Pastors, academics, friends, and others talk about Jesus—they just don’t talk about the same one. To some He’s the man from Galilee, others call Him Savior and Lord, and others define Him as the greatest pacifist, socialist and guy who loves and saves everyone regardless of their behavior or belief.
How do you know which Jesus is the real Jesus?
People crave messages offering simple truth about the times we live in. Trust is something remembered from the good old days, not something you teach your children today by pointing out any politician, doctor, news anchor, minister, or teacher. Watch the news long enough and you have ample reason to distrust all the above.
False teaching is the greatest hazard within Christianity, a condition unchanged since Jude penned his book. How do you know that one of your core beliefs isn’t the result of false teaching or false prophecy?
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.” – 1 John 4:1,3
The Beginning of Confusion
Barna Research discovered that only a small fraction of Christians in the US believe that the Bible is the inerrant and inspired Word of God. If there are 100 people in your church next Sunday, chances are most of them hold beliefs that came from somewhere other than God.
When you talk about the Bible today, the written word of God, you must clarify which Bible you mean: the Protestant, the Catholic, the Hebrew, or one of the more creative translations or paraphrased books labeled “bible.”
Bible scholarship is simply that—the study of a book titled The Bible. Every academic who studies the words printed in the book is free to teach whatever opinion he or she draws from the exercise. The best, brightest, and most credentialed academics across twenty centuries don’t agree on what the Bible says.
Where does that leave you? Simply put, the responsibility to “rightly divide” the Word of God is yours alone. (2 Timothy 2:15)
The only way to know if something is true is by checking it against God’s word and comparing it to the character and heart of the Father.
God or Not God
One choice eclipses all others, the choice between God and Not God. It may sound like an easy choice, but don’t be deceived. Most Christians would probably say, “Of course I choose God.” Unfortunately, many of them would be wrong.
Society today is divided on every topic from ecology to abortion. If there is one thing most people could absolutely agree upon, it would be that there is no such thing as absolute truth.
Do you believe that anything is absolutely true or right in all instances and circumstances without exception? What would that one thing be? How many might agree with you?
The following five words no longer have a single common definition which makes speaking or debating issues of politics, culture, or faith a real mess. In fact, it isn’t even possible to define these words unless you first resolve the issue of whether absolutes exist.
There are as many unique relationships with God as there are humans. The experience of a friend, pastor, teacher, or writer won’t be the same as yours. Although they are children of the same true God, no two will ever walk identical paths of sanctification.
Why Do You Believe What You Believe?
Are you sure you know why you believe what you believe?
Do you define God the same way your friends do? Lessons about tolerance and spirituality taught in public schools aren’t consistent with God’s Word. Does your pastor preach the words of the apostles or those approved by a more progressive theology?
Unless you know exactly what simple words like Jesus, Christian, and Grace mean to them, how will you know if what you hear is true?
How can you be certain that the Jesus you know is the one who needs to know you? Of course, some popular Christian denominations will assure you it doesn’t really matter and that all will be well. They’re wrong.
This is the End Time. Perhaps you will see Jesus Christ today. When you do, be certain that He’s the one you expect to meet.
Do your beliefs conform more to the world or to God’s Word? You don’t want to be surprised when you meet Christ face to face.
Make your calling and election certain today!
This post introduces the book, Rapture and Revelation—An Engaging and Timely Challenge to Christians.