Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Does Jesus Really Matter?

What about Jesus? Is he still relevant? We are still going to church. Sometimes Jesus is hanging on the walls there, but we go for the social event and to punch a hole in our get to heaven cards for the most part. Is it just me, or does everyone get uncomfortable when Jesus gets brought up in a casual conversation?

Maybe there was a time in your life you were on fire for Jesus. You went to a youth revival and the guy speaking to you said God is only love and wants you to be happy and have nice things. After the event, you were on a spiritual high for about two weeks, and then you were quickly back to where you started, not caring.

Growing up in a small town in Alabama, you are immediately submerged in religion. At a young age, you probably saw a really bad reenactment of what Hell is going to be like, so that scared you to “salvation”. You said the sinner's prayer and learned to not curse, smoke, drink, or chew, and you were set for the rest of your life. We treat Jesus like a pal or a good teacher, but not a Savior.

For a place called the Bible Belt, I have never seem so many people who are indifferent about the guy who claimed to be God and claimed to die for our imperfections. This leads me to think that those who are indifferent have never heard the Gospel fully and truthfully. I believe if someone hears the Gospel in all of its glory and the repercussions of it, then that someone would totally oppose it or copiously commit to Christ.

CS Lewis wrote many books including the series The Chronicles of Narnia.

I think former atheist and great theologian C.S. Lewis describes the state of indifference to Jesus best in his book Mere Christianity. “I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him (Jesus): I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God.” Lewis said. “That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

Summarizing his statement Lewis makes it pretty clear. Jesus was either Lord, liar, or lunatic. If anyone would make the claim the he was something else would be foolish.

There is an argument Jesus could have been a lunatic, but usually lunatics do not have the following Jesus had. Mad cap people usually do not keep their following for 2,000 plus years either.

Jesus could not just be a great moral teacher the way he taught. In Scripture, there were multiple accounts of Jesus claiming and agreeing to be God (Mark 14:60-62, Matt. 26: 63-65, Luke 22:67-70). If he claimed to be God, but was not the Christ, He would have mislead billions to Hell. Does that sound like a great moral teacher to you?

Could it be that it is true who Jesus said he was? God came down to earth to save the ones he loved, and how could we ever remain indifferent about that? We must choose a side, and to be indifferent is senseless.

Dr. Timothy Keller, pastor of New York's Redeemer Presbyterian Church said, “The opposite of love isn't hate, it's indifference. God is not indifferent to his people.” God is not indifferent to his people, so why would we ever be indifferent to our Creator?

Jesus matters.

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