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Brian Schrimpsher wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • I was wondering, why Jesus didn't visit other countries?
  • Why did he not introduce himself to the world?
  • Why just a specific region?

I believe in Christ and God but often wonder. I have been touched by heaven's messengers emotionally and physically. I have so many questions but have no answers. I'm so confused but I believe and have faith in the Lord, the King of Kings. I know the pasts of Roman Catholics, it's not pretty. Please let me know how you feel on this subject.

  • Can one be this close to God without going to church?
  • I feel a close relationship with the Almighty. Do you think this is possible?

Let me hear your response without references to Scripture.

Brian

  { Why didn't Jesus visit other countries plus can one be this close to God without going to church? }

Eric replied:

Hi, Brian —

First of all, Jesus did visit other countries, for example, Egypt, when he was an infant. As for why he didn't as an adult, Jesus's purpose was very specific: To proclaim the Gospel to Israel.

Part of that involved training apostles to carry on his work. They did go into the world, very quickly:

  • Thomas went to India
  • Mark went to Alexandria
  • Peter went to Antioch and Rome
  • Andrew went to Byzantium and Kiev
  • Barnabas went to Cyprus
  • Jude Thaddeus to Armenia, Libya, Mesopotamia, Syria, Samaria, and Idumaea
  • Bartholomew to Ethiopia, Parthia, Lycaonia, and Armenia.

Jesus got the message out without having to go to other countries. Perhaps he thought it better to concentrate on training and commissioning a few apostles to go out rather than spent his brief 3 1/2 years traipsing all over the world. This factored into the idea that he expected people to believe what the apostles taught as they believed him himself, a matter we'll revisit shortly.

The pasts of Roman Catholics may not be pretty, but neither were the pasts of the Jews or,
for that matter, most Christians and atheists. We're a fallen race. You should judge a medicine by those who take it, not those who don't take it. Just because someone is "Catholic", doesn't mean they are making a concerted effort to follow and practice the faith; it usually only means they were baptized Catholic, but what if they were practicing the faith? Peter, the head of the Church and chief apostle, denied the Lord three times, and another apostle betrayed the Lord. There will always be sinners. The Church is not a museum for saints, but a hospital for sinners. If it were, you and I could not join.

Feelings don't tell us anything. You might feel close to a girl but that doesn't mean you are.
None of us knows for sure what our standing is before the Lord. We are all sinners, which means our sins need to be forgiven, which means we must be in communion with the Church. You also need the support of your fellow Christians; Christianity is a community faith, we need each other. There is no such thing as a Lone Ranger Christian.

As for Scripture, if you're unwilling to listen to Scripture:

  • you clearly don't acknowledge it as the Word of God.
  • If you don't acknowledge the Word of God, you cannot know what God has revealed.
  • If you don't know what God has revealed, you cannot know the truth about what God wants (especially if you refuse to be a part of a church).
  • If you don't know the truth, you are at a major disadvantage when it comes to doing what is necessary to be saved. You're flying blind.

The Scriptures are like God's instruction book for life. Life is like an airplane. Without the instructions, you might think you know how to fly it, but chances are good you won't figure it out, and even if you do, you might do it wrong. It will take you a lot longer, be a lot more dangerous, and be a lot more frustrating. Why not just:

  • read the instructions
  • take the course (go to church)
  • listen to the instructor (the teaching office of the Church), and
  • not have to figure stuff out on your own (and risk your immortal soul)?

Eric

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