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September 1, 2022 8:00 am
Is biblical Christianity through yes it is true, and we make the simultaneous denial in saying that every other religion is false hello and welcome back to the truth pulpit with John Green, founding pastor of truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio hi Bill, right today as Don continues teaching God's people. God's word tackled what may be the most important question a person could ever ask.
Is Christianity true will done as you kick off this new series you pick a whopper of a topic that's because everything else, quite literally hinges on the answer to that question. It really does Bill. You know my friend.
Nothing matters more than knowing that your faith in Christ is built on a real foundation that cannot be shaken, let's set aside the markings of skeptics.
What does Scripture say what would history say and why do so many refuse to believe when the question is asked is Christianity true or my friend.
The answer to that question is yes absolutely biblical Christianity is true in the defense of that answer is far more definitive then you have probably ever imagined.
It certainly goes beyond your opinion or mind. Find your Bible and join us for this important series on the truth pulpit. Thanks Don friend. If you're ready, let's get started with part one of today's lesson on the truth pulpit. I want to address. Two aspects of the question and I want to address a preliminary question in our postmodern age is very important I think to ask and answer.
First of all, answer this question.
Does this question even matter is this question even important. Does it matter whether or not Christianity is true or not and that's what we want to unpack a little bit here in these next few moments in our God bless cynical society. Christianity is at best patronized with words like it's nice that that works for you and the whole issue of truth is just sidestepped and diminished as if it's just a matter of personal preference and personal opinion.
I remember many many years ago in California when Jehovah's Witness duet arrived at our door and went into their little spiel a little better and I contradicted what they said us and address the deity of Christ with them just very briefly and told them plainly that they were in error and what they were propagating in accordance with the training that I'm sure they receive. She said well that's your opinion Sir I can.
I'll be on my way in all and everything is reduced to just a matter of whether it's an opinion or not.
Let's ask the question this way is Christianity simply a personal preference that dupes like you and I can indulge in.
If we like, but the rest can ignore it without any consequence is Christianity something like that. Does it matter if it is even true or not and what are the consequences if it is or if it isn't, that's the question that were going to consider.
Let me keep stating the question in slightly different ways, does it matter if Jesus Christ was a historical person who actually lived on the earth died on a cross, and bodily rose from the grave does that matter or not, will to get us into the text of Scripture turn to first Corinthians chapter 15 first Corinthians chapter 15 beginning in verse 12 and we can say this, that the apostle Paul certainly thought that it mattered whether these facts were true or not.
First Corinthians chapter 15 beginning in verse 12 says this now if Christ is preached, that he has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead, but if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain. Your faith also is vain. Moreover, we are even found to be false witnesses of God because we testified against God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if in fact the dead are not raised.
For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless. You are still in your sins than those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.
If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.
Paul says yes it matters absolutely whether Christ is been raised or not the facts of the case matter.
The facts of the case are determinative to what is actually true and if Christ is not been raised, we are wasting our time. If the dead are not raised, Christ is not raised if Christ is not raised, your faith is worthless. Everything is pinned on the historical reality of the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. And now that again. That is just so contrary to the spirit of our age. You know as well as I do that some people think that religious ideas and and religious instruction are our only good for personal morality or to make you feel better about life. In other words, be a good person.
Religion might be good for that. And if religion can make you feel better as you go through life then it serves a purpose, but it isn't a transcendent purpose and it really doesn't matter if it's actually true or not, it's just measured by its pragmatic effects, pragmatic effect that it makes you live a better life that makes it that that makes it worthwhile to you but it doesn't matter whether it's actually true or not. If it makes you feel better about yourself or about your life within that's good enough. It doesn't matter whether it's true as long as it has that effect.
This is endemic to the way that the world thinks, and the whole premise here of that of that treatment of of truth and of Christianity. Underlying that is a is a very vital presupposition to modern thinking that says this objective truth claims are not really essential. It doesn't really matter if religion is true, it doesn't matter if Christ lived and died. It doesn't matter if the Bible is true or not, because this is all just a matter of personal opinion and so it doesn't matter whether it is true or not, will beloved lesson that does not work at all for biblical Christianity, biblical Christianity proclaims a gospel that says God will forgive all of your sins. If you come to Christ in repentant faith, believing that he offered his life on the cross as a sacrifice to appease the wrath of God and to take away your sins. And there's something essential to realize about that real salvation requires a real sacrifice to atone for real sins against a real and holy God. If salvation is to be real. It has to be objectively true. It's something that transcends your personal opinion or mine. It must be real it must be grounded in reality, it must be grounded in historical truth. Paul makes this very clear. He says that if the resurrection is a fiction then your faith is worthless and so everything everything depends on whether this is true or not, the history of this matters. But that still leaves unanswered the question. Is Christianity actually true. Is it actually the way things really are what Christianity says is this Christianity says that the one true God revealed himself in the person of Jesus of Nazareth some 2000 years ago, and the Bible contains the record of his life, his death and his resurrection and in the Bible it is all available there for anyone to take and read in the language of of words that were instrumental in the conversion of Augustine some 1600 years ago.
