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January 1, 2021 1:00 am
In our day you cannot claim to have the truth without offending those around you. And when you say that Jesus is the truth, many people become upset. In this message we take a look at why Jesus is the only way to God.Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)
One reason for us. Jesus these days cannot say you have the truth without offending those around you and when you say that Jesus is people become unglued today. Look at why Jesus is the only way to God. Modern pundits not withstand the Moody Church in Chicago. This is running to win with Dr. Sir was clear changing helps us make it across the finish line after you insert your beginning to message series on the increasing rejection of Christ in society. Tell us why you reached on God. Yes why Jesus will Dave will tell you in a moment but first of all I want to say to our listening audience happy new year. Aren't you glad the 2020 is gone. With all of its challenges, and all the upheavals and questions regarding the pandemic regarding economics and politics, we can say goodbye to 2020 and we can say hello to 2021. We don't know what the future holds, but as the old saying is often times repeated. We don't know the future, but we know who holds the future that why do I preach this message. These series of messages I'll tell you out right it's because I want people to understand why Christ is actually very different than all the competing religious leaders of the world you can't put them on the same shelf has Mohamed or Paola or Hindu gods. He is unique and that's the message that we need in 2021. As far as that is concerned every day of the year, so let's listen carefully you might even want to take notes call someone invite them to listen as I give this defense of Jesus Christ our Savior and our Lord great beginning for the new year. Ingmar Bergman, it is said was standing at a cathedral in Europe and saw a picture of Christ and he went up to the picture and said speak to me. There was dead silence. And that apparently became the basis of a movie that the Swedish film director made entitled silence. I began today with a question.
Does God speak is he silent. Has he spoken. If so, who speaks on his behalf.
That's the question. Where can we go when we need a word from outside the universe. Where do we go when we want to hear the word God many years ago I attended the Parliament of world religions here in the city of Chicago 5000 delegates met in the Palmer House for one full week discussing the possibility of unifying the religions of the world. There were several presuppositions that were in effect at this conference.
The first was that no religion is superior to another. As a matter of fact of the 700 workshops that were available during the week, many of them were dedicated to the myth of superiority withstood in the way of unity. The second presupposition was that doctrines should be thought of as traditions and not truths because if you think of them as truth.
They are going to stand in the way of this grand unity, but if there traditions will then you have your tradition and I have my tradition and we we take the best of all of our traditions third presupposition was the proselytizing that is that we would call it evangelism was unknown now because if I try to convince you to become a part of my religion that is inherently this idea of superiority that we have to do away with because it is that notion that stands in the way of the grand unity for which this conference was dedicated fact, I remember that I met somebody on the elevator is that I'm a Christian, Buddhist, there were those who took verses of Scripture and united them with transcendental meditation. Hindu notions and ideas, and they put them together, and like a smorgasbord. Everybody can kind of pick and choose a little bit of this a little bit of that quote the words of the Tom Payne who was a skeptic. He said my church is within my mind. Whatever, I accept whatever is meaningful to me is mine. Whatever is meaningful to you is yours. One night at the conference.
The leader stood up and said I want you to think of all the religions of the world as if we'll on the level of the rim.
We all have our disagreements and can't understand why anyone would hold to what the other person believes but at the level of the which he defined as the clear blue sky. It is there.
All the religions of the world are united, you know that here in America we gone from the idea that everyone has a right to his own opinion to the foolish notion that every opinion is equally right now. Today I'm going to begin a two-part series entitled God.
Yes, everybody's into God. Everybody's into spirituality. But why specifically Jesus and I'm preaching this for two reasons. First of all because there are some of you here that I'm talking to, who wouldn't belong in the realm of skeptic is schism you kind of keep Christ at arms length. You know about him. You're even listening to this message may be through the encouragement of someone else but but you're absolutely convinced on an intellectual level that Christianity is on the same kind of playing as other religions you want to put to Jesus Christ with Krishna and with all of the other teachers and you are unwilling to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and as Savior and I'm talking to you and I'll let you in on my agenda. I want to persuade you to believe in Jesus to trust him as your personal savior. That's where this message is going. There's a second reason why I am preaching it and that is the fact that there are some of you there are some of you as believers if someone were to ask you the question: don't you think Jesus is just one way among many.
You might not be able to have an answer and I hope that after this second message, particularly that comes next week you'll be excited if someone says well you know I think Jesus is just one way among many. I want to show you that Jesus is unique that there is no one else like him want you to see that he alone has the qualifications of Savior hood without introduction. I want you to take your Bibles and turn with me to John chapter 1 verse one John chapter 1 verse one. Now I can imagine that if you're a skeptic here. Somebody might say, well, I don't even accept the Bible well for the moment, let me say that's okay. I want you to understand what the Bible says about Christ before you reject him, so no matter what level you're on in terms of unbelief or skepticism. Please hear me out.
