Is Christianity a religion or a relationship? Well, it depends on what you mean. If we take the most literal definitions of “religion,” Christianity would be classified as a religion.
Read two free sample chapters from my newest book, Intertwined: Our Happiness Is Tied to God’s Glory (Two Free Sample Chapters PDF)
As children we imagined we would find the perfect spouse, the perfect job, buy the perfect house, go on perfect adventures, and well . . . have the perfect life. Somewhere along the way, however, we quickly realized we will experience many things on this earth, but perfection is certainly not one of them.
To talk about happiness seems so trite, doesn’t it? Corny even. It certainly doesn’t feel like it has much impact on the weightier matters in life, most importantly our walk with God. As Christians, happiness is great, but obedience, that’s the real point to all this. Right?
Whenever questions like “Is hell real?” or “What reasons are there for hell?” or “Does hell really exist since God is love?” are asked, emotional answers are often given.
If you listened to the world, you’d come to the conclusion that the earth was made through a big, random explosions and through the course of time, organisms slowly evolved into all that we see before us. Random, dumb luck is the reason you and me are breathing oxygen this very moment. And if everything happened by luck, then there can’t really be any true meaning to life – only subjective meaning created in each individual rather than objective, global meaning applied to every human by a higher power.
There is a common desire in people for a plot. Everyone seeks to find the rhythm to the pages their life is written upon. We all seek to understand the themes of life, whose who in the character list, and what part are we to play in the show unfolding before us.
Man’s responsibility and God’s sovereignty are often seen as opponents. But within the Bible, these two go hand in hand. The Bible does not try to explain how these two can coexist without violating one another. The Bible simply explains how man’s responsibility is directly tied to God’s sovereignty.
Problems arise amongst Christians as we discuss the relationship between man’s responsibility and God’s sovereignty when we begin to put emphasis on truths that the Bible does not place emphasis on.
Why can’t we understand God completely?
It would be a great travesty if we were able to understand God completely.
Life is more than confusing. With all its twists and turns and movements without knowing where we are headed, it is no surprise that at times we wish we could fully understand what God is doing in our lives. If only we could know what he is up to, we reason, then we would be able to trust his love for us.
Today we will be talking about Thomas. Doubting Thomas, as he has been known throughout the centuries. As we read today, I think we will see that Thomas is a perfect example of all of us at times. We all have questions about God, some nagging thought we fear might unravel our faith if we investigate it too deeply, but then we blurt it out at God more as an accusation than a question asked in faith.
So as we study our texts of John 20:24-31 and John 14:4-7, I would like to answer this question, “What should you do when you have questions about God?” As we will see by studying these passages, Jesus doesn’t have a problem with our questions. He has a problem with our doubt. And there is a big difference between the two.
Have you ever wondered why we humans think the stars are beautiful? We know they are just gases, atoms, heat and pressure millions of miles away, but why is it all so majestic to our senses?
Or what about the changing of the leaves during the fall season, why is that so stunning to us? A running horse in a big green field, galloping as it seems to shake the ground beneath your feet no matter how far you stand from it, why can’t we look away?