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October 29, 2021 6:56 am
Christianity is different than any other faith for one primary fact: we believe Jesus to be God's only son and the only way to salvation. Part 2.
Place yourself under the absolute authority of Scripture.
The question today is about Jesus is he is God and he's the exclusive way to the father do know him. Have you yielded your life to him. Have you accepted his forgiveness back behind the words of the Bible as simple study of the changed lives of those who knew Christ personally and even died because of their faith gives us great insights into who Jesus really is today.
David continues our sleep series part of the message called Jesus the only way why did Jesus receive worship over and over again throughout the Bible. When people worship him. He received for example Thomas after he realized Jesus was regular that started worshiping him, and Jesus received that worship. He did not rebuke Thomas as they don't worship me. I'm a mere man. He received that worship because he knew he was God. Also, what about the forgiveness of sins. Jesus forgave sins over and over again in John 20 verse 23 he forgive the disciples since he breathed the Holy Spirit upon them. Only God can forgive you. I can forgive you for something you did to hurt me but I can't forgive. Ultimately, how you forgot only God can do that and Jesus forgave all of our sins. And finally, why does the church exist today even Romans 811 says the power that raised Jesus from the dead, now lives in us. Why does the church even exist today unless people saw originally the resurrection of Jesus and believed it, even to the point of death preach that message.
Other people than had the Holy Spirit live inside of them. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead, and that's been passed over 2000 years. You look back and you see Nero in all of his splendor in all of his power, and you would think that would exist 2000 years forward, out, probably Nero because he is so much pomp and power. Yet here we are 2000 years away from Nero and we name our dogs Nero we have a Little Caesars pizza Jesus and the church of Jesus Christ is in every corner of every part of the world. The church of Jesus Christ lives today because of the resurrection of the living Lord Jesus Christ. So what breaks the circle. Jesus is God having a Jesus God because the Bible says so highly of the Bible is true because Jesus is old, who Jesus he's got what breaks that circular argument, the resurrection, it proves that Jesus is God, that if Jesus is God, then we must come to grips with what he claimed about exclusivity. John 14 six Jesus said to him, I am the way, I am the truth I am the life. No one comes to the father except through me. An extraordinary claim that Jesus is the only path to the father there many other places that the gospel accounts. He says similar things, but this is the most poignant one. He's not a way, a truth, a life he is the way the truth and the life he claims exclusivity that no one comes the father asked that through him, and the argument is this simple folk you have two ways of getting to God.
Either we can work our way through our efforts through our hard works by our own righteousness and ultimately receive God's perfection. Or it has to be done for us through Jesus by grace through faith he him him knowing that we cannot. The efforts can never get us to have and it's impossible because we are laden with this disease called sin called selfishness and will never be able to do enough for God to love us are two worlds religions either do or Don.
It's one or the other. And Jesus said there's never enough you can do because of your sin problem to earn God's perfect righteousness. It has to be done for you and that's what Jesus did for us. He came from heaven taking on human flesh and live the life we can never live for ourselves and went to the cross and took all of our sins upon himself, something he didn't deserve and gives us the forgiveness of our sins and eternal life by grace through faith.
Something he didn't deserve the gospel of Jesus Christ. And Jesus said I am the only way you can get to the father because I'm the only one who died for your sins and was raised from the dead to prove that what I did was accurate. You can keep a good God down. Jesus had to be raised from the dead. Because perfect love means sin had been conquered and now Jesus has been raised from the dead and the early church believe this exclusivity look at acts 412. From the words of Luke and also the words of Peter and there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. The early church believed in the exclusivity of Jesus and preached it acts 412. Being a place where we see it best not immediately at this point there. There are people who raise objections that high priestess of American spirituality. Oprah Winfrey said this one of the biggest mistakes humans make is to believe there's only one way. Actually, there are many different paths heading to what you call God in my response to this is really how do you know Oprah are you God. How do you know the biggest objection to Christianity among many of the people with whom I speak today is this whole idea of exclusivity and their two reasons they find it objectionable. First of all, they say you Christians who believe in Jesus exclusivity are arrogant. Secondly, they say, and because of that you have come together in your own communities and you have performed abuse and violence against others and believe me it's not just against Christianity, that the spiritual skeptic says this, you who are skeptics also say and look at the Hindu faith in India, for example, 83% Hindu. Only 12% Muslim. You persecute the Muslims you Hindus and you also persecuted the Christians so you get together with your bullet religious beliefs and you believe your religion is exclusive as Muslims believe their religion is exclusive.
