Have A Particular Hangup? There’s a Jesus For That.

What? How? Where am I? How did I get here? Yah, it’s been a while. But to be honest (not that I’ve been dishonest up until this point), I never really intended for this blog to be a place that I updated every single day. There certainly have been days like that, but the intention was to just let it be a resource where folks could Biblically compare what pastors, teachers, etc are saying about the Bible. Sorry to burst thine bubble. Plus, I got a wife and kids, man. Not to mention one of those kids has a birthday coming up. You ever plan for one of those things? Oh, the humanity. Have a heart why don’t yah?! Anyways, I’ve been out of the loop with a lot of things, and just reading more secular news than ever lately. Sounds like everything is going crazy.

Here, in my neck of the woods, we had that Miami face eating zombie guy that they thought was on bath salts, but really just turned out to have marijuana in his system. That seemed to spark a whole string of zombie stories, from the guy that tore his intestines out to the guy that ripped another guy’s heart out to the lady that bit a chunk out of a wig shop owner’s arm. And there are many more stories like that. Then there was that guy that killed himself in the court room by eating pills. And Jack Osbourne getting MS. There was that other guy that killed a bunch of folks at the Dark Knight premiere. The death of Andy Griffith. The death of Sherman Hemsley. The guy that killed his kid and then himself. And, yes, even that girl from Twilight cheated on that other guy from Twilight with a married guy who had two kids. Craziness.

For the Christian, the first reaction might be to tell such folks about Jesus. But, I encourage such ones to really ask themselves why they are doing it. If it is to teach, “You do sin A, Jesus loves you and He can help you stop sin A, so go with Jesus,” then that isn’t biblical evangelism. A few months ago, I had been speaking to an atheist neighbor who had mentioned another neighbor who has been struggling with alcoholism. This neighbor actually encouraged me to tell the other about Jesus. He said, “Now that’s someone who needs Jesus.” Now, I’m not going to disagree with that general statement. But, I quickly had to correct his misunderstanding. I simply told him that the neighbor didn’t need Jesus for that. After all, there is something called AA. I know of people who went to AA and kicked alcohol, and they aren’t Christians. Gasp. Jesus Christ, who was God in the flesh, came to die a bloody death on a cross to satisfy the wrath of God toward his people. His innocent life given freely for those guilty who would believe this good news. Then He rose again 3 days later for their justification. Yes, that neighbor “needed” Jesus in that his sins were not forgiven.

We could sit and fault the atheist neighbor for having the wrong view of Christianity, but seriously, that is how Christianity is preached throughout this nation. Unfortunately, people sit through a 45 minute sermon about how they need to forgive themselves or that they are victims or that God has a great plan for them or whatever. Then they are invited to believe in Jesus. But the gospel isn’t being preached. They are believing Jesus for a better life, and spend the rest of their lives enslaved to moralism – that is, life adjustment. If you have a problem, there’s a Jesus for it. What’s the biggest critique you hear non-Christians say? “There are too many hypocrites in the church.” And they say this because pastors are too busy creatively making the Scriptures say things they were never intended to say. Teachings of potential and moralism replace teaching the utter depravity of man. People stand up Sunday after Sunday giving testimony to the fact that they once were one way, but now Jesus powerfully delivered them from that. Life change stories really amount to slick sales pitches to a Jesus that isn’t even real. The real life change we should preach is, “I went from a state of being spiritually dead, guilty before the law of God to being alive and no longer condemned by God’s law when I believed the gospel.”