An Extraordinary LifeDr. Erwin W. Lutzer | October 3, 1993
Selected highlights from this sermon
Jesus made fantastic claims while He was on Earth. So in order to back His claims, He had to do miracles. But be warned, not all miracles are of God. Satan can perform miracles too.
This message addresses the difference between the miracles of God and those of Satan, but it also shows us why the miracles of Jesus proved that He was indeed the Son of God.
If you had been living in Leipzig, Germany, in 1779, and someone had given you some theater tickets, maybe you could have seen the play entitled Nathan the Wise. It’s a play written by Gotthold Lessing. And the reason that play was somewhat unique is because during the Enlightenment the idea arose that all the religions of the world can really be united. And the purpose of that play was to try to show that all religions produce morality, and that’s what is important, and therefore their differences were negligible. Well it’s not only that Lessing believed that, but he also began what is known today as The Quest for the Historical Jesus. The idea was that we can’t look at the New Testament and believe the miracles because miracles like that aren’t happening today, and therefore in order for us to try to get behind the New Testament to find out what really happened, we have to strip it clean of the miracles, and find out what the real Jesus was like. Mind you, the other presupposition, which was clear in those days as it is today in the minds of many, is that the real Jesus was only an ordinary man. And therefore, we have to try to find out what the real Jesus was like.
As a matter of fact, did you know that liberals who actually approach the New Testament that way tell us that they are doing us a favor? This is the argument. They say, “You know there aren’t very many people who believe Christianity anymore because nobody can accept the miracles. If we strip the New Testament of miracles, if we reduce Jesus Christ down to our size, why then indeed Christianity will become popular and men and women will believe.” The problem, of course, that should be very clear to all, is that by the time you’ve done that there is really nothing worth believing.
Did you know that these kinds of games are still played today? Right here in the great United States of America, 200 scholars have been meeting for six years to figure out what Jesus Christ really was like and what he really said. And do you know how they have voted on their opinions? They all have various little balls, and when a certain saying of Jesus is read, those who think that He probably said it put a red ball into the jar. If they think that it’s likely he didn’t but it’s possible that He did, then the put in a pink one. If they think that the disciples made it up, they use a gray one. And if they are absolutely sure that neither Jesus nor His disciples possibly said it, they put a black ball into the jar. And so what they do is they sit there and they put these balls in jars to try to come to a consensus. Do you know what they are doing? They are really trying to take Christ and to censor Him. In fact, what they are trying to do is to make Him politically correct. Guess which sayings of Christ receive all the red balls. Oh, all of the ones where He denounces the rich and where He talks about the Good Samaritan. “Oh yes, Jesus said that.” But what about the statements regarding redemption, or the new birth, or salvation? All those statements, speaking rather literally, are blackballed. “Obviously Jesus didn’t say that.”
Now do you realize how subjective this game has become? It is really up to each person to somehow look at Christ and to come up with the Jesus that suits his fancy. There’s no manuscript evidence with that kind of a Jesus. But nevertheless that kind of revisionism is going on all the time. The problem is that no matter how far you get behind those manuscripts, no matter how much historical study you do, there is always staring at you in the New Testament a very miraculous Christ. And there’s not too much that you can do about it except to collapse into subjectivism and make up your own version.
Now when you stop to think of it, when Christ was on earth He was making some fantastic claims. The Jews always went into the Temple. It is there that they met God. It is there where they had their sins forgiven. Now suddenly this man appears on the scene and begins to offer all of those blessings out on the street. He says, “If you believe in Me you have eternal life. I will forgive you. I can speak you clean.” So we might expect that in order to back up such awesome claims He would do miracles.
Well, many of you know that this is the third in a series of messages entitled Christ Among Other gods, and today we are looking at the life of Christ, specifically the miracles that He performed that back up His radical claims. Take your Bibles for just a moment and turn to Matthew 12 because it is there where Jesus Christ’s miracles finally so confronted His culture that they had to give a response, and the response was not very pretty.
Matthew 12:22: “Then a demon-oppressed man who was blind and mute was brought to him, and he healed him, so that the man spoke and saw. And all the people were amazed, and said, ‘Can this be the Son of David?’ But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, ‘It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons.’ Knowing their thoughts, he said to them, ‘Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand. And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.’” A very miraculous Christ!