You start persecuting other people and obviously the Islamic faith. You come together in your communities. You think you have exclusivity and you start persecuting other people, i.e., Isis, Al Qaeda broke with Rome and all the other evils that are out there that are forcing people in the conversions and sadly in church history.
There are some examples of Christians trying to force people to believe, especially Jews back in the medieval ages so skeptics particularly informed skeptics subject to exclusivity because of arrogance and secondly because of the wars and violence and abuse that have been performed by those who believe in religious exclusivity. Let me make just a couple of statements in response to those two objections.
First of all, is Christianity arrogant well yes if Christ if Christians had come up with the idea, yes Christianity is arrogant if Christians had come up with the idea, but Christians didn't come up with the idea Jesus came up with the idea and exclusivity simply repeats what Jesus said about himself. So therefore if you have objections to Jesus claims of exclusivity. Really, you need to go talk to the source of those exclusive claims. Jesus himself, which leads also to an understanding of the particular arguments that skeptics give against Christians when they claim that kind of exclusive argument from the lips of Jesus first will use an ad hominem argument. What's an ad hominem argument that's basically when you make the person the problem and not the problem. Some of us who been married long enough know that we do that to our spouses were in the middle of an argument. I do sometimes and Marilyn are having a tip between ourselves that will sometimes make each other the problem instead of the real problem and that's what skeptics sometimes do the Christians not the problem the Christians who force Jews and the conversion back in the medieval ages is not the problem.
They wrongly interpreted what their teacher said to do. Jesus is the real problem.
What again will you who are skeptics do with Jesus words were. He claimed to be exclusive. Secondly, it's just because something is sincerely held doesn't, then by de facto make the person who believes that arrogant means there are people who sincerely believe in UFOs that doesn't make them arrogant just because a Christian sincerely believes in exclusivity doesn't necessarily mean they're arrogant and thirdly those of you who are pluralists who believe there is one God.
Many different roads to get to God like Oprah.
Here's what I'd ask you, doesn't it seem like pluralists are equally arrogant because they believe pluralism is exclusive.
Those of you who believe there are many ways to the father arch you in a very real way, exclusive you're saying that I'm excluded from your belief system because I believe in the exclusivity of Jesus. We need to call the pluralists out with their own argument if they claim that were exclusive week must claim and return that you pluralists are equally exclusive because you will not include our thought process in yours concerning abuse.
We really need to own up that is Christians.
It did happen in the medieval ages.
But not as great as some people would like to think, and much of the Crusades.
You need to remember was fought against Islamic aggression that had taken over almost half of Europe, and Charles Martel, the mayor of Tours France Charles the hammer is his nickname formed an army that pushed the Islamic aggressors out of Europe. Certainly there are things that were not proud of his Christians. I personally would ask the question.
Were they really questions, I can see Jesus doing those kind of things but nevertheless a lot of the Crusades was against Islamic aggression in Western Europe. Nevertheless, with all of that having been saved, owning up to some of the abuse of radical Christianity's.
Here's what I would ask radical fundamentalism causes problems of violence, Christians, Hindus and Muslims who are radical in their faith because violence here's the question I'd ask in return which fundamentals which fundamentals for those of us who are true Christians we believe in a man who died and was raised again for his enemies.
And while he was on the cross, dying for his enemies. He prayed for forgiveness for them and he told his followers for all the years, decades, centuries to come to practice his example to love our enemies and pray for our persecutors, and his life lived rightly in and through his followers as a life of generosity and peace keeping which historically has led to. For example, the abolition of slavery in Western civilization, caring for the poor, elevating women and their rights to new positions of status stopping infanticide the silly killing of children, especially girl babies caring for the sick and the dying celebrating the need for education in every young person's life, and many other social reforms.
