JasonKelty.com
 
I'm going to try to explain the basics of what Biblical Christianity is and is not in a logical way so everything can potentially make sense. Remember, I believe in what I believe for good factual reasons, not just (blind) 'faith'.
 
I'm going to start chronologically, of course, which brings us all the way back to Adam. I believe through all the scientific research it can be shown that the Bible's story of creation is the only 'theory' that is truly possible. Atheistic evolution is scientifically impossible. So is the idea that the earth and the rest of the universe are billions of years old. But remember, it's not unreasonable or unscientific to allow for God's miracles. He created nature's rules and he can bend them any way He wants.
 
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. No, I'm not going to just reprint the Bible verbatim now, but that is the first verse. It means what it says and says what it means. On the sixth day of creation He made Adam and later he made Eve from Adam's 'side' (rib). Yes, God's creation powers are miraculous. He didn't use millions of years of evolution to finally reach a creature he'd label as the first 'man.'
 
God told Adam (only Adam, by the way) not to eat the fruit of one particular tree in the Garden of Eden. Eve got tricked into eating it anyways and brought it to Adam. Adam knew he wasn't supposed to eat it (His only commandment!) but he ate it anyways. This was the first 'sin' and ever since then all of mankind (because we all stem from his genetics) became cursed with the concept of death. Adam was created perfectly by God and would not have died if this event didn't occur. But now, everyone is genetically a sinner, whether they think so or not, because of this 'original sin'. But, come on! Who can possibly say they've never committed even one sin in their life?! Nobody! Not even Mother Teresa or ANY of the Popes could claim such a thing. This just helps prove my point. EVERYBODY is a sinner.
 
One of God's attributes is holiness. That means he's perfectly 'good'. The concept of justice is a huge part of this. If a law is broken, justice must be properly served. This is what is meant by 'paying for your sins'. We mortals get upset when a murderer goes free or a corrupt politician doesn't go to jail, right? That's because of our innate sense of justice. God's justice is perfect. He can't just sweep some of your sins under the rug and pretend they didn't happen. They have to be 'paid for'. I never really got that until I understood God's concept of justice.
 
God says that even one sin is enough to deem a human unworthy of 'the Kingdom of God'. It says that because you've sinned, you die. Then you 'pay' for your lifetime of sin through a justified, eternal sentence in Hell. Hell is very real and something that NO human should think of as an acceptable alternative to joining God's family!
 
But that's where Jesus comes in. Let me back up a bit and point something out. In the Old Testament, God set up a system of sacrificing animals (a lamb, for example) for some 'temporary forgiveness' of sin. It was a symbolic ritual that focused on the shedding of innocent blood so God would forgive the sins of the person offering the sacrifice. But, animal sacrifices can't actually forgive human sins. It was all a foreshadowing of Jesus!
 
When Jesus started His ministry, He was called 'the Lamb of God'. He taught spiritual truth to the people around Israel for three and a half years, but His main mission was to be the ONE sacrifice that actually COULD forgive human sin. Why was He alone qualified? He didn't have the curse of Adam's original sin genetically passed down to Him because He was born of a virgin and He lived a lifetime without sinning so He had no sins of His own to pay for. When the Jews and Romans crucified Him, He went through the entire process WILLINGLY as an innocent man because He knew it was the ONLY way to save humanity from the 'Lake of Fire'. That kind of selfless Love gets my attention and I'll be forever grateful to Jesus for enduring the crucifixion so I don't have to go to Hell.
 
See, most people tend to think God grades on a scale. "The 'Hitlers' of the world go to Hell...but not me! I'm a good person". It doesn't work that way. Everyone is born already doomed to sin which leads to Hell...unless you let Jesus pay for your sins instead of YOU paying for them. Simple as that! I'd rather accept the free gift of salvation offered by this event than go to Hell and pay for my own sins, wouldn't you? So how does one 'accept the free gift'?
 
1. Believe in the Bible. It IS God's Word written by the Holy Spirit. If you doubt the Bible itself is true, you're basically calling God a liar whether you realize it or not.
 
2. Believe in the Bible's story about Jesus being born from a virgin, crucified, and raised from the dead so that people can be saved. It all happened 2000 years ago with the help of God's miracles, of course, but there's NO good reason to not believe this actually happened.
 
3. Ask God to forgive and save you! No matter what your life is like, just stop and talk to God! Admit you're a sinner to Him. Tell Him you're sorry. Tell Him you want to be a part of the 'Kingdom of God' and you need Jesus' sacrifice to wash away all your sins. Yes, this requires humility and some people just WON'T submit to a higher authority, even to the Creator of the Universe! Very foolish, indeed, but that's how a prideful, sin-loving, human heart tends to think. Please don't think like that. God is totally worthy of ALL human submission!
 
This is my basic attempt to explain the Gospel. It's only the tip of the iceberg compared to all the wisdom found in the Bible, but that should be enough to start your relationship with God. Just talk to Him!
 
Ready to start reading His Word? It truly IS an amazing story with lots of interesting subplots. I've compiled my own list of essential chapters which form the main historical plot and basic teachings of the Bible. If you follow this list for your first time reading the Bible, you can get the overall point of the whole Bible in roughly 30 hours. That could be an hour a day for a month or 10 minutes a day for 6 months. Go at your own pace, but just start reading :)

ONE MONTH BIBLE READING PLAN FOR FIRST READ-THROUGH

 
DAY 1
Genesis 1-4,6-9,11-12,15-19,21-22

DAY 2
Genesis 24-25, 27-33, 35, 37

Day 3
Genesis 39-50

DAY 4
Exodus 1-14

DAY 5
Exodus 16-17, 19-20, 24, 32-34, 40
Leviticus 18-20


DAY6
Leviticus 23-26
Numbers 6, 9-14, 16-17


DAY 7
Numbers 20-21, 25, 27, 30, 32
Deuteronomy 4, 7-8, 27-31


DAY 8
Deuteronomy 34
Joshua 1-12, 20


DAY 9
Joshua 22-24
Judges 1-2, 13-16
I Samuel 1, 3, 8-10


DAY 10
I Samuel 13, 15-25

DAY 11
I Samuel 26-31
II Samuel 1-7, 11-12, 24


DAY 12
I Kings 1-3, 5, 8-11

DAY 13
I Kings 17-19, 21
II Kings 1-9


DAY 14
II Kings 22-25
Ezra 1, 3-7
Nehemiah 1-6


DAY 15
Nehemiah 8-9
Ecclesiastes 3
Isaiah 51-55, 64-66
Jeremiah 30-31


DAY 16
Daniel 1-6
Jonah 1-4
Micah 5
Malachi 3-4


DAY 17
Matthew 1-13

DAY 18
Matthew 14-25

DAY 19
Matthew 26-28
Mark 1-8


DAY 20
Mark 9-16
Luke 1-2


DAY 21
Luke 3-11

DAY 22
Luke 12-21

DAY 23
Luke 22-24
John 1-7


DAY 24
John 8-19

DAY 25
John 20-21
Acts 1-9


DAY 26
Acts 10-22

DAY 27
Acts 23-28
Romans 1-8


DAY 28
Romans 9-15
I Corinthians 1-11


DAY 29
I Corinthians 12-15
Galatians 1-6
Ephesians 1-6


DAY 30
Philippians 1-4
Colossians 1-4
Hebrews 8-13


DAY 31
James 1-5
I Peter 1-5
II Peter 1-3
I John 1-5
 
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