There is something I have noticed since I became a Christian that, as I have studied and learned more, worries me. Being honest, it makes me legitimately mad when I see it happen. It's when people preach the gospel, they only preach the easy half that will make everyone feel nice and welcome and consistently leave the other half unsaid. To truly understand the gospel you need the whole thing, that means that we also need to tell people they are sinners and need to be saved to begin with, not just that Jesus loves them as they are. I believe that college is the main root of this problem but I will leave that for another time, the main thing to understand here is that only giving half of the gospel leads to a ton of problems that we are seeing clearly today.
In our time, there is an insane number of people supposedly falling away from the faith, and those that don't fall from the faith barely care about Jesus at all aside from having a get out of Hell free card. There are plenty of people trying to figure out why this is happening but I believe the reason is simple. The majority of people do not hear the full gospel, including many that call themselves Christian, and because of this they have no roots. They never understood why they needed to be saved in the first place, or how much Jesus truly loved them when he died for them. Most of them go on thinking of themselves as good people who don't need to change a thing as long as they say Jesus's name a lot, go to church, and pray sometimes. This can lead a person to later question God on how He could send "good" people to Hell, "just for not knowing him," rather than understanding that Hell is something earned. We live in a time where people tell you that you should be a pastor just for having even a little biblical knowledge and some charisma, which is only a show of how little of that knowledge the majority of people have.
The fact of the matter is people aren't falling away from the church, they were never really there to begin with, they just acted like they were based off what little they knew. They don't know how evil they actually are, they have no idea what it even meant when they put their trust in Christ. Very few of them have repented of anything or even bothered to really get to know Jesus, they just blindly accept whatever other Christians tell them they should think.
The easiest way to get to the bottom of whether or not someone is saved is to test their theology and ask them if they're a good person. If they answer, yes, there's a solid chance they've never had their sins confronted. A nice method to try is what they do over at Living Waters, and tell them you have a test to see whether or not they are good, then ask simple questions like, "Have you ever told a lie?" followed by, "What do you call someone who tells lies?" They ultimately convict themselves in the process.
The next time you share the gospel with someone, make sure you tell them why they need to be saved before you tell them how they can be.
Abortion is one of the worst things happening on this earth today, there isn't any real debate over that. The people that support abortion are either clueless about what it really is because they choose to stay oblivious, or they are just willfully evil, knowing that it is murder. Somehow though, there is debate about this among people that call themselves Christian and so I am going to talk about exactly what the bible has to say on the matter.
Now the most obvious thing is that God commands us never to murder anyone. This is very clear and I think everyone understands it. The issue comes in when we start pretending that certain thing aren't murder. Life absolutely begins at conception, this isn't an extreme thing to think and no one has the right to take that life away aside from God himself. We waste a lot of time debating on women's rights but that isn't even the issue. What matters is that the baby is alive too and its rights are being violated completely. All you need to read is the law in Exodus to understand exactly how God sees a baby still inside the womb. The baby has equal rights to a full grown man and they were punished for murder if someone caused a woman to lose her baby. Something you should know, is God doesn't make any distinction on how far along the woman's pregnancy is for this law to matter.
God knew and loved us even in the womb. He carefully designed all of us in his image without a single exception. All of us are priceless, nothing on this Earth is more important than a human life and that applies to every single baby that dies for our convenience. There are few things that are more evil than hurting an innocent baby in a place it should feel absolutely safe. There is no excuse and there never will be for hurting a baby. No Christian should even remotely consider abortion an option, it is obviously wrong in the bible.
Let's also not forget that Jesus was once a baby, and he was God the entire time, even in the womb. It is a crazy thought but in our society there is a solid chance we would have tried to kill Jesus before his body even fully developed. If Jesus was always Jesus, I think it is safe to say that a baby is always alive at the second of conception. As I said before, we have absolutely no right to kill a baby, especially when you consider that 99% of abortions are done for convenience.
