of NDE they say that their time in the afterlife came to a kind of barrier where a decision had to be made: to stay in the afterlife or return to life on Earth. They are  reluctant to return, even if they are told they have a mission to complete.  Is it any wonder why they would not want to return to earth.

SHOWN THE FUTURE

In 44% of the cases, people were given the knowledge of future events. They could be future world events, or they could be events specific to the life of the person.

THE TUNNEL

NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCE

The “tunnel of light” has become almost a trademark of the near-death experience for 65% of people. Others feelings include feeling out of the body, rushing toward a mystical brilliant  light, moving rapidly through a passageway or up a staircase.

A DEBATE WITHOUT RESOLUTION

Most people who experience the NDE cannot be convinced that what they went through was not real, and it is proof for them that there is life after death.

LIFE REVIEW

The review of one’s life was common in 62% of the cases. Some felt like they were witness to every event and detail of their lives. In some cases, a small kindness turned out to be significant.

“For there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.”                                  Matthew 10:26

In this life review, the person can see what s/he did in life that really matters to God. Ultimately, what matters to God is how we treat others. Do we love unconditionally the way God loves us? Are we living a life for ourselves, fulfilling our desires but maybe not what God wants for us, OR are we living a life that allows God’s will to be done. That is, are we living a life for His purpose or ours?

Paul was reflecting on his own Near Death Experience: Continue reading NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCES