Is Being A Christian Reasonable?
Message by Rev. Erny McDonough
Fisherman’s Chapel, Port O’Connor, Texas
Romans 10:8-10 “But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,”[Deut. 30:14] that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”
Gabor B. Levy was a scientific editorial writer who died on May 24, 1999. He knew he was dying, and in an editorial published after his death, the the July 1999 edition of American Laboratory, he wrote: “I must confess, however, that I lacked the courage to write on the one topic that puzzled me all my life. It was the question, ‘how can any scientist be sincerely religious?”
Yes, you can use your mind and still allow the Holy Spirit into your life. It is indeed logical to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior!
I. The Truth Matrix
A tool lused on decision-making is the “truth matrix”. It forces a person to consider all options.
The first step is to formulate a question – for example: “Should I become a Christian?”
The second step is to formulate a statement that must be either true or false – for example: “Believing on Jesus Christ provides salvation.”
The third step is to respond to the statement. For this statement there are only two possible responses: accept it as truth or reject it.
The fourth step is to list the consequences of the response in each of the four quadrants. We consider the value of each consequence and the risk associated with each.
First Quadrant: Statement Is Truth AND We Accept It!
Statement: What are the consequences if the statement “Believing on Jesus Christ provides salvation.” is true and we accept it?
1. We have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
2. We are free from the condemnation of sin. (Romans 8:1)
3. The spirit of God dwells in us. (Romans 8:9)
4. The Spirit of God will guide us into truth. (John 16:13)
5. We are children of God and heirs with Christ. (Romans 8:16 & 17)
The primary consequence of this quadrant is that we become Christians. Thus, this quadrant would strongly support one’s being a Christian!
Second Quadrant: Statement Is Truth AND We Reject It!
Statement: What are the consequences if the statement “Believing on Jesus Christ provides salvation.” is true and we reject it?
1. We go to the Lake of Fire at the Judgment. (Revelation 20:15)
2. We are ruled by our carnal nature. (Romans 6:16)
3. We are selfish and confused. (James 3:14-16)
4. We are without hope. (1 Thessalonians 4:13)
Hopelessness! There is no hope without Jesus Christ in our lives. The consequences in this quadrant are so negative they should be avoided. Thus the consequences point to accepting this statement as a much better choice than rejecting it!
Third Quadrant: Statement Is False AND We Accept It!
Statement: If the statement “Believing on Jesus Christ provides salvation.” is false, then the Bible is a book of falsehoods and myths. So we must look at this third quadrant in light of logic.
1. The Christian lifestyle is good and has some value.
2. People care for each other and establish charitable organizations such as hospitals, relief agencies, rescue missions, Teen Challenges, etc.
3. Law and morality are maintained in society.
The consequences in this third quadrant point to a better society. thus the statement “Believing on Jesus Christ provides salvation.” should be accepted!
Fourth Quadrant: Statement Is False And We Reject It!
Statement: Here, everyone does what he or she wants to do without constraints.
There is complete debauchery.
The strong rule without regard to the lives or welfare of their fellowman who is weaker.
Results: The consequences of this fourth quadrant are so bad they are to be avoided at all costs!
Levy was a brilliant scientist and an excellent editorial writer, but without hope for an afterlife. He said “But, just because life is so short and without meaning that does not mean we should not use it wisely and enjoy it. Should all this sound like an atheist’s manifesto, in a way it is. I lived by it happily. I leave with my eyes open and without fear, and with few regrets. I have my little vanities like everyone else, and for the short time that I am remembers, I hope it will be as John Adams hope, as ‘an honest man in all and to the Death.’ And so I wish all my friends peace and good luck! Farewell!”
Review the Four Quadrants and their consequences. What does logic tell you? It tells me that the logical position is to accept the statement as TRUTH! Believing in Jesus Christ does save. Being a Christian IS reasonable!
~ Pastor Erny