Oh, and since I know people are going to bring this up, the death penalty and abortion are not the same thing. Justice is not murder, someone on death row earned that sentence. Abortion is the killing of a completely innocent person. It honestly amazes me that anyone even begins to treat them as equal but no, they aren't. One is a criminal that has chosen to do horrifying things to others, the other is a baby that has had no chance to make any choice and is right where they are supposed to be.
Also, don't believe the lie that it can somehow save the mom to have an abortion. 100% of the time it puts her at more risk health wise, it doesn't save anyone. It simply guarantees the death of the baby and hurts the mom physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Ectopic pregnancies, which do risk the mother's life and need to be handled, do not require an abortion. They are a rare and tragic circumstance that have a different surgery used to save the mother without an intention to end any life.
They always seem to be coming up with new excuses on why it is okay to murder a baby, but none of them actually have any merit. It is always something stupid like they have a defect, even though they are still developing and it probably won't even still be there when they are born. The stupidest one is they won't have a good life because they will be poor. I promise you, even if people are poor, they still want to be alive. It doesn't even matter if the pregnancy started through some sort of sexual assault, the baby is still innocent and doesn't deserve death. This doesn't help the mother. If we want real justice, we should go after that guy, not the innocent kid. I could go on but just don't fall for any of the lies, no one is being helped with abortion, it is just murder.
If you have been involved in any abortion, you can repent, trust in our Lord Jesus and be forgiven. Use your testimony and become active in stopping others from doing the same sin.
It seems to me that people are afraid of getting married and it is never for good reasons. Let's talk about some of the lies you have been told and the ones you are telling yourself so that you can get through that fear.
The first thing we need to talk about is this idea that when you get married you are somehow tied down, your life of fun is over. This is complete nonsense, the only thing that actually changes is you have someone that can do everything with you. Want to be a missionary and go wherever? Well now you won't be there alone. This applies to just about anything you can think of. Marriage means you have a partner in everything you do, it doesn't mean you can't do anything anymore. Your life isn't over, it in fact has gotten drastically better.
The next thing you need to be aware of is there is rarely a good reason to wait to get married. I know so many people that have been dating for years just worrying about money. They want to be perfectly stable before they get married but that is not actually something you need to wait for. You can work together from being poor to getting stable, you don't need to be there already. I know that weddings can be expensive but they don't have to be. Getting married is only as expensive as you make it, just ditch some of the stuff that makes it impossible to afford. Some people think you need to wait 4-5 years to get married. Realistically, there is no reason to wait more then 2, you aren't going to learn much more after 2 years and honestly you don't even have to wait that long. There will always be an excuse for you to not get married, but that is all it is, an excuse.
Now I know that divorce rates are pretty high now, a lot of people don't even bother to get married like it is some outdated thing, but not Christians. God allows us to get a divorce if there is adultery in the relationship, but even then, he doesn't want us to. We are expected to work things out in our marriage because it is always possible. The reason those stats are high is because people go into their marriages considering divorce an option. If things get even a little bad you can just get out! That is the mentality many people go into marriage with. You may be thinking it requires some major problem but it is usually something fixable, like money, which makes people separate. If you go into the marriage with the right mindset, that you need to fix things and not just bail, your marriage will last. That applies even if you aren't Christian, marriage is not something you can just end on a whim. You become two parts of a whole and that means something more than just dating.
Another important thing you need to know is that marriage is not a magical land of no fighting. You and whoever you marry are two different people, you don't even think the same way. There are going to be fights and things you have to work through together. There are going to be struggles that test you both and things are going to be rough sometimes. This doesn't mean it isn't worth it to get married, you will have struggles no matter what, it only means you have someone to get through them with. Sometimes it will be work, sometimes it will feel like you are against each other but you can work through it and you will be happy you did because it's worth it.
These are the main things I hear when people tell me why they aren't getting married. Don't fall for the lies and see marriage for what it is, sharing your life with someone amazing. There are no shackles aside from the ones you put on yourselves and all issues can be worked out. All you have to do is love each other and do everything in your power to serve the other person, man or woman. It is not a decision you will regret as you long as you go into it with the right mindset.
Dedicated to making strong disciples of Christ.