Categories
Life Theology

Sermon 2: Is Jesus the Only Way to God?

Is Jesus the Only Way to God?
Series: Debated: Answering Hard Questions About Christianity
Pastor Steve Moltumyr

John 14:6; 1 John 4:1-10

  • There are three ways to deal with this most important question:
  1. You can outlaw religion  (such as China and the former Soviet Union).
  2. You can condemn religion through education.
  3. You can keep religion a private matter.
  • What we see so rampant in the world today is what we call postmodernism.  Postmodernism is the belief that everything is relative and there can be no objective reality in the universe.
  • Christianity is not unique in it’s claim to truth.  When it comes to deciphering through all the worldviews, we must sift through three important questions.
  1. Decide which religion is true.
  2. Decide that atheism is true.
  3. Decide that postmodernism is true.
  • When it comes to the first of these options, you need to answer these questions when trying to get to the bottom of whether a religion is true or not:
  1. How did life begin?
  2. What is the meaning of life?
  3. What is the moral code to live by?
  4. What is the primary spiritual need?
  5. How will life end?
  • A postmodernist will usually argue along these lines.
  1. Each person has the right to determine the meaning of what they read.  This means that if I write an email that says, “It’s cold outside,” someone can actually interpret it as, “Steve said it’s warm today!”
  2. Moral and ethical behavior is not a result of any final reality such as God.
  3. All religions are man made and none have a corner on the truth.
  4. “I can create my own faith.  My own generic religion.”  (This “religion” does not confront people with the brokenness of humanity and the need for a Savior.)
  • 1 John 4:1-10.  Jesus has “come in the flesh” (v. 2).  What has Jesus “come” from?  God.  How can Jesus be the only way to God?  He is God.  He was God in the flesh who came to give what no other so-called “deity” ever gave.
Categories
Theology

A Must Read

If you are a Christian and if you live in a postmodern world (which we all do), then you need to read The Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern World.  The book wonderfully tackles tough issues that Christianity faces in our world today and how we can overcome those issues to continue advancing the kingdom.

It is a collection of essays that are taken from messages given at the 2006 Desiring God National Conference.  Contributors include Mark Driscoll, Tim Keller, Don Carson, Voddie Baucham, Jr., David Wells, and John Piper.   Piper and Justin Taylor are the general editors.

Categories
Ministry

God Works on His Own Scale

We just had eleven American students come to Joburg for a month long mission trip.  Perhaps the most important thing they learned is that God works in his own time and for his own purposes in the salvation of people.

It would be a delight to tell you that we saw a hundred conversions to Christ in a month.  It would also be a lie.  Let me tell you how many we saw after literally hundreds of gospel conversations.

Zero.

In The Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern World, Don Carson provides some comforting words for guys like me who lead mission projects like the one we just had.  During a panel discussion, he said:

There are people who went to Korea in 1900, planted churches, and saw the church grow to a quarter of the world’s evangelical population today.  There are people who went to Japan about the same time — and no place on God’s green earth did the church grow more slowly than in Japan.  What are you doing to do?  Say, “All the ones who went to Korea are spiritual — particularly loved of God?”  The ones in Japan aren’t blessed of God?  God works on another scale.

South Africa is a de-churched culture on the brink of European-like post-modernism.  The soil is hard, and cultivating takes work.  Seeds have been planted.  And if they grow, God is glorious.  If they don’t sprout anything, God is still just as glorious.

Categories
Theology

Carson on Why Jesus Came to Die

D.A. Carson, contributing in The Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern World, gives this stirring reminder of the ultimate reason behind Jesus going to the cross to die for our sins:

Jesus came to complete the work that his Father gave him to do (John 17:4).  We so often think that the ultimate motivation behind the cross is God’s love for us.  I do not want to downplay the importance of that love…But we must see that in John’s Gospel the motivating power behind the entire plan of redemption was the Father’s love for his Son and the Son’s love for his Father.  When Jesus found himself in an agony in Gethsemane, he did not finally resolve to go through with the plan of redemption by saying, “This is awful, but I love these sinners so much I’ll go to the cross for them” (though in a sense he might have said that), but “Not my will but yours be done.”  In other words, the dominating motive that drove him onward to perfect obedience was his resolution, out of love for his Father, to be at one with the Father’s will.  Though we poor sinners are the unfathomably rich beneficiaries of God’s plan of redemption, we are not at the center of everything.  At the center was the love of the Father for the Son and the love of the Son for the Father.

Categories
Theology

Michigan Megachurch Goes Egalitarian

Here’s an interesting story on Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Rob Bell, Emergent Church guru, is the pastor there and it seems as if he has stepped further across the line against the sufficiency and authority of Scripture as they now allow women elders in the church.