The core of my faith is this: Jesus Christ is the One and only Son of God. He was perfect from his birth of a virgin (Mary was his earthly mother, and NO MORE. She was not a divine saint, a god, or anything else. I believe that if she were to have known how she would be placed in the status of "Co-redeemer with Christ" by the Roman Catholic Church, it would have broken her heart.). Jesus came to Earth as a perfect blameless lamb and was killed on a Cross. Yes, he actually died, and he was placed in a tomb. No he was not unconscious or Knocked out...He was DEAD and was placed in the tomb...DEAD. 3 days later he rose from the dead, not woke-up, rose from the dead. Thus proving his power over death. By dying, Jesus took the sins of the world, past, present, and future, upon himself and made himself the sacrifice to pay for the wages of our sins. The wages of sin is DEATH, and he took this payment for us. Why? Love. Not the kind of Love you'll ever find here on Earth. God is Love...God=Love and he was willing to let Jesus suffer and DIE just so we could spend eternity with him. Salvation consists of the following:
-Acknowledgement that you are a sinner in need of a savior and acceptance of his free gift of Eternal Life
-A personal saving relationship with Jesus Christ.
That's it. Nothing more. Many Many Many religions out there will try to sell Salvation with the tag-on's of needing more than that. The Catholic church offers Salvation as Belief in God, Participation in the Sacraments, Baptism, etc, etc, etc. and even then you're not even assured of your salvation! You might or might not get to Heaven, because when you die you go to a place called Purgatory to let your sins go through a wash cycle or two, which may take unknown amounts of time before you even get to go to Heaven! I tell you now, can a sadder religion exist? Atheists at least believe that they'll just go to sleep and never wake up, but time in purgatory with no assurance of salvation? My heart weeps for those who are deceived by this line of thinking. My friends, I tell you that I have 100% assurance that If I were to die at this very moment, I would immediately be in the presence of my Lord and Savior. What can be more of a comfort than that? While I seriously have awesome plans for my Life, I don't fear death whatsoever. In fact I would be excited to know that my eternity with my Lord would begin. Now, I do love life and know that God has me here for a purpose, so don't worry about me trying to make the whole "Death" thing come anytime soon. :) I go to a church that preaches and teaches the Bible, and the Bible alone. What do I believe about the Bible? I believe that the Bible is God-Breathed (Written by the Holy Spirit, using men 2000 years ago as the writing utensil) and is absolutely infallible. Were one thing in the Bible to be wrong, then my faith would be based on a falsity and wouldn't hold up. I've come across people who believe that the Bible has wrong things in it here and there, but the Core part of it is right. To say so is to deny the fact that the Bible is "God's Word"! If you hand me a meal of large proportions and tell me that a tiny bit of deadly poison was placed in one part of the meal somewhere, I'M NOT GOING TO EAT ANY OF IT! Thus I believe that the Bible is God's Word to us and basically it's Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. God has done amazing things in my life, and has completely taken my miserable failure of a self and made what he wants out of it. Instead of referring to myself as Christian, I'll from now on use the term "Jesus Freak" ala DCTalk's amazing song. If you haven't heard it I recommend it highly.
A huge misconception about Jesus Freaks, is that they're perfect, or don't get to have any fun, or that being a Jesus Freak will make life flat out easier. Wrong, Wrong, and Wrong. I am a perfect example of all three of these. I tell you that I am in no means perfect. In fact I'm far from it. The beauty in my being imperfect is that f I were perfect I'd have no need for a savior! But I do need a savior because I fail God's standards every single day. But I serve a loving and forgiving God who's always willing to forgive and renew. Psalm 119:9-11 says "How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your Word. I seek you with all of my heart, do not let me stray from your commands. For I have hidden your Word in my heart that I might not sin against you." I am imperfect, but God will never give up on me, so I seek him with all my heart and I place his word in my heart that I might not sin against him. Next, Who says being a Jesus Freak isn't fun? Well my guess is that they have a different definition of "Fun". If by fun you mean going out on weekends and getting drunk off your butt with your friends and waking up the next day somewhere with someone else's clothes on, then you're right: Being a Jesus Freak means having no fun. I can speak from experience on this one. I personally have done stupid things including getting wasted beyond reason. 14 ounces of Absolut Vodka later I threw up in my sleep and it took me until 2 or 3 in the afternoon the day after to even get back to Hangover status. I felt like crap the entire time and seriously don't see the term "Fun" being a word I'd use to describe the experience. That aside, My friends and I have amazing amounts of fun. We go to concerts, we prank each other at 1a.m, we go see movies, we hang out at Youth Group, we play in bands, we go Paintballing and beat the trash out of each other in wrestling matches. To top it off, I know that I can count on every one of my friends 100% and am encouraged by them every day. I also know they can count on the same from me. Why? They all know the same Savior and their lives show it as we all live for different reasons then most people. Lastly, being a Jesus Freak is ANYTHING but easy. From the moment of I accepted Christ, my life has been one big series of trials, tribulations, difficulties and hardships. However, through them, God has completely changed who I am and what I will be. He has made me appreciate things, and has showed me what to ignore. My focuses are different than they were, and not one trial or hardship hasn't resolved in some way that has made me a better person for it, and has made me walk closer in my relationship with Christ. He has done amazing things through difficulties and I am thankful for each and every one of them. It's called the road-less-traveled for a reason. It's not a beaten down 5 lane highway. It's a rocky Mountain path that sometimes seems impossible to traverse. And honestly it is impossible to do on your own. On your own, you can't do anything. You are going to die from sin and there's absolutely nothing you can do about it. That my friends is why I need God in every step of my life. He's the one that makes the path traversable, and death overcomeable. He's the reason for which I live. I exist only to bring Glory and Honor to the name of God.
If you've actually read this far, then I truly thank you for being open-minded while I share all aspects of my beliefs. I know it was kind-of out of order and it's hard to follow, but it really was written from beginning to end while just sitting here at this table with no outline or plan in my head. If you already know the Lord and Savior of whom I speak, then I wish you the absolute best in your walk with Him, and If I don't meet you in real life, then I'll see you in Eternity. Please feel free to drop in a comment. If you disagree with anything whatsoever in the above post, or you just want to talk about any of it, PLEASE comment on it. I would be more than happy to discuss it with you and would love to see your views on it. I am a busy 17 year old in High School so I may not be available 24/7, but I'll do my absolute best to get back to you. For everyone, once again I really do thank you for reading all of this and I hope to talk to you in the comment area or beyond.