Summary: Our attitude towards Jesus.
What Happened To Jesus In America?
This morning I want to awaken your spirits by asking you this question: "What has happened to Jesus in America?" I am really puzzled and perplexed by what I am seeing and hearing in a nation where a large number of people claim to be a Christian. Being a Christian means that the individual has accepted Christ in their life and are trying to live as He has shown us through His life example. Yet as I look at what is going on in our nation, I find myself wondering how this can be true. How can we, the enlightened ones, say and do some of the things we say and do "in the name of Jesus"? It is almost as if Jesus is not saying anything and we are left to speak for Him with words that He may never have utilized or approved of. How can this be?
What has happened to Jesus in America? Do you know? Have you thought about it recently? I have been thinking about it and I think I know the answer. I think that Jesus has been kidnapped. Webster defines kidnap as "to seize and hold by force or fraud, as for ransom." I believe that this is what has happened to Jesus in America. This is the only reason that could explain what is happening. Jesus has been kidnapped and therefore those of us who believe in Him are left to figure things out on our own. When you think about what is going on, this can be the only answer that makes sense. Jesus is being hidden and others are speaking things that they want the world to believe is coming from Him.
Have you ever watched TV and seen what happens when someone is kidnapped? There are several things that take place. First the kidnappers forcibly take the person and hide them so that others cannot find them. Next, they demand something (money or other resolutions) in order to deliver the person back home safely. While the kidnappers have the person, someone always steps up to the plate and begins to speak on behalf of the victim and sometimes "in place" of the victim. After all, decisions must still be made in the kidnapped person’s absence. Sometimes the person who begins to speak for the kidnapped victim begins to drive their own agenda as if it the kidnapped person would do the same thing if they were present. Based on my understanding of how some of these situations happened, I am convinced that Jesus has been kidnapped. And if I am correct, we must find out where He is and fight for His release before we are all so messed up with false doctrines that we will not be able to recognize Him.
I. Proof of Jesus’ Kidnapping
Let’s start from the beginning. Remember when someone is kidnapped it is first known because they go missing? Well, Jesus is obviously missing. If Jesus had not been kidnapped, people would be able to find Him. There are many people looking for Jesus and everywhere they look He is not there. They go to the Church, He is not there. They go to the hospitals, they do not find Him there. They go to the homes of Christians and they do not find Him there. They go on the internet and although they see a lot of references to Him, they still do not find Him. If Jesus cannot be found in the Church, homes, hospitals or the internet where you can find anything, He must be kidnapped. The reason I am saying kidnapped is because Jesus would never, EVER disappear on His own. He would not go on vacation or turn off His phone or reject anyone seeking Him. If people are seeking Him and they cannot find Him, He must have been kidnapped. Okay, that is the first reason I believe this. Now the second and probably most convincing reason.
Based on what I have seen on TV and read about in the newspaper and books, when someone is kidnapped the next step is that the kidnappers will ask for something in order for the person to be returned home safely. Well in Jesus case, people are asking for change. In order for the kidnappers to return Jesus, they must see change. If there is no change in the way people are living or acting, Jesus will not be returned and in turn everyone will continue to suffer. So in order for the kidnappers to release Jesus, everyone must turn from their wicked ways and start to believe in Him. Now this would be great except there is another group of people who also claims to be the ones behind the kidnapping. They actually say they took the person "impersonating" Jesus because truly the man never existed. So what they kidnapped was an image, not the real person. The reason? So that those who chose to follow Him would wake up and see the truth that He never existed. Well of course we do not believe those "supposedly" kidnappers, but we must take the other ones very seriously. So we see that people are looking for Him and cannot find Him and those who claim to have Him are demanding something – a ransom if you will. But that is not enough evidence of the kidnapping. The final proof is very compelling. Remember on TV when someone has been kidnapped the person standing in for them begins to speak for them? Remember sometimes how these people take the opportunity to drive their own agendas? Well we are about to examine some quotes from some individuals claiming to speak for Jesus.