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Once, while browsing through a bookstore, I came across a book with a very catchy title and beautiful book cover. That was enough to pique my interest, and then I recalled seeing an interview with author David Aikman about his newest book: Jesus in Beijing: How Christianity is transforming China and changing the global balance of power. David Aikman wrote from his experiences as Time Magazine’s bureau chief in Beijing. The book reveals much about the history and dramatic rise of Christianity in modern China, even under extreme persecution. The author begins by telling about a meeting he attended in 2002 along with several other Americans. The speaker was a scholar from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing. He describes the speaker as an urbane academic in his late thirties who spoke excellent English. On page five of this book, the author recounts what this speaker had to say. “One of the things we were asked to look into was what accounted for the success, in fact, the pre-eminence of the West all over the world. We studied everything we could from the historical, political, economic, and cultural perspective. At first, we thought it was because you had more powerful guns than we had. Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic system. But in the past twenty years, we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity. That is why the West has been so powerful. The Christian moral foundation of social and cultural life was what made possible the emergence of capitalism and the successful transition to democratic politics. We don’t have any doubt about this.” Maybe your reaction would be the same as mine upon hearing such a statement from a Chinese intellectual. I couldn’t help but think — why is it that so many people in America are now heard bashing Christianity and any and all references to God? As a missionary evangelist, I have always reminded people that one of the side benefits of becoming a disciple of Christ Jesus is that you will enjoy the best possible lifestyle in all the world’s history. What these scholars in China have discovered, and what we must realize is that there is no better life than the Christian life! That means that our best leaders will be people who are unashamed to declare faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Master. Our best scholars and teachers are Christians, our best scientists and engineers are Christians, our best attorneys and judges are Christians, our best public servants are Christians, and yes the best citizens are Christians. We can unequivocally believe this statement as the truth when we realize that the Christian faith is the one true faith which God has chosen for all people of the world. It is the one faith in which people from all ethnic and religious backgrounds can find hope for common salvation and common earthly goals. When we read the Bible we first encounter people living by faith in the one true God and following His divine will which was made known to them directly through the heads of families. God has always allowed humans the power of choosing or rejecting his great love. The majority of people have wanted to experiment with life without God’s will hampering their freedom. However, in ancient times, many people chose to follow God with simple obedient faith. People such as Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Jacob and Joseph showed the way of faith. Then God began to reveal his divine purpose through the descendents of Jacob or Israel. These Israelites were chosen by God to receive the written word which is profitable for all mankind. They came to be known by the world as Jews. According to many ancient prophecies, a Messiah or Christ would come who would be the Savior for all people. Jesus of Nazareth came exactly at the time and place that was predicted by prophets living many centuries before his birth. He lived as a simple carpenter, and then at the right time, Jesus began to teach with authority as no teacher has ever taught, and to perform mighty miracles. Jesus knew that He would be rejected by the majority of people even as the majority of people continue to reject God’s love. He accepted the shame and suffering of death on the cross without putting up any resistance. This incredible act of love by our Lord makes it possible for all people to receive forgiveness of sins and enjoy hope of eternal life, and live as brothers and sisters in this life. The New Testament book of Acts tells us that these first disciples were called Christians. They were called Christians because they understood that when they were persuaded to follow Jesus they would have a strong desire to be like Christ, and moreover, they were gladly willing to be persecuted for wearing the name Christian.The Christian faith is the true faith for all mankind, because we fully believe that Jesus is really the Way, Truth and Life for every person. Jesus commanded his followers to take the message of salvation through faith in him to all people in the world. We know that no other philosophy or ideology has ever spread so quickly and widely as the faith of Jesus Christ. Modern day citizens of the United States of America should be looking inside our souls and asking “if Christianity is appealing to China, why is it not still good for America?” Public distribution of the Bible and Christian literature along with public debates and searching for the truth of Jesus Christ should never be feared in our society. Just because there are a few charlatans who appear in any generation, we should not think that we should throw out this wonderful religion of forgiveness, justice, hope and joy for all people. If you have never accepted the amazing salvation that is offered to you by the gift of God’s love, then why not make that choice today? Receive Jesus Christ as your Savior by confessing that faith, repenting of your sins, and obeying the commandments of our Lord Jesus Christ to be baptized. You are invited to attend the services of the Church of Christ which meets at the corner of 3rd and E Streets. Please write to me with any questions or comments at P.O. Box 186, Cedar Key, FL 32625 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you may also request to receive the daily WORD OF THE DAY by e-mail. Visit our web site at www.cedarkeychurchofchrist.com.