John chapter 1 verse one. Jesus, as we shall see has three credentials three credentials that qualify him to be a Savior. What are they, first of all, his divinity or his deity notice. In John 11 in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the word was God. Why does John use the word word well. A word indicates communication of rationality.
The Greek word is a logoff from which we get logic when I want to communicate what is in my mind and get it into your mind.
I use words, Jesus is the intelligibility. The message the communication of God. So he says in the beginning was the word and later on, it becomes very clear that the word is Christ because the word is made flesh, and notice what he says about this word. The word was in the beginning he does not say that the word was created in the beginning, the word came to be.
At some point in time in the beginning was was the word the word was always there and then. Lest we should miss it. He says, and the word was God the Word was God.
And there's no other way. By the way to logically and reasonably translate that clear statement of the complete deity of Christ, but now we come across a question okay so Jesus was God. What about all the other gods. Maybe he was one God. Among other gods. Maybe he is part of the gods of the New Age movement toward the the many many gods, the hundreds of thousands of gods of Hinduism. What about Shirley McClain running out onto Malibu beach years ago shouting. I'm God I'm God I'm God member Colson's remark.
Aren't you glad she's wrong but here we now face a question that we have a Shirley McClain claiming to be God and we had Jesus claiming to be God and we got a decision to make. Now for some of us, if I may humbly suggest the decision is not that difficult to make, but let me explain to you why it's not that difficult to make because you'll notice it says through him. Verse three all things were made without him nothing was made that has been made. Wow. Were talking about a special kind of God here were talking about God as creator and what were saying is, is that Shirley McClain along with all the rest of us were created by Christ and without him nothing was made that was made. So the very breath that we breeze than the energy that we have, to think and the mouth by which we can speak all of that all of that is given to us by the creator God.
This is a special God. He is a God who is independent of the world. He is the creator and could I say very quickly that one of the greatest sins tension in Romans chapter 1 is to confuse the create tour with the creature. This is God.
Second, first of all his deity. Second, his humanity. Now we come to the most explosive verse in all the Bible you say well I thought it was John 316 know John 316 is the most popular. John 316 is the most blessed perhaps but it's John 114 that shatters the philosophical and religious world of its day just as it continues to do in our day notice it there in the text verse 14 and the word became flesh. This was so revolutionary, why was it so difficult to accept. In those days.
It's because of Plato. Plato believed that all flesh was evil, he believed that a flesh was evil because it was changing. Plato says in order for it to be something to be perfect.
It had to be time the less, and unchangeable. Perhaps an example is mathematics 2+2 is equal to four.
And that's true even if you have a fever.
In other words, it's unrelated to human experience and Plato was impressed by that soak to the Greeks and the influence of Plato that they would have read this in late of said and the word became imperfect, or the word became evil. Of course, the early church taught that heresy and try to explain why it's possible for the word to become flesh, but but it's at this point also that we have the great divide even today. We need to explain to our Muslim friends and I'm sure that some of them are listening and I want to say that here at the church.
We welcome all kinds of ideas and people to come and to listen and to investigate because we believe that Christianity will not suddenly evaporate if it is looked at carefully, I want you to know here that we come to the crux of the Christian faith. The fact that God not only came alongside a flesh that would've been easier to accept or that even he assumed the human body that would've been easier to accept the idea that the word became flesh was an unthinkable idea. In those days and it still is today. Among those who believe that you believe that God became a man, is blasphemy. Some people teach. I want you to know that this is the uniqueness of the Christian faith because what we're saying is this follow-up. Now that God became flesh without compromising his fundamental unity and without compromising his holiness, Jesus was a sinless human being to be sure, but he became one with us and he bridge the gap between God and man to see if Jesus Christ were not fully God, he would be like a bridge broken at the farthest end if he were not fully man, he would be like a bridge broken at the nearest and either way, he could not bring man and God together, but this ability.
This wondrous ability for him to become flesh and that's why we celebrate Christmas and we rejoice in the mystery of godliness. God was manifest in the flesh.
What a beautiful mystery. What is saving mystery. It is, and as a result of that Jesus Christ can therefore be a Savior. I need to pause here and say that it is difficult for me to see how you can have any kind of salvation that meets God's holy requirements without believing in the Trinity.
You'll notice it's right here in the text. How beautifully expressed we read in verse one. The word was God. In verse two he was with God in the beginning what kind of sense would that make except for the fact that Jesus Christ being fully God and fully man. He dies on the cross as a sacrifice for us and meets the requirements of God the father, all the while, God is unified in essence, because there is only one God. But it's the beauty of the Trinity that enables us to sing with Wesley and can it be that I should gain an interest in my Savior's blood and then to say that thou my God shouldst die for me, salvation is holy of God.
