What follows is wordy--I recognize that. However, being that this is the most important issue in life and eternity, I wanted to be as clear as possible without being too long. So, I thank you for taking the time to read this and for your understanding!
The single most important decision you will ever make--indeed, with eternal consequence--is believing in and following Jesus Christ--or not.
Jesus Christ is a real Man who made a huge, unprecedented impact on the world, and continues to do so. It seems crazy to me that a Man like Him should have this kind of influence.
Here's why I say that...
He was a relatively unknown Jewish carpenter from the little country of Israel which was under the domination of the Roman Empire some 2000 years ago. His birth story sounds almost made up. He grew up in a family of no status, in a small village. Yet, as an adult He burst on the scene for a short time. If you lived in Israel or nearby, you knew of this Man.
He taught with authority and insight, confounding the leading religious elite of the time. He performed healings that couldn't be explained away or dismissed even by His opponents. He claimed to be long-awaited for Messiah (the Christ--annointed One, the promised King-to-come of the Jews--from the line of David, to restore the Kingdom).
The crowds flocked to Him to see if He was the Messiah. The religious leaders came to evaluate. Some became His devoted followers.
But this Jesus only had a three year ministry. One cut short by death on a Roman cross, being accused by the Jewish leaders and indicted by the Roman governor.
How did this happen? Was it because He was some kind of revolutionary that made the Romans uneasy? Or a heretic that incited the Jewish leaders to turn against Him?
Yes, He was revolutionary but not in a overthrow-the-government kind of way.
Yes, He made claims that the Jewish leaders called blasphemy.
His craziest claim--the one that led to His execution--was to being the Son of God--equal with God, eternally existing, and the only way to be saved.
And…here’s where He sets Himself apart from all other “religious” leaders of history. He proved He was God and the Only way for forgiveness and eternal life. He proved it several ways—by claiming to forgive sins (& doing a miracle to back up His claim—see the paralytic of Luke 5:17-26); by raising Lazarus from the dead—see John 11); and, ultimately He said He would prove He was God by rising from the dead—see Matthew 28; Mark 10:32-34; Romans 1:4; 1Cor 15:3-11; etc).
Famous author CS Lewis in his book, "Mere Christianity" said this,
“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
So...the bottom line is, "Who do you say this Jesus is?" What will you do with His claims? What do you do with this Man who changed the world?
This is critical. Will you believe in Him and follow Him as the Lord, as the Savior, as the only Way, Truth and Life, the only way to the Father, to eternal life...or not?
If yes, praise God! Read on to know how you can be saved.
If not, please reconsider. If you have questions or doubts, that's fine. But don't let that be an excuse to put off thinking about this.
Please contact us--we'd love to talk and answer questions.