Thursday, September 23, 2010

Would I have believed? Would you?

Warning: religious/spiritual content ahead. Haha. More like rambling.
This is just something I've been thinking of this week. I was watching a movie with my dad while on vacation, and wondered if I had been alive at that time in history, would I have followed?
Imagine with me, if you have grown up in a very religious culture, essentially a theocracy. You have heard about God all your life, and have gone to religious services since you were an infant. You are a good person. You know what you believe. You obey all the laws, even the ones you might think are a bit ridiculous. Because of this, and because of how you were raised, you believe your place in Heaven is assured.
And along comes a man, a heretic, who turns all that on its head. He is a common laborer, not any more educated than you are...not technically a teacher or minister, but he preaches. And what he preaches goes directly against what you've always believed. He says that being a "good person" isn't enough; you have to be perfect. And since you can't possibly be perfect, you can't get to Heaven. He tells you that God, whom you have always believed in as the Almighty Creator, loves you passionately, a radical idea in and of itself. And so God, who loves you, has come up with a plan to get you there. This man claims that he was sent by God, to take your place; he will die, so that the penalty for your misdeeds is paid, and all you have to do is trust him. Follow him. Learn from him. Oh, and by the way, he tells you...God is his father.
What would you think? How would you respond? Would you follow him? Or would you tell him he was crazy? Would you say that he ought to be locked up for his insanity?
The thing is, I'm not sure how I would have responded if I had lived at the time of Christ, and had been face-to-face with Him. Having been born in 1980, and raised by wonderful Christian parents, I put my trust in Christ on February 4, 1988. I tried to run from Him as a teenager, but came to my senses and came running back. I have seen Him working in my life, and the lives of people around me. I love and trust Him more than anyone. He is my everything, even ahead of my husband.
But still, I wonder, when face-to-face with Him, whether I would have fallen to my knees and wholeheartedly pledged my life to Him as I did when I was seven, or whether I would have shaken my head in disgust, and walked away. Because if someone did that today, I'd do the latter. I am no fool.....but I am willing to look foolish because of my faith in Jesus Christ. He loved me while I was still a sinner. He was willing to give up His life to redeem me. I still try to be a "good person", but not to earn my way to Heaven...instead, to bring Him glory because He loves me even though I am not perfect.
Perhaps He knew I wouldn't have believed if I had been alive at that time, and that's why I was not. Or maybe I'm just being too introspective for my own good.

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