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Nowhere Else To Go Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
July 29, 2022 1:00 am

Nowhere Else To Go Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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July 29, 2022 1:00 am

It is acceptable today to think of truth as a personal possession—you have your truth, and I have my truth. But then we hear the jarring claim of Jesus: “I am the truth.” In this message from John 6, we look at Jesus like none other. If truth is not just an opinion but a Person, what does it take to know Him? 

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The Christian Car Guy
Robby Dilmore
Our Daily Bread Ministries
Various Hosts
Words of Life
Salvation Army
Core Christianity
Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
Running to Win
Erwin Lutzer
In Touch
Charles Stanley

Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith. These days it's fashionable to think of truth as a personal possession. You have your truth and I have my truth. Then we hit the jarring claim of Jesus. I am the truth. Today, moving from truth as opinion to truth as a person.

From the Moody Church in Chicago, this is Running to Wind with Dr. Erwin Lutzer, whose clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line. Pastor Lutzer, today we go to John chapter 6, where Peter declares that apart from Christ, there is nowhere else to go, nowhere else to find the truth. And you know, Dave, I'm sure that this is true of you as well.

It's true of me. It's true, I'm sure, of most of our listeners that our hope and our confidence is in Jesus Christ and in Christ alone. You know, in Nazi Germany, the church was poised between two crosses, the cross of Jesus Christ, but also the cross called the swastika, the commitment to Nazi Germany.

And the question is, how would they decide? Years ago, I decided to write the book entitled Hitler's Cross. I wrote it so that we would understand what happened, what went right, what went wrong, what are the lessons to be learned. And today is the last day we are making this resource available to you. Here's what you can do.

Go to or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Now let us listen to God's word and the truth that is found in Jesus. So Buddha says that what you do is to obtain salvation, you go through a torturous path that includes seeking the truth and self-denial. In fact, Buddhism does not even believe in God. Hinduism has 330 million different gods. And then you have the teaching of Islam, Muhammad.

What can we say about him? How is salvation obtained in the Islam faith? It is obtained by trying to keep the Quran and the things that Muhammad taught. Mind you, you should not do what Muhammad did because he did one thing and said another. But what you must do is to try to follow his teachings as best you can. And then maybe you will obtain some kind of undefined salvation. Nobody can follow those three paths and say that they're all following the same path, especially to say that they are following Christ because as we shall see in a moment, Jesus Christ's teaching cannot be combined with that of all of the religious leaders of the world.

There is no common ground of significance. Truth is consistent. Peter said, to whom shall we go? If we go to you, Lord Jesus, we've got to say no to the scribes and the Pharisees and the esoteric religions because they are teaching something different. If we say yes to you, it is no to a host of other alternatives. Secondly, truth is universal. Truth is universal. He says that we have come to believe that you are the Holy One.

We have come to believe that you are the one that gives eternal life. We're talking about truth that is not simply cultural. Jesus is not just a Jesus for the people of the Middle East. He is not just the Jesus for the people who live in the Western world. If he is the Holy One of God and speaks words of eternal life, his teachings are applicable to all who inhabit planet earth. They are universally true. It's not like going into an ice cream parlor and selecting the one that means the most to you.

This is not the same. When Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man comes to the Father but by me, he was excluding all other people who teach that they are the way to God. No man comes unto the Father, said Jesus, but by me. And in that statement, if it is true and we believe that he is, it is all other religions are automatically disqualified. Truth is universal. You must look at religious truth as you look at mathematics. Now nobody says, at least nobody who is sane says, well, you know, two and two is equal to four, but that's just culturally American. That's what we were taught in our schools. But if you go to the schools of the Middle East or the Far East, you'll find that two plus two is equal to five and if you think about it a lot, you can make two plus two is equal to five. You remember Lewis Carroll in the Looking Glass, Alice in Wonderland. She was able to believe six contradictions before breakfast.

Just imagine that. I've often jokingly said that if you can believe two before lunch, you need more help than we're able to give you here at the Moody Church as nobody can believe that two plus two is equal to five. That is not a phenomenon that has a peculiarity that makes it Western. It is universal and that's the truth about Christ. What he taught is universally true to all cultures and to all nations and that's why we are saying to the unreached people of the world, go because without Christ, there is no other way to God, period. Without that way, there is no going and without that truth, there is no knowing. But there's a third observation about truth.

It is not only universal. It is not only consistent, but it is based on evidence. Peter said, we have come to believe and to know that you are the holy one of God. Now admittedly, if you were with us last week, you know that when Peter made that astounding declaration that Jesus was the son of the living God, that Jesus said the flesh and blood did not reveal it to thee because even with all of the evidence that there is, unless the Holy Spirit draws you to Christ, you will never accept him as your savior, as your redeemer.

Jesus taught that in one of the verses we read just a few moments ago. But the evidence is still overwhelming that Christ is who he claimed to be. It's overwhelming first of all because of the kinds of miracles that he performed. In John chapter 2, he takes water and he turns it into wine and this was not some kind of a trick. This was not the work of a magician.

