337. What is the Basic Message of Christianity?

What is the basic message of Christianity?
IT’S WORTH CONSIDERING
When this article is posted (April 12), I will be beginning a one week trek through Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, and Macedonia. Four other men and I will be representing “Ambassadors for Christ, International” as we preach, teach, and encourage the churches in that area of the world. I would be very grateful for your prayers for our effectiveness, strength, and safety, but mostly that we would be in the center of God’s will at every step, bringing Him glory no matter what happens. While I’m gone, I wanted to share something that has been on my heart.

Every once in a while we need to take a giant step back and make sure we’re seeing the big picture. For those of us who wear the label “Christian,” we had better make sure we’re solid on the basics. Regardless of the label you wear, take this little test. Do you believe that the basic message of Christianity is that God loved me enough to send His Son, Jesus, to die for me?

AS I SEE IT
To determine the correctness of the statement, we must determine if God’s love for me is really the essence of the Christian message. If it is, then who is the ultimate object of Christianity? Me. When I am the object and final outcome of my faith, then my version of Christianity is a faith that caters to me and my desires. I look for a church that contains my kind of preaching, my kind of music, and my kind of worship experience. I look for programs and ministries that cater to me and my family. You’re probably wondering what’s wrong with that? Isn’t that what anyone looks for in a church? You may be right, but is it biblical?

Biblical Christianity includes the previous statement, but takes it to its biblical conclusion: God loves me so that I can make Him known to the world-His glory, His salvation, His ways, and His greatness. God has now become the object of my faith. It’s all about Him, as it should be. Contrary to what Christianity in America has become, it’s no longer about me. What would happen if our search for a good church centered on the degree to which God was being glorified because of its existence? How did its ministries make unbelievers marvel at the greatness of the God its people served?

If this is a new concept, think for a minute about why He saves the likes of us. Does He need our companionship? Does He need someone to control? Does He simply not want us to spend eternity in hell? Absolutely not. According to the prophet Ezekiel, He saves us for the sake of His great name. As hard as it may be for us to understand, we are not the end of His grace. He alone is worthy of the ultimate glory. If we make ourselves the object of our faith, we are robbing Him of the glory He deserves.

So, assuming you attend a good church regularly, how does it do in bringing glory to God? Does it magnify the pastor more than God? Do the pastor’s messages contain more “I”s than references to God? Do the ministries exalt the church or Christ? Do you think Christ would feel comfortable within its walls? If things need to change, let it begin with us. How does your life bring glory to God? Do you need to make some changes?

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ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
Two cannibals are eating a clown. One says to the other, “Does this taste funny to you?”


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