Can I Ask That – Three Misunderstandings

So I thought some of my manuscripts from last week here,  just in case anyone would like to reference them. It’s probably a long shot, but if you’d want to use it in the future it will be here!

Misunderstanding One: It’s not based on the Bible, it’s based on the Resurrection of Jesus. 

The Bible is the most text for our faith, it is holy, and God inspired, but Early Christians did not preach the Bible, they didn’t even have the New testament Settled until 300-350 years after Jesus.  Also, most Christians over the centuries didn’t have access to a Bible at home because books were not readily alive and until the modern era, most people couldn’t read. 

Early Christians did not preach the Bible, they preached the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. In 1 Corinthians 15:2-7, we find an Early Christian Creed which actually predates the Bible.

By this gospel, you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. ben-white-161594Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: That Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,  and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.

Now it may seem silly to use the Bible to prove that the Bible is not the center of our faith, but you can see here what Paul wanted the Corinthians to remember first then second.

First importance is Jesus’s story.  Second importance is that it’s ‘according to the scriptures.’

It may be necessary to take a stand over what the Bible says.  Jesus got into debates about scripture all the time.  However, always and everywhere, we must be willing to take a stand, hold firmly, and preach the gospel by which we have been saved.

That Jesus Christ is our resurrected Lord and Savior.  That comes first and must shape every other decision we make.  Otherwise, our whole faith is in vain.

Misunderstanding Two – So here’s the thing about Jesus — he’s not interested in making bad people good, he’s interested in making dead people alive.

According to the PEW  Research center, 69%  parents go to church, so their kids have a moral foundation.  That doesn’t seem too bad, but over the years this had done damage to our theology.  Today, the fastest growing religious group are not Christians, but people with no religious affiliation.

Researches call these people “the Nones,” because they identify on surveys as not belonging in any sort of religion.  The vast majority of these people are young people.

According to the Barna Group, 60% of non-church going teen today say religion is irrelevant and atheism had doubled– & under this model of moral deism– religion IS irrelevant.

If Jesus is about teaching bad people to be good, there is no reason to be a Christian.  I wouldn’t be a Christian, and you shouldn’t be one either. If I want to learn morality, I’d probably watch a TED Talk TBH (that’s young people talk for “to be honest”).

I don’t want to come to church to become moral. I want to come to church to encounter Jesus.  I want to be transformed by God’s presence, and we all need salvation, a Spiritual encounter to feed our soul.

Romans 6:23 says “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  That means renewal of life here on earth now AND resurrection in the life to come!”

Jesus didn’t give his life to make you good. He gave his life to give you a new life, a life you can live to the full today (John 10:10).

Frankly, I’m not in the ministry to make teens behave.  I think the life of Jesus is exciting and sometimes risky. I pray our students really experience Jesus and walk away feeling more alive.

Misunderstanding Three: It doesn’t make your life perfect, but it’s the perfect way to live your life.  

Jesus promises that there will still be suffering for his followers because he is not yet entirely in charge yet.  Power has been allowed for a time to evil things like cancer, natural disaster, or even evil people.

cropped-helena-lopes-459331-unsplash1.jpgBut we are reminded in 1 Thessalonians s 4:13 “not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.” In Jesus, we’ve already won. Victory over death and suffering is assured.

Therefore, our lives are never lived in vain. We can handle suffering through the hope of Jesus AND surrounded by the loving community of the church.  It’s the better way. It’s the best way.

In closing, I hope you will take care concerning these mistakes.  I pray you to remember: Christ is risen; Christ is bringing new for life today and resurrection for tomorrow; And that in Christ we do not live like those without hope, for despite our suffering, death is defeated.

 

 

 

 

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