For slightly more than 2000 years, the message of Xmas is a simple one – “[God] wants all men to be saved” 1 Timothy 2:4a.
The method is extremely simple to the point of absurdity – “that if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord’ and God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” Romans 10:9
This is called justification through faith ie it is not through our personal effort that will save us, but through God’s abundant mercy for us.
This is one method that I know – for I am a simple and lazy guy. Of course, there is more than one way to the mountain top. One previous Pope in his enlightened mind said this before, “that the ways of the Providence are infinite”.
I think many Christians overlook the simplicity of this message and in their zeal, tie up heavy loads and put them on men’s shoulders. (Matthew 23:4a)
When Jesus Christ came, the following happened:
1. The cleansing of the temple. “My house will be called a house of prayer but you are making it a den of robbers.” Matthew 21:13b
2. The temple veil being torn in two. “At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.” Matthew 27:51a
3. Jesus forgave the prostitute (Luke 7:37) and the tax collector (Luke 19:1-10).
What does this mean? That many hypocrites are around us, trying to impart upon us their half baked understanding of the Bible (point 1). You can’t do this, you can’t do that. Sounds familiar? That our relationship with God is a direct one – don’t let anyone tell you what is right or wrong (point 2). That there is no sin too big that God can’t forgive it (point 3). The tax collector and the prostitute are the worst lots of the society back then but God saved them first rather than those who act and appear righteous.
This is the true message of Xmas and I invite you to accept this gift first, evaluate it later and then decide. It is free after all. People who find this method inconsistent with their values should seek out other alternatives.
What about atheism? Throughout history, action is always favourable to non action. If you need to choose, choose to do something, choose to believe in something and choose to do something about it. The odds favour you this way. The concept of atheism is to invalidate God’s existence. It is like asking, if you are blind, do you have hands? Atheism will tell you that since you can’t see, your hands don’t exist.
There is no way to prove nor disprove God’s existence, so one needs to experience it. I’ve asked the same question 10 years ago on goodreads and the same question is still being debated to this day! ( Click here for the link). Don’t forgo your spiritual goal, one way or another. If you do not know that gym exists and I tell you that by lifting metal plates repeatedly via certain motions will get a good body, you will look at me like some Godsend. In the same way, it applies to our spiritual health.
How do we know this? How does the blind know he has two hands although he can’t see them? God has set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. (Ecclesiastes 3:11). At the end of the day, if you are honest with yourself, you will yearn for it. Listen to your heart.
So make a choice – everyone needs to spend some time thinking about this. To paraphrase Sun Tzu, this is a matter of life and death. I have accepted this gift, what about you?