Timothy S. Morton
The world and man in general has an inclination to label people. Mainly because of its insecurity the world likes to place people in convenient categories so it can better [it thinks] understand and classify them. Although there can be many classifications, basically there are two, conformists and non-conformists. Those who conform to the world's collective viewpoint and those who don't. It goes without saying your author [and even you, dear reader, merely because you are reading this] is grouped with the latter.
But what about the Lord Jesus Christ? Where does He fit in these arbitrary classifications? It is only natural to realize He didn't conform to the world because the world [from the worldly perspective] murdered Him. But what about those who profess to follow or believe on Him? What does their actions and words reveal about their true attitude concerning Christ and the Scriptures? Do they truly follow the Lord or do they merely profess to follow Him. Below we will identify some of the views of the Lord as revealed in the Holy Scriptures and see how His views line up with the prevalent Christian "philosophy."
To say that Jesus Christ was not ordinary is an understatement. He had a unique birth, a unique life, a unique death, and most of all a unique resurrection from death. Christ also held unique views about the world, man, God, sin, death, and judgment. The religious leaders of His day were adamantly opposed to His "new perspective." They deemed Him a tool of Beelzebub or Satan and manipulated the Roman government to have Him executed. Notice it was not what Christ did that led to his execution, it was what He said! However, the Lord was so contrary that He wouldn't stay dead. Just when the world thought they were rid of this non-conformist, he came back!
He believed the entire Old Testament as delivered to Him was God, His Father's, pure unadulterated word [Lk. 24:44].
He never once questioned the copies of these Scriptures He had. He never once appealed to the non-existent "original autographs" as an authority on anything.
He believed every word of these Scriptures was more stable than the entire universe [Mt. 5:18] and could not be broken [Jn. 10:35].
He placed His own words on the same level as these Scriptures [Mt. 24:35].
He insisted man could not truly live without every word of the Scriptures [Mt. 4:4] or in any sense be holy and clean without them [Jn. 17:17].
He read the Scriptures literally, not as metaphors or mystical poems.
He declared He was the fulfillment of the Scriptures [Lk. 4:21].
In general the world lumps these same Scriptures with all other religious writings as merely expressions of "man's search for meaning in a world of questions" blah, blah, blah. It doesn't treat them as the very words of the creator at all. This is to be expected. However, many of those who profess to follow Christ believe much the same. The most liberal of those who profess Christ treat the Bible as if it is mainly a book of fairy tales and many of the more conservative insist these pure words are no longer available in their purity. All we now have are reliable manuscripts and translations. Neither group believes what Christ believed. How about you?
He said God was a spirit and must be worshiped in spirit and truth [Jn 4:24].
He declared He existed before Abraham [Jn 8:58].
He said He should receive the same honor as God the Father [Jn. 5:23].
He revealed whoever has seen Him has seen the Father [Jn 14:9].
He said everything the Father has was His [Jn 16:15].
He said He was the only person who knew the Father [Mt 11:27].
He insisted He and the Father were one [Jn 10:30].
The deity of the Lord Jesus Christ is obvious. He is either Jehovah God manifest in the flesh [try that on your Jehovah Witness friends] or a pathological liar. The world and liberal choose Christ as a liar. Of course they won't openly say that. They are much too "caring" and "sensitive" to speak in such negative terms, but they nevertheless deny His deity. They will boast Christ was a great teacher, prophet, minister, etc., but never God manifest in the flesh.
He said man and the world were evil [Mt. 15:19], the religious leaders were evil and even His disciples [Mt. 7:11, 15:19].
He taught of a literal evil being called Satan who influences man [Mt 12:26].
He insisted man was in such a hopeless state that he must be supernaturally born again to overcome it [Jn. 3:5].
He taught that man was not to seek the world or worldly things because it and they are destined to burn [Lk 3:17; 2Pe 3:10].
He was not impressed with any worldly thing including God's worldly temple on earth [Mt. 24:1-2]. However, He was fascinated with created things such as a flower [Lk 12:27].
He believed man, the world, and all creation were divinely created by God in six literal days as revealed in the Scriptures [Mt. 19:4, Mk 13:19]
Will the world tolerate being called evil? Hardly. The world and many "Christians" believe there is no legitimate concept as "evil." They deem it an old fashion notion that is past its day. To them there is no true evil in men or in the world, and by no means an evil Satan who is opposed to God. All men are brothers an every person has a spark of divinity in his soul. People may do things that others see as wrong, but this does not mean they are evil, only misguided.
