Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, and they also who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.
Revelation 1:7 (NKJV)
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. -- John 1:14 (NKJV)
Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." -- John 14:6 (NKJV)
"For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him." -- John 5:22,23 (NKJV)
"And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent." -- John 17:3 (NKJV)
- Jesus'absolute demands on us humans!
- Ooooh! Now we are in a dilemma!
- No UN "negotiating" on this one!
- Better check your perspective again!
- Jesus' absolute claims concerning Himself!
- Willing to ponder this and the implications?
- Have you seen the crystal tears yet?
- Amazing Grace - All for Us!
- Theo gives a parting word.
Some time ago a magazine that is published for pastors had a cover portraying a statue of Jesus Christ. On bold lettering on that cover also were these words -- "The Way, The Truth and The Life?" The featured theme of the issue was a "debate"(?) over whether or not Jesus is exclusively -- that is, the ONLY way of salvation, hope and ultimately the ONLY way to God's heaven! Recent decades have witnessed the invasion of all manner of heresy within the ranks of professing Christianity. Universalism is but one with more and more persons, clergy and laity alike, taking the position that other "faiths" within this world also have a legitimate claim when it comes to addressing eternal issues, especially that all important issue of final destiny!
That puts us in a bit of a dilemma when it comes to dealing with Jesus Christ Who made some startling demands on the members of the human race along with some very unique claims regarding Himself! In the area, "Jesus & Lines in the Sand!", the issue of "drawing lines in the sand" has been introduced due to circulation of a petition on the subject. And there are persons who claim that Jesus never did such a thing. Consider for a moment these statements by Jesus:John 3:3 -- Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
Matt. 18:3 --(Jesus) said, "Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven."
Luke 13:3 --(Jesus said) "I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.
John 6:53 --Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you."
(Ref's from NKJV)
Now, herein is the dilemma -- it's the use of the word "unless" or "except" as used in another translation that has to be dealt with. Not a few would agree that this is indeed "drawing a line in the sand" -- Jesus makes it rather clear -- either we meet those conditions and consequently be blessed and eventually enter that paradise prepared for His people (John 14:1ff) or reject His demands and be eternally damned! We can enter into our little semantic gymnastic sessions if we choose to, but for once, let's just let the Son of God speak plainly for Himself and honestly admit what's happening here -- the line has been drawn and we choose the response that we are going to execute!
Those demands made by Jesus are not the only "lines in the sand" which have been drawn. We also have those interesting and most challenging "I am..." statements made by Him. They are absolute and it is made rather clear that He is not allowing for the possibility of sitting down to a United Nations designed negotiating table and issuing an invitation to Allah or his prophet, Muhammed, or Buddha, or the millions of gods of Hinduism, or any other gods of religious isms and spasms existing and saying,
"Come on fellows and girls, you all have something to contribute to life's purpose for humans, their dilemma with sin, and their eternal destiny. We're all in this together so let's issue a joint news release to let the world know that we are all on an equal level, with each of us making a contribution, and that we intend to work together for making the members of the human race one big happy and loving family!"
There are some among the ranks of professing Christianity who would sell their soul and the church for far less than 30 pieces of silver by reducing Jesus to the same level as that of all the other "deities" of whatever religious expression happens to exist -- the result is a spiritual mixture that is about as impressive as this "song & dance" routine and about as attractive:
Ah, it's good from time to time to remind ourselves that no other so-called "religious leader" in history went through what the Son of God did - - take a close look at Amazing Grace - All for Us! Tell me, what in the world does this other bunch have to offer the human race other than despair, hopelessness, inner turmoil, and death? Again, by way of sharp contrast, what is it that Jesus Christ offers? And some have the brazenness coupled with high level stupidity to want to put Him in the same league with the others???John 6:35 -- And Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst."
John 6:48-51 -- "I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world."
John 8:12 -- Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life."
John 8:18,19,23,24 -- "I am One who bears witness of Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears witness of Me." Then they said to Him, "Where is Your Father?" Jesus answered, "You know neither Me nor My Father. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also." And He said to them, "You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins."
John 8:58 -- Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM."
John 9:5 -- (Jesus said,) "As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world."
John 10:7-11 -- Then Jesus said to them again, "Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep."
John 10:14 -- (Jesus said,) "I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own."
John 11:25,26 -- Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?"
John 14:6-9 -- Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him." Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us." Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, 'Show us the Father'"?
John 15:1-5 -- (Jesus said,) "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing."
Revelation 1:10-18 -- (John's witness) "I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, saying, 'I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,' and, 'What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.' Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and His hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, 'Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.'"
Revelation 2:21-23 -- (Jesus said,) "And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. And I will kill her children with death. And all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts."
Revelation 21:6-8 -- And He said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."
Revelation 22:12-16 "And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last." Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie. "I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star."
(Ref's from NKJV)
Now It's Time to Ponder!
Ah, now here is something that calls for some real serious pondering -- is that a "line in the sand" that is being drawn each time He says, "I am..." and if we refuse to acknowledge Him as our Bread, Light, etc., then we've effectively sealed our doom?
The late C. S. Lewis is reported to have made this keen observation, and declaring the heart of the real issue -- that either Jesus Christ is all that He is and claimed to be, or He must be regarded as a lunatic on the same level as a man who claims to be a poached egg!
On this issue of Jesus "drawing lines in the sand" and making absolute demands upon us humans as well as absolute claims concerning Himself -- WHAT DO YOU SAY AND WHY? BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, HOW HAVE YOU RESPONDED?
We see and experience a very limited amount of heart ache, pain, distress, and sorrow in this present world because we are finite human beings -- we cannot begin to fathom what it must be for Almighty God to see continually the total misery and chaos which the members of the human race bring upon themselves due to massive rebellion against Him, both personally and corporately!
Further, we can easily forget or gloss over the high price paid by the Son of God Himself to deliver us from the destruction and disaster of our personal sin which condemns us -- refresh your memory by looking at Amazing Grace - All for Us!
Congratulations, friend, on making it this far -- remember that big round ball you saw when you entered this area of the Range -- what a color scheme, huh? A most unusual thing -- God decided to pay a personal visit to this planet a long time ago for a reason that defies human logic and understanding. That visit has to do with the most important issue we will ever face in our lifetime, namely, our personal relationship with God and making peace with Him! No other person in human history has ever made the kind of demands or claims that Jesus Christ did, and they all have to do with us making peace with our Creator! To pursue this matter further go to In Pursuit of Peace. Here you will have a chance to review how true peace is established with absolute certainty!!
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