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December 4, 2007

2

The most reasonable thing to do is believe in Christ

by Dave Malnes

Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain in what we do not see. Scientific facts rest on evidence. Our human senses grasp the evidence and we come to believe that fact. Faith goes a step further.

I think it is safe to say that there is always a “leap” to believe in anything. A risk is involved. There are consequences in being wrong. When presented with God’s Word and the truth regarding salvation only through Jesus Christ, there is a tremendous eternal risk of rejecting God’s invitation. It’s like someone standing outside your house yelling, “Fire!” You can believe the messenger by weighing the evidences around you (i.e. smell smoke, see flames) or choose to ignore the person’s message. You can believe them and run the risk of running outside if its all a joke, or choose not to believe and risk being burned up. If you choose to suspend judgment, you risk the same thing. There is no such thing as a “risk free” position. 

The most reasonable thing to do is believe. The evidence for Christianity is strong and worth consideration. The alternatives are comparably weak. Plus, the risk of not believing is far greater than the risk of believing. If Christianity is false, you’ve lost nothing. If it’s true, you’ve lost all eternity.  

Christianity is relationship-oriented. Jesus Christ wants to introduce himself to you in the Gospels and desires for you to know him. He already knows and loves you and He desires for you to love him. When one becomes a Christian and begins to cultivate a relationship with Jesus Christ, the certainty of faith increases as well. Christ becomes a living reality. A person knows Him not only on the basis of the evidence, but on the basis of an experiential relationship. Christ is living in them. So, the question is ultimately not how can you risk believing in Christ, but how you can risk otherwise.

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Ron H
    Dec 4 2007

    This is an old argument for theist vs non-theist. The idea being it is safer to believe than to not believe. If it is all true, then you live happily worshiping God for eternity. If it is false, then there was nothing to worry about. You certainly said it better than I have though.

    I should credit you for going the extra mile, and in eloquence, you added that faith in Christ brings a self-assuring proof.

    Concerning the general message, I have to disagree. This kind of message, while true for you, will attract the wrong kind of person to your faith: “the opportunist”. The “opportunist” will quickly become the “Sunday morning Christian”. Someone may find proof of Christ’s existence through belief, but it doesn’t really work that way for everyone.

    Atheists have little interest in the idea of faith before proof. Many have already spent much of their lives trying to believe. But there is a message that offers proof up front. Proof that is hard to discount as forgery and hypochondria.

    I propose a better message is simply to inspire through action. Give to everyone, love everyone, put everyone ahead of you, unconditionally. That is a message that will be noticed. Be a living proof of Christ’s existence, and you will make Him known to others.

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  2. merganzerman
    Dec 4 2007

    Thank you for your insightful comments, Ron.

    I must admit that I also struggle with the “opportunitist” Christian, or perhaps those that experience what is called a “foxhole” or “deathbed” conversion. It just doesn’t seem fair nor right. Than I forget that God is far more loving and forgiving than myself.

    In regards to those “opportunity” Christians, the Apostle Paul addressed these kind of people as what I would call “grace robbers”. They live their lives Monday through Saturday in all kinds of revelry and immorality, knowing that they will be forgiven. In essense, they take advantage of God’s grace and make mockery of what the Christian faith is all about.

    Only the Lord can make the final judgement of people’s hearts, however Scripture does say that we can see the fruits of people’s faith by their sincerity. A real and living faith in Christ Jesus is never alone. Good works are a natural by-product of a true faith. If anyone claims to be a Christian, yet consistently bears poor fruit, than we find out in the Gospel of John, chapter 15, that the tree eventually dies and its branches picked up and thrown into the fire. Furthermore, the Lord judges the harshest those that proclaim to follow God, yet do not live their lives accordingly. As you well say, the greatest witness to God’s gracious love that one can convey is in their love for others and how they live their lives. That is indeed the living proof of Christ’s existence that people are searching for today.

    Thank you for your comments.

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