Jesus Christ created the church to be an extension of His love and to be a place where His work will continue in the world. The Scriptures inform us that the Christian life is to be lived within the context of family (Acts 2). Christians are drawn to one another because they are drawn to a common center, which is Christ Himself. The church, as a building, serves as a rallying point for a local faith community. It is a place for corporate worship, planning, equipping, and encouraging believers in the mission of Jesus Christ. The building does not make the church Ė the people make the church. Walking into a church does not make you a Christian any more than walking into a garage makes you a car. Furthermore, spiritual growth is impossible apart from belonging to a healthy, well-balanced, and teaching church. Anyone who refuses to take part of this unique fellowship opportunity will miss the fullness of what it means to be a Christian in the Body of Christ. God has given each of us gifts to be used in the local church. Consider this, if you do not attend church you would be missing out on the gift of others, and they would not experience your gifts.
In short, the Allah of Islam is not the God in the Bible. Muslims reject the idea of the trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirt. They see the trinity as a polytheistic form of worship that directly goes against Islamic teaching. While Muslims readily affirm the goodness of Jesus, they deny His sacrifice on the cross and subsequent resurrection. Muslims do acknowledge Jesus as a prophet, but denounce His divinity as the Son of God. If we do not believe Jesus as being fully human and fully God, and that He died on the cross for the sins of mankind, we completely disregard the Scriptures on which Christianity was founded. One Scripture affirms, no one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6). One other important fact is that Christians worship the God of the Bible through Jesus Christ, therefore, the Allah of Islam and the God of the Bible are diametrically opposed.
God is all-knowing, but He expects to hear from His children. Prayer is ongoing intimate communication with God who loves us. This simple definition of prayer suggests prayer should not primarily be about getting our needs met, but serves as a means by which we pursue a dynamic relationship with God. Our heavenly Father knows what we need before we even ask. Our prayers to Him are an acknowledgement of our dependence on Him. And that alone is a reason to pray without ceasing. When we pray, faith is activated and strengthened. We pray believing that God will act, in His timing and according to His will. Secondly, we never pray alone. Jesus is our High Advocate who prays for us and the Holy Spirit is our Intercessor who helps us in our prayers. Prayer acknowledges your faith and personal trust in Jesus. We pray to God, through Jesus Christ, and with the Holy Spirt.
Yes, absolutely. Forgiving is a commitment not to let feelings of resentment come between us and those who have wronged us. It can be extremely difficult to forgive because it seems to go against our grain. Itís so much easier for us to get revenge than to give forgiveness to those who wrong us. Unfortunately, forgiveness is not the norm in our society, but it is expected for Christians. Why? Because we have been forgiven. Colossians 3:13 reads, ... bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Hurt people will hurt people that is why forgiveness is to be a continuing process in our lives. When Jesus first commanded us to love our enemies, He wanted us to do this so that we would be seen as children of our Father in Heaven. We are called to resemble the character of our Heavenly Father. We are called to bear Godís character likeness and forgiving one another is one way we do this. We are most like God when we forgive.
This is perhaps the most common question asked of Christians. Christians believe that God created the world, but He did not create evil. Christianity teaches that God created the potential for evil, because He created humans with freedom of choice. Free choice is free will. We choose to love, or hate, to do good or evil. Human history bears witness to this fact. People continue to do good and evil without any recognition of God in their lives. Therefore, it is not God who is allowing the evil, but God allowing people to make choices. Furthermore, without choice, love is meaningless. God is not a cosmic tyrant who forces His love on people, nor does God force people to love Him. God is the personification of love. Evil is incompatible with the character of God. Without the freedom to choose, we would be like robots.