The Real Jesus

Since the passing of the new “Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act,” in Mississippi, social media posts have created a concern in me. This concern has not been on the basis of what most people do, or do not, like about the bill itself. Instead, my concern stems from the claims being made about “Jesus” that demonstrate the ignorance of many “Christians” concerning Jesus and his teachings. That ignorance reminds me that there are many people claiming to be Christians, who worship their own ideas of Jesus, instead of the real Jesus. The difference in one’s “own ideas of Jesus” and the real Jesus is that one is a false idol and one is the true God. That concern is my reason for writing this post: To encourage Christians to take a moment to examine themselves, as 2 Corinthians 13:5 encourages them to do. This examination is vital so that they can be certain that they are worshipping the true Jesus, instead of a false god made in the image of themselves and of the way that they think that they would rule if they were God. Jesus said that many will come to him on the Day of Judgment and claim that they knew him, but that he will tell them to go away from him because that they never really knew him (Matthew 7:21-23). That means that a popular line of thought that that states, “We’re all children of God and Jesus would never turn anyone away,” must be categorically rejected as Universalism (a system that fails miserably when practically considered), instead of Christianity. This is why it is imperative that people be certain that they are not believing in a false “Jesus,” which will only lead them to a tragic end on the day when they meet the real One.

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Jesus did not claim that he was one of many ways, or one of many truths. Rather, he made the claim that he was the only exclusive way to God and the only source of truth, which removes the ability of any true follower of his to advocate for the belief that he is “right for them, but other ways are right for other people.” Furthermore, Jesus told us that we would know that we were really following him, which implies that some people will think that they are his followers and be mistaken, is if we hold to his teaching (John 8:31). That means that Christians, in the most generic sense of the word, who dilute Jesus’ teachings in an effort to make him seem more inclusive and palatable than he ever claimed to be are not following the real Jesus.

For those reasons, it is vitally important that Christians actually read God’s Word – the Bible! How should one expect that his belief in Jesus is belief in the real Jesus if his beliefs are based solely on his own thoughts about “Jesus” and the claims printed on coffee cups and Facebook statuses about Jesus? If the real Jesus is God, as he claimed to be, then he is, by definition, the greatest Being in the Universe. If you find that you have no desire to spend your own personal time growing in your understanding of him, as well as changing your beliefs, habits, and lifestyle in accordance with the things you learn about him, then it is highly probable that you do not really know him at all.

One recurring claim about Jesus that I have found to be correct is that “Jesus is love.” That claim is true! In his love, Jesus revealed to us the one exclusive way to God, which should also lovingly guide us away from the other “ways” that are false and will lead to our destruction. That explains why it is fallacious to assume that Jesus would not be “loving” if he did not “accept everyone.” The fact is that he humbled himself and became a man in order to make a way for us to be reconciled to God. He did that instead of leaving us to our own demise, which he had every right to do. That is true love! If people willfully reject the way that he has made – even if while doing so they don the title of “Christian” – then it will not be due to a lack of love on Jesus’ part when he eventually says, “depart from me,” on the day they are called to give account for their lives. Instead, his “lack of acceptance” will be due to each unbelieving person’s self-determination to function as his own god while on earth and, thereby, to reject Jesus as God. That is why I urge you to submit to the real Jesus while you still have time. Anyone who knows me knows that I have not always loved Jesus. In fact, there was a time that I would have told you that I hated God. However, he continued to love and pursue me and I have found that there is no greater joy and contentment than what I have experienced since I began following the real Jesus. Let’s be honest – you’re a poor excuse for a god and you have a history of making a mess of things. I encourage you to submit yourself to the one true God, as he has revealed himself, and to take the burden off of yourself! You’ll be glad you did.