Now, the Pharisees were right about one thing. They were right about the fact that Satan can perform miracles. They knew that. They were wrong in their estimation of Jesus. That should have been clear to them. It wasn’t clear but nevertheless they did understand that Satan has power to do miraculous signs. We need to give them credit for that, and my friend, I want you to know today that in our day and age we can expect miraculous signs to increase because, you see, when Satan comes to the Christian church, he does not come with some very blatant heretical doctrines. The way in which he is going to capture the minds of men, and yes, even the minds of many Christians, is by coming in the guise of a superior form of spirituality. We can expect people to arise who are going to tell us that if you really knew God like I know God, why then indeed you’ll understand that we can do miracles.
When I was at the Parliament of World Religions, walking through all those displays, as I’ve mentioned to you in previous messages, I was looking for miracles. I found them everywhere. There were courses on miracles, material I didn’t bring in the pulpit today, but Benjamin Creme of the New Age Movement saying that it has been revealed to him that Maitreya, the true Messiah, is going to begin to illumine crosses all throughout Southern California, and they have now appeared in 12 different places. Interest in angels is now on the rise because you have all of these visions of angels and of Mary and of Jesus, and of people not understanding that Satan uses all of those guises to appear.
There was a doctor from the Philippines who came to Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada, with the intention of gaining some credibility among the medical establishment as to how he does miracles, so he showed movies of his surgery. Fantastic movies! He was able to cut someone open, lift out all of the diseased organs, and after he had done that he was able to sew this person back up, use a sponge, wipe off the blood, and there was no trace of the surgery. And the surgeons were asking questions about it.
In that audience was a friend of mine whom some of you know because we’ve had him here at The Moody Church by the name of Bill McCloud. Bill McCloud, sitting in the audience, raised his hand and said, “Jesus Christ, the Son of God, said, ‘Unless a man be born again he shall not see the Kingdom of God.’ What does that mean to you?” And suddenly the man’s voice changed, and a different voice, speaking through his vocal cords said, “This is the third time I have visited this planet and I’m not going to answer your question.” End of meeting! End of questions! End of party!
You say, “Well, you know, that’s rather obvious. Obviously we know that demons can do that, and that Satan is going to do these miraculous signs. We wouldn’t be deceived by that.” Oh, I wish that it were always so clear. It’s a little bit more subtle than that. There is a man who went to a meeting where healings were taking place. He was slain in the spirit. He had been deaf and needed a hearing aid to hear almost anything, and actually was beginning to learn how to read lips so that he could communicate. He came home and he was able to hear a whisper. His wife stood on the other side of the room. She stood to his back and spoke softly and he heard every single word. They went to bed rejoicing. He woke up in the morning and all of his deafness had returned. It would seem to me that if Christ had done the miracle, it would have at least lasted for 24 hours. Let me remind you again that when Satan comes, he comes under the guise of a super spirituality. “If you were ever really on the inside like we are, why then indeed you could do all these signs, and you could do all these wonders.”
Now why should the Pharisees have known that Jesus Christ was not doing these miracles by the power of Beelzebub – the power of the devil? Well, first of all they should have known it because Jesus Christ’s miracles were greater in kind. Certainly Satan can do many things, but one thing he will not do, Jesus said, and that is cast out Satan. So Jesus was delivering people. Jesus was taking people who had compulsive inner spirits and was speaking to those spirits, and they left the people, and lo and behold, the people were clothed and in their right mind and clean within. Now there’s something that Satan can’t do. I don’t believe that it’s possible for Satan to raise the dead, though during the time of Antichrist he will do some tricks to give people that impression. But Jesus took Lazarus who had been dead for four days and He raised Lazarus from the dead.
Christ’s miracles were different in kind. They were different in their variety. There were healing miracles. There were helping miracles. They were different in their completeness. In not one single instance in the New Testament when Jesus healed a man who was born blind did the man end up seeing with only one eye. The deaf, as far as we know, never ended up being able to hear with only one ear. When Jesus spoke, the miracle was immediate. It was complete, and it was predictable based on His words. When Satan does miracles they are sometimes haphazard. With these miracle workers, sometimes the miracle comes to pass. Sometimes it doesn’t come to pass. There is a degree of unpredictability.
But finally, and very importantly, they should have known that Jesus Christ was indeed the Son of God because of His interpretation of the miracles. We don’t have time today, though we will give an example or two of how Jesus almost every time He did a miracle interpreted it, and in those instances where He didn’t, the message should have been obvious. So what I’d like to do now is to very quickly give you three different categories of miracles, or we might say three different ways in which miracles showed Christ’s authority.
