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Know the History and Content of Your Faith

So when did the books of the Bible get chosen? Why’d they toss out the gospel of Thomas? How come there are Protestants and Catholics and four thousand denominations? Don’t Christians and Muslims worship the same God? Aren’t all religions pretty much the same? What about the dinosaurs?

Do questions like these send you into a mini mind numbing panic? If so don’t fret, but don’t be content with that state of affairs. I know we’re all really busy, but the time has come to get serious about our faith, and I mean light years more serious than we ever have been before.

We need to get serious because time is short. However close we were to Jesus’ return a year ago, we’re a year closer today. As Paul says in Romans, “it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.” Maybe you were planning on telling your brother about Jesus next month. Don’t delay! We are not promised tomorrow, let alone next month. If the reason you haven’t broached the subject yet is because you know he’ll have some intellectual-sounding objections, then study up on the most common ones. Go to iloveatheists.com and read the questions and objections people have posed, and the responses provided. Challenges to Christianity are getting more sophisticated and less respectful. You must know what you believe and why to answer objections credibly.

We need to be alert and aware, sober-minded and watchful, because our “adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” Our enemy is active, eager to drag as many to destruction as possible before he is thrown in the pit. He uses many weapons, including bestselling books by famous atheists, novels challenging the truthfulness of the Christian faith, college professors, nature shows swooning about evolutionary wonders, preachers compromising with the world, hypocritical churchgoers, and a plethora of other devices. First make sure you’re not part of the problem! Then learn the history of Christianity from a reliable source. I’d like to say an unbiased source, but there is no such thing as unbiased history. Read widely and prayerfully until you begin to get a handle on the basics of what Christianity is, where it came from, and how we got to where we are now. Stand to Reason, str.org, has an abundance of helpful articles to get you started. Study up to prevent your own faith from being undermined, and so that you can help others strengthen their faith or come to faith.

It’s true that the unvarnished gospel is the most important thing. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. So share the gospel, by all means! But you will meet people who are familiar to one extent or another with the basics of the gospel, and don’t believe it for various reasons. Sometimes, if you have the wisdom, knowledge, and understanding to answer their questions, their objections may melt away and they may become your sister or brother in Christ. Why not make an effort--a mighty, strenuous, ongoing effort--to equip yourself? More resources are available for your self-education than ever before. Just do an online search for “apologetics” and you’ll be on your way.

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