How many of you have heard the comment, "Whatever religion works for you, as long as you believe with all your heart, is Ok, because, there are many ways to God, and every religion will lead you to Him."? Or been asked the question, "I'm Ok with there being a God, but why do you have to be so adamant about that God being Jesus?" Almost everyone has probably heard these statements, and honestly, one part of this thought process is valid and reasonable. You need to know why you believe what you believe—and if Jesus is who He says He is, we should not fear, because a True God should leave a pretty convincing mark on His creation. But, I believe there are many who do not want to seriously look at the possibility of there being only One, True Way—thus the "many ways to God" mentality. Some would rather believe that any path you choose is just fine, because they are not in any way looking for real Truth. They are simply looking for a pacifier in life, because with Truth, comes Relevance to life. If I learn there is One, Knowable Creator, the relevance that has in my life becomes overwhelming and inescapable. I can no longer make my own way, choose my own direction, and simply adopt a comfortable religious view to support my wants. Suddenly I am accountable—I am no longer master of my own world. [Peter and John before same crowd that killed Jesus: Acts 4:10-12; John 14:6.]
What would your answer be if I asked you how that incredible Toyota Rav 4, came to be out in the parking lot today? Would you have 20 different potential origins for how it came to be, all totally unrelated? And I could pick the one that would make me feel best about driving a Toyota Rav? Or would there obviously be one true story for how it was designed and built? Down to a place, a time, a group of people. [Pastor Doss can personally can give you great detail as to the origin of how it was designed and built—he works for Toyota.] And no matter how many stories you can concoct, nothing has multiple, choosable explanations for its origin. Everything has a definite origin—the Universe—you and I—are no different. The fact that you can pacify yourself with imaginative stories, has nothing to do with the reality of One Truthful Source of Creation. All religions are not similar. By admission, they are fundamentally different in major ways—with only superficial similarities.
So, my first question to you, who truly want to believe that anything which works for you is ok, and there are many ways to God is this: How could such purposeful complexity arise from total dead chaos? How could such an unfathomably complex creature such as yourself, with all your incredible design, function, and ability, become possible without a forethought, a plan, and a purpose? (If we know a RAV4 had a creator?) And if such a design, requires a Designer, wouldn't such a Powerful, Wisdom-filled, painstakingly intricate Designer, surely be a very specific, and personable, knowable Being? Wouldn't He surely want to be known by His most amazing creation? Wouldn't that creation surely hold a part of Him within it? As surely as any piece of art hold part of its creator? It is ludicrous to imagine there truly is a Designer of such magnitude, power, and knowledge—Who is not recognizable, Knowable, Personally. It is very logical with the evidence at hand, there is One Credible Source of Creation. For anyone who is offended or annoyed by the statement that Jesus is that source, have you studied the facts to satisfy yourself, in reality? Or have you used this line as a cope-out not to face the possibility?
We do not have the time to study, and compare every major religion with Christ in such a timeframe, and I have no desire to attack or criticize other's beliefs. Our focus will simply, and powerfully be, to show that the evidence for Jesus Christ being the Only Way, is logical, and overwhelmingly decisive, when looked upon objectively, to those who really want to know Truth. This will be way too much to cover in many weeks of study. So, we will look quickly at many Truths, that each of you can follow-up upon and study for yourselves after the sermon.
