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God Yes, But Why Jesus? Part 2 #2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
January 6, 2021 1:00 am

God Yes, But Why Jesus? Part 2 #2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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January 6, 2021 1:00 am

People accept the fact that two plus two has one right answer. But only one way to God? Say that, and you’re ignored at best, hated at worst. The claim of Jesus to be the exclusive path to eternal life forces a decision: do I believe my culture, or do I believe Jesus?

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Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith. People accept the fact of only one speed of light, but only one way to God?

Say that and you're ignored at best, hated at worst. The claim of Jesus to be the exclusive path to eternal life forces a decision. Do I go with my instincts or do I go with Jesus?

Today, make your choice. From the Moody Church in Chicago, this is Running to Win with Dr. Erwin Lutzer, whose clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line. Pastor Lutzer, as you wrap up your brief series on God, yes, but why Jesus, give us your bottom line.

Dave, the bottom line is simply this. Don't put Jesus on the same shelf as Krishna, Bahá'u'lláh, Muhammad, or some other religious leader. Jesus Christ stands alone.

There may be other prophets, but Jesus is the only one who's a savior who can take us all the way to the Father. My friend, today, I think it is so important that we understand this, and we'd like to make this resource, these sermons, available to you for a gift of any amount. Here's what you do. Go to rtwoffer.com.

That's rtwoffer.com, or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Remember, the topic is God, yes, but why Jesus? You yourself and others need to know the answer to that question. And now we go to the pulpit of Moody Church where we continue that very, very important message. And then Jesus continues to astound us. Verse 7, if you really knew me, you would know my Father as well.

From now on you know him and have seen him. I love what Philip says. Philip says, Lord, show us the Father, and it's enough for us. Just show us the Father, and we'll be satisfied. Frequently I quote Augustine, O Lord, it is said that no man can see thee and live. May I die that I might behold thy face. Let me see the Father. And then Jesus makes a statement that should cause a shiver to go down our spines if we are aware and fully conscious.

He says, have I been so long time with you, Philip? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. Wow, it was God who came to that Jewish peasant home. It was God who was tempted in the desert. It was God who died on the cross.

He that had seen me had seen the Father. Now, what are you going to do with this Jesus? I say to you, skeptics, what are you going to do with this Jesus? Nobody has made claims like this.

They are beyond belief. Look at Hitler. He made some astounding claims about the Third Reich that would last 1,000 years, only lasted 12, but he predicted it would last 1,000 years. And yet Hitler never said, I am the resurrection and the life. He who believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live, and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Can I say it one more time? I say it too often, but I've got to say it here.

Wow. Then I think of Lenin. Lenin said that if Russia accepts communism, there'll be bread on every table.

But Lenin never had the nerve to say, I am the bread of life. He who comes to me shall never hunger. He who believes in me shall never thirst. I think, for example, of Buddha who claimed enlightenment, but he never said, I am the light of the world.

He who fall with me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. Freud, you remember him? He said that psychotherapy would bring peace to the human heart. By the way, did you know it hasn't worked?

Time Magazine years ago said that psychotherapy was itself on the couch in need of therapy and resurrection. But he never said, peace I leave with you. My peace I give on to you. Not as the world gives give I on to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Only God can talk like that.

Only God can talk like that. So what I want you to do is to understand two inescapable conclusions today. The first is that there is an unbridgeable gap between Jesus Christ and all other religious options. There is an unbridgeable gap.

Now let me tell you university students, you already know this. Most people think that all the religions of the world are essentially the same and only superficially different. But the opposite is true. Most religions of the world are essentially different and only superficially the same because the gap between Jesus and all others is infinite and unbridgeable. As I mentioned last time, there is no one else out there who's able to take us to the Father. They don't have the requirements. They don't have the holiness of the Father. They can't give to us that holiness, that gift of righteousness.

I was explaining this to a car mechanic 10 days ago. I was explaining to him the gift of righteousness and he says, well, he said, I don't understand that. And I said, well, do you understand the concept of merit?

And he said, yes, I understand the concept of merit. And I said, I want you to know today that the only way we get into heaven is through the merits of Jesus being applied to us as sinners and the only person whose merits he accepts are Christ's. I met somebody who said, well, you know, I've moved beyond Christianity. Well, I want you to know today that you can't move beyond Christianity without abandoning it. There are those who say, well, you know, I want to add to it. You can't add to it without subtracting from it.

You say, well, I want to combine it with other religions and you can't combine it with other religions unless you totally completely misunderstand it. There is no one else out there. Alexander Severus was one of the Roman emperors. And it was me, you know, who thought that, by the way, we were in Rome this summer. And if you've ever gone to Rome and seen the Pantheon, it's really worth the price of the ticket just to be there. The Pantheon was one of the oldest buildings in Rome.

And it was the, it goes back to the first and early second century, unbelievable in its construction. And it was the one that housed all of the Roman gods. There was a god, if you wanted to buy something, a god if you wanted to sell something. Some of those gods later made their way into Christendom. And then when Severus came along, he said, you know, there's been too much persecution of the Christians.

