I was christened as a baby and have been to church a few times. Does that make me a Christian?
Being a Christian is not like being a member of a club, it is not about what you do or wear or coming to church and that being enough. Being a Christian is all about enjoying a relationship with Jesus Christ, not about church rituals.
I tell the odd white lie but I am not too bad. Surely I will go to heaven?
Jesus said “No-one is good except God alone” (Mark 10:18). God offers us the wonderful gift of eternal life, but the standard for receiving this gift is perfection. As none of us is perfect we have a problem. A problem that God himself has solved.
Won’t I get to heaven anyway, no matter what I believe?
Jesus Christ said “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14: 6). So it is not just about having a faith in something or anything. It matters who you believe in. The only way to heaven is through believing in Jesus Christ, because when he died on the cross 2000 years ago, He paid the penalty for all our moral failure and mistakes.
But Christianity is just a set of rules and regulations. That doesn’t sound like fun!
Actually, Christianity isn’t about what we do but about what has already been done for us.
Lots of other religions burden you with what you have to do, how often you have to pray, but we don’t have to do – we have to trust and believe.
Why can’t I do what I want now and think about this later on?
In the parable of the rich fool, Jesus tells the story of a man who has a plentiful harvest and stores up great wealth for himself. All he thinks about is how he will spend his money and increase his wealth further.
But God says to him, “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?” (Luke 12:20).
The man was so concerned with living a comfortable life on earth that he wasn’t prepared for what would happen when he died. He left it too late.
We can be encouraged that God is patiently waiting for us to turn to him, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). But none of us should leave it too late like the rich fool.
The church doesn’t have a great history, and doesn’t seem to be very tolerant. Why should I get involved?
Yes, some people in the church have made mistakes in the past and we should be ashamed of some of our history but don’t let that put you off coming to church now.
The church that God wants is a united church, where members love and respect one another but most of all a church that loves God and is grateful for his rescue through Jesus Christ. Believers are trying to be that church together. The most important thing is to not be concerned with other people but think about where you stand before God.
So what is a Christian then?
God created a perfect world and created us to look after the world for him but we weren’t happy with that and wanted to have his knowledge and power. This created a problem. Our relationship with God and with each other was then broken and death entered the world.
This is a bad situation but it is not the end of the story. Enter Jesus, God’s Son. He lived a perfect life but he was put to death. He died like a criminal, on a cross. Why did that happen if he was perfect? He died in our place, to pay the price for our rebellion against God so that we could be forgiven.
But three days later Jesus was raised to life, and now rules the universe. Now when we trust him we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit who lives in us and empowers us to become more like Jesus in the way we live.