Do I have to believe in Jesus to be saved?
Do I have to believe in Jesus to be saved?
I was raised as a Jehovah's Witness. I was born in.
After leaning The Truth About The Truth, how can I be expected to believe in anything anymore? Nonetheless, I still believe in a God and I still have this built in draw to Christianity. The finer details, I'm not sure about, nor will I ever know. Is there a Trinity? Is Jesus God's son and his first creation? Why did Jesus have to be sacrificed? I've heard all the arguments and it still does not make sense to me. Each side has their evidence to support their argument "beyond a doubt". I can't even understand why God permits suffering; yes I've heard it all before. Please do not post scripture trying to prove your belief on this matter.
If Christianity is correct, do I have to believe in Jesus to be saved when I can't even determine if he is God's first creation, his son or part of a Trinity? Do I have to believe if I feel that the whole sacrifice arrangement seems more like an illogical story that does not fit into reality? Some days I try to have "faith" but other days I acknowledge that I may very well be just lying to myself in trying to make sense of it all.
Is it enough to believe in a God and that they have a purpose for us and a greater hope of some kind?
EDIT: even though I have the "draw" to Christianity, I would be lying to myself if I said the Bible made sense TO ME.
The fact that you are even having these questions may be an indication in itself.
If those questions were really, really important - say a matter of eternal life and death - shouldn't the answers have been made abundantly clear to everyone millennia ago?
Would any loving God leave people in doubt about if the answers made the difference between 'salvation' and 'destruction'?
Do the many people in countries with a non-Christian culture (like China, India, etc.etc.) have any chance a finding these questions, let alone the answers? They may never even meet a Christian or see a Bible in their lifetime...
Or...what if it's the Christians who are mistaken, asking the wrong questions - about Jesus - therefore never finding the true way to salvation?
So many questions, and the lack of answers from above is both overwhelming and convincing...(at least to me)
I agree completely.
Except sometimes I think, what if this draw I have to Christianity is Gods way of drawing me to them? That God, Jesus love me, you know the same tired explanations you hear all the time. What if? Yes it doesn't make sense, but what if the same old tired explanation of Divine Will cannot be understood by imperfect minds is true? My issue is that I always "what if" each side.
I confess that it all does not make sense to me but I still believe there is something greater but have no evidence to support this, just faith.
Hopefully, if there is a God, they do not fault me for not ignoring my own logic.
There is an irony in old Charlie Russell's choice of the name Watchtower. The metaphor of a literal watchtower was used from the start to illustrate the idea that the look-out at the top gets a panoramic view of the land to foresee events before they arrived, Russell and later "The org" being the only ones to have divine insight.
It never worked for them, they never got anything right, it was all complete rubbish; a fantasy.
A parable of being a JW is like someone born in a cave who never leaves it. An even better illustration for JWs is Plato's allegory of the cave. There are chained prisoners (JWs) who never see the daylight except dimly but are forced to look all the time at the wall at the end of the cave. Some distance behind them is a fire and between the fire and the backs of the prisoners, puppeteers come with shapes casting a shadow play on the end wall of what is purported to be the real world.
The prisoners had no reference to know or to deny reality because the shadows were their only experience of the world.
So my point Unsure, is that the fuzzy images given you from Bible stories are not the basis for making any real life decisions.
Who requires salvation? Only those who have had the concept of sin and the serpent drilled into their brain!
Why does the "Bible based" JW religion act like a cult? Because early Christianity was also a dumb cult, feeding off the gullible in the same way.
You ask "Is it enough to believe in a God" as if to get some hope. If you wish you can believe in anything and everything and if hope is all you want then that's the way forward for you. However if you want to be honest and live without false expectations then it's better to recognise that we all die and therefore we should live knowing that our life is very precious and should not to be wasted on supernatural fairy tales.
@Half banana said
"However if you want to be honest and live without false expectations then it's better to recognise that we all die and therefore we should live knowing that our life is very precious and should not to be wasted on supernatural fairy tales."
That's the problem, without these fairy tales, I believe life is meaningless.
I've tried the "give your life meaning" mindset. Let's say I were to go and help a charitable cause, in the end, it would all still be meaningless if we live for a blip in the fabric of time and then die. Sure our actions would help others living today, and in some small way carry over to others later on, but life would still be pointless.
Without this faith (and I know I could very well be lying to myself), I'm a nihilist.
<<Do I have to believe in Jesus to be saved?>>
The Pharisees believed in God yet were mete for Gehenna. They had religion, but no relationship with or love for His Son as demonstrated by their willingness to crucify their Creator.
Biblically speaking, there is no other name under heaven given unto men whereby we may be saved (forgiven, imputed righteousness, justified to life eternal) Acts 4:12 Either Jesus received the judgment for our sins, or we do. No one else( for all have sinned) can do this for us.
I get the nihilist feelings. When the panda petting paradise is your world and then it gets taken away there is a deep sense of loss and hopelessness. Its easy to fall into a sort of despair and nihilist feeling without the eternal reward to bank on...
Before making the radical choice, however, remember: the option to forgo life will never go away and, all too sadly, it will be your end anyway.
Give life a chance.
Life is for living and the wt ingrains that this life is temporary and its something of an "investment". You give up pleasure now and get the return of paradise and pandas yadda yadda... the truth is this IS life and we have the ability to make the best choices we can to enjoy and ourselves and leave a better tomorrow for those we care about. Its not temporary in your life. Its always good to look at the long term but dwelling on the ineffectiveness of your 80 years compared to the earths billions years is getting lost in the big picture. No extreme view us beneficial. Keep a macro and micro view but live in this moment. The next isnt promised.
I've heard all the arguments and it still does not make sense to me.
Because the bible is made up of fictional mythology its not suppose make logical sense, particularly in view of what modern day knowledge as accumulated by humanity.
The Jesus god was made up as appealing socially virtuous god for the ancient civilization which created it and to whom existed in that era of human history.
Probable reason why there is still widely accepted belief in this god for this continuous length time.
Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God, his first creation or do you believe he is God as part of the Trinity?
Either way, have you studied every single point ever made in every publication or talk provided as proof for your particular belief? Have you objectively studied every point ever made against your belief in every publication or talk ever given? Can you say you've truly, objectively, spent all your time and resources doing so? No, you cannot. It is impossible. How can you be so certain of whether Jesus is a.) God's first creation, his son or b.) is God as part of the Trinity, let alone every other argument for or against Christianity being the true religion or how to interpret every passage in the Bible?
How can God fault us for not believing a certain doctrine? God sure makes it difficult.