A different Jesus.

If a stranger approaches you and says he knows your buddy “John,” but all the facts are wrong concerning him, you could safely conclude that he is referring to a different John. With that in mind, there are many religions that claim they know and believe in Jesus, but that does not mean they are referring to the same Jesus of the Bible. For example:

  • Mormons believe Jesus was the spirit brother of Lucifer. That is not the Jesus of the Bible.
  • Jehovah Witnesses believe Jesus was Michael the Archangel. That is not in the Bible!
  • Muslims believe Jesus was just a prophet. That is definitely not what the Bible teaches.
  • Bahai teaches Jesus was simply a messenger.

Notice how none of these religions teach what the Bible says, that Jesus was God in human flesh.

You see, the real Jesus sparked more controversy than any other religious leader in history. He made radical claims; He spoke, not from, but with authority; and He forgave people of their sins, which was a hook on which God alone could hang His hat. Jesus healed without medicine, fed thousands from a boy’s lunch, and calmed the raging sea.

He claimed to be the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and said that no man would come to the Father, but through Him. He claimed to be the Bread of Life, the Light of the world, the good Shepherd, the true Vine, and the Resurrection and the Life, and He was ultimately crucified because He claimed to be God. He was able to conquer death by rising from the grave as He said He would. How is that possible? Because He is the Christ, the Savior of the world.

So, if someone comes to you talking about Jesus, but he doesn’t sound like the Jesus of the Bible, that’s probably because he isn’t.

By Mark Spence

At that time Michael shall stand up, The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; And there shall be a time of trouble, Such as never was since there was a nation, Even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, Every one who is found written in the book. (Daniel 12:1)

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Our chicken coop.

My wife and I have a chicken coop, and I have noticed something interesting about the birds. They are curious creatures. They will boldly run up to see what I have in my hand. However, if I reach out to pick them up, they will cower like…chickens. They squat, spread their wings, and physically tremble (as if I was going to grab them, wring their neck, and eat them or something).

I am like a chicken. There are certain things I can boldly do, but the moment God’s hand comes upon me to witness to someone, I tremble. Like Jonah, I want to flee from the presence of the Lord. What stops me from running is a mixture of compassion for the unsaved and a fear of God. How could I not obey Almighty God when He has commanded me to speak to the lost? How could I say, “World, go to hell; I couldn’t care less”?

Notice what happened when Jonah ran from the presence of the Lord. God sent a great storm, and Jonah ended up being swallowed by a big fish. So I have a choice. I can disobey God and have Him chasten me with some sort of storm (Hebrews 12:5,6says He chastens those He loves), something I know from experience is not at all pleasant. Or I can obey Him and have the joy of doing what pleases Him. I choose the latter, and I far prefer the joy of the Lord to feeling down in the mouth.

Our responsibility is not only to preach the gospel, but to make sure the message we share is the one God gave us.

Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to it the message that I tell you.” (Jonah 3:1,2)

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Pride deceives the human heart.

Pride deceives the human heart. It stops the search for God and blinds the eyes to reality. Pride makes a fool think that he is wise, as a grasshopper might think it’s a giant. Pride tells a man that he is good when his heart is desperately wicked, and that he is right when the entire world can see that he is wrong. It is the root of the tree of self-righteousness. Thank God for His Law! It strips a man of the deceit of pride and humbles him by showing him the truth.

“The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God;

God is in none of his thoughts” (Psalm 10:4).

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False shepherds.

Ezekiel 34:2-5. It is hard to read this and not think of the many “shepherds” who fleece their flock with a false gospel of prosperity that makes no reference to sin, righteousness, or judgment.

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“But Jesus dishonored his parents!”

This biblical incident is a favorite of atheists, as they try to find fault with Jesus. The accusation is that Jesus dishonored His parents by staying behind in Jerusalem, when they were traveling back to Nazareth. Therefore, He was in violation of the Fifth Commandment. Of course, the charge is completely unfounded. In Luke 2:42–49 we are told that His mother and Joseph left Jerusalem “supposing Him to have been in the company.” He wasn’t, and an entire day went by before they realized it. It took three days for them to return to Jerusalem and find Him. He was in the temple teaching the elders, as He said, about His “Father’s business.” Any responsible parent would never leave a city “supposing” that their 12-year-old was with them. That was poor parenting, not disobedience.

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Man flatters himself.

“Almost every natural man that hears of hell, flatters himself that he shall escape it; he depends upon himself for his own security; he flatters himself in what he has done, in what he is now doing, or what he intends to do. Every one lays out matters in his own mind how he shall avoid damnation, and flatters himself that he contrives well for himself, and that his schemes will not fail. They hear indeed that there are but few saved, and that the greater part of men that have died heretofore are gone to hell; but each one imagines that he lays out matters better for his own escape than others have done.” Jonathan Edwards

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Be a lively stone.

David took five smooth stones, but four remained in the bag. Only one was used to defeat the enemy. The Church has a fivefold office—those made smooth by the trials of life for ministry: apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers (see Eph. 4:11). But only one stone goes outsideof the Church to face the enemy: the evangelist and those he has equipped to do the work of ministry. Be a lively stone.

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