Christianity is very attractive. Did you know going to church is good for your health? Philip Yancy offers the following list of advantages:
• Regular church attendees live longer.
• Religion reduces the incidence of heart attacks, arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure, and hypertension.
• Religious people are less likely to abuse alcohol and far less likely to use illicit drugs.
• Prison inmates who make a religious commitment are less likely than their counterparts to return to jail.
• Marital satisfaction and overall well-being tend to increase with church attendance.
• Depression rates decline.
• Religious commitment offers one protection against the nation’s greatest health problem — divorce.
• A Redbook magazine survey said that married people who were religious had a whole lot more fun in bed than those who were not.
That all sounds pretty good to modern ears, but the most important thing is missing from this list, and it is absent from most people’s concerns. What was it about Peter’s sermon on the day of Pentecost that persuaded three thousand people to beg for baptism? It wasn’t their concern about “heart attacks, arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure, and hypertension,” or even their desire to have “a whole lot more fun in bed.”
Listen to his conclusion. It has three parts: “Let all the house of Israel, therefore, know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” First, there is a God. Second, Jesus is “both Lord and Christ,” and, finally, Jesus died for our sins. Join me. How can we make that message clear in 2021?