Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Exclusiveness Of Jesus

So, Why do people seem to have such anger for Christians?

Well, the truth is … many of us are insensitive jerks in the way we speak to people. By the way … I am including myself here! I have not arrived and God is still working on me. The fact that “God is still working on me” isn’t an excuse or a plea for license to be a jerk. I am just saying sometimes I lack the tact needed in certain situations.

Often we say things that leave people with the impression that we Christians think we are better than them. I say, we are not better AT ALL … but if we have chosen Christ as our Savior … we are forgiven. The fact that we are forgiven is also not a license to lack love in what we say.

Often our concern for others causes more heat than light. I have discovered that there is no reason to keep talking when you are causing heat in a conversation. You can’t argue someone into God’s family. Rarely does someone ever stand up and say … I became a Christian because I lost a heated debate. The only thing I have really ever seen help lead someone to Christ over a varying period of time is a lot of love and a lot of prayer.

There is a time to defend what you believe. Too many people think that … in order to have Christian faith, you must flush your brains down the toilet. Not true! I can rationally debate any subject in support of faith in Christ. I am saying that I have found that choosing Christ … was a step of faith but after years I have learned it was also an intelligent decision.

Notice I didn’t say it was a popular decision.

My defense of the gospel doesn’t always cause a person to see the light (so to speak). In fact, get this straight … if you share your faith with someone, … you’re done!

You can’t cause the blind to see. Look at 1 Corinthians 3:6. This verse clearly states that only God can make a seed grow. Only God gives sight!

So, why do so many people object to Jesus? I mean Jesus … seems to be the cuss word atomic bomb that gets thrown around by everyone. Why not Buddah?

Why is Jesus such a target for religious abuse?

I believe that simply said, … People don’t like the obvious accountability to the exclusive nature of Christ’s claims!

I am saying that people get John 14:6! They just don’t believe it.

I bet if you ask someone, … Who said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me they know the answer!

I also bet you could quote thousands of things other religious leaders have said and people would not be able to tell who said it … nor would they likely be offended by the statement being quoted. John 14:6 and similar statements made by Jesus are considered the most controversial.

Why? Because, … People don’t like that kind of exclusive claim. Before they even examine the claims of Jesus, many decide He was wrong.

Jesus declares many things in this verse.
1. He declares to be the way … not one of many ways.
2. He declares to be the truth … meaning “Hey, I’m not kidding here!”
3. He declares to be the life … meaning you are still dead and have never lived unless you come to me.
4. Then Jesus wraps it up again for those who think He might be saying He is one of the ways to God by saying that no man will get to God except through Him.

Now please remember … I didn’t say this! My words don’t mean a thing.

However, remember Jesus did say this! That does mean something! That means everything!

I believe Jesus!
Jesus was put to death in the most vicious manner because He declared equality with God over and over in hundreds of ways and direct statements. They put Jesus to death some 2000 years ago because they didn’t like the exclusive nature of His claims either. They fully understood what He was saying. They charged Him with blasphemy! They were blind sinners nailing Him to a cross. I did that too! That was me out there nailing Him to the cross with my sin.

People back then and people today are not at all interested in being accountable to any God. People want to believe that they themselves are god or ... people want to believe there is a bit of truth in every religion so that everybody (if they are good by their own standards) gets to go to heaven, no matter how kooky their beliefs may be.

Well, read John 14:6 again! Jesus sure didn’t sign up for being one of many ways to God. Jesus declared to be the only way to God. That makes ALL the difference.

Maybe you think Jesus was a liar? Maybe you think He was a lunatic? But, please do not suggest that Jesus was just another good man! Not even possible! A good man would not mislead people to believe He was God knowing He wasn’t. The power and truth discovered in His teaching was and IS far too incredible for Him to be considered a lunatic!

Anybody can say whacky stuff. Anybody can die for a disillusioned cause. Jesus backed His words up with His actions. The words and works of the Lord Jesus Christ have changed millions of lives. Millions have discovered the truth of His claims!

Consider the Apostle Paul, formerly known as Saul. Paul spent his time chasing down Christians with such vigor in order to put them to death. Paul wanted to squash the message of Christ right in Jerusalem. Paul had a face to face encounter with Christ and discovered he was wrong. He was knocked to his knees and learned from Jesus Himself that He was in fact the Messiah and that He was indeed God and that He had conquered death and had risen from the grave! How did this change the man who went about killing Christians? Paul later died a martyr’s death after living a life spreading the news of the risen Christ. Paul refused to deny what he had seen!

Paul said this about Jesus: Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved. Read Acts 4:12.

Jesus is exclusive!

People don’t like exclusive accountability.

So why do people seem to have such anger for Christians?

Jesus answered that Himself.
"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now, however, they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates me hates my Father as well. John 15:18-23 (NIV).

Friend of mine, … Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. There is no other way to approach God. I pray that my words do not strike you in an arrogant way. I fully understand there is nothing I can do to water down the claims of Christ and still be telling you the truth.

Truth said in love is often not truth read in love. I pray you would see these things clearly. I pray that God opens your eyes to the truth of His word. I pray that when you read these words that something inside you confirms the truth that is found only in Christ.

May God bless you in every way!
NikonSniper Steve

23 comments:

Judy said...

"...please do not suggest that Jesus was just another good man! Not even possible! A good man would not mislead people to believe He was God knowing He wasn’t."

I had never thought of it quite that way, and it's so right. Thank you, Steve, for strengthening my faith in Jesus Christ, my Savior and Redeemer.

