Article of the Month

 

May 2007

Why Be a Christian?

 

The question which forms the title of this article may seem absurd to many.  Many may never have asked it—simply accepting the religion into which they were born.  Those born into other religions may have good reason to ask it if they find themselves in a minority and want to know more about the religion of the majority, or if they are dissatisfied with their own religions.  Some may ask the question with a great challenging skepticism, being disgusted by poor examples and insufficient answers.  Regardless of background or state of mind, a person is very justified in asking this question:  Why be a Christian?

It truly is unfortunate that asking the question may bring answers which are totally insufficient to heart or mind.  Standard bad answers have included such things as “It’s the only way to be saved;”  “It’s good for your business and social life;”  “It’s what my grandparents believed;”  “It’s the majority religion and therefore makes you more acceptable.”  The bad answers go on and on.  Most reading this article could probably add significantly to the list. 

What makes any religion good, of course, is that it has good answers.  It can satisfy the heart and the mind.  It can account for history, for the current state of things, and for the expectations of the future.   It will have reliable consistency.  It will be fair in its treatment of all men—not just its own adherents.  It will have a God Who is better than men—flawless in wisdom, love, justice, and the exercise of power.  It will have such lofty ideals and expectations that everyone—including its enemies—will be able (when prejudices are set aside) to say, “Yes!  This is it.  This is everything anyone has ever hoped for or could even imagine.”

True Christianity (not the traditional creeds known under its name) is, indeed, that religion.  Very few have ever found it—but that will not be to their detriment, because true Christianity is one of precious few religions which do not require that we accept it in this life in order to reap its ultimate benefits.  Since this is true, the question becomes even more intriguing:  Why be a Christian?

WHAT IF ONE IS NOT A CHRISTIAN?

This question needs to be considered first.  Must religions suggest that if we do not accept them, we are doomed.  A few other religions are so broad as to say that it makes no difference what we believe.   Biblical Christianity makes neither claim:  Biblical Christianity does make it clear that we do not have to believe AT THIS TIME.  However, it also makes it clear that Jesus is mankind’s saviour, and belief in him ultimately will be necessary.  (Acts 4:12)  But people are not doomed because they are not now Christian.  (I Timothy 4:10; Psalm 46:10; Zephaniah 3:9; John 12:47)

If we are not doomed because of current unbelief, there is no threatening reason to be Christians.  So the question returns:  “Why be a Christian?

THE SINGULAR OPPORTUNITY OF THE AGES

True Christianity is, in the largest sense, a religion of THE FUTURE.  True Christianity has no mission to convert or to reform the world now.  It looks forward to the answer to its prayer, “Thy Kingdom Come; Thy will be done in earth.”  It is at this time, the time of the awakening of the dead and the “restitution of all things”  (Acts 3:19-21), that the whole race of mankind will learn that True Christianity has now been laying the groundwork for the blessing of all the families of the earth.  

The  CURRENT objective of Christianity is the finding and developing of the “sons of God”—the true Church which will be Jesus’ co-blessers of the human race.  All of creation unknowingly awaits the completion of this group.  (Romans 8:19, New American Standard Bible)  THIS is the reason for being Christians!  What an honor; what a prospect; what a vision; what a thrill!  True and faithful Christians will become spirit beings like Jesus (I John 3:2) with all of the power necessary to help cure ALL of the world’s ills and problems—including the elimination of death itself.  What other religion makes such an offer?

Christianity is not interested in reforming, converting or judging the world now.  That is a work for the soon-to-be Messianic Age. Christianity now is interested in developing its adherents to be found worthy to be administrators of the New Covenant soon to be established first with Israel, then (through Israel) with all of mankind.

SO

Why be a Christian?  Because,  to be a True Christian, is to accept the most sublime invitation of all time—the invitation to be made ready as blessers to make everything right as soon as God’s long-prayed-for Kingdom comes.