It is an immense pleasure to be writing this article right smack-dab before Christmas as we approach a brand new year. At its onset, this column has been an apologetic endeavor to provide proof of God’s existence. It was intended that nonbelievers would have something to hang their hats on and so begin their journeys of faith. So, for many months, I plowed through tons of heavy apologetic literature, spoke with a theology professor and gained insight from much sacred reading, hitting up monasteries and bookstores.
Yes, I shared proof. I found ancient Roman documentation of Jesus’ birth and life and official documents that supported many common Christian beliefs. I read prophetic accounts which foretold Jesus’ coming to live among his people. I also poured over detailed accounts on how Christianity changed the face of humanity through the work of God-centered people.
I naturally became interested in how people acquired the type of stellar faith the apostles had. I pondered their transformations from a motley crew hiding and trembling behind locked doors to brave men boldly proclaiming the gospel (martyred, imprisoned and tortured for their beliefs).
All of that is very interesting, but what faith really boils down to is choice. What’s yours? Do you want to believe in someone bigger than yourself leading you to eternal life? Do you really believe? What does that mean?
I hope this column conveys that faith not only changes society, faith changes people. (It changed me!) Because of Jesus’ teachings, organizations sprang up to take care of the poor and marginalized which never existed before. The emphasis of community as outlined in the Bible and carried on today through our churches means no one is alone… we have church families! Through our churches there are opportunities to do good and change the lives of others as well. The beauty of faith is that Jesus changed worldwide perspectives and continues to do so today through missionary efforts and Christ-centered programs and people.
Look around at those Christmas lights. The celebrations that take place throughout the world signify that Christians are still carrying the torch of hope and love to the poor. Don’t miss this! This is why faith matters! Our God is so good! Read the passage below and let it sink in. We are shielded by God’s power when we have faith in him. That’s what he asks of us. Is that so much to do to attain eternal life?
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade – kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power.” (1 Peter 1:3-5)