The Bible says that you and I owe Christ the same kind of obedience that we owe to God himself.
Therefore putting Christ on that and eat terms of equality with God and the message of salvation is about you coming to Jesus Christ and personally receiving his love is forgiveness his resurrection power and submitting your life to him in a in a pledge of obedience not because you can work to earn your salvation because Christ is Lord, and he has rightful claim over your life and if someone would would have Jesus as Savior. They must also take him as Lord. You cannot separate those two offices of him now.
What that means, then, is that true Christians true Christians honor and obey Jesus Christ. Someone who does not honor Christ as God is not a Christian, someone who does not have a an inward heart principle of obedience and submission to Christ is not a Christian.
It does not matter what they say to the contrary if their life is one of rebellion against Christ you know and perhaps that applies to some of you. You say in a vague sense that you're a Christian, but you live for yourself and you don't really belong to Christ. He's not your Christ is not your Lord is not your wisdom is not your righteousness. You live for yourself in this regard to his claims well we go to this passage so very often, but it's just very important that we do.
Please turn in your Bibles to Matthew chapter 7 Matthew chapter 7 in a basic message like this.
It's good to include basic fundamental Scriptures remember were asking and answering the question. Is Christianity true and as part of that theme. We are asking the question, does this question even matter is it important or not, or is this just some kind of speculation by some rube preacher who lives in Kentucky and should not be taken seriously has nothing to do with the preacher and everything to do with the authority of the Bible and the authority of Jesus Christ and the destiny of your eternal soul so that look at Matthew chapter 7 and I'm going to read a little bit more extended passage here to to set the stage in Matthew chapter 7 verse 13 it says enter through the narrow gate.
For the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life and there are few who find it. The very fact that one way is narrow and one way is broad, suggests that there is a true way and a False Way, Scripture does not countenance this idea that the truth is just a matter of personal opinion at all.
It it it utterly refutes the owner it on a deep philosophical level. The prevailing mindset of our culture today. Now Jesus. Having said that, that the gate is narrow that leads to life in the that the way is broad that leads to destruction. He goes on and says this to in verse 15 he says, beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thornbushes nor figs from thistles, are they so every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then you will know them by their fruits. Jesus, after pointing out that there is a true way and a false way warns his hearers to distinguish false prophets from true teachers of the word of God. If an end.
The only reason that you would bother making a distinction like that is because the truth actually matters.
It is not enough to just fall under the, the, the, under the power of some kind of spiritual teaching. You must be under true teaching and Jesus warns everyone who hears his words to take personal responsibility for their need to distinguish the true from the false. If the truth did not really matter. There would be absolutely no purpose whatsoever to a warning against false prophets now going on in verse 21 Jesus says not everyone who says to me Lord Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name cast out demons in your name perform many miracles and then I will declare to them, I never knew you depart from me, you who practice lawlessness set a few moments ago the true Christians are those who honor and obey the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus makes that principle explicit there when he said he set it on the day of judgment. There going to be many who gave lip service to my name, but I'm going to tell them in that moment, depart from me, because I never knew you. You were practice and you are a practice of lawlessness well when people depart into eternal judgment.
People depart into destruction in that biblical place called hell. No one in that moment is going to think that the truth didn't matter going to be clear and obvious. In that moment in that time when people are fearfully and frightfully sent away by the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ as he personally consigns them to eternal judgment. At that moment. It's going to be very clear that the truth mattered. There is no there is no escaping this. And so in verse 24. He goes on to say. Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and acts on them may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.
