“Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!” declares the LORD.
(Jeremiah 23:1 ESV)
I heard one the other day – you know, the shepherd upon whom Jeremiah pronounced the woe. He spoke at a funeral of a relative.
A faction of my family belongs to a fairly new church denomination. It’s considered young in church years – barely 100 years old – but it’s in line with a lie as old as time. The church, which even has “Cristo” in it’s name, believes that Jesus Christ is not God. The Bible warns us this would happen (Gal 1:8-9). This particular shepherd preached about “doing your best” and “staying in the church” as the way to heaven.
Sadly, they believe him. My heart was so heavy for the roomful of people – most of whom are related to me – who are relying in their own ability to measure up to a Holy God and are staking their eternal destinies on a lie.They have placed their faith in man instead of God. They trust the words of one man instead of reading the Word of God. Yet you have not listened to me, declares the LORD, that you might provoke me to anger with the work of your hands to your own harm. (Jeremiah 25:7 ESV)
Frankly, I don’t know if I was crying more for the dead or the living.
When we left the service, I asked my Dad how someone can refute the deity of Jesus Christ? The Scriptures identified Him as the creator of the universe (Jn 1:1-14, Col 1:16), God manifest in the flesh (1 Tim 3:16), and our Lord and Savior (Titus 1:1-4).
Chuck Missler said, “By healing the sick, resurrecting the dead, creating food out of nothing and by defying the laws of gravity, Jesus demonstrated His authority over the laws of physics and thereby revealed His divine nature. Jesus’ resume is impeccable. All the necessary attributes of the Creator are applied to Him within the Biblical Text – He is independent of space and time, transcendent, distinct from His creation, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and has authority over the laws of nature. Jesus himself claimed to be the Son of God and the only way to eternal life (Jn 9:35-37; 10:30-33; 14:6-9).“
In case someone is not convinced of the actual eyewitness account of the Apostle John, who lived, touched and interacted with Jesus, let me introduce you to Flavius Josephus. He was a Jewish Historian who lived during the time of Jesus. Josephus wrote this in The Antiquities of the Jews section of his book:
3. Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day. (The Antiquities of the Jews, book 18, chapter 3.)
So by Josephus’ account, Jesus is real. He lived, He died, He rose again on the third day. Sound familiar?
If the apostles and Josephus are not convincing enough, well, God Himself spoke from heaven declaring Jesus as His Son. And if that is still not enough, well, then you got me.
Commentaries say Jeremiah prophesied for over 40 years and nobody listened. Is it any wonder that they refer to him as the “weeping prophet?” Wouldn’t you weep, too, if you are sharing the truth about God to your loved ones and they would not listen? Yes, I have an inkling of how Jeremiah feels.
Heavenly Father, we pray for the people we know who are believing the lie of the enemy. Open their minds, ears and eyes to the truth. Only the truth can set them free. Your Word clearly states that Jesus is Your Son and He is God. He came to save us. Give us boldness to share Jesus Christ to the lost.
Father, We also ask that You give all of us discernment. Quicken our spirit when someone distorts Your Word. Help us to be like the Bereans who listened with eagerness yet searched the Word to make sure that what is being preached is the truth. May we always trust in Your truth and not man’s. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
[Reading from Blue Letter Bible – Chronological Plan]