The Truth About the Founder of Christianity/Part 10

By: Dr. John Ankerberg and Dr. John Weldon; ©{{{copyright}}}
The Consequences of Invincible Realities

Ed. note: This article is based upon the transcript from programs produced by the John Ankerberg Show. Additional material has been added for this print version.

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The Consequences of Invincible Realities

When all treasures are tried…truth is the fairest.—William Langland

Let us give a final illustration of why Jesus Christ is important to each of us personally, regardless of what we may now believe about Him. All of us are familiar with AIDS, the fatal disease that destroys the body’s immune system. No one can afford to be unconcerned with this modern plague that will eventually kill tens of millions of people worldwide.

Infection with the AIDS virus leaves no initial symptoms. No one can know if they are infected with this fatal virus unless they have specific testing to determine exposure.

Now let’s ask a question. How important do you think these testing procedures are? Because we are dealing with life and death issues, they are vitally important. Especially if the possibility of a cure is found should the virus be detected early enough.

Now, the fact is, no one can argue with an HIV virus. It simply exists, and it produces certain effects in the body. People may deny they have it, they may argue against it, but it changes nothing. Living their day-to-day lives in ignorant bliss only allows the virus to continue its deadly march.

In the same way, no one can deny it is a historical fact that Jesus lived, made particular claims for His own deity, and was resurrected from the dead. People may argue against these historical facts, but it will not change them. They may live their lives as if Jesus never existed, but this only allows a different virus, a virus of ignorance, to continue its deadly march.

Jesus was born in Bethlehem, grew up in Nazareth, preached to tens of thousands of people in Israel, performed miracles, was arrested and tried by Roman authority, crucified, and rose from the dead. He appeared physically after His death to hundreds of people at a single time, including a dozen distinct appearances to His own disciples. These occurred on many different occasions and places over a period of six weeks. He appeared to 500 people at once. Today, 2,000 years later, Jesus continues to dramatically impact the world. To deny these facts is equivalent to denying the existence of the AIDS virus. Think about that.

What one does with either of these facts is crucial. If a person knows about the AIDS virus, then he can take certain precautions to protect himself. But ignorance of the fact of an AIDS virus will only increase one’s chances of infection.

In a similar manner, what one does with historical facts surrounding Jesus Christ is also vital. If Christ was who He said He was, then what we do with Him personally will determine not only the kind and quality of our life here, but also the kind and quality of our life after death, extending into eternity.

Everyone would agree that to deny the truth concerning the existence of the AIDS virus is a foolish and futile endeavor. Likewise, saying false things about the AIDS virus—for example, that it is not transmitted sexually or is no more serious than a common cold—would be equally foolish. Everyone knows better.

In the same manner, to deny the historical facts concerning Jesus Christ is both foolish and futile. To say Jesus was only a good man or of no import to our lives personally is precisely what we must not say. Further, to falsely interpret His words or to distort them is equally unwise. Again, nothing is changed.

The truth is that the issue of who Jesus Christ is is just as important to people’s lives personally—indeed, far more important—than any modern concern people may have over the AIDS virus, whether or not they are infected.

One day, every person who has ever lived will stand before Jesus Christ and be judged by Him. If so, then it is of the utmost importance for people to understand who Jesus is and what He requires of them:

Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books…. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:11-12, 15)

From all that we have discussed about Jesus, from what the Bible teaches of Him, and from Jesus’ own words we can understand why Jesus makes demands on each person who has ever lived. This is why he emphasized the personal necessity of trusting in Him alone for salvation:

Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because He has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil (John 3:18-19).

Jesus taught that unless a person was “born again” (spiritually reborn or made alive through receiving Christ as personal Lord and Savior), it would be impossible for them to enter heaven, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again…. I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit” (John 3:3, 5). “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12). And to those who received Him He said, “My Father will honor the one who serves Me” (John 12:26).

He also said to believer and unbeliever alike:

When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but in the One who sent me. When he looks at me, he sees the One who sent me. I have come into the world as light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness. As for the person who hears my words, but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it. There is a Judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the Last Day. For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. I know that His commands lead to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say (John 12:47-50).

This, then, is what the Bible teaches about Jesus Christ—that He is the prophesied Messiah of the Old Testament; He is absolutely unique in His person in all creation; He was virgin born and sinless; He is the only incarnation of God ever to exist; He is the world’s only Savior who died for our sins on the cross; and He is the only and final judge of all humanity.

How vital it is, then, that we be ready to meet Him.

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