"A man persuaded against his will is of the same mind still."

The Gospel is simply beautiful and beautifully simple. There is logic and order to it, but sooner or later, one must take that leap of faith. It's a leap we take alone, trusting that God will catch us.

LDH said...

One way... yet offered to ALL

Erik said...

Currently, I think there is a growing resistance toward all of the Abrahamic religions. Each declares their God to be the ultimate expression of love and will slit anyone's throat who might have another view.

I think a great deal of people would be far more welcoming if more Christians did what I understand Christians are supposed to do: emulate Christ.

A wise lady once told me that, "All the light has to do to chase the darkness away, is to BE."

Stephen Baird said...

judy,

i have written on this before ... but this has actually been better articulated by hundreds of others before me. most of these commentaries come straight out of the scriptures themselves.

here is the previous post i mentioned.

http://nikonsniper.blogspot.com/2010/05/listen-up.html

nikonsniper steve

Erik said...

I always enjoy your posts and your writing. I remember that one too. Keep on bloggin'!

The Director said...

This is the currently biggest blessing of my day- thanks Mr. Steve. This has been a subject I've been thinking about lately.

"Often our concern for others causes more heat than light." Oh my goodness so true! This is something I need to remember- as well as the verse that says, 'In a multitude of words we sin.' Good reminders.

Lord bless :)

Judy said...

Amen Steve! Well written and to the point!

Blessings,
Judy

Shelley L. Snyder said...

Awesome post, and oh so true!

Montanagirl said...

Again, a nice post, Steve.

Rose ~Victorian Rose ~ said...

Steve, thank you. I for one am looking forward to seeing MY EXCLUSIVE LORD and SAVIOR.
I am believing HE will be standing there with his arms open to greet me..OH WHAT A GLORIOUS THOUGHT.... HE will be there...along with my daughter Dawn who went to be with HIM many years ago.

Rose

dj trish said...

We often forget the Jesus said to love one another as he loves us.We don't have to agree with how a person lives or understand it but we do have to love them.
Perhaps folks will see the Love of Jesus in the way we live and ask us what makes us who we are.aha the door opens to share the Love of Jesus!
Peace and Love
Trish

Vicki M. said...

I agree wholeheartedly with your post, and I am thrilled to find a another Christian photoblogger!

You are so right about our need to be sensitive and realize when all we are doing is generating heat.

Oh, and I love your photos too.

Heidi said...

Very well said!

Jeanne Klaver said...

I can relate to this post. One thing I learned over the years is that, as a Christian, I have as much right as anyone else to express myself and try to live my messages as best I can. I don't hesitate to speak up when moved to do so. Then...I just leave the results up to God. My only "job" is to follow Jesus and I follow this path because, as you said, I am forgiven. This brings me peace. Blessings to you! I love the rhythm in the photo.

En Vida Real said...

Igual hermano, Dios te bendiga Stephen.

Teri said...

I don't profess to be a Christian but more of a Humanist, as my pastor calls herself. My step brother claims to be a Christian yet he will not call his brother or help him when he is desperate. To me, this is not what Jesus would do. Jesus helped all those that were down-trodden: prostitutes, lepers, the dying, the infirmed. I think I agree with some of the people who responded in the fact that what would make me want to seek out becoming a Christian would be to see someone (and the way they live their life) and then ask myself "what do they HAVE that makes them so special? I WANT some of that." When people tell me that I won't get to heaven "unless", well, that just makes me want to back off. I want to SEE them living the life that Christ would have lead, helping others, and being the light. You were right about that one Steve. I believe that I should aspire to live the principals of Jesus. For me, "Knowing and understanding the laws of life, also called Truth, is not enough. We must also live the truth that we know."

Judy said...

Thanks, Steve, for the additional link! Keep up the praises!

natty. said...

Well said. Thank you for writing this.

Ruth said...

Thank you Steve for your straight forward declaration that Christ is the only way to God. Another perspective, I had an abusive childhood and suffered from severe depression. Christ knew where I was and gently led me to His light. He understands suffering because He has suffered. He understands betrayal because He was betrayed. There is nothing that I bring to Him that he doesn't understand how I feel. His way is the way to healing broken hearts and broken lives. His peace is for all that seek Him. Thank you for writing and sharing your talent in pictures and words. Bless you.

Laurie and Bill said...

Amen! Beautifully written! Yes, the exclusiveness of Jesus does get a lot of people's panties in a snit. I think it's the fact that when you are exclusive to Christ - you give up yourself also! Most don't like to hear that as we live in a world that is all about self. But the joy, peace, comfort, love etc. that ones receives is indescribable!

Dean Spencer said...

Steve -

In one of your comments, you say that there are others that articulate the Gospel message better than you. I disagree. God has given you a voice and you have used it well. Thanks for sharing and "articulating" Christ's message beautifully!

I hope you don't mind, but I am sharing this on Facebook and Twitter.

There is no other Name! Jesus!

God bless!
Dean

Kerrie said...

Dear Steve, I hopped over from Gerry's blogspot to visit you. I see God's love through you. Your blogs are fantastic and your blogspot very welcoming! I hope you won't mind me joining your network of followers. Blessings, Kerrie

Susan said...

Love that quote about our "concern for others often causes more heat than light"...so true (I'd seen that before...where was that??? --just thinking out loud to myself)

Anyway, I'm so glad I somehow stumbled onto your blog! Beautiful pictures and beautiful thoughts. :)