Originally Posted by rogoshtalmour
You have to understand God desires that NONE should perish however he allows you to make a choice you can choose to obey him and spend an eternity in heaven with him or you can choose (AND MAKE NO MISTAKE IT IS A CHOICE) to spend eternity apart from him ie Hell. There are two kinds of people in this world those who say to God "thy will be done" and those to whom God says "thy will be done."
Now to your question. Did you know every major world religion has a story of a great flood? In fact most cultures have one as well. This suggests a common history for all mankind. Christianity is by far the most documented religion in history. We have more evidence for the life and actions of Jesus Christ than we do for Socrates. In fact there are still theories that Socrates never lived that He was just a made up teacher created by Plato for Plato to demonstrate his own ideas. The Bible was written over a period of 1500 years on across 3 different continents by over 40 different authors all from different walks of life including a doctor, cupbearer, fisherman, prime minister, military general, etc. and each of them told the same story overall. They spoke of a personal relationship with the living God. The Bible as a whole is really just a single story namely God's plan of salvation for all mankind. Jesus Christ is that salvation, He is the fulfillment of the Scriptures. Now it's been said Jesus has to be 1 of 3 things. He was either a liar, a lunatic, or He was who He said He was. C.S. Lewis wrote about that you should check out his writings. Also Josh McDowell writes about it in his book More than A Carpenter. He also has a book called Answers to Tough questions and the The New evidence that demands a verdict. That last one is really great it presents a lot of historical evidence for the Bible and Jesus. Josh McDowell started off as an atheist and was challenged by some of his friends at college to search for the truth. He started his journey trying to find a way to disprove the Bible, Christ, and God. He ended up becoming a Christian instead. He is not the only one with a story like that either. If you really studied up on this you would see so many people the world over have had their lives changed and changed for the better because of Jesus. Not just because of Christians helping them either with clothes and food and such although that is a great thing too. That is another reason I choose Christianity over the other religions. No other religion out there has done more to aid humanity in general than Christianity. I know what you're thinking didn't Christianity also cause a lot of wars. Dr. Walter Martin another Christian apologist asked a history professor once to research how many people died in all the religious wars throughout history. I think they only went back to Jesus's time but still it was counting the crusades and all. They came up with a number of about 3 million. Did you know the philosophies of Karl Marx and Nietzsche influenced Russia and Germany a lot in the early 1900's and are indirectly responsible for hundreds of millions of deaths. They held atheistic philosophies by the way. Certainly Stalin was an atheist. Another reason I am a Christian instead of say a Muslim is well no other religion actually offers hope in this dark world. Even Islam the only sure way to get to heaven is by killing others. You can do everything else right in accordance with the Koran but Allah may just turn you away on a whim and say no you may not enter heaven. The only way to get to heaven is to kill others in the name of Allah which is why so many terrorists have been muslim. They are trying to earn their way into heaven. Christianity on the other hand specifically says you can not earn your way to heaven. You can not get to heaven with works. Instead you must accept the gift of Christs sacrifice and have faith in Him. Now in doing so you will also end up doing good works by default but those good works are not what get you into heaven. Ya know in the beginning God created the Garden and us and gave us choice and He knew before He even created us that we would at some point make the wrong choice and sin would enter the world. If not Adam and Eve then someone down the line would have done it. So even before He made us He also designed a plan of salvation for us. He knew we would mess up and He would have to save us. It is up to us to accept that free gift though.
There is a lot more I could say on this an other subjects but it would be a lot to read. Instead try checking out the authors i mentioned. Also R.C. Sproul and Walter martin have podcasts. Walter martin is deceased but you can still find the podcasts. Those two have taught me a lot. The information is out there sometimes you just need a little help finding it. The Bible also says "seek and you will find." Sometimes all it takes is a person to open their heart and honestly seek God and He will answer. Keep in mind He answers in his own timing not ours.
I love all of the information you provided and your arguments are very valid. Although, there is one thing I would like to get out of the way--Karl Marx, Nietzsche, and Stalin (although it is debatable as to whether Stalin was an atheist) did not commit those crimes because they were atheists. There are many atheists (including myself) who are shocked and against the horrible things they have done, as many christians feel about the crusades. However, the crusades are a result of religious belief. The things that Stalin, Marx, and Nietzsche did were not because they were atheists, but simply because they were bad people. Being in an atheist alone doesn't put that kind of hatred in your heart. I appreciate much of what you have said, and I will gladly check out the information you said would be helpful.
I was wondering about a certain of your beliefs personally (because christians all over the world differ in this). Do you believe that the amount of good in a person is based upon their amount of faith? Let's say you have an atheist who is a very good person and who loves to help people out just because it is the right thing to do, and he wants to do good in the world. Would he go to hell because he didn't believe in god? And what about people who were born before christianity and believed in Zeus? Will they go to hell because they never had the chance to believe in the Christian god? And what about the people in provincial villages where they never have a chance to see the outside world? They are many places in Africa where the people have never been outside of their villages, and have never even seen a Bible or know anything about it. What will happen to them?