Monday, January 6, 2014

Will the Real Jesus Please Stand

Earlier this week I placed a quote from Dr. Adrian Rogers who said, "What you do with Jesus will determine what Jesus does with you." At first glace, it seems to be a little harsh. After all, that's not the Jesus that our culture knows for the most part. Instead, we have embraced a wimpy feminized Jesus. We are  rarely, if ever, introduced to the Jesus who had rough and calloused carpenters hands and who went into the temple with righteous fire in his eyes, started pitching tables, and accused them of being a bunch of thieves.

I believe this is partly the result of the modern church's attempt to placate a self-proclaimed "tolerant" culture that no longer wants to be faced with absolute truth. They don't want to be told anything emphatically. Thus, an over-emphasizes on the grace of God, and a virtual dismissal of the justice of God. They teach on heaven all day long, but never touch the subject of hell lest they appear to be coming on too strongly or someone gets offended.

Make no mistake about it, it is always easier to deliver good news to people rather than bad. In my current position at the university, I speak with students everyday about their academic successes and failures. Oh, it's easy and uplifting to all to let a student know how well they are doing in their studies. On the other hand, it can be quite difficult to lay out the bad and the ugly in that same conversation, but it must be done. For me not to do so would be totally unfair to the student. If I know where the road that he or she is on is headed, I have an obligation to tell them them the truth. 

However, when it comes to spiritual things, why is that Christians and the the church as a whole shy away from speaking truth? Could it be that we are afraid of being accused of being intolerant and judgmental. I believe so. The left is using this tactic to elbow the church away from the table. They want us to shut up and will do everything in their power to make us look like intolerant bigots, and hatemongers if we refuse to do so (e.g., Phil Robertson from Duck Dynasty). Ravi Zacharias said it best the other day when he said, "This is the new America of tolerance, another vacuous word defined by relativists whose only absolutes are the denial of any other reality except their own." 

I think that we need to be reminded that it was our Lord who said in Matthew 7:13-14 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat. because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. He was merely stating fact. The words "many" and "few" in those verses meant then exactly what they mean today.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Eternal Life - 1 John 2:25-26

v.25 And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.

What a promise God has promised those who stay faithful to what they have learned. Please remember that in the previous verses he was talking about remembering what they had been taught in regards to who Jesus Christ was in spite of what many where saying around them. Jesus Christ claimed to be God incarnate and the apostles taught the same. To deny the deity of Christ is to deny salvation (vv.22-23).

People will be quick to jump at this point and ask, "So, does that mean that people can lose their salvation?" Personally, I don't believe the Bible teaches that for a minute, and those who do simply do not have a grasp on the Scriptures. My point is that we are very quick to accuse people of losing their salvation when in fact they never had it to start with. If a person denies the deity of Christ, they never had saving faith.

v.26 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you.

Again, John is writing this epistle in response to the false teachers of the day who where teaching contrariwise and leading many away from the truth. Folks, those deceivers are still with us today. As a matter of fact, a group of them called Jehovah's Witnesses may just show up on your door one Saturday morning. They do not have the truth and are trying to lead others away from the truth. John speaks of these guys when he says in II John 7-11 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.  (8)  Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.  (9)  Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.  (10)  If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:  (11)  For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.