Every other religion is based upon following great teachings, and/or proper behavior of the followers, balances of good and bad, karma, continued cycles of progressive righteousness. Of which, if true, why have we fallen farther and farther from goodness and righteousness as a world community? Why is there more depression, suicide, murder, genocide, rape, war than ever before? Christianity alone, is entirely accepted or rejected, based solely upon what we do with One Historical Figure, not our actions or righteousness: One Historical Figure Whose very existence—including time of birth in history, life events, miracles performed, method and time of death, and His resurrection—are all recorded in Greek, Roman, and Jewish history. One Historical Figure of Whom many astounding details were foretold hundreds, even thousands of years before He walked the earth—One piece of Truth at a time, scattered throughout His Word—which was written by many people, of many places, of many positions, at many social levels, at many different times (Spanning 1600 years, 40 people, and 3 continents), kept provably accurate, through the discovery of over 24,600 ancient manuscripts, in multiple languages, with no historical, archeological, scientific, or medical errors provable to this day, some 3400 years after it began, proving this Word was like no other religious document, of which: 1) were written by one or few 2) in one place and time 3) yet, still with errors, and inconsistencies. One Historical Figure, Who caused those living in His day to leave satisfying religions, and safe lives, to have entire families hunted, tortured and horribly killed by the thousands, with no benefit to living a lie they would have seen with their own eyes. One Historical Figure, Who has caused the world to hate and kill more followers than any religion in the world, with over 70 million Christians being martyred for their faith since Christ, with more martyrs every day currently, than any group on the planet (Not to mention the killing of Jews). One Figure, Who has affected the entire world more than any other single individual ever born, changing morality, laws, social structures, and even the keeping of our calendars globally, though He had only a 3 1/2 year ministry, in an occupied and oppressed land, having no home of His own, no church, no official ministry, and never having even written a single book. One of a Kind! All of this is surpassingly sufficient to show the uniqueness of Jesus Christ over any other religious figure, or writing in history, but well beyond all of this evidence.
Let's look at the truest reasons Jesus has to be the only One: Of all the gods, all the religions, and all the prophets men have conjured up through the ages, that require performance, ritual, and self-denial, would not the God Who created such beauty, intrigue, and capacity to experience joy, fellowship, and love in His creations not show and share those attributes with them? Only my Jesus, who had the power to shape the Universe, and can melt the very elements of Creation with a Word, and is so far from our thoughts and abilities we cannot fathom Him, laid aside every attribute of His Godhood, and took on my weak nature in history, so He could feel pain, fear, anxiety, hopelessness, abandonment; so He could show me how to love, how to endure, how to forgive: Hebrews 4:14-16. My Jesus, who created the farthest reaches of the Universe, was heartbroken enough over one old, forgotten sinner, to secretly meet him, heal him, and slip away unnoticed by the world. My Jesus, who sees all the worries of the world, cried passionately over the pain of His friends losing their brother, became angry over their loss, in the effects of this sinful world. My Jesus, walked over 80 miles in the blazing Middle East sun to love and touch, the life of one troubled and promiscuous woman of a hated race. My Jesus loved, touched, healed, and broke bread with every sick, and socially dirty person He met. My Jesus lived dirt poor, in the humiliation of being called an uneducated bastard, by His own creation, because He had come to teach us to serve on another over self. My Jesus showed us true love, instead of telling us about it, and demanding it, by asking His Father to forgive us, even as we crucified Him on a slab of wood to save us. My Jesus, the Keeper of creation, died horribly, in total rejection by man and God, wo we wouldn't have to hopelessly strive to be perfect—He would guarantee our place with Him, if we just wanted Him badly enough--that, is how a true Maker and Lover of mankind would act.
Without my Jesus, the world would never have a reason to worship God other than because His superior strength forced it.
The world would have no chance to ever see the true attributes, personality, and Face of God Himself (wouldn't our Creator want that?) The world would have no chance, when it messed up too badly to tip the scales back to a balance, or when they started their journey too late. The world would never see Love lived out. Never see love sacrificed for them. Never experience God Himself, showing His Creation the Truest Example of what we were created to be. Never experience God being so passionately in love with His Creation, that He gave all of Himself to protect and save it from the pain of forsakenness. Long story short: only Jesus is rooted firmly in history; astoundingly prophesied about through time; had thousands die in testimony of His works; who were there as eyewitnesses; is written about in a Book that was written like no other in history; and proven accurate and sustained through the ages; has had more resistance from mankind; and more devoted martyrs than any other religion; has changed the entire world with just a few short years of ministry; has come to His Creation, and lived the life He wants us to live; shown us His love and devotion; taken on the pain and misery our own sin has caused us in this world; and saved us from ourselves when we couldn't. My friends, Jesus is hands down, the only Way,
the only One True God: Philippians 2:9-11; Psalm 86:8-10.
But if He weren't the Only Way, or the Only One True God—if others were actually real as well, He would be the only one I would follow. He would be the only one worthy of my love and sacrifice. He is worth your everything, because that is what He has already given to you.
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