This was a transformation of gallons and gallons of water into wine instantly. While they were drawing the water, the miracle happened. You get to John 4 and you find out that Jesus heals a nobleman's son and he heals him at a distance. He speaks the word and in another part of the country, the child is made well at the word of Christ and the miracle is actually authenticated. It is not an ambiguous kind of miracle such as miracle workers today do.

Or there can be an expose of one of the news organizations and find out that it's pulled off by trickery. These were actual verifiable miracles. What about John 6 itself? I mentioned a moment ago that Jesus takes five loaves and two fish and he does a wonderful miracle and everybody is there to notice that thousands of people are fed by a small lunch. Jesus Christ is who he is because of what he did. But there's a second reason and that is because of what he taught. Now I want you to understand something today that what Jesus taught about salvation has no resemblance whatever to all the other teachers of the world and even some forms of Christendom that misinterpret what Jesus taught about salvation.

There can be no common ground, no mixture. On this side over here we put all the people who say that salvation is attained through some form of good works, some form of struggle, some form of agony, some form of self-denial, some form of trying to do good. And on this side we also put those forms of Christendom that say that salvation is attained by a cooperative effort between God and man. God gives us the grace to do good things and if we do enough good things maybe we'll have accumulated enough grace to make it in the day of judgment.

We put all those teachings on this side because they are all essentially related. But over here we have the words of Jesus. He who hears my word and believes on him that sent me has eternal life. Salvation a free gift of God.

Why does it have to be free? It has to be free because God accepts no human merit whatever. It means that all that we do, even the good things that we do in and of ourselves fall short of his high standard and of his glory and if it were not a gift we would be lost forever. I'm so amused by liberal religious teachers who do not believe in the doctrine of total depravity. Total depravity doesn't mean that we're always as bad as we could be.

It doesn't mean that we can't do good things in and of ourselves apart from God and his grace. Total depravity simply means that we have a proclivity. I love that word. Where did that come from?

Great. We have a proclivity toward evil for one thing and anything that we do falls short of attaining God's high standard. I like what one man said in a church. He said, you know, there are some people who don't believe in total depravity. He said, man, he says it's the only doctrine my church teaches that I can live up to. The doctrine of total depravity says that because we are dead and trespasses and sins and totally helpless, salvation has to be a free gift of God given only to those who believe in Christ and even that belief itself is a wonderful gift that he grants.

It is of God. Now listen to me carefully. That teaching cannot be combined with this teaching over here that I described a moment ago. You know that there are some canyons here in the United States of America that when you look at them from a distance, it appears as if the bluffs, the hills are connected. But when you get closer, you discover that they are not connected at all.

They are separated by a deep chasm that goes hundreds of feet down into the heart of the earth and no matter how deep it goes, those two hills do not become any closer and eventually they are separated from one another by a huge flowing dark river that cannot be crossed. And that's the way it is with Christ. All attempts to make Jesus say the same thing as somebody else.

Yeah, superficially there are similarities. There may be some ethical teachings in other religions that may square with what Jesus said. But when it comes to the doctrine of salvation, any attempt to think that somehow I can take a little bit of this and a little bit of that and I can make my own special brand of spiritual ice cream is doomed to failure. Truth needs evidence and Jesus Christ has given it by what he has done and by what he teaches and more importantly by who he claimed to be, by who he claimed to be. Now I want you to just relax for a moment and I want you to think about what Jesus said, what awesome statements came out of his mouth. You know, back in the days when communism was popular and when the revolution took place in 1918 over in the Soviet Union or what used to be known as the Soviet Union, Lenin made some fantastic claims.

I saw Lenin's body a few years ago in that mausoleum right there in Red Square. He wasn't making any claims at that moment, but when he was alive he was making fantastic claims. He said, for example, that when communism takes over there's going to be bread in every household. It's quite a claim, but he never had the nerve to say, I am the bread of life. He that cometh to me shall never hunger. And he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

This past summer my daughter and I stood essentially were hit or died in Berlin, the old bunker and the ruins that are now covered. But I thought of the claims of Adolf Hitler, who said some fantastic things about Germany's place in the sun and the thousand year Reich. But even Hitler, as a madman, never had the nerve to say, I am the way, the truth, and the life.

No man comes onto the father but by me. Buddha died saying, I am still seeking light. He never had the nerve to say, I am the light of the world. He that believeth on me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

There are new age gurus that you can plug into for the correct sum of money. And they will tell you that someday you're going to be reincarnated and you're going to keep being recycled until you finally get it right. They don't have the goal to say I am the resurrection and the life. He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live and whosoever liveth and believeth on me shall never die. Freud, bless his heart, may he rest in peace, thought that psychotherapy would answer the cruel dilemmas of emotional and spiritual existence. But he never had the nerve to say, peace I leave with you. My peace I give unto you. Not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Nor could he say to people struggling with guilt and memories and a dampened conscience that continually haunts them, he could not say to them with authority, thy sins be forgiven thee. I want you to look at Jesus today like you've never looked at him. To whom shall we go?