Let me ask this question. How does following these fundamentals cause violence. The question is not radical fundamentalism causing violence. The question is which fundamentals are the people following for followers of Jesus the fundamental of loving our neighbors and forgiving those who hurt us or absolutely key. Or let me ask it another way, have you ever met a jihadist Amish have you ever met a jihadist Amish of course not. Why, because the Amish hold tenaciously to the principles and fundamentals of Jesus right life living together in community and even when a gunman comes down as we saw some years ago in Pennsylvania and kills dozens of schoolchildren. The Amish community comes together and goes to the one who perpetrated the crime and the first thing they say is we forgive you. We forgive you because the Amish hold tenaciously to the right fundamentals. You can be a radical fundamentalist. It just depends on which fundamentals are most important in life. You see, the real offense and the real concern of those of you who are skeptics about the exclusivity of Jesus is really the eternal destination of those outside your particular religion, but that's what really bothers you, which really is next week's message on the reality of hell, something Jesus taught that encourage all of you to come back and allow us to dialogue together about what the Bible teaches regarding hell. Which leads me folks to my final echo my final echo and I began the message by saying Arthur echoes all around us in the world echoes that suggest that there is a God that suggests there's eternal truth that suggest God wants us to live by those eternal truths and here is the final echo I'd like to give to you today.
It's found in John XI chapter verse 25 John 1125 says this Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life.
Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live deep within folks, isn't there an echo that your loved by a person. The uniqueness of the Christian faith other than any other worlds. Religion is we believe God is a person revealed through Jesus Christ and that when you invite them into your heart.
The Holy Spirit comes within you.
Jesus himself comes within you and he tells you how much he loves you how valuable you are to him how much he cares for you how he'll never leave you or forsake your that your identity is now found not in a bottle, not in drugs, not in a relationship with somebody else not in your job or performance. Your entity is now found in the fact that you are loved by a person who was raised from the dead, and that very power that raised him from the dead, now lives within you. There's an echo of the heart, that your terms to be loved by a person in the Christian faces. That person loves you his name is Jesus, and through the resurrection and his exclusive desire to love. You will not come into your heart and do so and folks, isn't there also an echo deep within that there's an eternity that there something beyond this world there's something yet to come. Isn't there not go within us that believes that this rule can't be all that there is with all of its sin and selfishness and violence and ugliness. Surely there's a place of eternal beauty were none of that exists, and that place not only exist it's a place where my loved ones who've gone on before me who love Jesus are they here and I'll be with him again. I'll see them again and spend eternity with them because love is so powerful it can't just stop at the moment of death on this earth.
It's got to continue. Isn't that echo deep. Doesn't that echo, resonate within you. It certainly should. And that's why Jesus said I am Yahweh, the resurrection and the life. And if you believe in me, you'll never die.
That's not the end there's life. Even after this last week after I challenged you on the reliability of the Scripture. I said there two options folks either you sit over the Scripture and try to judge it or the Scripture sits over you and it judges you, which you have you place yourself under the absolute authority of the Scripture. The question today is about Jesus.
If he's God. And if he's the exclusive way to the father.
Do you know him.
Have you yielded your life to him. Have you accepted his forgiveness, or are you still trying in his favor with your works. Do or die. Have you received Jesus as your Lord and Savior. If so, then no longer do you look at Jesus trying to figure him out trying to explain him away is just a moral philosopher, just a good teacher know you let Jesus stand over you as your judge is your friend is your life's companion is your daddy loves you deeply, but you let him judge your life and you then adjust your life to his fundamentals and live totally and completely if not listening to moments of hope with David Saleh. Thanks for listening. Data joins me in the studio with insights on fixing our eyes on the kingdom of light living right I am Tony Marciano residency in Europe. Charlotte rescue mission.
