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The World's Objections to Jesus

Copyright © Andrew J. Shreeve 2013

This teaching is available in video format on my YouTube channel - Andrew Shreeve

 

As I travel and meet people from various countries inevitably they ask me questions concerning Christianity. This month I have chosen three questions which reflect general thought in the today's world. I will answer these questions from a biblical perspective, with the hope that my answers will help you clarify your thinking, and that your relationships with pre-believers in Jesus will be more confident and fruitful.

 

1. Why is Jesus the only way to connect to our creator (the world does not necessarily believe in a creator, but they may question why Christians think Jesus is the only way to enlightenment or higher spiritual truth)? Why cannot there be many ways to God, and every way be OK, or right?

 

To answer this question we must first define who Jesus of Nazareth was, and is. Jesus is the Almighty God who took on a human body (1 Timothy 3:16). For humans to be reunited with God, it was necessary for God our creator to become a man as only holy, human blood could remit our sins, reconcile us to God, and free us from a condemned eternity in hell (Hebrews 9:22, 2 Corinthians 5:18, John 3:18).

 

As no human had holy blood, God needed to personally intervene by becoming a man (Romans 3:23, 1 Corinthians 15:21-22). To understand this more clearly we need an understanding of holiness, sin, and justice. Firstly God is holy, which means God is 100% separated from sin (1 Corinthians 3:17, Revelation 4:8). Therefore, for a human to experience an intimate union with God that human must also be 100% separated from sin (2 Corinthians 5:21). So the big question is how can we get 100% cleansed from sin? Only holy, human blood can cleanse our sins. This is because sin has a consequence, or a necessary judgement. The judgement for sin is death, or the shedding of blood (Romans 6:23). Every sin needs to be justly punished by death. Therefore, as we all have sin, before we exercise faith in Jesus, we are all condemned and worthy of death. In addition, we cannot save ourselves, or others, as our blood is impure due to our sins. Many think good works can cleanse our sins but unfortunately sin cannot be cleaned through good works. Before faith in Jesus, we are all in a hopeless, condemned position.

 

Because all humans have an inherent sinful nature, nobody can cleanse themselves from their sins to become holy (Romans 3:9-10). Therefore, nobody is qualified to have an intimate union with our holy creator. God was faced with the problem of His beloved human creation being sinful and therefore condemned. Humanity became corrupted when our forefather Adam deliberately committed the sinful act of treason when he followed his wife, Eve, and obeyed the voice of Satan to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 3:6). With regards to the cleansing of sin, it is important to realize that good works are irrelevant. Only holy, human blood can cleanse or remit sins (1 John 2:2, Romans 5:9). As all human beings are eternal, before we exercise faith in Christ we are eternally condemned due to our sins. It is therefore critically important that every human be reunited with their creator before death. After death it is too late to be reconciled with God (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9). Our eternal future is reliant upon our being cleansed from sin in this lifetime… but how?

 

God Himself provided the solution for the human sin problem by taking on a human body in the person of Jesus of Nazareth (John 1:1, 14). Jesus was born of a virgin, as His mother Mary was impregnated by God's seed through the work of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:18, 20, 23, 25). Jesus' father, therefore, was not a human - but God. The divine incarnation of Jesus of Nazareth enabled Jesus to be free from the inherent, human, sin nature which plagued humanity since Adam's fall. Even though Jesus did not have the sin nature, Jesus was, however, fully human as he was born from woman. Incidentally, humans have never been far removed from God; as the first man, Adam, was created in God's image as God's son (Genesis 1:27, Luke 3:38). In His earthly life Jesus successfully resisted all sinful temptations, therefore maintaining His holiness (Hebrews 4:15). Jesus' blood, therefore, was holy and sufficient payment to cleanse all the sins of humanity.

 

The way humans "connect" to the remitting power of Jesus' shed blood, to become cleansed and holy, and therefore qualified to have an intimate union with their creator - is through faith in Jesus (Romans 5:1). This explains why Jesus is the only way to reconciliation and union with our creator (John 14:6). After all, as Jesus is our creator wouldn't we expect Him to be the only way! No other religious system, nothing, or nobody else can cleanse us from our sins. Most of the world's religions have some good elements in their teachings, but none provide the true solution for the cleansing and remission of our sins. Only in the holy person of Jesus Christ, and His shed blood, do we find cleansing for our sins. Thus, faith in Jesus is the only way to achieve an eternal, intimate union and relationship with our creator. To qualify for reconciliation with our creator, God does not demand that we be perfectly sinless as He knows nobody can attain to that perfection whilst we live in these human bodies. God does, however, require that we accept Jesus Christ as the Lord and master of our lives, and that we believe in Jesus' sinless blood and in His resurrection from the dead (Romans 3:25, 10:9-10). When we do that, God makes us a new creation where we receive a new holy and righteous spirit (Ephesians 4:24). It is our new, holy spirit which is instantly qualified to have an intimate union with our holy creator.

 

Another reason why Jesus is the only way to connect to our creator is because; when God the Son put on human flesh in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, Jesus made himself vulnerable to committing sin; and therefore potentially risked going to hell eternally Himself. If Jesus had sinned whilst He was on earth, in His human body, He would have also become eternally condemned with us, yet there would have been no alternative saviour to rescue Him. If there was an alternative solution to humanities sin problem then why would God have chosen the most dangerous and extreme option of risking His Son's eternal existence? Jesus' eternal life was at risk because He was tempted in every way as a man, yet fortunately for our, and His, sake Jesus successfully resisted sin. If Jesus had given into sinful temptation there was no other solution for our reconciliation with our creator, and God the Son would also have been eternally condemned. The extreme and dangerous mission Jesus undertook on our behalf provides further reason that Jesus is the only way to reconciliation with our creator.