First of all, there were miracles that showed His authority over the natural or the physical realm. One day Christ was at a wedding and they needed wine. And He said to those who were there, “If you take the water that is in those pots that you have filled up, and if you have faith to give that water to the governor of the feast, you’ll find a miracle has taken place.” And they did it, and there was an automatic change in the water to wine.
Jesus was out in the middle of a hill overlooking the Sea of Galilee, and He had told his disciples, “Go to the other side.” And after they went to the other side you’ll recall that a big storm came up, and Jesus walked on the water to go to the disciples. And after he entered into the boat, what does the text say? Jesus spoke and said, “Peace, be still,” and immediately there was a great calm. In fact, one day Jesus said to Peter, “Peter, take your net and get some fish.” And Peter said, “We’ve been fishing all night.” And Jesus said, “Go out into the deep,” which is the place where the fish were not expected to be at that hour of the morning, and they caught a huge draught (spelling?) of fish. Jesus spoke, He commanded, and the fish came.
Why those miracles? Well, back in the Old Testament, God said to Adam, “I am giving you dominion over the earth. I am giving you dominion over the animals,” and because of sin, man forfeited it. He does not control nature. And that’s why you have earthquakes. And that’s why you have tornadoes. And that’s why you have disruption. And there’s nothing that we can do about it. Jesus was illustrating to the disciples that He is not controlled by nature, but that He is the controller. And the thing that is so impressive is that Christ never misused His power. He can feed 5,000 with five loaves and two fish, and when it is over He says to the disciples, “Gather up the fragments that remain.” And when they are hungry and He is sitting on the well, He sends His disciples to Sychar to buy some food. He doesn’t create it, though He could, because He does not do miracles frivolously. So first of all, He showed His authority – his great authority over the natural physical realm.
Secondly, he showed His authority over the moral realm. His miracles showed that he had that kind of authority too. Take your Bibles now and turn to Mark 2. What a beautiful example of how Jesus Christ used His miracles to confirm spiritual truth! We won’t read the whole passage, but you will remember it. Jesus is at Capernaum, and there is a sick man and he can’t get into the house so some men who were very creative decided to take off the roof of the house. And they took the man to the top and let him down right by Jesus so there was no way that Christ could possibly ignore him.
Beginning in verse 5: “And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.’ Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, ‘Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?’” That was good reasoning. I can forgive a sin that you do against me, but let’s suppose you commit a sin against somebody else. Can I say, “Well, you know, you’re forgiven?” Of course I can’t. Only God can say that because He is the one against whom all sin is committed. So they said, “This must be God. Blasphemy!”
“And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, ‘Why do you question these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, “Your sins are forgiven, or to say, Rise, take up your bed and walk”?’”
I need to stop there, and if this were a classroom I would take time to ask you, “What is easier to say?” And the answer is, “Of course, it is easier to say your sins are forgiven.” Anybody can say that. Talk is cheap. You can come to me and I can say, “Your sins are forgiven.” You can look into the eyes of someone else and say, “Your sins are forgiven.” And so it’s easy to say. And then it says in verses 10 and 11, “But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” — he said to the paralytic — ‘I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.’”
What Christ is saying is, “When I forgive sins, that is invisible. No one sees his or her sins leave when he or she is forgiven, and therefore what I am doing are miracles in the visible realm to prove that I have a right to do miracles in the invisible, moral and spiritual realm. It is difficult to tell a paralytic, ‘Rise up and walk,’ but I will do that and he will rise up and walk, and that will substantiate My claim. But I have a right to also say, ‘Thy sins be forgiven.’”
So, you see, Jesus used His miracles to show that He had authority beyond the physical realm, but authority also in the spiritual realm. If we had the time, and we don’t, we’d also turn to the ninth chapter of John, a remarkable story of a man who was born blind whom Christ healed. And we discover at the end of the chapter that the reason that Jesus did it is to illustrate spiritual blindness. He said to the Pharisees, “What you don’t realize is that you are blind.”
Bottom line: Christ said, “Because I have power to physically open eyes, I want you to know that that shows that I also have power spiritually to open people’s eyes, because when you do not know Christ as Savior, you are walking in spiritual darkness and you need Me to speak so that your eyes are open.”
