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Monday, 23 December 2013

THE EXCLUSIVITY OF JESUS CHRIST: THE ONLY WAY TO THE FATHER

The Unique Claims of Jesus Christ

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.  (John 14/6)
Of all the religious leaders in the world only Jesus Christ claimed exclusivity as the Son of God and the only way to God.
……he asked his disciples,“Who do people say that the Son of Man is? ”And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”  He said to them ,“But who do you say that I am?”Simon Peter replied,“You are the Christ,the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you,Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you,but my Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 16/13-17)
Speculation about exactly who Jesus is is still going on today and many recognise Jesus Christ as someone very special:
· Islam knows Jesus as Isa who is one of God's highest-ranked and most-beloved prophets.
· The Jews consider that Jesus was a teacher and a leader but reject his claim to be their Messiah.
· Buddhism acknowledges that Jesus was a great person.
· Most Hindus believe Jesus was a wise man and respect him as the founder of Christianity.
· The New Age Movement says that there have been many Christs and that Jesus is one of many.
The critical question for every person on the planet is: Who was Jesus Christ in reality?
These are the metaphors Jesus used about Himself:
The bread of life ( John 6/35).
The light of the world (John 9/5).
The door or gate - (the door of the sheep) (John 10/9).
The Good Shepherd – leader of the sheep ( John 10/11).
The resurrection and the life (John 11/25).
The way the truth and the life ( John 14/6).
The true vine (John 15/1).
Why Was Christ Crucified?
I have heard Richard Dawkins call the God of Christianity a “child abuser”  by putting his Son through the crucifixion. He said: “If God can do anything why can’t He just simply forgive everyone for the bad things they have done?”   Dawkins assumes an earthly father/child relationship between the Father and the Son, but this is to view things from an earthly perspective.  Christ is God Himself and one with the Father (John 1/1,14; 8/58).  The crucifixion was planned before the foundation of the world by the Godhead  (1 Peter 1/20).  Why doesn't God forgive everyone?  Well everyone is invited to accept God's forgiveness if they so choose, but that involves repentance and faith and many do not wish to turn away from sin.  

The Lord is not slow to fulfil his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. (2 Peter 3/9)


Because God is righteous He cannot just simply forgive everyone carte blanche, God will not violate the human will and force anyone determined to persist in sin to repent and be forgiven.

The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thessalonians 2 9-12)

There are consequences for bad actions, that is the nature of the world we live in. Every single person has done something wrong at some time in their lives whether great or small. We cannot escape the fact that there is something very wrong inside each of us even if we claim to be good honest people (1 John 1/8). The very nature of God is love, but it is a tough love which cannot overlook the evil actions of individuals (1 John 4/8) To simply forgive is to say that sin doesn't matter when actually it does matter intensely to a holy and righteous God. Evil actions are destructive not only for the perpetrator but for those who are affected by them, and left unchecked evil grows so that people become worse and worse, more and more the opposite of God and alienated from Him. God is all truth and light he cannot look upon evil, therefore he can have nothing to do with those who are evil and do evil, those who are in darkness, basically everyone. Because every person falls short of the glory of God, even if someone wanted to, no one is qualified to pay the penalty. Blood is the currency which pays for what the Bible calls ‘sin’, but ordinary human blood will not do – only the blood of a sinless person – Jesus Christ.
Psalm 14 alone uses some strong language to describe atheists: corrupt, unwise, perverse, ignorant, evildoers, violent. Unbelievers are God's enemies. For some it is more convenient that they don't believe because they do not want to be accountable. This in itself is foolishness because it only delays the inevitable encounter with Him and it is more beneficial that it should be sooner in the time of grace. The disease of sin has infected the whole race of mankind and we need to face up to it.

The critical question concerning Jesus Christ for everyone on the planet today is: Who do you say that I am? (Luke 9/20).

Jesus Christ:  "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel."  (Mark 1/15)

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