Are you as open-minded as you think?
It's funny, but many otherwise intelligent singles make up their minds with little information, become set in their ways, and refuse to listen to opposing ideas, yet if asked, they would adamantly insist they're open-minded.
Does that describe you? No? Then you won't be afraid to consider a few thoughts about Jesus Christ.
The 'wise teacher' theory
Today's popular attitude toward Jesus is that he was a wise teacher and good man, but nothing more. That idea has gained traction because it's nonthreatening. It's also inaccurate.
If you take the time to read the gospels (instead of believing someone who doesn't know), you'll find several instances in which Jesus referred to himself as God: "I and the Father am one." "Whoever has seen me has seen the Father." "Before Abraham was, I am." (Yahweh, the Jewish name for God means "I am")
The writer C.S. Lewis said Jesus was either a liar, a lunatic, or exactly who he said--the Son of God. Proof that Jesus was and is God includes:
The 'tampered Bible' theory
Another popular idea is that over the centuries, the Church has revised and added to the Bible to make it say things it originally did not, including the fact that Jesus is God.
People who claim that are typically uninformed about ancient manuscripts. Ancient Greek and Roman books include an average of eight to ten copies of the manuscript. The New Testament, however, has over 5,000 cataloged Greek manuscripts in existence throughout the world.
The importance is that these manuscripts can be compared for consistency. The oldest Bible fragmentary manuscripts date from three or four generations after the events, versus 800 or 1,000 years after with other ancient books.
The Codex Sinaiticus is the oldest existing copy of the entire New Testament and has been dated to about 350 A.D. Contrary to critics' claims, many of the so-called copying errors in the Bible are minor in nature and do not change the meaning of sentences or Christian doctrine.
The 'faked resurrection' theory
Several recent books about the "historical Jesus" claim he was not raised bodily from the dead, but that it was only a "spiritual" or "symbolic" resurrection.
Again, two of the gospels written by eyewitnesses, Matthew and John, say differently. The other two gospels agree with them. All four gospels state that Jesus Christ rose bodily from the dead, was seen, heard, and touched by his followers, then later rose bodily into heaven.
Variations of this 'faked resurrection' theory--that Jesus did not die during the crucifixion, that the apostles stole his body, or that the women went to the wrong tomb--have long since been proven groundless.
The strongest proof for a bodily resurrection was that first, the Jewish and Roman authorities were unable to produce Jesus' body, and second, eyewitness accounts are included in the gospels. Finally, tradition holds that ten of the 11 remaining apostles, as well as Paul of Tarsus, all died martyrs' deaths rather than renounce their faith in Jesus as risen savior.
I don't know about you, but I wouldn't sacrifice my life for a lie or a myth. I don't think those men would have either.
The 'good person' theory
Millions of open-minded people are firmly convinced they will make it to heaven because they are a "good person."
What they don't take into account is that heaven is God's place, and he makes the rules as to who gets in. If you were giving a party at your home, would you allow uninvited guests you didn't even know to crash it? Of course not.
No where in the Bible, which is God's word to the world, does it state that people can enter heaven simply because they are good.
In fact, the Bible teaches that every human being is sinful, even if those sins do not include murder, rape, robbery, torture, or other major crimes. A holy God will not permit sinful people into heaven, no matter how "good" they think they are. That's merely wishful thinking, completely contrary to the Bible.
Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." (John 3:3)
The 'born again' truth
Are you still with me? Are you still open-minded? Good!
Christians believe that the only way to enter heaven after you die is to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior while you are alive. We are saved by faith in Christ, not by good deeds. However, being saved does not give us license to sin. On the contrary, Christ calls us to obey his commandments.
You can turn down Jesus by rejecting him or by ignoring him, but the result is the same. Consider this: Just because you don't believe something is true doesn't make it that way.
If you're open-minded, Jesus Christ deserves your further study. You can learn more on this web site, or at www.christianity.about.com or by going directly to the source, the Bible.
Use your intelligence. Don't be stubborn. Don't let the prejudice of family, friends, or anyone else keep you from exploring this for yourself. Be open-minded and learn the facts. The truth about this will surprise you.