THE INCOMPARABLE JESUS CHRIST
More than 2000 years ago there was a man born contrary to the laws of nature.
He laid aside his purple robe for a peasant’s tunic. He was rich, yet for our sake he became poor. This man lived in poverty and was raised in obscurity. He received no formal education and never possessed wealth or widespread influence. He never traveled extensively. He seldom crossed the boundary of the country in which he lived.
JOHN 3:36 (KJV)
“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”
There is no certainty that any of us will wake up tomorrow morning. We are only alive today because of God’s mercy. All of us have sinned and displeased God and deserve to be consumed by His wrath. However, God has made a way of escape from eternal torment. His Son Jesus died as a payment for our sins so that you and I can experience eternal life. This eternal life is available to us as a free gift, but we must meet the conditions for receiving it.
God wants every person on this planet to receive the gift of salvation and to worship and serve Him in return. He wants us to experience the joys that come from knowing Him as a personal friend and Savior. He then wants us to tell the whole world about the deliverance He provides.
Heaven or Hell?
What happens to men and women when they die? Do people simply cease to exist as some people say, or is there life after death?
The Bible tells us that it is “appointed unto men once to die and after that the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). In Matthew 25, we read that when Jesus returns to earth He will sit on His judgment throne and separate the people of all nations into two groups. Those on His right will hear the words, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” Those on His left will hear the words, “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.”
JOHN 8:32 (KJV)
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
There are many places in our world where a person might find bits of truth. The source of all truth, however, can only be found in God Himself. He is our Creator and Sustainer. He is the one who loves us and preserved for us the Holy Bible. The Bible is completely reliable since it was inspired by God. Other ‘holy books’ may make similar claims, but they lose credibility when put under intense scrutiny.
The Bible accurately reveals to us the truth about our need for God. It also tells us about Jesus, fully man and fully God, who died for our sins, rose again, and now lives in heaven to intercede with God on our behalf.
Hebrews 9:27 (KJV)
“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment”
No person can expect to live on this earth forever. We don’t have the promise of another day, regardless how young we are.
Death is the common enemy of all mankind. But what can we expect after our life on earth is over? Does death usher us into oblivion, or into something more?
Throughout the Bible we see that death is not the end, but rather the beginning. The beginning of life in eternity. Between these two modes of existence (life on earth and life in eternity), we will face the judgment.
GENESIS 1:1 (KJV)
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”
Did God really create the heaven and the earth? If He did, as He said He did, then He is God. If He did not, then He is obviously an imposter and a liar.
However, the Bible says that God’s declarations are sure and stronger than the force of all men combined. One must embrace the truth of the creation, or altogether throw out the Bible and the God of the Bible.
What does man become without belief in a Creator God to whom he is accountable? He degenerates into moral depravity, violence, and lawlessness.
Psalm 119:89 (KJV)
For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.
This book reveals the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable.
Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, and practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveler’s map, the pilgrim’s staff, the pilot’s compass, the soldier’s sword, and the Christian’s charter.
Here paradise is restored, heaven opened, and the gates of hell disclosed. Christ is its grand object, our good is its design, and the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet.
JAMES 1:15 (KJV)
“Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”
Lusts of the flesh refer to our strong desires for things that seem pleasurable but do not bring lasting satisfaction and peace. A person who is controlled by lust pursues money, fame, power, pleasure, or sexual gratification in ways that God forbids. God forbids these inordinate pursuits, not because he wants to make our lives miserable, but because He knows that lust destroys our spiritual health and the possibility of a relationship with Him. He realizes what people often do not understand — that lusts are self-gratifying appetites that cause people to worship themselves and God’s creation in place of God the Creator. The consequences for this idolatry are misery here and punishment in the future. Many people who have passed from this life are presently experiencing eternal torment because they yielded to lust.
Jesus has been under attack in our world for many years. I invite you to consider the first four verses of 1 John. These verses contend that Jesus Christ is the only way to God. Although much of our culture disagrees with this idea and poses clever arguments against it, this passage shows that Jesus Christ fits the qualifications for being fully God and fully man.
The attack on Jesus Christ is carried on both overtly and covertly. Overtly, we hear people using the name of Jesus in hard swearing and slang cussing. Covertly, the music, the news media, and the books of our culture carry a subversive element that mines away at the person and character of Jesus Christ. His name is polarizing, and when His name is used in public, charges of exclusivity are raised. The speaker is blamed for excluding others by saying Jesus is the way to God. Those who use the name of Jesus with respect are accused of discrimination and divisiveness. Bringing Jesus into a conversation often creates tension, making people uncomfortable.
People often begin to lose faith in God as a result of their life experiences. Some face things that seem cruel or unbearable. Others are confronted with information presented from a secular viewpoint that rejects God.
Through experiences like these, people start questioning whether the God of the Bible truly has the answers to life’s problems. As they begin to doubt God, their faith begins to waver and weaken. As a result of their doubts, they may stop worshipping and communicating with God, which in turn, makes it even easier for their faith to diminish and eventually die.
God wants us to reach out to Him in faith, even when our faith feels very small. He wants us to trust Him even when it seems there is not much reason to do so. Several millennia ago, a man named Job experienced huge financial losses, deep grief in losing his children, and severe physical illness. At a time like this, Job would have seemingly had many reasons to doubt God and lose his faith. His wife even suggested that he curse God and die.