You see, if if Jesus had not been God, his death on the cross would not of purchased our redemption because God would not be there for the offer of salvation heat of delegated the dirty work to someone else to die.
God would only accept himself as a payment and that happened in Jesus, God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself. Let's go on to 1/3 credential of Jesus. The first is his deity. The second is his humanity, and the third, we could say is his ability.
He can do what nobody else can do. I'm still in verse 14 the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. In Greek it's very interesting that the word there is's game really means tabernacle or tent and what John wants us to understand is this that that Jesus Christ now replaces the tabernacle of the Old Testament and what was the tabernacle of the Old Testament it was a construction of 45 feet long for Dean feet wide, one third of it was known as the holy of holies that could only be entered once a year. The other two thirds was known as the holy place and that's where worship took place.
I was to be the only place that the people were to really worship God to bring their sacrifices to bring their gifts and to worship what we don't do that anymore.
Do a high don't way, it's because of Jesus. Think with me very quickly what that tabernacle represented and will see how Jesus Christ replaces it.
First of all, as I mentioned, it was a place of worship today. We don't have to go to that tabernacle and worship. We can worship Christ all over the world. As Jesus said to the woman at the well, the day is coming when you shall worship not in Jerusalem or in terrorism but in spirit and in truth everywhere and we can worship Christ the veil of the temple was torn into why because the entry of that high priest into the holy place, which happened on one day a year. We now have the same access through Jesus at any time. When we pray in his name and it was indeed a place of worship. And today we worship Christ at O'Hare field. I was in line for a ticket agent and and I noticed someone who seemed to have a religious book in his hand.
I didn't know exactly what the book was so I struck up a conversation with him and he said that he was a Jehovah's Witness. Now you need to know that the Jehovah's Witnesses deny that Jesus Christ is fully God. They kinda believe that he was a kind of God or a lesser God. So I asked him I said you know I have a question I said do you worship Jesus and he said yes and I said to him with a smile on my face because one always should be smiling when you say these things to lessen the impact and to help the relationship. Well, that's true that's true you always smile when you say that as a don't you realize that on the basis of your premises.
You're an idolater. The Bible is very clear that Jehovah says you shall worship me alone and worship no other gods you are worshiping something other then Jehovah because in your theology. Jesus is not Jehovah and that at that point we had to go our separate ways. He went one way and I just trying to defend Jesus wherever Jesus points so we worship Christ unashamedly.
My dear friend, let me ask you a question today.
Do you worship Jesus. I sure hope you do you understand that he is God a very God knows we begin this new year. Could I put a challenge before you when you get on the phone and call someone and remind them that running to win is available in your area, or perhaps on the computer. Depending on how you listen to this ministry, share it with others and is this message continues. Next time, emphasizing the uniqueness of Jesus Christ. It's a message that this world needs is very confused world needs as we begin the new year. It helps us to understand what the ministry of running to win is all about.
We desire to so exalt Jesus that people recognize that in his presence.
We bow before him and we bow before no other God, your children need to know that your grandchildren and so do your neighbors get on the phone call them tell them about this ministry and thanks in advance for helping us time again for you to ask Pastor lutes or a question you may have about the Bible or the Christian life. One running to a listener want some details about the unseen supernatural realm.
Carmen asks, I know that Lucifer took one third of the angels down with him.
Is there a difference between a fallen angel and a demon. Carmen, the answer to your question is no.
There is not a difference by the way, the fact that we believe that to Satan took 1/3 of the angels with him is based on the 12th chapter of the book of Revelation where it says that the dragon's tail drew one third of the stars, and because stars are sometimes referred to as angels and in that particular context. It appears as if that's a historical reference to the past when Satan rebelled and took 1/3 of the angels with him, but the Bible speaks about the devil and his angels because the word angel means messenger.
But in answer to your question. These are demons and that they decided to side with Lucifer in his rebellion, and of course they're going to pay the consequences of their disobedience throughout all of eternity. Thanks for your question Carmen. God bless and keep standing for the truth and thank you Dr. Luther if you'd like to hear your question answered.
Go to our firstname.lastname@example.org and click on ask Pastor lutes or or you can call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337 you can write to us running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 running to win is all about helping you understand God's roadmap for your race of life. If you were near the hospital you'd want the truth about your condition. Mere opinions finding out the truth about your spiritual condition and its remedy has to be job one next time.
On running to win more about why Jesus is the only road that leads to God thanks for listening for Dr. Erwin Luzerne this is Dave McAllister going to win is sponsored teacher