Perhaps you’re wondering what makes Christianity different from other religions or why Christianity is the world-view you should believe in. Below, we’ve outlined some simple points which answer some commonly asked questions and objections.
We understand that we are living in the information age and that “because the bible tells me so” doesn’t fly anymore. We have access to the whole world’s information in our phones. But this leads to some problems – what is it that we should believe? When you think about it, this could really be called the mis-information age. Is everything that we see on TV or the News true? We all know that anyone can publish a website and say whatever they want to – true or not. In order to know what is true, we have to do our homework and look at reliable historical evidence and facts.
Christianity is Based on Witness Testimony
This sounds like a no-brainer, but it is not the case with other religions, which are based on someone saying, “because I said so”, leaving their followers to believe in one person’s word about an experience they claimed to have had. Christianity is just the opposite - the New Testament books (of the bible) document the life, ministry and miracles of Jesus Christ and the early church, acting as witnesses to him.
The Witness Period
Contrary to popular myth, the New Testament was written in a witness period – within the lifetime of the followers of Jesus. It was written by followers of Jesus and/or people who interviewed Jesus’ followers and witnesses to the events. When compared to typical biographies about other people in that period of history, the New Testament writings were incredibly close the life of Jesus. For example, the first thing written about Alexander the Great didn’t appear until around 300 years after his death.
A Wealth of Historical Information
When we compare the writings about Jesus to those of other famous people in that period, the New Testament writings stand as a wealth of information. We have more copies of the New Testament dating back to a much earlier period (closer to the actual events) than we do for any other work in that historical period – in fact, thousands more than any other writer or person.
The facts of Jesus’ resurrection are well documented and preserved in the New Testament. In the book 1 Corinthians (of the New Testament), the writer Paul details the accounts of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead and names witnesses who were alive at the time. This is what historians call a “primary source” and is what is used to judge whether something happened or not. Even non-Christian scholars agree that this is a credible historical document which holds tremendous weight and passes the historical test method.
The Facts are as Follows
Jesus claimed to be God.
Jesus was crucified and died by crucifixion for His claims.
Jesus’ existence and death are documented by the New Testament writers and other historical sources.
Jesus was buried.
Jesus rose from the dead after 3 days and appeared to hundreds of people, at least 6 of whom were separate witnesses who documented the events as separate authors of different New Testament books.
40 days after His resurrection, Jesus ascended into heaven.
This series of events was predicted in the Old Testament books through hundreds of prophecies that Jesus fulfilled.
What Does This Mean?
What we must understand is the NEED for Jesus to die in the first place. Humankind chooses sin - from the very beginning, whether you believe that the story of Adam and Eve is literal or not, the point is that humankind will always choose sin. Have you ever heard, “People are generally good.” – or something like that? That sounds nice, but it’s wrong. We have to understand that we have a sinful nature – right from the beginning, children lie – otherwise “getting caught with our hand in the cookie jar” would mean nothing. Have you ever lied? Have you ever cheated on your significant other? Have you ever desired to be with someone who wasn’t your significant other? Jesus said that just lusting after someone who isn’t your spouse is adultery in your heart. Have you ever hated anyone? Jesus said that hate is murdering someone in your heart. Have you ever stolen anything? Have you picked up money on the ground that didn’t belong to you? What if that were a smart phone or a purse?
We have all sinned and fallen short of godliness. In the Old Testament, blood sacrifice was required to make up for sin. The blood contains life, so an animal would be sacrificed to pay the price in a person’s place. Jesus’ death represents the ultimate once-and-for-all sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins. What is required is that we accept this sacrifice and Jesus as our Lord.
Think about this – God loves us so much, that he came as a man and humbled himself to the point of a painful death on a cross!
A Picture of The Loving Judge
Imagine that you are guilty of murder. You are in court and the verdict has just been handed down – GUILTY! You approach the judge for sentencing. He asks you a question. “Are you sorry for what you did?” You answer, “Yes”. The judge notices that you are sincere, so he extends an offer to you, “The penalty for your crime is death, but I am going to do something for you. I have a son that I am going to sacrifice in your place instead. All you have to do is accept my son as your Lord. Then live a life of obedience to good that reflects and honors this sacrifice. I will assign you a parole officer to help guide you.”
Does that sound crazy? It does, but that is how God flipped the script and how crazy His love is for us! In the above illustration, the judge represents God the Father, the son represents Jesus and the probation officer, the Holy Spirit.
If you’re tired of living a life that seems void of meaning and purpose, if you’re tired of being in abusive relationships with sin, doubt and shame, Jesus offers us something better and new – a fresh start on a new path to a good life of meaning and purpose and the hope of eternal life with Him. As Jesus rose from the dead, He promises that those who believe in Him will also rise from the dead.
You’ve just read the Gospel – or the Good News of Jesus Christ. If after reading the facts, you have made the decision to follow Jesus and accept Him as your Lord and believe in Him in your mind and heart, confessing that He is Lord, you can say this prayer:
"Father, I know that I have broken your laws and my sins have separated me from you. I am truly sorry, and now I want to turn away from my past sinful life toward you. Please forgive me, and help me avoid sinning again. I believe that your son, Jesus Christ died for my sins, was resurrected from the dead, is alive, and hears my prayer. I invite Jesus to become the Lord of my life, to rule and reign in my heart from this day forward. Please send your Holy Spirit to help me obey You, and to do Your will for the rest of my life. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen."