Christianity Is Relevant II

November 17, 2015

                     Christianity Is Relevant II

Yes, Christianity is relevant, but not just any kind of Christianity.  There is much that goes under the name of Christianity, but it is Christianity in name only.  It is a Christianity that doesn’t have the power to transform lives.  It is an empty ritualistic religion that leaves people feeling good about themselves.  It is made up of people who make their appearance in church on Sunday morning.  They put a pittance in the offering plate and think they have completed with their obligation to God.  That kind of Christianity justifies some who say “Christianity isn’t relevant.”

There are still those who practice what is called genuine Christianity.  They may be ridiculed by others who call themselves Christians.  They are called fundamentalists, puritanical, or extremists.  They are Christians who take seriously their relationship with God.   Genuine Christians get their feeling of self-worth from what God has done for them  At the same time, they are grieved by the fact that they fall short of being all that God has a right to expect of them.  Most of them set aside time each day to pray, read the Bible, and seek God’s will for their lives.  They are members of churches where the Bible is still clearly preached and where they meet regularly for corporate prayer.

Genuine biblical Christianity exhorts people to live “soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world”(Titus 2:12).  It motivates people to be concerned about the well-being of the people around them.  That concern is not just for their material needs.  They are also concerned about their spiritual needs.  They too have struggled with temptation and know the destructive power of sin.  James 1:14-15 says, “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.   Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”  That motivates true Christians to talk to their neighbors and friends about the transforming power of Christ who can give people victory over sin and fulfilment in life.  John 10:10 says, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” If you have found life in abundance you just naturally want to tell others about it.

Those who are living a consistent Christian life can testify to the fact that they are enjoying the following:

Peace:  “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).

Joy:  “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full” (John 15:11).

Hope:  “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;   And patience, experience; and experience, hope:   And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Romans 5:3-5).

Comfort:  “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;   Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God” (II Corinthians 1:3-4).

Love: “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently” (I Peter 1:22).  “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us” (Ephesians 2:4).

Power to resist and overcome sin:  “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue” (II Peter 1:3).

Those who are enjoying these things will not be convinced that Christianity isn’t relative.

Those who say “Christianity isn’t relative” may mean that it isn’t relevant to our culture.  If so, they are right.  Christianity has never been relevant to the culture.  The first century church prospered in spite of the fact that the prevailing culture demanded that the emperor be worshiped.  Christianity doesn’t teach us to conform to the culture in which we live.  To the contrary, consistent Christian living often demands that we cast off cultural practices that aren’t consistent with godliness.  The first missionaries who arrived in India had to confront the cultural practice that demanded that when a man died his body should be burnt on a funeral pyre and that his wife be burnt alive with his body.

Biblical Christians submit themselves to the law of God.  That, in no way, makes them a menace to society.  To the contrary, they contribute to a peaceful and prosperous society.  They are given discernment to see that the ideologies of men often bring societies to ruin.  There was a time when Christians in Rome had to live in the catacombs, because the society around them was so wicked that they couldn’t live the Christian life in public.

Our society is becoming increasing more permissive as to immoral behavior.  People everywhere are suffering because of addictions, infidelity and indolence.

If you say “Christianity isn’t relevant,” you might be right if by that you mean that it isn’t relative to the culture.  It never has been and never will be.  You might also be right if you are talking about a watered down, decrepit version of Christianity that asks almost nothing of its followers and contributes little or nothing to society.  You are wrong, however, if you are talking about genuine Christianity.  I encourage you to make it your version of Christianity.  Seek out a church that encourages you to live the Christian life the way it was meant to be lived, and that makes a concerted effort to share the gospel with those in the community.  If you do, you will have much to gain, and nothing to lose. 

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