About Jesus    Steve Sweetman

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Christianity At A Crossroads


President Obama’s first nominee for the seventh appellate court is David Hamilton. Hamilton, in an 2008 court ruling stated that it is okay for Muslims to pray to Allah in the state legislator, but it is not okay for Christians to pray to Jesus in the same facility.  Hamilton’s reasoning for this decision is based on the fact that Christianity is the majority religion in the United States.  I can only assume that this means that in Hamilton’s thinking, to help elevate Islam to the same level of popularity as Christianity in the U.S., Muslims need what seems to me to be an unfair advantage in public prayer.  


Congressional representative Michele Bachmann (R. MN) appeared on “Understanding The Times” (Jan Markell - http://www.olivetreeviews.org/radio/mp3/ - May 2, 2009, hour 2) spoke of a similar issue has arisen in the U. S. While House.  Any prayer that is to be prayed in the White House is to be pre-approved in advance so that the name of Jesus will not be spoken in the prayer.


I’ve said this before, but it’s clear to me that Christianity is at a crossroads throughout the world, but especially so in the west.  Pressure is coming on us from all directions.  This is just one of many examples how Christianity is being undermined by a dictatorial world view disguised as peace and harmony through the agent of tolerance. 


Pressure is not only coming from without, but it’s also coming from within.  As is often the case, the decline of anything often comes from within.  What once was viewed as important gets neglected, and once neglected and forgotten about, is lost.  This is one major issue that faces Christians today.    


With pressure coming at us from without and within, the important issue for Christians is how we respond to the undermining of Christianity.  Will we cave into the pressure?  Will our laziness towards Biblical truth slide us into obscurity, or will we stand for what we believe to be truth?  This is the crossroads at which we stand.  Will we look to the left, or look to the right?  I strongly suggest we look straight ahead into the face of Jesus and confidently stand with Him.


Before we can make a stand there are a few important prerequisites that need to be firmly established in our lives, both collectively and individually.  The first prerequisite should be obvious.  You may call yourself a Christian, but are you?  A Christian as defined in what I call Biblical terms is one who has given his life to the Lord Jesus Christ.  He’s not one who simply believes in the existence of a historical Jesus.   Jesus’ title  “Lord” means that He presently exists as the final authority over all things, and you submit to His authority.  His title “Christ” means the “anointed one”,  who has provided the way for us to be united with God and escape the penalty for our sin. We receive His provision  as the only means to salvation.   


You can’t really give your life to Jesus unless you repent.  This means that no matter how good a person you think you are, you acknowledge that the way you live is in opposition to how Jesus wants you to live.  Once you understand this, you choose not to live for yourself any longer.  You live for Jesus instead.  Repentance and faith should be obvious to all Christians, but the longer I live, the more I see this isn’t always the case.   


When one repents and trusts Jesus with his life, he receives the Holy Spirit into his life.  It is the Holy Spirit who enables you to follow through on the commitment you made to Jesus in the first place.


This is what I call “initial salvation”.  I call it initial salvation because salvation is an ongoing process that begins when we first meet Jesus and ends at His return to earth.  So initially you repent, you believe, and you receive.  That is to say, you acknowledge that your way of living is out of step with the way Jesus thinks.  You then give your life to Jesus.  That is what faith is.  It’s not just mentally assenting to His existence.  Then you receive the Spirit of God into your life because only He can transform you into the person Jesus wants you to be.      


Beyond these three obvious prerequisites, you need to understand the Biblical truths that we are supposed to uphold and stand for.  Without this understanding, there is no way you can stand for anything as a Christian.  In many respects Christians are falling short on this point.  We’re beginning to replace heart-felt Biblical conviction for a wishy washy post-modernism that doesn’t feel the need to have such convictions.    


The time is here for all Christians everywhere to re-examine our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and our understanding of Biblical truth.  The pressure is on us all to let these things slide.  We need to be a people of strong conviction, ready to stand up to the world, ready to face the devil, no matter the consequences.  And there will be consequences if we make such a stand.  This is the life that Jesus has called us to, and this is the crossroads we now stand at.  So no matter what our legal courts rule on, we’ll follow in the steps of the apostles Peter and John when they said, “judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God.  For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard. (Acts 4:19-20)”           


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