Why the Jargon?
Every industry or group has its own jargon and buzz words. Computer scientists talk of agile, objects, encapsulation and virtualization. Doctors talk of things being acute, agonal and iartogenic. Military folks talk of area defense, checkpoints, civic action, and debarkation. In the same way there is jargon used by almost any group in society, including Christians.
People don't use jargon to confuse outsiders or hide anything. They use jargon because it is efficient. It is far easier for a doctor to say something is acute than to say, "the condition came on suddenly". It is easier for computer scientists to speak of agile teams than to talk of teams that keep code simple, test often, deliver quickly and are willing to change. Christians don't use the jargon to hide what we are saying, but becuase it is efficient.
Jargon Explained: Are You Saved?
One of the most common pieces of jargon that an unbeliever will hear is, "are you saved?" If you are not a Christian, you probably react by saying, "I don't need to be saved", or "what do I need to be saved from?" To explain what you are saved from, we must also explain how Christians see the world. Chuck Colson once said that if you want to understand any philosophical or theological view of the world, you need to find their answers to four qeustions: Where did I come from? What is my purpose? What's wrong with the world? and Is there a solution?
Where did I (we) come from?
Not Hoboken or San Antonio, not from my mother's womb, but where did everything that exists come from and why am I here. Christians answer this by showing that each of us was created by God. We are not an accident of time and chance. We are part of godness, and all that is has not existed for ever. Narrowing it down further, we are not only created by God, but as humans we are created in the image of God. Because of this, we can recognize good and evil, we have knowledge about the world around us and can have wisdom to use that knowledge. Being in God's image, we can love, think, experience joy. Being in God's image, we were created for healthy relationships with God and other people.
What is my (our) purpose?
God created us to associate with Him. We are created to take care of creation. We are created to bring God glory.
What's wrong with the world? With Me?
Look around you, it is obvious there are problems. Earthquakes, floods, storms, famine, and other disasters plague the earth. People are hurting, homeless, sick, violent, angry, dishonest and self-centered. This is not the environment God desined for our lives, so why does it exist? What went wrong?
The first man and woman created were placed in a perfect environment. There was no hunger, disease, violence, or anger. They were given only one, easy to follow rule, and they quickly broke that one rule, bringing violence, disease, death and disfunction into the world. Breaking God's rules is sin and since that time, every person has sinned and added to the violence and disfunction of the world. Every time you look and see someone being harmed or treated unfairly, it testifies to the fallen nature of the world. Every time a child throws a temper tantrum, they are showing their sin filled nature.
Every time someone sins, it is a rejection of God's presence in their lives. God does not cause the catastrophies of the world, they result from humanity's rejection of God. Even nature is suffering because of our rejection of God.
While the destruction and evil in this world would be terrible in itself, it only reflects a deeper reality. God created us as eternal beings. When we physically die, the real us, our soul and spirit lives on into eternity. God is holy, that which is unholy cannot exist in His presence. Our unholiness causes our separation from God. Our choice to separate from Him in life means our souls and spirits are ultimately separated from him for all eternity. We call that eternity hell. Hell is not a place to party with friends, it is a place of complete and total isolation from all that is good. While there will be torment in hell, there will also be no comfort of knowing that someone else is also there, nor any hope fo release from the isolation and suffering. Because of our choices and nature of sin, we deserve an eternity in hell, also known as the second death. It is from this eternal death that we must be saved.
Is there a solution? What is the solution?
Throughout history, people have sought to improve the world and the relationships between people. Every effort of being better people or correcting the way the world works have failed. A dam built on one river creates a drought in a neighboring country. Seeking to build self-esteme results in self-focused people. Our solutions regularly fail. There is no hope of us creating a solution that will work, but all is not hopeless.
The same God who created us also provided a solution. In eternity past, before the first sin, before creating a man and a woman, before creating the universe, God determined to provide the solution. God's infinite justice can only be satisfied by an infinite sacrifice, the wages of sin is death. Only God is infinite, so only the death of God can pay eternal the price of our sin. So in eternity past, God decided that He would send His only Son Jesus to pay the penalty for our sins. Just before He died on the cross, Jesus said, "It is finished." indicating that the payment for our sin had been made. That death was sufficient to pay for the sins of all mankind, but if Jesus had stayed dead, no one would have known it was sufficient. Three days later He rose from the dead by His own power, showing not only that His death was sufficient payment for our sins, but also that death has now been conquered.
While His death is sufficient, it is only effective in our lives if we accept His offer to restore our lives and our relationship with Him. His offer of salvation is free, when we are willing to let Him, He will save and change our lives. You do not need to bee good enough to be saved, but when you are saved, He will begin to change the things that are broken in your life, beginning within.
You can accept this gift today, if you are interested, please contact us.