Let me ask you a question will you do when you stand at the intersection of homelessness and addiction in the person's shoes for just the second what is it that you really need. You probably been one of the individuals who steadily ended interstate ramp hold assigned to said hungry will work for food, whichever use the money for food and booze and drugs with it most likely you hate your life you addiction has stolen every aspect of hope going to be part of the fabric of society, but every morning, your addiction screams and you surrender to it.
There is one thing you do need and that is transformation the place to go to Charlotte rescue mission Charlotte rescue mission works from the inside out to address the root cause of someone at the crossroads of addiction and homelessness. The rescue Mission provides free Christian residential high quality substance abuse recovery programs to members of our community who otherwise would not be able to afford such services with a passion for holistic transformation in a love for Christ missions 120 day program has transformed the lives of thousands of men and women in our community. Charlotte rescue mission is grateful for the financial partnership or moments of James Easton.
Thanks for listening today. Joining me in the studio is our Pastor David Chadwick, David, thanks so much for being with us today.
It's a pleasure being with you Jim, thank you Yukon this morning's moment of hope where you stare. Beware now, this sounds like a date. It is, and that all of us can benefit the wealth Janet something I believe deeply, and that you are what you think it is that simple. Whatever you fix your mind on that is what you'll ultimately believe and then be, and if you stare at something gaze upon it repeatedly. You will eventually be combat and if it's something bad you need to be aware of that problem. If you stare beware of where that may take your mind. Paul said in Romans 12 to that be transformed by the renewal of your mind, it's interesting. A lot of Christians think that Christianity is just about absorbing more information and that's not unimportant. I think it's so important that we realize and understand the power of God's word but you note information without life transformation is greatly inadequate. So I exhort all listening today to be aware of where your mind is focused, beware of what your reading of what you're watching on television what you're absorbing through social media. Beware of all of that information that if you keep taking it and and you're staring on it beware because it can lead your mind to some dark places. This reminds me actually and when I lays on in labor with my first child and I did not have medicine. I guess you could, you happy I was in such despair and is in that moment of transition, which they say is the worst upon wares and 90s are never thinking, I don't even care anymore just get this thing on me like I'm so desperate and paint and Chris didn't know where my mind was going.
It was really dark. It was really dark and he just started reading out in verse Inc. on things that are lovely that are truthful and are noble and he had no idea that the war that is going on and it shifted immediately and I was able to thank the Lord and and literally push through that. That's Philippians 48 is one of the most powerful verses in the Bible about the power of your mind, and Chris couldn't read you a better verse and as you focused on what is true and lovely and good and honorable, etc. you become what your thoughts are that you start to have hope in and out of despair you start to be more than a conqueror through Jesus. Also, Paul said in Colossians 3.
Set your mind on things above. So if we are heavenly citizens.
We have our minds focused on heaven and looking at life from God's perspective and you know it's interesting as you take off with an airplane and you get 2000 feet 2000 feet, then the 10,000 feet. The higher you get as you look out the window. The smaller nail below, things become.
And I believe the same thing if you keep your mind focused on God's perspective looking down your problems from his insights your problems then become smaller because Jesus is in control over them all from that 10,000 foot altitude. I love that so much tonight that fuels prayer life. I think when we have that cleaned and mindset and we look down at the circumstances, I think we can pray with more effectively yeah more effectively and with more power.
I really believe that because were staring down upon the problems from God's perspective and not being overcome by the problems. From our perspective so again listeners where you stare. Beware whatever you fix your mind on. You'll eventually become.
Make sure your fix is fixing your mind on God's word, his truth, and things that are above, thank you so much David, thank you listeners for joining me if you'd like to receive a daily written moment of hope from me go to moments of her church.org you can subscribe there free of charge for my heart to yours every morning giving you a moment of hope and moments of help with David to make senior pastor is moments of hope Terrence. We'd love to have you join us for worship this Sunday morning. We meet at Providence day school located at 5800 Sardis Rd. in South Charlotte at 10 AM. You can find more information on our website. Moments of hope church.org and while you're online, please sign it predated daily moments of hope delivered every morning to your inbox and also they're both free and email@example.com for a dated any entire moments of hope.
James Easton great weekend