I liked him instantly--this young man I met on a cross country flight last year. With the luxury of time, we got a chance to talk real talk, and in the time since, have had a few opportunities to converse--usually via text message. This briefing originated in a text series the other evening ending with this:
“How do I know what branch of Christianity is right for me? Or Christianity at all? I’m really unsure, but my soul has been starving to death”
What my young friend needs is answers about God, about himself, about the world and the right way to go. He is not so different than so many of us - or at the very least - so many people we encounter.
Answers to the big questions of life like
-How did I get here? (origin)
-Why am I here . . . does my life have meaning? do I have a purpose?
-What is wrong in the world...what broke? Why evil, why suffering?
-How do we fix it? Can I live at peace in this world?
-Oh, and what happens when I die?
These questions form the framework for a worldview:
->How did I get here?
1) Jesse, you were created by God. Read Genesis chapter 1.
By creation, we understand that God spoke us and the whole cosmos into being. Christianity proclaims the eternally self-existent God who freely and graciously created all things for his glory and man’s well-being. This view is in stark contrast to another. . .that life arose as the result of a chance collision of molecules, and that it has, through an impersonal, unsupervised process, evolved into the world as we know it today.*
Secular thinking is being rapidly and seriously challenged by current scientific developments, more and more of which support the theory of Intelligent Design. We did not happen by chance.
You and I are Image Bearers, created in the image of an eternal, all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving, holy, just God
Even before Creation, God was. God is. God always will be.
Precisely because you were created by God, your life is imbued with meaning and purpose.
->What is wrong with the world? (the explanation for evil and suffering)
2) Man chose to rebel against God... we call it The Fall/the entrance of sin.
Genesis 3 – Pride is at the root of our sin.
The first humans, who were real beings in history, disobeyed God. God created a world that was good and perfect, but gave us a free will, and by exercising that free will in disobedience to God, we introduced sin into the world. This original sin bent and distorted the human condition thereafter… which in the twentieth century has brought tyranny, death and destruction to much of the world, as well as the erosion of personal responsibility across the board in Western societies. !!
Friend, recognize there is evil in the world, caused by the same devil who tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden. Yes, you have an enemy—don’t be an idiot.
Recognize how he acts, what he does, what he whispers to you
->How do we fix it?
3) Redemption. God’s plan, the perfect One Jesus. John 3.16-18
In Christ we are made new and our sins are forgiven. This is a radical understanding that God sent his Son to die on the cross to pay the price for our disobedience.
THIS is the only worldview that offers a satisfactory explanation and answer to the human dilemma of sin and suffering. No other worldview offers redemption in the way the Christian worldview does. But Christ redeems the whole person, not just his soul, and sets him on a course of reconciling men and the world back to God, which leads to Restoration.
->What happens when I die?
4) Restoration. Ultimately, life eternal, if you have chosen to believe in the One who came to redeem the world, Jesus Christ . . . or else an eternity in darkness, cut off from God and all love.
And now? We get to engage in the world and influence it toward these truths daily! We have the Hope of the world: Jesus Christ!
Jesus gives us a peek at what is to come in the next world in Revelation 21.3b-4:
“Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them.They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘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.”
“Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Revelation 22.12-13
Once we choose to walk with God, once we make a decision to ask Jesus to lead our lives, the Adventure begins.
And that, my friend, is the reason you should absolutely believe in Jesus Christ. That is the reason to seek out a Bible teaching community that seeks God in the midst of the dark confusion and deceit in the world that entices and pulls us down.
And as for that for which your soul is starving?
I would have to point you to my dearest friend in the world who said:
Peace I leave with you.
My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, and do not be afraid.**
Jesus, not another like him.
I am with you and I am for you,
**John 14.27, Jesus speaking - oh, how I love Him!
Check out the Colson Fellows program, equipping us with a biblical worldview, the only view of the world that makes sense . . . that is true. https://colsonfellows.org