People have had a problem with Jesus’ teachings since the very beginning of Christianity. His teachings are radical and unreasonable, they say. They are impossible to live by. Surely Jesus wouldn’t expect us to live like that? They push the Sermon on the Mount into a future dispensation so that they can ignore it. But Jesus himself said, “If you love me, you will keep my commands.” (John 14:15)
Our goal with this billboard message is to encourage people to consider the teachings and example of Christ and to follow Him in obedience.
In the book of Matthew Jesus calls us to love Him and obey Him and keep His commandments. He expects us to love our spouses for life. He calls us to love our enemies. He asks us not to take oaths. He teaches that we should not hoard up wealth but rather to share with the poor. He asks us to deny ourselves and take up our cross like He did. As followers of Jesus, we can obey His teachings with a heart of faith and love. This can generally characterize our lives, even if we don’t do it perfectly.
If we realize that we have not followed a teaching of Christ, we can repent, and God will forgive us. If we fail or disobey, we are not condemned. The Apostle John tells us that we have an advocate with the Father through Jesus Christ the righteous when we sin. Jesus is in the business of making us into people who want to obey His will and His word. The beautiful message of the Gospel is that we can be transformed from the inside out.
Perhaps you are aware that the younger generation is disillusioned with a version of Christianity that is propositional but not practical. They are disappointed with people who profess Christianity yet live like those who do not know Christ. They are looking to you and me for a genuine Christianity that takes Jesus word’s seriously. Most people are not looking for Christians to be perfect. They are looking for people who are making a diligent attempt to follow Christ and who will repent when they realize that they are not following His teachings.
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Here in America people have developed all sorts of conclusions about salvation, obedience, works, faith, eternal security, etc. that are not based on the truth that Jesus lived and taught.
Here are some of the things Jesus had to say on this topic. When we read verses like these, it is important that we don’t minimize the things Jesus said. Instead we should be willing to cast our lot with Christ in helping to proclaim His teachings around the world.
May God’s grace be upon you as you love and serve King Jesus!
“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory… “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink;… And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
“But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say? Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: He is like a man building a house…
Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
John 14:15, 21, 23-24
“If you love Me, keep My commandments. He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”… “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.
If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
Rev. 20: 12-13
And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.
Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.