Challenges, challenges! Isn’t life itself full of challenges? Sure it is. However, this is a challenge that I am sure you will be up for. If you are an individual that desires to know absolute truth as well as being convinced as to why you believe what you believe, than I dare you to take the challenge that I have been proposing this year at all my speaking engagements.
It’s called the “One Year Challenge” (aka: The 2012 Challenge). Follow along with me: Did you know that the average Christian reads his/her Bible only 8 minutes a week? We are living in a culture of biblical illiteracy! While Muslim children are taught to memorize the Qur’an by the age of twelve years old, American Christians can’t seem to get passed John 3:16! Since this past January, wherever I would speak, I would ask the audience if anyone knew where the Scripture “Jesus wept” was found. Unfortunately only 8 individuals, these past three months knew off hand where it was found in Scripture (John 11:35, in case you didn’t know). Does this mean we are bad Christians for not knowing? Not at all, but it does prove with some point that we are not as biblically founded as we need to be.
Here is another insight. According to Josh McDowell and his research, 92% of “Christian” students who leave home for college will not return to the church and/or will leave God altogether! What a staggering statistic! What do you think the problem might be? Exactly, lack of discipleship and biblical illiteracy. We are living in a culture and society where we are going to be challenged more than ever to draw a line in the sand and take our stance when it comes to the Bible and its doctrines. Thus here is my question to you: Why do you believe what you believe? Do you believe that Jesus Christ is truly the Son of the Living God? Do you believe that the Bible is truly the Word of God or just a story about Jesus? Do you believe that Jesus was born of a virgin? Do you believe that Jesus will rapture His church? Do you believe that the gifts of the Spirit are relevant for us today or not relevant for us today? Do you believe that a Christian can lose his/her salvation?
I ask you these questions because this is what the “One Year Challenge” is all about. Starting today (whatever date this is as you are reading this post) write out on a notebook, laptop, etc, what you believe and/or grew up believing when it comes to the Bible, Jesus, God, the Holy Spirit, doctrine, theology, etc. You can number them and write out as many beliefs that you have. For example: 1.) I believe that Jesus is the Son of God 2.) I believe the Bible is the Word of God 3.) I believe that there is only one way to heaven. And so on. After you have written out all your beliefs, go back and start with number one and prove your belief on your own. After you have become convinced by number one, go to number two and so on. This will cause you to study, to think, and to absolutely challenge your belief system. I guarantee that after you have done this for one year, you would have developed a true biblical worldview, you will have become more convinced in the person of Jesus and the Trinity, as well as become more confident in your biblical beliefs that you will not be easily swayed!
Remember, Christ has called us to be disciples and not dummies! Lets’ be like the Berean Christians in Acts that studied the Scriptures so that they could be convinced of what they have heard from Paul and Silas (Acts 17:10-11). We must be convinced so that we will not be tossed by every wind of doctrine that comes our way as well as, so that we can answer those who ask us to give an account for the hope that is in us (1 Peter 3:15). Are you up for the challenge? By next year, you will never be the same again! Let’s do this!!
Full Contact Theologian- Pastor Sammy