REVIVAL.... ITS PERSONAL are my thoughts on being a Christian based on fifty years of experiences with a concentration of studying and experiencing this journey as a deacon and Sunday school (Bible study) teacher for the last twenty something years.
This particular writing is for the benefit of those who believe themselves to be Christian but are uncertain as to their relationship with God, through His Son, Jesus. Some recent statistics (Fall 2007) indicate that over seventy percent of Americans identify themselves as Christian. That's an awesome number but I'm afraid that number is as inflated as the number that depicts church or denominational membership.
Also there are many groups that identify themselves as Christian, but a deep look into their theology does not match those that are considered mainstream. (One measure, and there needs to be more than this one, I use to determine if I accept a group as Christian or not is whether they use their own Bible translation and/or additional works as part of their gospel). Let's be honest with each other, if you don't even own a Bible, you may be premature or mistaken in considering yourself Christian..... now wait!!! I'm not saying that is a prerequisite.... but seriously, shouldn't you have one???
It's an entirely different relational matter if you don't know Christ as Savior and you readily admit that you are not a Christian. As empty as that would make me feel, I appreciate your honesty and as much as that is a good characteristic to have (honesty), its not good enough if it will solely be based on just you. BUT, I'm trying to tailor this writing to those who consider themselves Christian and will also add the word.... but... as the next word out of their mouth.
Perhaps I'll speak to that another time, as I do believe that resolving these issues are a matter of life and death and time is running out. God's Word even says there will come a time when man's heart will be hardened to the Truth.... One only needs to look to the Middle East, the events and cast of characters to reasonably believe something cataclismic, which the Bible refers to as the end times, is forming.
I am gonna resist in bombarding you with scripture to look up (especially if you don't have a Bible handy) but please know that anything and everything I say or write is subject to being in concert with God's Holy Word.... and I've been wrong before.... For example, in my twenty's I tried real hard to squeeze reincarnation into this whole process..... can't do it!!!! Its not written there! Now having said that I also suggest that all you do, say or believe also meet that requirement. The reason I say that is because I know so many good people who have packaged different beliefs together as "theirs" without the benefit of holding it accountable to that one requirement.
I use to work with a guy who was brilliant in so many ways... enlightened, intelligent....worldly and he employed the "cafeteria-style" religious thing.... you know,some of this, a little of that stirred together to comprise "his" faith. For what its worth, and I think it terminally important, God did not give us that kind of authority. It's His Way or the highway to hell...... didn't someone make a song out of that??? (Please try to see humor when I try to inject it, but please don't lose sight of the gravity of the depravity we are surrounded by and possibly living in all too willingly).
Stay tuned for more...