So Jesus says, “I have authority over the physical realm. I have authority over the spiritual realm,” and He also said, “I have authority over the eternal realm.” And for that let’s turn to John 11 for just a moment where we see here the wonderful story of the resurrection of Lazarus. When Jesus hears that Lazarus is sick He stays away two extra days to give Lazarus lots of time to die. And when Jesus returns to Bethany, Lazarus has been dead already for days. The sisters come and say, “You know, if you had been here, our brother would not have died. Where were you when we really needed you?” And then Jesus says to them in verses 25 and 26: “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live (Somebody dies and we have a funeral and if that individual has believed in Christ, they are living even though they die.), and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.”
He’s not talking about reincarnation. What He’s talking about here is the fact that if, when we live, we spiritually believe on Him, we will go on living and having eternal life, even if we die physically. But let’s not miss Christ’s point. He’s saying, “In light of the fact that I can take a man who has been dead for four days and I can raise him from the dead, this is proof that I actually even have authority over the eternal realm, and I can give him physical life, but I can also give you spiritual life, and I have that ability.” Do you see how Christ’s claims and His miracles are interwoven? And you see Christ is the only teacher who did these kinds of miracles that were linked with these awesome and amazing claims.
We know that Satan can cause crosses to appear in windows. We know that he can make statues cry. We know that he can do healing miracles, which he really loves, by the way, because Satan was quite right when he said in the book of Job, “Everything that a man has he’ll give for his life.” That’s the most important thing to us – our health.
But one of the things that Satan cannot do is to raise the dead and then make the claim that because he can raise the dead he can grant eternal life to those who believe on him. Is there a teacher, is there a guru, is there a prophet who has ever walked this planet who has made claims like that? The answer is no.
You know in Europe a number of years ago there was a man by the name of Bjorn Jones who had a very beautiful painting, I understand, entitled Love Among Ruins. And there were some artists who were supposed to touch it up and to fix it, and even though they were warned regarding the watercolors that were used, they used the wrong solvent, the wrong cleaning fluid. And as a result the paint dissolved and the picture was ruined. I want you to know today that throughout all of history there have been those who have been trying to take the portrait of Jesus Christ in the New Testament and dissolve it. They want to do away with His miracles. They want to do away with His sayings. They want to get back to a Christ that is just as human as Buddha or Muhammad. They are absolutely determined to take the pages of the New Testament, to scrub them clean, to sponge them, and to find solvent with which they can wipe Christ away. No one has been able to do it. Nobody!
Do you know why no one has been able to do it? It’s because first of all, Christ’s words and Christ’s works are so closely intertwined that you cannot take away His works and His miracles because when you do that, you are left with all of these astounding claims that you have to do something with. And if you are like Albert Schweitzer, the great humanitarian who wrote his own book on the historical Jesus, he came flat out and said Jesus was insane and that’s the only way we can explain His astounding claims to be God and to have the ability to forgive sins. So, you see, man has said to himself, “If I could just find the right thread, the sock could be unraveled, and we could get back to the historical Jesus.”
Have you ever heard the statement, and it has been made by some scholars, that we don’t really know anything about who Jesus really was? You may say, “Well, you know when I hear statements like that it is a great threat to my faith.” No, my friend! If you understand what is going on, that is one of the greatest affirmations that anyone could make about the unity of Jesus Christ’s words and works because what they are saying is, “We have taken the New Testament and we have scrubbed out all of the miracles. We have chipped Jesus Christ down to size so that He is not a miraculous Christ, and yet we’re left with all of these astounding claims that we don’t know what in the world to do with, and the best thing is to simply say that we know nothing about Him. And that’s the way unbelief works. They will not accept what is written by eyewitnesses and so they simply say, “The easiest way out is to say we don’t know anything about Him, no matter what the record says.” So that’s one of the reasons why it is that the quest for the historical Jesus has been such a dismal failure. It is because the quest always begins with man and it ends with man.
Let me give you a second reason. The second reason is that when you look at the New Testament you can’t help but feel that Jesus is not on trial. Now I’m not an artist. I’ve been to some galleries, and I remember seeing a beautiful painting that Rembrandt painted called Night Watch in a museum in Amsterdam. And we received a lecture on its beauty, and I greatly appreciated the painting after having heard all those things. But actually, what if I were to stand there and say, “You know, I don’t think Rembrandt knew very much, and as a matter of fact, I think he should have done it this way.” You know, the tour guide would have said, “Do we have space for this guy somewhere else?” If she had been very honest, though perhaps not very polite, she’d have turned to me and said, “Sir, I think you misunderstand. The painting isn’t on trial. You are.”
