TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES
by Charles Robey
Do you have times when you just don't feel saved? Well, join the club. Down deep in my heart, there have been many occasions when my mind would wonder, in not so great a direction, when it comes to spiritual thoughts. Are these thoughts brought on by the enemy, Satan? Are they due to my lack of faith? Or, a combination of both?
I would sometimes even ponder such thoughts as; When it comes to Christianity, is Jesus truthfully God or just a prophetic historic figure? If He is God, then the Bible is true. And, if He is not God, we individuals who claim the name of God, must suffer the consequences of an eternity without hope. Let's take a look.
Remember "Truth or Consequences". On the show, people had to answer a trivia question correctly (usually an off-the-wall question that no one would be able to answer correctly, or a bad joke) and had about two seconds to do so before "Beulah the Buzzer" was sounded (in the rare occasion that the contestant answered the question correctly before Beulah was heard, another question was asked) If the contestant could not complete the "Truth" portion, there would be "Consequences," usually a zany and embarrassing stunt.
There are many religions today, with whom the founder has long since rotted in the grave. However, only one religion, Christianity, claims that its founder, Jesus Christ, was put to death, rose again and is seated at the right hand of God the Father to atone for the sins of the whole world.
"For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures". (I Corinthians 15:3-4)
The story of Jesus is either the greatest event in human history or the biggest deception known to man. If the chain of events are not factual, then the entire Christian faith crumbles. Conversely, if the story is true, then it is the "Greatest Story Ever told". Have you taken the trouble to decide for yourself?
The Apostle Paul tells us,
" And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up; if in fact the dead do not rise. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.”
(I Corinthians 14-19, NKJV).
So, what about you? Will you take the time to explore the claims in God's word, the Bible.
HE IS GOD, IN THE FLESH
Throughout the Holy Scriptures, Christ Jesus was announced by God Himself, to be God in the flesh. In the first book of the Bible, Genesis, God gives us an interesting statement, "Then God said, "Let us make man in Our image..."(Genesis 1:26) So, what is meant, by the capital word "Us" and who was God talking with? Man had not yet been formed, so God must have been talking to the other members of His divine God Head, the persons of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.
And, at,the Baptism of Jesus, God proclaimed, "And behold a voice out of the heavens saying, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" ( Matthew 3:17)
We see God's announcement again, as the inspired scripture exclaims, "In the beginning was the word , and the word was with God and the word was God. (John 1:1)
The Angels even bore witness, of the birth of Jesus, by declaring,
"and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins". ( Matthew 1:21) and "For today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:11)
On numerous other occasions, in the Holy Scriptures, we find Jesus himself confirming the fact that He is Lord. On one occasion Jesus stated, "You call me teacher and Lord; and you are right; for so am I" (John 13:13)
Even in the preliminary events leading to His crucifixion, when ask if he was God, Jesus replied by confirming his deity, " I am; and you shall see the Son of Man Sitting At The Right Hand Of Power and Coming with the Clouds".
Would an ordinary mortal man not say the opposite, if it meant being saved from a terrible crucifixion death?
HE DID IN FACT DIE
Enough proof that Jesus is God, but what about His being raised from the dead. Surely, one need only to have attended the Hollywood account of The Crucifixion, to get a pictorial view of the torture of the cross. However, the fact is that Jesus did indeed suffer and die:
"When Jesus therefore had received the sour wine, He said "It is finished" And He bowed His head and gave up this spirit" John 19:30).
Then, we have Jesus being buried in a borrowed tomb:
"And after these things Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but a secret one for fear of the Jews, ask Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilot granted permission. He came therefore, and took away His body". ( John 19:38)
HE IS RISEN, LIKE HE SAID
In Matthew 27:62-66, the religious leaders started worrying, resulting in them playing the "what if" game. They ask Pilot to make the grave secure for fear the body would be stolen. Pilot then agreed to allow the grave to be secure.
Then in Matthew 28:11-15, we see a conspiracy between the religious leaders and the soldiers. After revealing that Jesus was missing, the religious leaders paid the soldiers to spread a rumor, that the disciples had stolen the body of Jesus.I ask you, is this not enough proof, in and of its self, that Jesus died, was buried and rose from the grave. Why else would the religious leaders fabricate stories such as these.
One of the first events of the Resurrection was when the Angel of the Lord, spoke to the two Mary's, at the grave site, in the 28th Chapter of Matthew, " And behold, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshiped Him. Then Jesus said to them," Do not be afraid; go and take word to my brethren to leave for Galilee and there they shall see me" (Matthew 28:9-10).
On another occasion , in the 20th Chapter of John, Jesus appeared to His disciples, as they were hiding behind the shut door for fear of the religious leaders. This was a special occasion as doubting Thomas was able to not only see Jesus' wounds but was also able to feel the wounds. as well, " Then He said to Thomas, Reach here your fingers, and see My hands; and reach here your hand, and put it into My side; and be not unbelieving, but believing". (John 20:27)
We also find the Apostle Paul continue to relate historical resurrection facts:
"And that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the scriptures, and that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as it were to one untimely born, He appeared to me also." (I Corinthians 15:4-8)
It's amazing, in this day of intelligent design, the number of individuals who don't believe or have never bothered to find for themselves, that Jesus Christ is God in the flesh. Often times they even run away from the exploration. And sadly to say, many Christians themselves are really not sure.
Do you believe in an eternal heavenly reward, for those who have a personal relationship with God, through His Son Jesus Christ? Or, do you feel, by just professing an unbelief in God's redemptive plan, that you alone are powerful enough to change the entire course of history, from the beginning to the end?
At the end of life's journey, if God's eternal plan is real, and you have excepted it, you have everything to gain including spending eternity with the Living God. On the other hand, if at the end of life you have failed to accept God's plan for your life, you will have everything to lose, including your own eternal soul.
Time and space will not permit me to give all the historic Bible proof that Jesus was indeed God in the flesh. The old Hebrew law required two witnesses, to prove an injustices. And, from over forty years law enforcement court experience, I have seen many a suspect receive much prison time, by the testimony of just a few witnesses. Yes, Jesus is God. Does He rein in your heart?
"For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23)
"For by Grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Simply put, you will never be too good to work your way to God. It's just a matter of believing God's word, and excepting God's grace by your faith.