"And, while I am admittedly a skeptic of Chistianity because it is very important to me to believe that God accepts all, I also know that the idea "believe and then you will see" has a lot of truth in it."
I for one appreciate your respectful approach to the subject, first and foremost.
In respect to your question, I think you just answered everything you're in search of right here.
God does except all of those that believe in Him and ask Him into their heart. To my understanding, at least.
If a person is honest in prayer, and he/she truly believes in Christ and the message He stood for (In His own words, and those of his prophets-people make the biggest mistake here by deciding to judge whether or not God is real by the actions of today's Christians. You don't find faith in Him through me, or any other in today's world. You may be nudged in that direction, or maybe you won't. In any respect, that answer has to come from within. We are merely His followers, but nobody speaks for God Himself-that relationship has to be personal), and is prepared to live a life for Him, rather than one's own self, which includes repentance, faith has its own way of proving God does indeed exist.
On a final note, many confuse repentance with personal judgement. If I tell John Doe that God says that he must repent for his sins, John Doe quite often will assume that I myself am judging him, when that's not the case at all. There is no perfect one here today in our world. We all sin daily, all of us fail to live up to God's wishes. But the effort is needed, at the same time, to do right, to do good.
As for there being a certain type of "Proof of life," I believe that one needs only to look around at our world today to find that answer.
Many people have such a narrow angle to this. Take sex/adultry. "It's natural for me to feel sexually attracted to others, how can that be a sin?" Or, "It's natural and healthy to have sex. It helps me with stress, etc."
One of the most beautiful things there is in life, I've always felt, is to look into the eyes of an elderly couple that have spent their lifetimes together. We have all come across an 80 year old couple that is still holding hands together, gleaming with love for one another. Regardless of what we ourselves have done in our personal lives, I doubt that any person, Christian or not, would have the ability to look at a couple like this and not find the beauty in the entire story that enfolds just by looking at them.
Compare that now to today's lifestyle, that which includes nearly two thirds of our people 30 or younger having slept with a dozen or more people before marriage. Than look at the national divorce rate, that which stands at 52%. Not to mention the fact that there were 950,000 confirmed cases of new STD's alone in 2004, meaning the number is likely to be far closer to 5 million overall, and that's just in the US. Some here do not believe in any disease or STD's, evidently, but if I'm allowed to quote from actual statistics, there's your number.
To present this type of example is not meant to judge the individuals, but the action, the lifestyle, for it is that all sinners have their oppurtunity to turn to God in life. Once you are born again, the past means nothing, only the present and future has its meaning.
Look at how we define success today-You are deemed successful if you earn a six figure salary and own a $400K plus home. If you don't, you're a failure, moreless. That's not how everyone thinks, but that's what we think about things on an overall scale.
In the process, however, look at what's become of our families-In order to have achieve such success, our children our being dropped off at daycares, and by the time they reach their teen years they are having sex and doing drugs, cutting themselves, etc, all in a show of pain brought forth by the neglect of their family, that which is brought about because of the parents inability to spend time with their kids.
Ironically, Jesus spoke against nearly every attribute mentioned here, which shows us just how much He loves us. Not only by breaking His commandments do we go against Him, but look at what happens to our own lives, our own world, in the process.
There comes a point that one must decide whether you are going to live your life for yourself, or for Him, you see. Some will call Christianity "Brainwashing" and "Slavery," while those that truly believe in His message of hope see it for what it is-a blessed gift.
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