Who Is Christ
Does God Exist?
Depending on how you answer that question, your eternal destiny can be changed forever. To believe that God does NOT exist is to deny the one who gives life, purpose, and meaning. It is the desire of a rebellious heart that wants to suppress the truth of God and erect a monument of lies that says "I will be my own god and I will create my own reality and be the master of my own destiny."
We do not create our own reality or meaning. If we think we do, then we must also affirm that Hitler, Stalin, and other heinous criminals of society all had a right to create their own realities as well. And if their reality or meaning came from persecuting and butchering other people, we have no right to say, "Hey, you ought not do that!" because the "oughtness" is absurd if there is no God who gives moral laws and who can keep us accountable. Ultimately, there would be no difference between Mother Theresa and Hitler, for they would have each created a reality that fits them. To say one is better than the other is to inject our own subjective bias into their reality. Do you see how absurd it is to deny God?
Where did we get this "oughtness"? Why do we believe that rape is wrong and helping the elderly is good? Is it merely convention of men? Does each society create its own morals and norms? Or is there a Divine lawgiver who holds everyone to His perfect standards? If there is a God, is there any evidence in human history that such a God communicated to the world? The answer to all these questions is found in the person of Jesus Christ!
Jesus Christ claimed that He is God
It is interesting that many people categorize Jesus Christ along with the many "holy men" in history like Buddha, Mohammed, Ghandi, Dalai Lama, etc. However, upon closer examination, Jesus Christ cannot be categorized into any category because He alone claimed to be God and gave clear demonstration that He is who He claimed to be.
Jesus said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am" (John 8:58). He also said, "I and the Father are one" (John 10:30). In other words, He claimed that He is God in human flesh! Many people today think of Jesus as a good moral teacher, or maybe a holy man who healed the sick, but God? "Certainly not," they say. But what Jesus said about Himself does not give us the option to call Him a "good moral teacher" or even a "prophet." The writer C.S. Lewis said, "You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to" (Mere Christianity [Macmillan, 1952], pp. 40-41).
Let us use Mr. Lewis' logic and see for ourselves the options we have available for Jesus Christ:
First, if Jesus Christ is not God, then He is a LIAR. He certainly convinced many people that He was God and that He could give them eternal life. Many people followed Him and still today many more follow Him as God. If Jesus is not God, then He is the greatest liar that ever lived. Concerning the hypothesis that Jesus is a LIAR, Phillip Schaff wrote:
The hypothesis of imposture is so revolting to moral as well as common sense, that its mere statement is its condemnation. How in the name of logic, common sense, and experience, could an imposter-that is a deceitful, selfish, depraved man-have invented, and consistently maintained from the beginning to end, the purest and noblest character known in history with the most perfect air of truth and reality? How could He have conceived and successfully carried out a plan of unparalleled beneficence, moral magnitude, and sublimity, and sacrificed his own life for it, in the face of the strongest prejudices of his people and ages?
Second, if Jesus Christ is not God, then He is a LUNATIC. He merely thought He was God and was living in self-delusional state. But did He demonstrate characteristics of a mad man? Compare the teaching of Buddha or Laotse with the teaching of Jesus. They taught a person to control his actions, but Jesus taught one to control his thoughts. He taught the purest and highest ethic. This is not the behavior of a mad man.
His disciples were frightened and cowardly when Jesus was arrested, tried and crucified for His claims to be God. However, the disciples became bold, powerful, and effective evangelists who risked their own lives to proclaim that Jesus is God. Lunatics don't make such disciples and lunatics don't inspire cowardly people--lunatics just aren't taken seriously. If Jesus is not God, then we are forced to say that He is a mad man even though all the evidence says otherwise. We can clearly see how faulty this type of thinking really is.
Third, since Jesus cannot be a Liar or a Lunatic, He must be what He claimed to be-the LORD! Jesus claimed to have come from heaven to reveal what God is like (John 1:14) and to save those who were lost in sin (Mark 10:45). He is the only way of salvation (John 14:6; Acts 4:12) because He is the only one who can wipe out sins and to bring us to God (1 Peter 3:18).
So, what do I do now?
The reason why we have no ultimate purpose and meaning in life and are cut off from the eternal life of God is because we are sinners. Does that offend you? The very fact that God points out our sins and our reaction to it shows that we are hostile toward a Holy God. This hostility is a by-product of sin.
We tend to evaluate sin on a curve. Most of us think that we are better than the next guy who is obviously the worse sinner. However, God does not grade people's lives on a curve. His standard is absolute and perfect holiness. He will not and cannot accept anything that is sinful because sin is contrary to His holy character.
The Bible says:
That everyone is a sinner. "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23) and also... That the penalty for sin is death. "The wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23).
As sinners, we are separate from the love of God and the life of God. We must agree with God that we are sinners and deserve death and eternal judgment. We must repent from our sins and turn to God. Why?
Because "God is love" (I John 4:8) and does not want to punish us. But He is also just (Exodus 37:4) and therefore, must punish our sins.
That's why He sent His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Who is Christ? He is the "ultimate God-man" (John 1:1-2; 14) who died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins (1 Peter 3:18) and who rose again from the dead to prove that He is Lord (Matthew 28:6).
Many in our society think that they will be accepted into heaven as long as they are sincere or as long as they try hard to live the best way possible. One can be very sincere but still be absolutely wrong. If a person takes poison--thinking it is medicine--all the faith in the world won't save him. And just like a drowning man in the middle of the ocean, no amount of his own efforts will save him. In the same way, trusting in your own judgment and your own works will not save you, but will surely lead you into the broad way of eternal destruction.
But when we repent of our sins and trust Jesus Christ alone for our salvation, God forgives all our sins, grants us eternal life and invites us into His divine family (John 1:12; 1 John 5:13). What we could not do on our own, God did through His Son-Jesus Christ!
Only when we have a right relationship with God through a genuine faith, will we have meaning and purpose. The true meaning of life shows that we are not cosmic accidents or a product of blind, mechanistic, evolutionary process, but that we have been created in the image of God and to enjoy God forever.
The true purpose of our earthly life is not about the things we can accumulate or what we can accomplish, but it is about God's glory and His righteousness. We are called to live in complete submission to His perfect will-this brings man the greatest happiness and fulfillment and to God, greatest glory.
Will you turn from your sins and ask God to forgive you, and ask Jesus Christ to be your Lord and Savior and would you ask Him to guide you for the rest of your earthly life so that you may have eternity with Him?
Take some time to talk to God about what you have just learned.
by John Shim, Pastor Evangel Bible Church of Berkeley