Summary: We won’t answer all your questions today, but hopefully I can present reasons to believe, and help you to feel confident in sharing your faith in this present world.
Today’s message is frequently sourced in the work of Lee Strobel. Lee was an award-winning journalist with the Chicago Tribune. His wife became a Believer and disturbed his world which had no room for Christianity. Lee writes,
“Leslie stunned me in the autumn of 1979 by announcing that she had become a Christian. I rolled my eyes and braced for the worst . . . I had married one Leslie, the fun Leslie, the carefree Leslie, the risk-taking Leslie - and now I feared she was going to turn into some sort of sexually repressed prude who would reject our upwardly mobile life for all night prayer meetings and volunteer work in grimy soul kitchens . . .
instead I was pleasantly surprised - even fascinated - by the obvious changes in her character, her integrity, even her personal confidence. Eventually I wanted to get to the bottom of it all . . . I was drawn into an all-out investigation of Christianity . . . ” - The Case for Christ, page 14
The result of his long quest using the best skills he had acquired in his career as a journalist, Lee Strobel became a Believer. He wrote of his quest in an excellent book, The Case for Christ.
Our text this morning is found in John 14:4-8.
On the night of the Last Supper, Jesus gathered the disciples for a final word of teaching.
He said, “You know the way to the place where I am going.”
Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
In my message this morning, I want to explore the question
What of the claim that eternal life is found in Jesus Christ of Nazareth?
We won’t answer all your questions today, but hopefully I can present reasons to believe, and help you to feel confident in sharing your faith in this present world.
We must recognize that many who object to the message we bring about Jesus Christ, do so because they are frightened by the implications such a message holds for their lives! Many Americans readily accept that Jesus was a historical figure, a wise prophet of ancient times. If he is just that and no more, then his words and teaching can be accepted and/or rejected just like those of any other wise man of the past. As Lee Strobel observes, The historical Jesus “seemed safe and reassuring; after all, a roving apocalyptic preacher from the first century could make no demands on me.”
∙ IF Jesus Christ is the Son of God, as He claimed to be- who brought salvation to this world, then He is also the Lord to whom we will give account for the way in which we lived.
∙ If He is God, then his teaching are more than good ideas from a learned teacher. They are compelling insights on which a person must build life.
∙ If Jesus is God, then His standards for personal morality are binding commands
∙ If Jesus came out of the tomb, he’s alive and I can know Him today.
∙ If Jesus is God, then He can guide me to a way of life I would be foolish to reject.
∙ If Jesus is God, He is absolutely within his rights to demand my obedience to His ways and my worship.
C. S. Lewis, an Oxford professor and skeptic, who came to faith in the early part of the 20th century, reasons this way in his great little book, Mere Christianity.
‘I am trying to prevent anyone from saying the really foolish thing about Christ that people often say: “I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.” That is the one things we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things that Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic, a liar, or the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else he is a madman or something worse. You can shut him as a fool, or can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with patronizing nonsense about His being a great Teacher. He has not left that option open to us. He did not intend to.’