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Christianity is an intimate, personal friendship with the One who made us. It is a relationship, not a religion. We have a Father God who loves us dearly. It is giving our heart to Him so that we can be as close to Him as possible. It is living in the knowledge that when we were at our worst, and estranged from Him because of sin, Jesus made a way for us to break free from the sin and eternal separation from Him. God’s plan didn’t stop there though.
When Jesus died on the cross, He brought in a better way. We became heirs with Him under this new way. Everything that was available to Jesus is also now available to us as Christians.
What Christianity Isn't
There are no levels in Christianity. We are all the same – loved by the Father equally.
There is no “If you do good things, you get good things. If you do bad things, bad things will happen to you.” After Jesus died for us, it is more like: “Good or bad, God gives us good things because He is good.” It is all about God's plan and what Jesus did for us.
Christianity is not a set of laws or rules that we have to live up to. When Jesus died for us, He did it in love and grace - undeserved favor. There is nothing that we can do to get to heaven or to get favor with God. Jesus did it for us by dying on the cross for our sins. When we accept Him and decide to follow Him, we receive the undeserved gift of grace - we will go to heaven to live with Him and we will have His favor. Then, because of His great gift, we will want to live in the same way that Jesus did. We don't have to but we want to live a good life that is pleasing to Him.
Once we accept Him, there is no way to ruin our relationship with the Father. We can’t do anything to make Him turn His back on us. And by the same token, we can’t do anything to get Him to like us more. He already loves us beyond measure.
All of this is good but God goes one better than that: He loves the people who don’t love Him. He loves the people who hate Him. Those who don’t believe in Him get His love and acceptance just as much as those who believe.
Of course there’s more to it than just that. Here’s a little background:
As Christians, we believe that when we become believers we accept Jesus and He comes into our heart to live. You've probably heard that before. Also though, we believe that God is really three "persons" - the Father, the Holy Spirit and the Son - Jesus, who died for our sins so we can be free from death and sin. He lived a sinless life and then died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. “God demonstrates His own love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
Jesus rose from the dead and now He lives in heaven with God His Father. He offers us the gift of eternal life -- of living forever with Him in heaven if we accept Him as our Lord and Savior. Jesus said "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except by Me." (John 14:6). So to truly believe as a Christian, Jesus has to be part of the equation. God reaches out in love to you personally and wants you to be His child. "As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe on His name." (John 1:12)
So when someone – anyone - accepts Jesus, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit come to live on the inside of us. Then because of them (we call them collectively, the Trinity), we experience joy, peace, love and all of the things that made Jesus different here on earth, as a man. They come to us directly because they are already in our hearts. So if you're just trying to believe in God, that's only part of the picture. Like it says above, Jesus is the way.
What about all of those hypocrites and TV preachers? Yep. Christianity has all of those things. Christians are just regular people trying to do the best they can. Sometimes they do ridiculous things. Sometimes they hurt people. Sometimes they judge or they're selfish – all of the things that everyone does. Christians aren’t perfect. But that’s the point. We don’t have to be. We have found Jesus who IS perfect. He loves us anyway. He will put up with the mistakes and the sin and the selfishness because He loves us unconditionally. Better yet, He forgives it and paid the price so we wouldn’t be found guilty of it. And because of that we try to be the best people we can be – for Him. Sure, we mess that up sometimes but we are trying.
Why do Christians come on so strong? I think some Christians come on so strongly because they believe in “the cause” so passionately that the delivery gets messed up a little. When a person realizes what Jesus did for them and how powerful His grace is in their life, they want everyone to have that too. They want people to go to heaven too and want to show them the way. It's important to remember that Jesus never came on "too strong". He was always loving and kind. The vast majority of Christians try to follow Him and do it that way but others may not.
What is faith? Faith is not your religious ideology. It is taking the step to believe in something extraneous and greater than us. At some point everyone comes to believe in something – even if they can’t make a scientific case for it. That is the essence of faith – to believe. As in any religion, at some point faith takes over. Faith doesn't necessarily deal in the concrete. I like to use the analogy of a memory. It's always there with us but we can't necessarily prove it happened. Like the first time you looked into the eyes of your child or experienced love, you may not have a picture to prove it happened but it did and it was life-changing. You may not even be able to put it into words to fully describe it to someone else but you know the powerful force that it is. Like love. We can’t “prove” love but we know that it exists and the Bible says that God is love. (1 John 4:16). At some point we have to take the step to believe.
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If you are a Muslim and want to know more about the difference between Christianity and Islam, here is a very informative website:
If you're ready to take the leap of faith and become a Christian, pray and ask Jesus into your heart. If you're not sure what to say, here's a prayer to believe and pray:
The Prayer of Salvation
Father, I can’t live this life on my own anymore. I need You and want You in my life. I want to know Your love and forgiveness so I renounce my sins and ask You to wipe them away and remember them no more. I believe that Jesus died for me. I believe that He allowed my sin to be put on Himself when He died on the cross. I believe that Jesus rose from the dead. I surrender my life to Jesus today. Thank You that now I know for sure that when I die I’ll go to heaven and be with You forever. Please come and live with me and help me with everything. Please send your Holy Spirit to help me obey You, and to do Your will for the rest of my life. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.”
If you prayed this prayer, tell us! We'd like to send you a gift to start you on your way. Be sure to tell us in the email if you need a Bible and give us your full name and address as well.