Too many of them are being thrown into lions. Let's give tolerance to Christianity and let's do the Christians a favor and put a statue of Jesus in the Pantheon. And he thought all of the Christians would say, great, we have finally arrived, Jesus in the Pantheon with other gods. What did the Christians say? They said, no, take him out.

You're not doing us a favor. You don't put Jesus in the Pantheon with other gods. King of kings, Lord of lords, none other like him.

You do not identify him and put him on the same shelf. There's an unbridgeable gap. I was on a radio interview one time and this person said, you know, I think what you believe is essentially what I believe.

And he was giving a works religion. And I said, no, I said, and I exaggerated a little bit, but I wanted to get his attention. I said, I want you to know that the gap between you and me is infinite and unabridgable. And any hint of similarity is a total misunderstanding of what I'm saying. Wow.

It was my way of helping him to say, you know, I'm not saying what you think I'm saying. The gap is unbridgeable. Secondly, in our witness, we must always point people to Jesus.

We must get them to Jesus quickly. Now, how does this work out? I've had this happen so many times and I look forward to it happening. You're on a plane, maybe. And somebody asks, what do you do? And they like to ask me that. And I always say that I'm a minister and then they want to find out, you know, which franchise are you working for? And then I always ask them, you know, if you were to die today and God were to say to you, why should I let you into heaven? What would you say? And I would say nine out of 10 times at something like this. Well, I figure as long as I'm a good person.

Now, what I usually do is play with that a little bit. I always say, well, how good do you think you have to be? What if God's standards are a little higher than you think they are?

What if he demands absolute total perfection, which is of course what he does, but most people don't know that they think that they can slip under with a C plus. One time I said to a man, I said, what is your opinion? He said, oh, he said, there's no question, but that if you do the best you can, you can get into heaven. I said, well, I said, if that's true, we certainly have to get this message out. I said, I'm on the radio. I write. I said, maybe we could do something to get this message to the masses.

He was very impressed. I said, but before I do that, I said, I do have a question I need to ask you. And he said, what's the question? I said, how do you know? Well, I said, that's just my opinion.

And I playfully took my pencil and threw it in the air. Can't believe it, your opinion. I said, don't you realize that you were speaking on behalf of God? Only God would know what his requirements were. So I thought you were going to tell me you had a revelation from God. How else could we possibly know what the requirements are unless God were to tell us? And he said, well, he said, why is your opinion better than mine?

And I said, of course it isn't. I said, we're all like ants on a Rembrandt painting seeing the roughness of the canvas and the change of color beneath our feet. But we have no idea what the whole painting is about.

We don't have the wisdom to put it together. I said, you know what we really need? And by then he was all ears. I said, we really need somebody who knows God, who can bridge the gap, somebody who can speak on behalf of God and is qualified to do so to help us solve the question of how God can be known and what the requirements are for heaven. And I got him immediately after that to Jesus.

I don't know if I told you this story or not. As I say, you know, it's getting to that point. I remember vividly a woman sitting next to me who was a member of a liberal mainline church denomination. And she said, one thing is sure. Now, when you see an older woman and she must have been, she was considerably older than I am.

We're just talking generalities here. When she knows something, having lived that long for sure, I'm all ears. I want to know what is it that you know for sure in a world where there's so little that we know for sure. What do you know for sure? She knows for sure that there isn't a hell because God would never send anyone to hell. She said of that, we can be confident. Again, you'll always smile.

Remember that? And I said to her, I said, do you realize the predicament that you are putting me in? I said, do you have any idea of the dilemma? You know, you're pushing me into a corner here. I said, do you realize, do you realize what you're doing? I said, you're really forcing me here to make a decision. Oh, really? Yeah.

Big time. Because my question is now, do I go with you or do I go with Jesus who spoke more about hell than he did heaven? So I'm facing a decision here, lady. You've really put me in a corner.

I said, I don't want to hurt your feelings, but you know what? I'm going with Jesus. I'm going with Jesus.

Are you all with me this morning or am I alone up here? I say to you university students, college students, all of the political correctness, flunk out, but witness for Jesus. You have a higher calling than to pass your exams and to get a degree. And I say to you, working in universities and hospitals and factories and banks, wherever God has planted you, witness for Jesus even if it costs you a promotion. There are thousands and tens of thousands of people who have given a lot more for that because of Jesus who have laid down their lives and they are our heroes. And we look to them and we say, what price can I pay to witness for Christ? And I am delighted to pay any price for Jesus because there's something more important than this world.

I tell you, there's nobody else out there like him. A number of years ago, many years ago, actually, when the first President Bush was President, the elder Bush, I was in Washington DC and I was at a seminar, actually teaching a seminar and preaching in a Sunday church service and a secret service agent came to me later and said, you know, the President is out of town because it's the Memorial Day weekend and I could take you into the Oval Office tomorrow if you and your daughters came on Monday. And he told me where we could meet and I'll tell you something, this farm boy was not going to say no to that opportunity. Have you ever noticed that there's some things that you don't even have to pray about?

