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Monday, April 15, 2013

Christianity - Fit For Today

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Christianity - Fit For Today? By Michael J. S. Austin, Ph.D.


Many people seem to have this notion that the gospel of Christ is a jaded, faded, outmoded and utterly irrelevant piece of religious jargon. Now, I know that many might like to express this with more vehement expletives, but even without them, you probably get my drift. Can I defend what many think is indefensible? Briefly this is what I offer here, for you to consider. But don't forget I am going to try to engage your reason - are you ready to use it?
1. The first has to do with our basic humanity and the way we all tend to look for answers to ultimate questions. Or maybe we think the issue is settled and we don't need to think about it anymore. But then have you noticed how even with widespread secularism and atheism many people still thirst for answers; deep soul-satisfying answers. This is just where the claims of Jesus Christ are too important, too heart-searching, too life-transforming, for you to overlook.I am going to give you several straightforward reasons why the good news of Jesus Christ continues to be up-to-date, so I hope you will review them.
2. Jesus is supremely relevant to today - because of who he is and because he died and rose again. The biblical record shows this in two areas, which are open to any enquiry. The first is prophecy. Very many prophecies are given in the Old Testament Scriptures that have subsequently been fulfilled in the second area: in the person of Jesus' and the historical witness to him in the eye-witness narratives of the New Testament Scriptures.
Here is one summary: after John the Baptist was lying discouraged in prison, Jesus reminded him that all of the wonderful things prophesied of Messiah' time, were not for the future or for another 'Christ', but were happening around them in Jesus' ministry! - 'the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me' (Matthew 11:5). See for yourself, take a look into one of the Gospels - say Mark, Luke or John.
3. Paul, who as the ex-Pharisee Saul of Tarsus, was a highly literate man, who at first was highly offended by Jesus and tried to stamp out the growing movement of Christianity. However, he was soon stopped in his tracks by the risen Christ, who forgave him and called him to share the good news in far away places.
Later Paul explained how he had personally been (high honour!) 'set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from [King] David... and was declared to be the Son of God in power... by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord' (Romans 1:2-3). That Jesus died and rose again as supreme Lord are claims too large to dismiss without a careful examination - why not start today?
4. God is unchangeably God - he is unchangingly the same. Jesus is so central to God's identity that 'Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever' (Hebrews 13:8). Today humanity is world-weary, burdened by futile meaningless, obsessed with sex, pleasure and sport, and still ruled by proud decadent empires, tottering on the brink of moral, social and economic collapse, so much like the early centuries of the Christian era. The good news of peace with God was deeply relevant then and just as relevant today. Are you thirsty? Then come to Christ for the eternally satisfying water of life! 'And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price' (Revelation 22:17). Come to today him for life in its fullness; a very up-to date offer.
5. The good news is as deeply relevant today as it was when Paul announced it in Athens, the centre of academic and 'wise' philosophical discourse in the ancient world. However such 'wisdom' then lacked any ultimate meaning - it was merely man parading his self-opinionated answers, which began with man and ended with man. They were bereft of solid answers to explain the existence of the universe or its silent majesty, or man's sense of strange uniqueness.
In comparison, Paul asked 'Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe' (1Corinthians 1:20-21).
What God-revealed wisdom shines in the apparent foolishness of the preaching of Christ crucified and risen! Wisdom completely beyond what man can find in his own mind, or even in the cosmos; wisdom that reveals 'Christ died for the ungodly' (Romans 5:6).
Here, on the pages of Scripture is wisdom that reveals final answers that fit the deepest dilemmas of our time, of finding peace with God and of getting right with him through faith in the finished sacrifice that Jesus made on behalf of others. If ever people needed that good news they need it in the gloomy despairing world of today - yes, the Gospel of Christ is a perfect fit for today, for 'now is the day of salvation' (2 Corinthians 6:2).

Michael J. S. Austin, Ph.D. has authored several books and many articles that offer answers for many of life's big questions - 'Is biblical Christianity finished, or does it still speak to the 21st century?' Take a look at my ebook or paperback, 'DAWKINS' DILEMMAS' to see how Richard Dawkins' atheistic belief cannot support itself, either as philosphy or science. Use the following link: http://www.amazon.com/Dawkins-Dilemmas-Deluded-question-ebook/dp/B007RFLYI8/ref=pd_rhf_dp_p_t_2 My title, 'Darwin's Puzzle - Unravelling the Riddle of Reason' discusses how the evolutionary beliefs of Charles Darwin destroy human reason. He admits this when he says he inherited his thinking from monkeys. And try this link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007ZE34GG Use my books and articles to help you find faith in Christ, or to strengthen your faith.Also find titles on other websites - Thank you! Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Michael_J._S._Austin,_Ph.D. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7311683



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