The American Family Association’s “afa Journal” for January included an article entitled “Surveys on Theology Spotlight Evangelical Confusion.” A survey conducted by Ligonier Ministries in 2020 polled over 3,000 American adults including 582 “evangelical Christians.” Some of the results are very disturbing to Christians who believe the Bible is the Word of God.
The survey asked responders if they agreed or disagreed with statements such as, “Jesus was a great teacher, but He was not God.” Alarmingly, thirty percent agreed with that statement. Forty-two percent agreed that “God accepts the worship of all religions…” This is incorrect, as Christ declared, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6.)
Many more findings are troubling, but one shows a real lack of knowledge of what the Bible actually teaches as to why we even need a Saviour. The statement was, “Everyone sins a little, but most people are good by nature.” Forty-nine % disagreed, but 46% of those who call themselves evangelicals agreed! Romans 3:23 contradicts this common human idea, declaring, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Also, a 2009 Barna survey revealed that 40% of those who profess to be born again deny Satan’s existence, saying he is only “a symbol of evil!” How can this be? Jesus interacted with Satan and described his evil character. Later, the apostles warned against the “wiles of Satan.”
Observing so many areas of life about which people seem so confused, the question for the general population might arise, “Is there any source of real truth about life? Anything we can depend upon to use to guide us out of the morass of confusion and chaos? Many of us older folks never had to wonder about a guidebook for life, as we grew up being taught that the Bible was a dependable source of wisdom and truth. How could someone who was not taught that decide if it is really the Word of God?
They must look to Jesus, the One that some people have discounted and seemingly have decided is not God. Is Jesus who He claimed to be? If He is not, then the Bible can be thrown away and deemed worthless, because He repeated many things written in the Old Testament scriptures, speaking of them as true, from the Six-day Creation and Adam and Eve as real people, to Jonah being swallowed by the great fish, to the world-wide flood and Noah. But, if He really is the Son of God, then we have an invaluable source to use as our life manual.
Most importantly, Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, equal to God, which is why they crucified Him. He claimed to be not just a great teacher but God Himself. Some have mistakenly said, “Jesus never said He was God!” Well, there are many scriptures that do record His claims of just that. When Simon Peter proclaimed, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,” Jesus accepted that as truth, saying that His Father in heaven had revealed it to Peter. (Mt. 11:27) At one point, He “charged…His disciples that they should tell no man that He was Jesus the Christ.” (Mt. 16:20) Christ is the Greek word for the Hebrew word Messiah, meaning the anointed One, Saviour, or Deliverer.
If you do not believe that Jesus is who He said He is, then you have to believe that He is either a liar, or a deranged lunatic. Are you prepared to do that? If not, then please accept the established fact that Jesus Christ is truly the Messiah that had been promised from the beginning. (Gen. 3:15). Consequently, since He declared the Bible as the Word of God, we should then also accept it as such and learn to use it to live our lives according to what it says. For example, in Matthew 19:4, Jesus said, “Have ye not read, that He which made them at the beginning made them male and female…?” then went on to speak more about marriage being between a man and a woman.
When the high priest asked Jesus “whether Thou be the Christ, the Son of God?” “Jesus said, “I am; and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” (Mt. 26:63-64; Mark 14:61-62) (Notice Son of God and Son of man are the same.) The high priest rent his clothes and pronounced this as “blasphemy,” after which they condemned Him to death. Why did this enrage them so? Because, not only did He agree that He was the Christ, but they knew He was claiming to be the One who fulfilled the prophecy of Daniel 7:13-14, which records that the Messiah would come on the clouds. (Second Coming)
There are “tons” of other verses that either declare or imply Jesus to be the Messiah (Christ), the Son of God.
Another proof of who He really was is that of fulfilled prophecy, one of which was extremely important, explicit, and fulfilled to the exact day. That was Daniel 9:25-27. This passage declares the amount of time that would pass from the commandment to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem to when the Messiah would come, and when after a certain amount of time the Messiah would be killed. People a lot smarter than I have studied this and, allowing for calendar changes, etc., discovered that it agrees with the dates of the life and death of Jesus, dating from King Cyrus’s decree that the temple would be rebuilt in Jerusalem. Also, King Cyrus and his action of sponsoring this rebuilding was also prophesied about 150 years before his birth—by name!—in Isaiah 44:28 and 45:1.
Two other Old Testament prophecies of the promised Messiah, written hundreds of years before, are stunning in their precision. Psalm 22:1 begins with Jesus’s last words on the cross and goes on to describe things He experienced. Verse 14 says, “…all My bones are out of joint,” verse 16 records, “…they pierced My hands and My feet,” long before the Romans ever began crucifying people, and verse 18 says, “They part My garments among them, and cast lots upon My vesture.”
I do not know how many people are in need of this information, but I can only hope it enlightens someone. There are so many things—movies, social media, etc.,--that vie for our attention today. Therefore, if the surveys are correct, it seems many who have believed on Jesus to be their Saviour do not have a good knowledge of God and His Word, which gives all the information we need to live pleasing to God, and to die prepared to meet our God. For example, the Bible teaches that at some point, Christians will give an account to God at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
Are we ready?
Live for Jesus! He’s coming soon!
You may contact me at lagnesrussell@gmail or 601-635-3282.