Did you hear about Taylor Swift’s recent declaration regarding her Christian faith? Despite her wholehearted support of the LBGTQ and pro-abortion agendas, she says her beliefs represent authentic Christianity.
Pete Buttigieg also claims the mantle of the “true Christian faith.” His version of biblical Christianity allows him to marry another man, affirm transsexuality, and promote abortion all the way through birth including the moments after birth. His supporters accuse us of “weaponizing the Bible” because we do not agree with his radical and unbiblical assertions.
A pastor in Scotland recently stated that Franklin Graham “does not represent Christianity” because of his views regarding the LBGTQ movement.
Joel Osteen espouses yet another deviant form of Christianity. The title of one of his bestselling books, Your Best Life Now, sums up the approach of his “health and wealth” ministry. Yes, God does bless us in this life. Osteen, however, emphasizes the enjoyment of this quickly passing life over the saving message of the Gospel and Jesus’ promise of eternal life.
Chelsen Vicari wrote an interesting article on the Charisma News website titled, “How the New Christian Left Is Twisting the Gospel.” The part that intrigued me the most was the responses she received from quizzing a Sunday school class about Jesus. Everyone agreed that Jesus was God and lived a sinless life, but still believed he was just one of many ways to heaven. Many millennials today who identify as Christians go a step further and say that Jesus’ death on the cross is simply an example to follow.
What do all these varying views of Christianity have in common (and there are many more)? First, they ignore God’s Word in shaping their beliefs and moral judgments.
Second, they deny the validity of Jesus’ words in John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” When moderns attempt to construct their version of Christianity, without exception they reject the truths of this verse.
When we look at the current direction of history, we conclude it’s all about Israel. As for genuine Christian faith, Scripture tells us it’s all about Jesus.
Jesus Is the Only Way of Salvation
In Acts 4:12, the apostle Peter repeated the exclusive claim of Jesus regarding salvation, “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Jesus is the only way to eternal life.
Way back in the Garden of Eden, God promised to send the “seed” of a woman who would defeat Satan and, with that, redeem humanity (Gen. 3:15). Way back in Genesis, the Lord had in mind one Person who would eventually be the one path of salvation for the entire human race. We see this in numerous places throughout the Old Testament as it pointed to Jesus as the one and final atoning sacrifice for our sins.
Is this not the message of John 3:16? Many who quote this verse miss its main point: it’s those who believe in Jesus that do “not perish but have eternal life.” Salvation comes through faith in Jesus; He alone died for our sins. Jesus is the only path to the Father and eternal life.
Ephesians 2:8-9 excludes good works from having any part of our salvation: “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Jesus alone saves; good works result from the Holy Spirit’s regenerating work inside us at the moment of salvation. Good deeds cannot save us; they result from our salvation.
Jesus said this in John 6:40, “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” The same apostle who recorded those words of Jesus also wrote, “Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:12).
Once people depart from the simple saving message of the Gospel centered in Jesus, it does not matter what they claim. They all miss the beauty of resting in Jesus’ atoning sacrifice for the forgiveness of their sins and eternal life. What or whom do you trust for salvation? Is your faith in Jesus and nothing else?
Jesus Is the Truth
What puzzles me the most about many modern approaches to Christianity is that, although they elevate Jesus as the central person of their faith, they do not believe His words. Many agree that He is God yet they reject His claim in John 14:6. How can Jesus be God and yet be wrong about His identity or the definition of marriage? It’s impossible.
I believe all of Jesus’ words and claims, first of all because of His resurrection. The empty tomb is an established historical fact; as a result all theories that dispute the resurrection begin with an attempt to explain missing the body. Jesus predicted both His death and the timing of His resurrection. For me, His empty grave verifies everything the Lord said about Himself, the Father, eternal life, and a host of other matters that pertain to this life and eternity.
In saying this, I do not want to discount the ministry of the Holy Spirit who also continually bears witness inside me that Jesus represents truth; He is who He claimed to be: God in the flesh. As the almighty God, His Words represent truth, which He is more than able to preserve and communicate to us through the written words of Scripture.
Why does all this matter? Those who claim that homosexual relations fit with the teachings of Jesus worship a much different Jesus than the One revealed in the Bible. In Matthew 19:4-6 Jesus not only confirmed that marriage consists of one male and one female, but also verified God’s creation of two sexes, no more, no less; Jesus’ words here. His continuing revelation to us through His apostles dramatically contradicts the popular yet false views of Christianity.
Furthermore, Scripture clearly tells us that human life begins at conception; abortion is murder. God is the source of all human life; the horrific and vile destruction of life in the womb in no way coincides with a belief in the Jesus as revealed throughout the pages of God’s Word.
Jesus Is the Life
Jesus is our life both now and forever. This current life can end in a heartbeat. Tragedy can strike us when we least expect it. That’s why it’s so foolish to place all our hope in outcomes that are temporal at best. Even with the best of circumstances, this life passes by so quickly.
Jesus remains our life no matter what happens on this earth; and someday, hopefully soon, He is coming to take us home to His Father’s house in heaven (John 14:2-3). As followers of my blog know, I love writing about our eternal hope and the firm biblical basis for it.
I do not claim to have all the answers, but my study of Scripture over many decades has convinced me that the Lord is coming for His church before the tribulation, and He will return with us after this time of wrath on the earth to a repentant Israel who will greet Him with the words, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” (Luke 13:35). Amen!
Besides the false view of Christ, a key problem with the modern and errant views of Christianity is that they fail to look beyond this life. They reject Jesus’ clear repeated teachings about hell. They regard Him as a great teacher and yet they disagree with so much of what He taught concerning His return to earth, His future kingdom on earth centered in Jerusalem, and eternity.
In short, these self-appointed authorities on “authentic Christianity” look for life exclusively through earthly pursuits. Rather than worship Jesus as He is revealed in Scripture, they use Him to suit their fleeting temporal purposes. They claim a Christian identity while at the same time they deny the life-giving message of Christ that extends into forever.
From Genesis 1 through Revelation 22, the message remains the same: it’s all about Jesus.
Jesus is only way of salvation; all other paths lead to eternal torment. Yes, it is very much an exclusive claim, but He’s the only path that ends in life.
Jesus is truth. We can trust His words in an age where everyone creates and worships the Jesus or the god of their own making. Apart from the standard of Scripture, who can say whose is right and who is wrong? If the modern views of Christianity have one thing in common, it’s a denial that Jesus is truth.
Jesus is life. Those who trust Him inherit eternal life at the moment of salvation and remain secure in Him until the day He calls us home.
We cannot divorce Jesus from His revelation to us in Scripture; to do so leads to death. The Lord warns us against doing exactly that: “For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels” (Mark 8:38).
Please notice the close connection Jesus made with Himself and His words: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away” (Matt. 24:35). Is it any wonder that the apostle John began his gospel account identifying Jesus as simply the Word?
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