You just somehow know, yeah, this is God's will. So we showed up Monday morning where the guards are there. First guard house, I was with two daughters. Rebecca and our youngest daughter was not able to come along. And so my daughter opened her purse.

I think it was the daughter who sang this morning, Laurie. She opened the purse for the secret service agents that are there, the guards, and he never even looked in it. He said, well, aren't you with him? And he pointed to the secret service agent and he said, yeah.

And we said, yeah. And he said, well, then just go on in. Now, when you get to the door of the White House, there are more guards.

They looked at us, they looked at the secret service agent and they said, uh, you're with him? Just go on in. When you get into the White House in one of the hallways, as I remember, there are more guards and a metal detector.

And I remember we set it off because we had umbrellas with us and they said, oh, you're with him? Just go on in. And then as you're walking along the hallway, finally, you can just already barely out of the corner of your eyes, see the oval office with just one more guard standing there at the door.

He looked at us, he looked at the agent and he said, you can go on in. Now, we couldn't go to the president's desk, but we could just step inside the oval office. Now, I want you to imagine something.

And since 9-11, it is more easy to imagine this than it used to be. Let us suppose that we all died together in some great calamity. And we as believers now discover that Jesus is on the other side of the curtain to take us all the way to the Father. That's our destination, is the Father. And so, as we're going along, I want you to visualize that there are sentries, angels that are posted as guards all the way to the heavenly city. So we come to the first group of angels and they look at Jesus and they look at us and they say, hmm, you're with him? Go on in. And then we get to another group of angels and they look at Jesus and they look at us and they say, you're with him?

Just go on in. And then, in the distance, we now see God for the first time. The Bible says that God dwells in unapproachable light. And now, for the first time, we see the Almighty in his beauty and his holiness and he's more holy than we ever visualized him to be.

He's more beautiful and he's more grandeur. And then we begin to think of the sins that we committed on earth and we have flashbacks because among us there are those who are guilty of sexual sins, there are those who stole, there are those who destroyed the lives of others, there were those who before their conversion were into alcoholism and drugs and awful things. And so we all say to ourselves, we can't go in. We can't go in. We just can't go in because now we see him in his glory. And it's so much more than we thought it was on earth. But there's an angel who says to us, you're with him?

You go on in. And then we gather together as a great company of believers and now the Father is speaking to the Son. And the Father says to the Son, thank you so much for bringing my children home because I love them so much and I want to be with them.

I love them in fact as much as I love you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. And then the Father says to the Son, and furthermore I have investigated them all very, very carefully and I find no fault in them.

No fault in them. You see friends, that's why we sing, clothed in his righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne. That is the gospel.

And Jesus is the only one who can do it. Oh Jesus, show us the Father. Take us to the Father. I am the way. I am the truth.

I am the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. Let's pray. Our Father, today we want to thank you that the issue is not the greatness of our sin. The issue is the beauty of the righteousness that you give to repentant sinners who trust you. And therefore we thank you that no matter who has been listening, no matter what their sins and their past has been, that is not the issue. The issue is whether they will believe in a Savior who is able to save and to take them all the way to the Father. We ask today Father that many will do it, whether in this sanctuary or listening by other means.

Draw people today Father we pray. But now before I close this, I want you to pray, skeptic that you are, filled with excuses. What is your excuse now for not believing in Jesus?

Would you open your life to him and say, okay Jesus, you win this one. I receive you as mine. I acknowledge my sinfulness and I trust you as the only qualified Savior. I embrace you today.

Say that to him right now. Father do as long a work in the lives of those who have been listening as you need to do until they have embraced you as Savior and have come to full assurance of faith because the more we believe in Jesus, the more certain we are. Grant that we ask of God. In Jesus name, Amen.

You know of students in our university who are constantly challenged about their faith in Jesus Christ. I believe that these messages would be of great help. For a gift of any amount they can be yours so that you can listen to them again and again. You go to rtwoffer.com. That's rtwoffer.com or I'm going to be giving you a phone number in just a moment, but let me emphasize again that the critical issue in today's confused religious world is who is Jesus and why is he unique. And I really do believe that these messages will be of tremendous help in you defending the faith once delivered to the saints. And we can't concede we cannot compromise on this issue.

For a gift of any amount they can be yours. I've already mentioned rtwoffer.com. Now here comes the phone number, 1-888-218-9337. You can write to us at Running to Win, 1635 North LaSalle Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60614. We ask why seemingly good people turn bad. How can someone turn violent after a lifetime of apparent normalcy? The answer lies in understanding our fundamental human nature. The issue is accepting the truth about who we really are. Next time on Running to Win, we begin a series that explains why good people do bad things. Our journey will begin with our self-perception. Join us on our next broadcast as Pastor Lutzer finds us all lost in a house of mirrors. Running to Win is sponsored by the Moody Church.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-07 13:24:01 / 2024-01-07 13:32:43 / 9

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