The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house, and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell in the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house, and it fell. And great was its fall that parable that teaching only matters if the truth matters if his words are true, then there are these consequences. Those that respond to the truth in faith and obedience find that there their lives are established on a foundation in their souls are set on a foundation that will survive that judgment that he had just described, but if his words, if someone rejects his words as so many, many, many do if his words are rejected there going to find that they built their house on a on a structure and on a foundation that cannot withstand the, the, the pressure of judgment and the house falling is a picture of their souls falling into destruction will look that's that's only true that that that only makes sense if if if if the truth matters. If Christ is truth. Christianity is true, then those consequences make perfect sense if it doesn't matter whether it's true or not.
Jesus is speaking empty vanities that have no meaning if all roads lead to God. If good people go to heaven, then none of this matters. And Jesus has wasted our time by saying the things that he said there in Matthew chapter 7. I tend to think that Jesus didn't waste our time and therefore the truth matters and it matters whether Christianity is true or not. Now just bring this back around to the. The nature of being a Christian, you could say as I said earlier. True Christians are those who honor and obey the Lord Jesus Christ.
They no longer live for themselves but they live for Jesus Christ. They they've put aside itself as the center of their existence and they they submit to Christ in their their heart.
Prayer is as expressed in Matthew chapter 6 is your will be done as in heaven, so also upon earth when it comes to my life. The Lord, your will be done, not mine, and so true Christians no longer live for themselves but for Christ.
Now think about it this way with me. If Christianity is not really true, then the reason for living that Christians have utterly collapses if Christianity is not true. There is no point in in your existence and saying that I live for the glory of Christ. I live for the glory of God. I want you know the what the apostle Paul said in Philippians 3, you know, I want to know him and the power of his resurrection with that's not if Christianity is not true. Paul's aspirations for living were utterly meaningless and empty.
They they were not based on reality and the same thing for you and me 2000 years later Christianity is not true were really wasting our time and those who give themselves over to a life of of seeking the glory of Christ or serving him in a local church or whatever the case may be, they have really missed the boat so you can see the question.
Is Christianity true, it really matters, and so it matters to us. Speaking corporately as as those who gathered together in the name of Christ. It matters to us whether Christianity is true because this is for many of us. This is the reason that we live for those that are not Christians. Whether Christianity is true or not, matters greatly because if it's true and they reject Christ. They're going to hell eternally. That's a pretty significant consequence of the answer to this question. And so it's very vital for us to know whether Christianity is true or not. Now so I think we've established that the question that the question matters. Let me just add this and I'll come back to this a little bit later.
The Bible says in acts chapter 4 that there is no other name beyond Christ is been given by which men must be say there is salvation in no one else. Jesus said on the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the father but through me. So Christianity makes an exclusive truth claim. Christ says I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me. It's an exclusive truth claim were not simply saying that Christianity is a true religion were saying it is the only true religion and that every other religion is false. Every effort to approach God apart from biblical Christianity is a delusion, and it's a falsehood that does not actually say that's how vital this is. And so, for you know, for the 1.25 billion Catholics in the world billion with a BI always like to say you know for the hundreds of millions if not billions of Muslims.
This question of whether Christianity is true is of great massive consequence and this cannot be avoided. Same thing for Hindus and their polytheistic thinking their polytheistic worship. If Christianity is true that is damnable idolatry. That's how significant it is now pivoting what we want to do here in the remainder of our time. We want to look at the testimony of history. That's the second point.
If you're taking notes the testimony of history to this question and let me slip my question. Let me flip my question.
If Christianity is a fiction. This is just so compelling. This is so compelling, remembering that we have two other messages that we have to bring to bear on this fact is well, but this is so compelling and just follow the logic of what is being said here if Christianity is a fiction. There must be a date at which it was invented there had to be if Christianity is not true. If it is not rooted in historical reality. There must have been a time when it was invented when someone made it up. You know when when some guy named Julius and some guy named Brutus sat in a corner of their you know of their Roman Coliseum on Saturday. I got an idea. Let's make up a story. There must've been a time when that happened.
Now, having stated the the issue like that, let me simply say this is a matter of unchallenged and un-challenge of old historical record, Christianity has been around for a very long time.
A very very long time that's done green bringing the first half of this critically important message to a close. Please join us next time for the powerful conclusion and be sure to invite a friend to listen along with you if you'd like to hear this message again. Simply go to the truth.
Pulpit.com where you can listen to it again at your convenience anytime day or night. Again, that's the truth. Pulpit.com friend that's all the time we have for today.
I'm Bill Wright hoping you'll be able to join us next time is done.
Green continues teaching God's people.
God's word on the truthful