When you look at the pages of the New Testament, Christ is not on trial. In fact, He says He is going to be our individual and personal judge. Find a religious leader in all the world that has ever made an astounding claim like that. It is not Jesus Christ that is on trial. It is we who are on trial. It is not our responsibility to judge Him. It is His responsibility to judge us. It is not our responsibility to remake Him into a Jesus that is according to our liking, but to submit to His authority and to submit to His claims.
Now I began this message by saying that there are two gods in this world. There is the god called Satan who is the prince of the power of the air, and God has allowed him to continue to rule the world during this period because you may be saying, “Why, if Jesus is superior, doesn’t He just stamp out the devil?” We’ll be answering that in a subsequent message, but for now it’s enough for us to realize that there are indeed these two gods. And my dear friend, I want you to know that whether you are aware of it or not, you personally, as a man, a woman, a teenager, and even a child really do belong to one god or the other.
Stephen Neil in a book about Jesus said that he once spent an evening with a man who was a very close friend of Adolph Hitler. And this man said to Stephen Neil that there was something about Hitler that was magnetic. He had energy just like some people at The Parliament of World Religions. There were people there, they said, who had energy. And I did not dispute the energy. I just disputed the origin of the energy. But there were people who had energy, and Hitler was one who had energy. And this man said, “You could take me blindfolded through ten different rooms, and without a single word being said, without a sound,” he said, “I could have told you which room Hitler was in.” He said that Hitler’s presence was such that when you were in his presence you either had to run and leave politics and forget him, or you had to say to yourself, “This man needs to be killed.” And he said, “The only other option was to sell your soul to him – body, soul and spirit.” There is a man with energy.
A close friend of Hitler says that Hitler was only the body for the spirit that inhabited him. When he spoke he sometimes spoke with such interesting comments that it is said that he himself was listening to what was coming out of his mouth as if he were hearing it for the first time. He was thoroughly demonized just like Antichrist will be. Power!
Now, you know, in the presence of Jesus there’s also power. You can’t ignore Him. All that you can do is to run from Him. That’s a possibility. That’s what many people are doing. They say, “You know, if I just celebrate Christmas I can keep distance between me and Him because I’m not afraid of the baby in the manger. I can just say that it’s a lovely story, and I can just get rid of Him that way, and I can run and I can pretend that all of the other religions of the world are equal.” Well, that’s one possibility, but what a wrong possibility that is. That means that you cannot stand in His presence.
The only other option, of course, is to reinterpret Him as those who went on their quest for the historical Jesus have done, and that is to simply take Him and to scrub Him clean, and to say, “He is not miraculous. He is one of us. And we are going to disbelieve the account.”
And then there is another possibility, and that is to look at the portrait of Jesus Christ in the Bible and to say, “King of kings, Lord of lords, God of all gods.” The other possibility is to look at Him and to say He is who He claimed to be, and the words that came out of His mouth and the works that He did with His hands are so intricately unified that this is indeed God walking upon earth, the only one who can speak to us and say, “Be thou clean.” And when we hear His words, we hear those words from the Judge and the King of the universe. That’s the only other alternative.
This past week I was at a revival conference at which I had the privilege of speaking a number of times, and one evening I spoke on Satan, specifically 12 different doorways that he uses in our lives to get a foothold. The Lord was very gracious and because of your prayers and the prayers of many others, perhaps 75 or 100 people responded to the invitation to go to the prayer room to confess and to submit to God. The Bible says, “Dearly beloved, submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” If you don’t do number one, don’t even expect to be able to do number two. You can resist the devil and he will not flee if you first don’t submit.
But after the service a young man who was a student in the Bible school said, “I’m going to tell you something that no one else knows except my wife.” He said, “Here’s my story.” He said, “I had become very interested in another religion,” and he told me which religion it was. And he said, “I decided that I was going to study this religion from the inside.” He said, “Somehow I became fascinated with it, so I went over to Calgary and I found this religion and I submitted myself to them, and I took all of their training.” And he said, “As part of the training I had to take vows, and I went through all those vows.” He said, “In my heart I knew I was lying. I was saying, ‘Jesus, you know that really I do love You, but actually if this is what is necessary for me to get into this religion I’ll take the vows.’” So he took the vows and then he was baptized in this religion which also believes that one should be baptized for the dead.