 

2. Why follow, a book and what's more, only one book - the bible?


Many people want to be Christians and follow Jesus but don’t want to submit to the teachings in the bible. Some reason; because the bible was written thousands of years ago it is not relevant for today's world and for the issues and problems we face. They therefore only select those biblical teachings which they like or which fit into their preferred way of life, or modern world view. Of course the bible needs to be rightly divided and we need to discern which teachings transcend time and culture (2 Timothy 2:15). It does take skill, an open heart, and diligence to know which instructions need to be obeyed today and which ones were for a different time and culture. There is much controversy, manipulation of scripture, and false teaching in the area of scriptural, cultural relevance. Some people with non-biblical, personal agendas twist scriptures to try and legitimize their unbiblical aspirations and ambitions (Galatians 1:7). Nevertheless, it isn't that difficult to know the truth if we keep an honest heart and study the whole bible diligently.

 

The critical question to ask regarding whether we should follow the bible is: is the bible inspired by our creator, or is it humanly inspired? If the bible is humanly inspired it carries no divine authority. If, however, the bible is inspired by our creator, then for any intelligent, thoughtful person, the bible demands our total and complete allegiance (2 Timothy 3:16, 2 Peter 1:19-21). We must all decide whether we believe the bible is 100% inspired by our creator, or not, as this decision will greatly impact every decision we make in life. The belief as to whether God is able to provide us an authoritative book which we can submit to and follow is massively important. If we remove the bible we are left with no divinely, authoritative teaching or basis of understanding regarding Christian truth. The bible, and belief in its divine inspiration, is a critical foundation for faith, and without faith we cannot connect to our creator (Hebrews 6:12, 11:6).

 

3. If God is a loving God why would He send people to hell who have never heard, or don't believe, in Jesus? It seems so cruel and unfair.

 

Hell is a place prepared for the devil and his fallen angels - not humans (Matthew 25:41). God's will and desire is that no human ever goes to hell (1st Timothy 2:4, 2 Peter 3:9). As all humans are eternal, if they have not been cleansed from their sins, God is unable to receive them into heaven to be with Himself, and therefore they will unfortunately be sent to hell. Our forefather Adam was created in the image and glory of the eternal God, and Eve was created as the glory of Adam (1 Corinthians 11:7). So, both male and female are like God - eternal. Sinful, eternal humans must go somewhere when they die; they cannot reside with God in heaven without exercising faith in Jesus' cleansing blood, so they, of necessity will be sent to hell where the devil and the fallen angles are also sent (Revelation 20:15, 21:8).

 

God has no pleasure in sending people to hell. An evidence of this is that God provided the way out from hell, at great cost to Himself (Jesus went to hell on our behalf), so people do not need to go there (Acts 2:27, 31, Psalm 16:10). God has, however, given humanity free will, and will not, therefore, force people to believe in Jesus to be saved. Similarly, God does not force the church to go out and preach the gospel to every ethnic group and person on the face of the earth. If the church is disobedient, or apathetic, concerning Jesus' command to preach the gospel to all peoples, then our fellow, unbelieving humans will unfortunately suffer, die, and go to hell (Matthew 28:19-20, Mark 16:15-16). Ignorance or a lack of knowledge concerning the need to exercise faith in Jesus' shed blood is not a "miracle solution", where people will be saved because they have never heard about Jesus. The bible does not teach that ignorance of truth brings eternal salvation (Romans 10:13-17). If ignorance brought salvation why would Jesus command us to preach to the ignorant and subsequently endanger their salvation? Unfortunately ignorance cannot cleanse people from their sins, and make them qualified for intimate union with their holy creator. Ignorance is not a blessed bliss but rather an impending doom! The realization that ignorant people are condemned to hell should motivate all true believers in Jesus to do all they can to advance the mission of the church to communicate the true gospel to every ethnic group and person on the earth.

 

God has no option other than to send unbelievers to hell as He cannot accept them into union with Himself as they are not holy. God has made every provision for everybody's salvation as Jesus entered hell for us (Galatians 3:13). As Jesus was personally sinless, it was not "fair" that He went to hell; but He went there out of love for us, bearing our sins (John 3:16). As we all have sinned and deserve hell, it is not "fair" that we go to heaven; but Jesus took our punishment so that we can be remade righteous, and go to heaven (2 Corinthians 5:21). To understand heaven, hell and "fairness" we must primarily focus on the issue of being cleansed from sin. Anybody can avoid hell simply by getting cleaned from their sins, and all that is required is faith in Jesus' holy, shed blood and acceptance of the resurrected Jesus as their Lord.

 

Pray with me, "Father God, thank you for this teaching which provides some understanding concerning contemporary objections people have concerning the need for faith in Jesus. Thank you that your Son became a man to offer His holy blood to remit our sins. Thank you that we are now acceptable to you due to our acceptance of the risen Jesus as our Lord and our faith in Jesus' shed blood. Thank you that you have provided us with the bible, which is inspired by you and leads and guides us in matters of faith and truth. Thank you that Jesus went to hell on our behalf and we do not need to go there as you have remade our spirits holy and righteous - through faith in Jesus. Thank you that we are now united with you in intimate, eternal relationship through your Son Jesus Christ. We love you. We pray this in Jesus' holy name, amen."

 

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