Thursday, December 26, 2013

“The Unpopular Truth”:

For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.
—1 Timothy 2:5

Jesus looked around at the people of Nazareth. There were people of all kinds there. He knew that He had been sent to them all, but He also knew that there were some who would reject Him. He knew there would also be those who would accept Him readily: His people. His people were the poor and oppressed. They were the slaves and the widows and the orphans. They were the outcasts: prostitutes and tax collectors and lepers. In a world where so much value was placed on beauty, His people were the dregs. But he had something to offer them that would make them beautiful. Through His grace, His people would be elevated to the level of angels, and even higher. In God's wisdom, the last-His people-would be first, and the first would be last. Jesus set out, looking to find His people.

Are we His people? Do we accept Him, and fashion our life to His will, or do we reject Him, continuing to live by our own rules? Christ will beautify the meek with salvation. It is in our meekness that we realize our need for God. Let God beautify you, and you will find His pleasure.

“…when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels…

When He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe…” 2 Thessalonians 1: 7, 10

The Jesus who came the first time is coming again, and Christmas is not complete without the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. The incarnation without the coronation would be like east without west. It would be like an engagement without a marriage. The story is not complete until Jesus comes again.

Among all of the great names in human history, we’re told that there’s no other name whereby people can be saved except that of Jesus Christ. Out of all the great names, Jesus is the only one that saves. In fact, the very meaning of ‘Jesus’ is “The Lord saves.”

There’s nothing wrong with admiring great men and women in the history of the world. But when Jesus Christ came into the world in the little town of Bethlehem, everything changed. God was moving so boldly on earth – in a way like never before – that He himself came into the world to bring salvation.

Jesus wasn’t just a savior. He was the Savior. Not one among many, but one in Himself. Don’t move away from Christmas without being changed by that amazing truth. Jesus came to save you. Trust in Him. Make Him your personal Savior.

You may have thought that this was a good Christmas for you—but, friend, I want to tell you…the best is yet to come! The Heavenly Father has so much more in store for us when Jesus comes again.

You see, we get all wrapped up in the little baby, the baby that was born, and we then go beyond the birth of the baby, saying, “Yes, He came to die for our sins” (thank God He did that), but I want to remind you that the First Coming of Jesus and the Second Coming are linked together.

The Christmas Story in Luke 1 and 2 speaks not only of the Jesus who redeemed, but the Jesus who reigned. Not only Jesus who came the first time, but Jesus who is coming the second time to sit upon the throne of His father David, to rule over the house of Jacob forever and ever.

Imagine for a moment what your life would be like without the Resurrection, the Rapture, and the Second Coming of Jesus. The most glorious fact of the past is that Jesus came the first time. The most glorious fact of the future is that this Jesus is coming again. The one sure hope of this jittery old world is the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

As Pastor Greg Laurie sums up in his wonderful article “The Unpopular Truth”:

 One of the most often-asked questions regarding the Christian faith goes something like this: "What about the person who has never heard that Jesus is the only way to God? What about the person in the middle of the jungle who has never heard the gospel?" (They are always in a jungle for some unknown reason—or in the desert.)

The teaching that Jesus Christ is the only way to God has never been popular. But maybe it has never been more controversial than it is today. If you want to get someone's blood boiling, then say that Jesus is the only way to God. The "coexist" bumper sticker on their car will catch fire.
The idea that you would have the audacity to say that Jesus is the only way is, in effect, saying that other religions are not true. That is the way it works itself out, and people don't like it. It is acceptable if you say that Jesus is a way to God. But when you dare to say that He is the only way, then you can be certain that will have some pushback.

But here is what it comes down to. We have to say what the Bible says, whether it is popular or not. It is not for me to edit the message of the Bible; it is for me, as a Christian, to simply deliver it.

It would be like a doctor's discovering a very serious problem with a patient's health, but then being unwilling to say what that problem is, because it might make that patient uncomfortable.
We have to tell people the truth about their real condition, which happens to be sinful, and then seek to save them, which is to point them to Jesus Christ as the only solution.


Raj Kosaraju

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