As far as the leaders are concerned, he is a bona fide member of this religion. But he said, “I am in such distress.” He said, “I don’t know what to do. I am having these terrible, terrible nightmares, and in the nightmares I see myself being sacrificed on the altar.” He said, “It became very clear to me that in submitting myself to this religion I was bowing at the feet of Satan to get in.” He said, “I have dreams of concentric circles. I have dreams of pyramids, of pentagrams – all the occult symbols.” He said, “It has affected my study. I can’t study. It’s affected my relationship with my wife, and I don’t know what to do.”
I said, “Young man, I’ll tell you what you need to do. You need to go to the prayer room and you need to get on your knees, and it doesn’t matter how long it takes, but you have to go point by point, renouncing every one of those vows, confessing that you were sinning, not only because of lying, but because you were in the devil’s territory. This was his playground. This is where he works.” And then I said, “After that you need the help of a faculty member.” Unfortunately I wasn’t able to pray with him because I had another commitment, but I said, “You need the help of a faculty member. You need to tell somebody else.”
I met him at breakfast the next day and we had a talk, and he said, “I spent time in the prayer room but no matter how long I stayed there, the distress of spirit was still upon me.” But he said, “After I left, I met a friend. I told him my whole story just like I told you the story, and we prayed together and we believed together.” Remember the Bible says, “If two of you agree on earth concerning anything.” See, we all want to live the Christian life individually. We don’t want anybody’s help. We don’t want anybody to know what we’re struggling with. We don’t want anybody to know what is going on in our souls because we like to give the impression that we are exempt from the temptations, the struggles, and the heartaches and the difficulties of life. And so he said, “We began to pray together.” And he said, “I feel much better. The nightmares have left, but there’s still one step in the process,” and he said, “They still think I’m a member of their group and I have been assigned a teacher, and I have to go tell him the truth.” And I encouraged him to do that, and I said, “You need to take a faculty member with you because I’m not sure you have enough strength to do what you need to do.”
You say, “Well, is everybody who is in these other religions having these awful dreams?” No, not everybody; some people but not everybody. Remember that if you belong to the devil he will make your religious commitment as sweet, as profitable, as miraculous as he possibly can. I stand amazed at the naïveté of people, thinking that everything from the devil looks terrible. Listen, everything from the devil that he can make look good will look good. But this man was in distress because he was a Christian. And little wonder that God was using that demonic distress to bring him to his senses, to bring him to a place of renunciation. And in the end I have no doubt that Jesus Christ, King of kings and Lord of lords, will prove Himself absolutely superior to all the other gods, even in this young man’s life.
Folks, I shall speak plainly, and tell you that there are two gods, and if you understood the implications, as we’ll be trying to explain them in subsequent messages, there are only really two religions too at root. Christ – “Thy sins be forgiven thee. Before Abraham was I am. The Father hath committed all judgment unto the Son.” There is Christ. And then there are all the other little gods, terrible gods, powerful gods if we submit to them, willing to draw us away, to tell us all the beauties that lie on the other side. But in the presence of Christ (if you are listening by radio, CD, video, or you are here today), you are in the presence of energy. You are in the presence of God, and you need to choose, and don’t you think that you can get by with letting that decision slip.
Our Father, we thank You today that Your Word says that Jesus Christ is within us, and He that is within us is greater than he that is without. And we thank You that the results of the big showdown, though it hasn’t come yet, have already been predicted, and that all the other false gods will be brought to total eternal humiliation. Thank You for Christ, for His exultation, for His miracles, and for the miracle that He has wrought in our hearts.
And now before I close this message I want you to pray. Why don’t you tell Jesus what you need to tell Him? Some of you are tampering with other gods. Renounce them in the name of Christ. Find a prayer partner. Come clean.
Others of you have never received Christ as Savior. You’ve acted as if there’s a whole bunch of options out there, and as if they are all on equal ground. It’s time that you believed in Christ. Whatever it is that God has talked to you about, would you talk to Him now? He’s waiting for a response.
Father, You’ve only begun the work, and You’ve not finished it. Finish what You’ve begun in the lives of all those who have listened. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.