Who is this Jesus? (Part 4)
Greetings precious people, I hope all is well with you. Is there something that I can pray for you? A physical illness; troubled heart or mind; a problem in your family or other relationship? If so, you can send your request for prayer to any of the addresses listed at the end of this article.
In todayís article I would like for us to continue looking at who Jesus is. In past weeks we considered the various views and ideas people and religions have of who Jesus is. We also looked at what the Bible, Godís Word, has to say about who Jesus is. We saw that Jesus was accused by His enemies and confirmed by the Bible to be "The Friend of sinners" of which I am very thankful. We also looked at the many names and titles attributed to Jesus that helps to describe His character.
In todayís article, I would like for us to consider the reason for which people of religions and the non-religious make Jesus out to be less than who the Bible says He is. A week or so ago now I was told of a man that has spent over a decade of his life trying to prove that Jesus is a fictitious mythical figure. Why is it that anyone would knowingly demote Jesus Christ the Lord to be a mythical figure or "just" a man, prophet, philosopher, or a "god"? The reason for this without fail, 100% of the time, is his attempts to discredit Jesus, he thinks this will lessen the impact of the Words and life of Jesus, or so one thinks.
Listen carefully dear ones, even if everyone in this world were to agree on believing a lie, such as Jesus was not God and that His Word is not the Word of God, it will never change the fact that Jesus IS God and His Word IS the Word of God. And because of this, all that He has spoken will, one day, sooner or later dramatically impact your life. Now and for all eternity.
The reason for which man rejects Jesus Christ the Lord and His Word is always without exception because of one issue, and that issue is sin. Man does not want to face up to the fact of sin in his life, and so he attempts to belittle God and His Word. Let me cite a few examples in the Bible of things Jesus had to say.
Man does not like the thought that God will one day judge sin and the sinner. Man dislikes this fact so much that he has all but done away with the existence of sin. That which the Word of God, the Bible calls sin, man now claims it to be good and acceptable. Such things as fornication, adultery, homosexuality, lying, cheating, murder (abortion), are widely accepted and given the stamp of approval by man.
Lets take a look at what the Bible has to say about God judging every action, word, thought, and motive. In Matthew 12:36-37, "But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the Day of Judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned." Psalm 59:12-13,
"For the sin of their mouth and the words of their lips, Let them even be taken in their pride, and for the cursing and lying which they speak. Consume them in wrath, consume them, That they may not be; and let them know that God rules in Jacob to the ends of the earth." Ecclesiastes 12:14, "For God will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, whether good or evil." Luke 12:3, "Therefore whatever you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in the ear in inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops." Romans 2:16, "In the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel." Romans 14:10-12, "But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written: "As I live, says the LORD, Every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God." So then each of us shall give account of himself to God." Hebrews 4:12-13, "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account."
Think of the ramifications of this! Every word, action, thought, inaction that you have ever done will one day be brought before a Holy God and be judged in light of His Righteousness. How frightening! No wonder man does all that he can to try and make believe that what the Bible says is not true.
Man abhors the fact that God knows more than he does and that God knows what is best for man. Man so often takes the view of Godís Word as an attempt to spoils manís "fun", to be the cosmic party pooper. Consider a few verses with me for a moment. In Matthew 5:27-28, Jesus has this to say, "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart." Matthew 5:31-48, "Furthermore it has been said, 'Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.' "But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery. Ö. Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No.' For whatever is more than these is from the evil one. "You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away. "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect." Matthew 6:19-21, "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matt 6:24, "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." Talk about issues that just grate against human nature and the norm of our society.
Without a doubt, the most intolerable words that Jesus has ever spoken are those having to do with heaven and hell and how a person gets to either place. In Matthew7:13-14, Jesus has this to say, "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it." Matthew 7:21-23, "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'" John 10:7-10, "Then Jesus said to them again, "Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture." John 14:6, "Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." Acts 4:12, "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."
To think that there is but one way for a person to get to heaven is totally unacceptable to most, even many that call themselves Christians. Yet acceptable or not, this is what the Bible says and it is the Truth.
Dear one, have you made up your own way or have you accepted Godís Way of salvation through Jesus Christ the Lord? May God grant to you the grace to accept His way. May the Lord richly bless you beloved.
If you have any questions, comments, or prayer requests you can contact me at: Calvary Chapel of Alpine, P.O. Box 1528, Alpine, Ca. 91903 or call 619-445-2589, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Drew Macintyre is pastor of Calvary Chapel of Alpine