Where are you going to run to? You say, well, I don't like what he taught. Well, where are you going to go? You say, yes, but if he loved me, he'd do X, Y, and Z, and he's not doing these things. You don't like what he's doing.

I understand. But to whom are you going to go? To the baker, he is the bread of life. To the banker, he is the hidden treasure.

To the florist, he's the lily of the valley. To the astronomer, he's the bright and the morning star. To the builder, he is the chief cornerstone. To the scientist, he is the creator. To the philosopher, he is the wisdom of God. To the sinner, he is the lamb of God slain from before the foundation of the world.

And to the politician, he is the king of kings. To whom shall you go? Where are you going to turn?

It is he alone who has the words of eternal life. There is no other place to go. Have you come to him? Have you said, Lord Jesus, I want to receive you.

I want to open my life to you, and I want to let go of all the bitterness that I have towards you. And I want to receive you as my very own, because I know, no, there is no other place to go. And if you're here as one who has believed on Christ and your life is filled with anxiety and questions, I urge you to come to him just as you are and explain to him what your need is, but come to him. There is no other place to go.

Nobody else has any answers. And he's God's special son. Whatever your need may be today, it is found in Christ. To whom shall we go? Thou has the words of eternal life, and you are the Holy One of God. Folks, brothers, sisters, there is no other place to go.

Let's pray. Father, we ask that as Jesus has been exalted, that you might draw men and women to yourself. We pray, O Father, that mightily your Holy Spirit will cause men and women to understand that he is the answer to their deepest, most persistent, agonizing need. We do not claim to understand everything that Jesus does or what he says, but of one thing we are absolutely convinced of, there is nowhere else to go, and he has the words of eternal life. For those who feel that they have sinned too much, may they see him as the lamb. For those who are going through times of distress, may they see him as the wonderful counselor. And may we look to him and him alone in these moments. And if I might put it clearly, throughout Church history we discover that when the Church recognized that Christ was the only hope, it was strong.

If not, the Church lost its power. I've written a book entitled Hitler's Cross. Here are some of the chapter titles, Waiting for Hitler, God and Hitler, Who Was in Charge, The Church is Deceived, The Church is Divided, The Church is Dismembered, Heroism in the Third Reich, The Cost of Discipleship in the Third Reich. Well, today is the last day we're making this resource available. It's titled Hitler's Cross. Now here's what you do. Go to or pick up the phone and call us at 1-888-218-9337. Many of you will want to go right now to It's time once again for another opportunity for you to ask Pastor Lutzer a question about the Bible or the Christian life.

Today's question comes to us from Chris, who lives in Illinois. Which cultural forms are okay for Christians, specifically the culture of hip-hop? Not just the music, but the culture of baggy clothes, rap music, breakdancing and so on. Apparently the origins of hip-hop were in the Zulu Nation, which is a cult and steeped in New Age-type beliefs.

But most of those involved today don't know of this origin. There's a pastor in our area who claims that all forms of hip-hop are evil. He claims that even Christian rap is wrong, and Christians should not wear baggy clothes or other identifiers with this culture. But Christian rappers claim to be indigenous missionaries that use hip-hop to better identify with the people in the culture.

I've heard you say that it is not baggy jeans that are bad in essence, but if it identifies you with the culture, it could be a problem. Can you clarify this? Well, Chris, I think that I can clarify that point.

I'm not so sure whether I have the wisdom to answer the first part of your question. What I meant there when I was talking about baggy jeans, that they were not bad in themselves, but they could have bad associations, I simply meant that when you have a cultural change or a cultural shift that is going the wrong direction, you don't want to pick up customs that would identify yourself with that shift. For example, there was a time when men wore an earring. That earring would indicate that the person was a homosexual. Well, today, I don't think that there is that identification, but that gives you an example of how things change, but there are moments in time when we can identify with a culture or we can choose not to based on what we wear and how we dress.

I hope that that clarifies it. Now, with regard to hip-hop, I don't know enough about it, but I simply know that in my heart, I'm not sure that it is music that really is glorifying to God. Certainly not if it has an occult kind of origin. But these are matters over which good Christians disagree, and we need to have the kindness and the charity to allow other people to have their own opinions. But at the bottom line, we always must ask as Christians this simple question. Does this glorify God, or does it simply mimic the world? So we all need to ask that question from time to time, and that's the question I want to leave in your mind.

And we all need discernment. Thank you, Dr. Lutzer. If you'd like to hear your question answered, go to our website at and click on Ask Pastor Lutzer.

Or call us at 1-888-218-9337. You can write to us at Running to Win, 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60614. Believers run life's race to please Jesus. Sometimes though, like Peter, we resist going in the direction toward which God is pointing. That resistance comes with a high price. Next time on Running to Win, we learn about the cost of avoiding the cross. Running to Win is sponsored by the Moody Church.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-18 18:24:13 / 2023-03-18 18:32:33 / 8

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