If you take the average Christian and ask them why they believe in God, you are likely to get a blank stare or, if you do get an answer, it will probably be a rambling spiel about how they just “feel” it to be true or that it is just the way they were raised. The truth is that most Christians in the Western world are Christians because the West is Christian. If these same people had been born in Riyadh, they would probably be using the same justification for believing in the inerrancy of Mohammed. If they had been born in New Delhi they would probably “feel” the same certainty about their sacred cow. The truth is that most Christians don’t know why they are Christians outside of the fact that that is the culture into which they were born. We were simply born Christians in the same way that we are born Americans, or Texans, or New Yorkers. But, if the Christian’s Great Commission is to take the redemptive promise of Christ to an unbelieving world, how effective can we be if we don’t know why we believe what we believe? If an atheist, a Muslim, or a Scientologist comes to you and says, “Why should I believe as you believe,” what will you say? Now, I realize that Christ tells us in Matthew:
But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what you shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what you shall speak. For it is not you that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaks in you.
Moreover, I firmly believe this to be true. However, I also know that we are not meant to be benchwarmers, sitting listlessly on the sidelines, waiting for the Spirit to call our number. We need to dedicate ourselves to knowing what it is that we believe, like the Bereans. In the book of Acts, Luke tells us of the people of Berea who received the word with a ready mind but also searched the Scriptures daily to prove whether the things they were being told were true.
Excerpted from The Four Pillars of the Kingdom
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