What should we do in this life
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“Verily, verily, I say to you: if the grain of wheat does not fall into the earth and die, it remains alone; but when it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life will lose it; and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, let him follow me; and where I am, my servant will also be there. If someone serves me, the father will honor him. " (John 12: 24-26)
... and when the people heard about Jesus it penetrated their hearts and they spoke to Peter and the other apostles
"What should we do?"
(Refer to Acts 2:37)
The Jews asked themselves this question in AD 30 after hearing Peter speak about Jesus. We asked ourselves the same question, and anyone who thinks deeper about the meaning of their lives will ask themselves, whether they are atheists, Buddhists or Catholic.
We grew up in different faiths and also in atheistic environments, but we have all found that different paths do not lead to the same goal. There are so many avenues to choose from; so many people offer answers - Protestants, Catholics, Jehovah's Witnesses, Adventists, Methodists, Pentecostals, Buddhists, Muslims, atheists, ... the question is:
What's the right way, what's the truth?
One often hears the answer “Everyone has their own truth” or “Nobody can really know”. In our opinion, such statements contradict the fact that there is a reality. The earth is either a sphere or a disk. Both are not possible. The one reality remains absolute and unchangeable, regardless of the viewer's point of view. The same goes for religious questions. It is not possible for two opposing and contradicting possibilities to exist at the same time, one for you and one for me. If there is a reality that there is resurrection after death, then there cannot be reincarnation. One cannot have both - eternal life after death and annihilation of the soul. If matter was created by God, then it cannot exist from eternity. Or let's look at some other questions where two contradicting answers are not possible at the same time: Is Jesus God or is he not God? Does God predestine condemnation or not? Can man fall away from God or not? Are humans naturally evil or not? Does Hell Exist or Not?
Don't these or other questions challenge everyone who wants to get to know God to have a point of view? Can we remain indifferent to such questions when we are interested in figuring out how to live according to God's will?
No new revelation is necessary to find answers, nor is it necessary to use a new special method of interpreting the Bible. Neither do we believe that we are the source of the truth - we are far from overbearing or thinking we are perfect - but we think the truth is accessible because Jesus revealed it to humanity.
For most people there is no longer any absolute truth. Relativism prevails in our society. Many have gotten used to it and think that every knowledge is only relatively correct and not universally valid. “Right is what is good for me.” But where everything is equally valid, everything ultimately becomes indifferent. There is a lack of standards for good and bad, for right and wrong. There is something for every need and every taste. You paint your own sky by taking the colors from the palette of your own desires and longings. You create your own religion, which seems good for the current situation. Religion is widely seen as just another branch of art, like the fashion world, in which people influence trends and, conversely, trends influence people.
But God's way is different:
How does God want to change my life?
In God's eyes all people who do not ask for truth are unfree. But Jesus wants to set us free - we should accept that.
Jesus then said to the Jews, who had believed him: If you abide by my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. (John 8: 31-32)
The truth will set us free - that is, we should see the truth about ourselves, admit our sinfulness and accept God's forgiveness through Jesus. Then he can give us the strength to overcome our sins and lead a holy life, then he can give us the strength to give all of our lives to serve him as Peter says:
Repent and each of you will be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins! And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38)
Jesus wants to deliver us from desires and sexual sins, from vanity and envy, from inferiority and pride, from arrogance and the desire to conform to people. Jesus wants to free us from misleading teachings in which people are only more focused on themselves through methods of self-redemption. But he also wants to get rid of false ideas that are seen as “Christian”, in which people spend a lot of time and energy on social justice and social commitment, but who neglect the spiritual fight against sin, the fight for sanctification. He wants to free us from doctrines that proclaim God's forgiveness, but forget to demand the following of Jesus, from doctrines that promise grace but dismiss obedience of faith as legality. That is why we want to ask for his will, for the truth in our teaching and our life, and act accordingly.
This search for God's will has also led us to the question:
What does God want me to use my time for; what should Christian community look like?
With the first Christians in Jerusalem it looked like this:
But they persisted in the teaching of the apostles and in community, in breaking bread and in prayers. […] Every day they stood with one accord in the temple and broke bread at home, took food with exultation and simplicity of heart. (Acts 2:42, 46)
For Christians at that time it was natural to meet every day to study the doctrine. It shows her great interest and love for God and her brothers and sisters. It is also very important to us to share our life with our fellow believers, to read the Bible and to participate in the joys, sorrows and spiritual struggles of the other. We are therefore very grateful that we can live in a time when good transport connections and good working hours make daily meetings possible. The daily meeting is for us an expression of love and a result of the desire to live faith, to give our time to God and our brothers and sisters in faith. Because I give my time for what is important to me.
If someone says, I love God and hates their brother, they are a liar. For whoever does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And we have this command from him that whoever loves God should also love his brother. (1 John 4: 20-21)
This intense fellowship also helps a lot so that we can strengthen one another in our struggles and thus implement the principle expressed in Hebrews 3:13 even more easily in our lives:
... but encourage one another every day, as long as it says today, so that none of you may be hardened by the deception of sin! (Hebrews 3:13)
We do not want to have a superficially friendly relationship with one another or show a good picture in front of one another, which however does not correspond to the reality, the truth about us; but we want to confess our sins and weaknesses to one another and help one another in sanctification.
Love one another as I loved you. (John 13:34)
We want to live this love - not only on certain Sundays and holidays, but every day, not only with certain good friends, but with everyone who also wants to live in the truth.
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