| I DID NOT write THIS but I will Amen it.|
Everybody Claiming to Know Jesus
I was intrigued to observe a sign being held by one of the protesters at the writers strike in California this week. Scrawled under a sign bearing the Writers Guild of America logo was the message: Huckabee, Jesus Wouldnt Cross.
The protesters message was being aimed at Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, a Christian, who crossed picket lines on Wednesday to appear on NBCs The Tonight Show, prior to Thursdays Iowa caucus.
And it struck me that, in this present age of situational ethics and moral ambivalence, man is continually attempting to create Jesus in his own image, usually to fit the circumstances or states of affairs in which he finds himself.
We often hear conflicting arguments that Jesus would be a Republican or a Democrat if He were living on earth today.
As evidence, we see books such as Clint Willis and Nate Hardcastles Jesus Is Not a Republican: The Religious Rights War on America or Mark Ellingsens When Did Jesus Become Republican? We also see Alan Colmes book, Red, White and Liberal, which contains a chapter (Jesus was a Liberal) in which he attempts to define Jesus as a social liberal.
We also hear people insinuating that Jesus would be driving a hybrid car if He were on the earth today. Or we hear that Jesus would be working to help the oppressed people of our world.
Moreover, I believe that even within the church today we often see depictions of Jesus that are simply unfounded.
The fact is that opinions of Jesus dont really matter.
The only thing that matters in our understanding of Jesus is what He told us of Himself in His Word, the Bible. And the Bible must be our only standard in our endeavors to understand Jesus, the Son of the Living God, and His purpose for our lives.
In this regard, it is important to note that Jesus did not come to earth to teach us what car to drive or which candidate to vote for or to compel us not to cross picket lines.
Instead, Jesus came for one simple reason, as He stated in Luke 19:10: For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
That statement applies to all of us, for we are all lost without Jesus Christ in our lives.
Jesus did certainly outline plans for the disciples (and hence the present church) to care for widows, the affirmed and the disadvantaged. But this was not His principal message.
I fear that many people these days are using modern social guidelines such as inclusiveness or multi-culturalism or globalism to define Jesus.
In effect, these individuals are attempting to socialize the Gospel, humanizing Jesus to fit their needs.
These are superficial perceptions of Jesus and have virtually nothing to do with the Bible narrative of His life and design.
And so to understand Jesus, we must first understand that He understands us even more than we understand ourselves; and we fail when we attempt to justify ourselves by recreating what the Bible makes clear about Him.
A wonderful verse is I Samuel 16:7 because it shows Gods uniqueness in His approach to mankind. That verse states:
for man looketh upon the outside appearance, but the Lord looketh upon the heart.
And the heart is where we truly find Jesus and His purpose.
When we trust in Christ, we then know the purpose of Christ.
Paul, writing to the church at Ephesus, explained the beauty of truly knowing Jesus: And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.
My prayer for this New Year is that I can reach out in love with this message to many people so that they can truly know Jesus Christ as He wants to be known.
Lets work together in this effort!
| 2008/1/4 18:50|
West Monroe, LA
| Re: I DID NOT write THIS but I will Amen it.|
A hearty amen also!
| 2008/1/4 18:55||Profile|
| Re: I DID NOT write THIS but I will Amen it.|
(This is not just for Americans, but message for everyone, especially for those who are preaching another gospel)
by David Servant
Bible Jesus told His ministers that their goal was to make disciples who would obey all of His commandments (see Matt. 28:19-20).
American Jesus tells his ministers that their goal is to gather the largest possible crowds on Sunday mornings.
Bible Jesus promised freedom from sin to those who would become His true disciples and abide in His Word (see John 8:31-36).
American Jesus makes no such promises. Sinners and addicts must wait until heaven for any hope of freedom.
American Jesus does offer psychological counseling and support groups.
Bible Jesus believed that being a believer in Him and being His disciple were synonymous. He called everyone to take the first step in a relationship with Him by becoming His committed disciple (see Matt. 28:19-20; Luke 14:25-35; John 8:30-31).
American Jesus believes one can be a heaven-bound believer even if he never becomes a disciple, which is an optional step for believers who really want to commit themselves to him.
Bible Jesus calls for passionate devotion. He declared that we are not worthy of Him if we love our parents or our children more than Him. We can't come after Him unless we deny ourselves and take up our cross (see Matt. 10:37-38; 16:24).
American Jesus doesn't mind taking second place to more exciting things like football, NASCAR and WWF.
The chief difference between Bible Jesus and American Jesus is this: Bible Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords, almighty Son of God, and soon-coming Judge of all, whereas American Jesus is only savior and friend. The chief difference between those who believe in Bible Jesus and those who believe in American Jesus is this: Those who believe in Bible Jesus obey His commandments and love the brethren (see 1 John 2:3-6; 3:9-10, 14), while those who believe in American Jesus possess a thin veneer of holiness and don't care about the brethren. [b]In fact, they often hate and criticize Jesus' true followers, calling them "unbalanced fanatics" or "legalists" or "holier-than-thous" (see 1 John 2:9, 11, 19; 3:14; 4:20).[/b]
But here is the most sobering fact: People are saved, not when they believe that salvation is by faith, but when they believe in a person, a divine person named Jesus Christ (see John 3:16). That being so, it ought to concern us when so many people who claim to be Christians believe in a Jesus who is so vastly different from Bible Jesus. [i]People who believe in American Jesus actually don't believe in Jesus at all.[/i] American Jesus is an American idol.
When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?Jesus (Luke 18:8).
| 2008/1/4 19:14||Profile|