I have two groups of people standing here with me. The people on my right are not perfect, but they are all convinced Jesus Christ rose from the dead, and they have made a personal and decisive commitment to follow him. They don't always live up to this commitment fully, but they are serious about moving in this direction. These people find themselves in a daily battle with what the Bible calls sin. It is a struggle, but they find that God is helping them. They are deeply convinced that at the point of death their souls will go into the presence of Christ, and they also are deeply convinced that at some future point in history Christ will return and raise their bodies from the dead, like the body of Jesus. These people are different from each other, but they have all made a life commitment to know and serve and follow Jesus Christ.
I'm going to let these folks introduce themselves to you. They're not using their own names; they are simply representing characters to whom we can relate:
"Hi, I'm Pete. I've been a Christian for five years, and I don't find it easy to live out my faith, because I don't always want to go God's way. So there's a struggle inside of me. But I do know Christ is with me, so I keep pressing on."
"Hi, my name is Jane. I'm 45 years old. I have been attending churches for years, but it never really made a difference in my life until last year. A friend told me that if Christ is alive then there must be a possibility to know him. That was the start of a new adventure of faith."
"Hi, I'm Todd. When I look back on my life, I can see there was a lot Christ needed to straighten out. I was a self-centered person, and there was clutter in my life. When I came to faith in Christ ...
Colin Smith is pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in Arlington Heights, Illinois.
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