Christian by tradition? Baptism? Birth?

It is true that children do tend to adopt the religion they learned about from their parents. In all other religions, one automatically becomes a follower by birth, by being baptized as an infant, or by observing certain religious practices. For example, a child is a Jew if born to a Jewish mother, or is considered a Mormon or Muslim if born into a Mormon or Muslim family. But one becomes a Christian only by personally repenting of his sins and placing his trust in Jesus Christ alone for his salvation. It is an individual decision, regardless of the religion practiced by the parents. Many people raised in other cultures decide to leave their religion and become Christians. God knows those whose hearts are truly seeking Him, and He ensures that they hear the gospel no matter where they are located. He can reveal Himself to people even in the midst of Hindu, Muslim, or animist cultures, so that they can put their trust in the Savior.

Also, keep in mind that believing something doesn’t necessarily make it true. Other religions are not equally true just because people were raised to believe them. Only Christianity is backed up by objective, historical, archaeological, and experiential evidence to verify that it is true.

1 Chronicles 28:9 “As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever.

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Burn out vs. Rust out

It is often said that we should “come apart” before we come apart. We should make sure we take the time to rest. If you are overwhelmed with your work for God, delegate, but don’t just do nothing while sinners sink into Hell. It is far better to burn out than to rust out. Pray always. Preach the word, in season and out of season…always laboring in the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain. We will have eternity to rest.

Exodus 18:18 Both you and these people who are with you will surely wear yourselves out. For this thing is too much for you; you are not able to perform it by yourself.

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God’s expressed love for you.

The cross was God’s expressed love for you. Don’t look to material blessings as a token of His love. One day you may find yourself in a dungeon, with few friends and no material wealth. (This was the apostle Paul’s experience—he suffered the loss of all things for the sake of the gospel; Phil. 3:8.) So, fortify yourself. Do what Paul did: look only to the cross, and God’s love will never.

Song of Solomon 8:7 Many waters cannot quench love, Nor can the floods drown it. If a man would give for love All the wealth of his house, It would be utterly despised.

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Memorize Scriptures.

Memorize Scriptures. Lay them up in your heart. See Psa. 119:11.

“The Bible…is the one supreme source of revelation of the meaning of life, the nature of God and spiritual nature and needs of men. It is the only guide of life which really leads the spirit in the way of peace and salvation.” -Woodrow Wilson

Job 22:2 “Can ta man be profitable to God, Though he who is wise may be profitable to himself?

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Rainfall and the “water cycle.”

Job 28:26. Centuries after Job wrote this, scientists began to discern the “law for the rain.” Rainfall is part of a process called the “water cycle.” The sun evaporates water from the ocean. The water vapor then rises and becomes clouds. This water in the clouds falls back to earth as rain, and collects in streams and rivers, then makes its way back to the ocean. That process repeats itself again and again. About 300 years ago, Galileo discovered this cycle. But amazingly the Scriptures described it centuries before. The prophet Amos (9:6) wrote that God “calls for the water of the sea, and pours them out upon the face of the earth.” Scientists are just beginning to fully understand God’s “decrees for the rain.”

Job 28:26 When He made a law for the rain, And a path for the thunderbolt…

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Living by trusting.

Much of what we do in life has its foundation in trust. We trust our dentist when he drills, our taxi driver when he drives, our pilots when they fly us. We trust our history books, our teachers, and some still even trust politicians. Marriage is a trust relationship. So are business partnerships and friendships. We trust elevators, planes, cars, brakes, chairs, doctors, surgeons, brokers, and television anchors. We place our faith in these items and people based on evidence that they are trustworthy. This is why it’s hard to understand why skeptics mock the thought of trust in God.

The questioner’s statement implies that Christians are living by a naïve, “blind” faith based on something for which we have no evidence, when the opposite is the case. Our faith is rational and reasonable, and is based on credible, verifiable, historical evidence. The God who created us has given us all the evidence we need to come to know Him, and He invites us, “Come now, and let us reason together” (Isa. 1:18).

The fact that some do not recognize the evidence doesn’t mean it is not there. God has given light to every man (see John 1:9)—through this wonderful creation, through the undeniable voice of the conscience, and through plain old common sense. We have the Bible’s thousands of fulfilled prophecies, “many infallible proofs” of the resurrection (see Acts 1:3), and He even promises to reveal Himself to those who obey Him (see John 14:21).

It is also important to explain the difference between believing something (the Bible), and trusting Someone (Jesus Christ). Skeptics think that a Christian is someone who simply “believes” in God’s existence. When the Bible speaks of “faith” in God, it is not a reference to an intellectual acknowledgment that He exists (we all intuitively know that). It is speaking of an implicit trust in His person and His promises. There’s nothing difficult about having trust or “faith” when the One you are trusting is utterly trustworthy.

Acts 1:3 to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.

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Joseph’s father?

Skeptics argue that there is a contradiction regarding who Joseph’s father was. Matt. 1:16 says, “Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary,” while this verse says Joseph was the son of Heli. Joseph’s father was Jacob. Luke follows Mary’s genealogy, though he doesn’t name any women in his list. He therefore lists the name of Joseph (her husband), who was Heli’s son-in-law (in legal terms, his son by marriage).

Luke 3:23 Now Jesus Himself began His ministry at about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, the son of Heli…

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