The thought that man is in a hopeless state is even more repulsive to the worldly. They insist "man is the measure of all things" and able to secure his own salvation, whether physical or spiritual by his own efforts. They look at all the advances mankind has made in especially the last century and flatter themselves into thinking man can do whatever he sets his mind to. Nevertheless, the Scriptures insist this world will burn. What thinkest thou? Whatever your opinion it doesn't change the facts.
A very many who profess Christ have swallowed the musings of secular science in believing man has evolved from lower lifeforms over millions or billions of years. The Roman Catholic's have accepted this lie as well as most so-called mainline denominations. This places them diametrically opposed to the clear statements of the Lord Jesus Christ.
He insisted sin was real and must be judged [Jn 5:14].
He spoke of a literal burning hell as the dwelling place of the wicked [Mt 25:41].
He preached that belief in Him and Him alone was the only means of escape from sin, judgment, and hell [Joh 10:7-9, 14:6; Act 4:12;.
He insisted redemption was to be secured
by His own blood [Mt 26:28].
He declared that all other paths to salvation were counterfeit and futile [Jn 10:1].
Among many the concept of "sin" is quickly falling away. It is another old-fashioned notion. Along with it the idea that men will one day be judged for sin is also waning in acceptance. This modern evolving society has no place for such quaint ideas. Instead, as mentioned above, people just make mistakes or are misguided. "They don't intentionally want to do wrong." "Thus what kind of God would judge His children and send them to hell even if there were such a place?" "God is a God of love, not hate and judgment."
Furthermore, to the liberal even if there is sin and that God does judge, the thought that the literal blood of Jesus Christ is required to purge these sins is offensive and repugnant. They want nothing to do with such a "slaughterhouse religion." There faulty concept of "love" will cover all sin without sacrifice. There dogma is a diabolical fantasy propagated by an evil spirit they refuse to believe exists.
However, probably the most offensive statement of Christ and repeated by His faithful followers is that the way of Jesus Christ is the only means of salvation. This is branded as intolerant hate speech by the world and liberal "Christians." They suggest God would be some kind of bigot to limit the means of salvation to only one method. To them it is an unacceptable thought. "What about all the faithful of other faiths and beliefs in the world? Are they doomed just because they don't accept and follow Christ?" Of course, they are you ignorant pagan. They will all burn like a torch, just like you, unless they receive Christ.
He insisted every believer was to take up his cross an follow Him in a life of sacrifice and service [Mk 8:34].
He taught believers were not to live for themselves but for the service of others [Jn 13:14].
The modern idea that Christian service is merely going to church now and then and is at the most a part time activity is foreign to the Scriptures. Christ declared that Christians were saved for service to Him and other. The two great commandments are to love God, and after that love thy neighbor. True love will bring service to both. How fare thee, gentle reader? Dost thou measure up to the holy standard?
He said He would return in His own body [Jn 14:3, 28; 16:16].
He said He would judge nations at His coming [Mt 25:31-33; Jn 5:22, 27].
The Scriptures declare He will personally slaughter entire armies at His advent [Rev 19:15].
The Scriptures declare He will be covered with the blood of his enemies [Isa 63:1-2, Rev 19:13].
The Scriptures declare He will rule and reign over a kingdom of compelled righteousness from Jerusalem for a thousand years [Rev 19:15, 20:6].
The worldling and the liberal don't even believe Christ rose bodily from the grave, let alone return in His resurrected body. They believe He is only a spirit. The thought that the gentle carpenter from Nazerath who wouldn't harm a fly would personally slay His adversaries in a huge battle is also repugnant to these clowns. Christ came the first time as a meek and humble lamb; He will come the second time as a vicious and bloody warrior. Many don't want to be associated with such a Savior.
All is clear. The Lord Jesus Christ was very plain and vocal in proclaiming what He believed, and His doctrine did not line up with the "conventional wisdom" of His day nor of today. He was considered an extremist then and even more so now. Many today want to be identified with the modern false concept of a christ who is a social reformer and has socialist leanings, but most refuse to be associated with the true Jesus Christ and His far reaching doctrine.
The day is at hand, dear reader, in which it will cost one to be identified with the true Christ. It may cost him friends, a better job, a desired social standing, etc., and in some countries other than America maybe even his life! There is always a price for sticking with the truth and being associated with Jesus Christ and His doctrine. Is that a price you are willing to pay?