1 Corinthians 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
This is the basis of the Christian faith. We can spend countless hours (and many do, myself included) debating the timing of the rapture, proofs in nature and science about fossils and flood levels or whether our universe is finite or infinite (for the record — it’s finite). But those debates are utterly pointless without salvation in Christ. “First of all” Christ died for our sins! In God’s love for us, a love we cannot either fully fathom or comprehend, He sent His Son to die for the myriad sins we have committed. In order for us to avoid the wrath of a Perfectly Just and Holy God, Jesus paid our debt to Him for us. But that is not all in this beautiful love story. Just as important in the Good News is that Jesus Christ is risen! Without the resurrection our faith is in vain. But with the resurrection we have the blessed hope and assurance that we too will be resurrected in the same manner as Jesus, by the same Holy Spirit to live eternal life with him forever.
So as we can often fall into numerous theological debates, let’s always remember this: before you get too deep in a discussion with a friend, family member, colleague or internet debate opponent, deliver the thing of first importance. That Jesus Christ died for our sins, rose again and now sits at the right hand of The Father, holding out the gift of eternal live to all those who will believe in Him. Do the people you speak with on religious issue know this? Is the person who challenges you to prove God exists aware of what the Gospel is? Does your family member who asks questions about a televangelist and your take on them understand what it means to be saved? Make sure whoever it is you are engaging in theological discussion is perfectly clear on the Gospel. Even if they state they are a Christian, it never hurts to make sure. Present Jesus Christ, the Risen Savior before presenting your position on other issues. There could be an eternal life at stake.