Mission Impossible

    All false religions are works based. In other words, man is the aggressor and the deity is the beneficiary of man’s efforts, sacrifices, or good deeds.

Only one religion is true. More on that in a moment.

Buddha (the enlightened one), was the founder of Buddhism. It is an atheistic religion. The goal is nirvana. Working to eliminate all desires or cravings and thus escape suffering.

Hinduism has 300 million-plus gods. Where do ya even begin? Hinduism teaches god (Brahman) is a universal spirit and everybody is part of god.

When one dies Hindus believe they are reincarnated. One becomes something better or worse depending on how good one is; a snail or a better person. Final “salvation” is union with Brahman, like a raindrop falling into the ocean.

Judaism believed in the god of the Old Testament. The Jews, as a whole, rejected Jesus as their Messiah. Therefore the god they worship is not the true god. Judaism rejects a God that is a Triune God.

Islam too rejects the fact that God is triune. Islam is, I believe, Satan’s magnum opus of false religions.

People try to lump Judaism, Islam, and Christianity together based on the false premise they are all worship a monotheistic god—or worse they worship the same god.

That is simply not the case! Rebecca Bynum eloquently expresses the Absolute Oneness of the god of Islam.

[It] is totally tied to territorial expansion – the spread of Islamic law ‘God’s law’ over God’s land and over the people inhabiting that land who are forced to submit to Islam in a purely material way.  Islam is concerned only with the bodies, not the souls of human beings.

I contrast Islam against Christianity in my new book Collision Course: Abraham’s Dual Lineage, Legacy to a Fallen World available here.

Trying to find the absolute truth—the truth about eternity and for eternity is an impossible mission!

But there is a way to change that. I told you I would come back to that.

Mission Possible

Someone once said, “Religion is man trying to reach up to God, but in Christianity God is reaching down to man.”

We just came through the High Holy celebration of the first advent Jesus.

But when God came, he had a primary, insuperable mission—to die.

To die in your place and mine, for the sins we have committed against a holy God (Rom. 3:23). What is a mission impossible for mankind is not for God.

Indeed, “Christianity is the only major religion to have as its central event the humiliation of its God.”[1]

At the ninth hour (3pm) Jesus cried out “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

At the moment of Jesus’ death on the cruel Roman cross God the Father poured out His wrath against all men’s sin on Jesus; our sacrificial lamb (Mt. 27:46, 50-53).

This is from the prophecy of Psalms 22:1. “By citing it Jesus was probably calling attention to His fulfillment of all that is contained in Psalms 22:1-18.”[2]

In Collision Course I note the fact that the Bible is a progressive revelation pointing to the first advent of Jesus Christ and beyond (the scarlet thread of redemption). It begins in Genesis and ends in Revelation.

I reference three different prophecies to demonstrate this fact; Genesis 3:15, Psalms 22, and Isaiah 53.

Matthew 27:50 ends with the phrase, “and [Jesus] yielded up his spirit.” This is indicative of the fact that Jesus was in control. Yielded up is a “grammatical form [of] Jesus’ sovereignty over His own death and the voluntary surrender of His life.”[3]

That was the mission Jesus came to accomplish giving us the opportunity to have a relationship with Him and eternal life in the New Kingdom (Dan. 2:44; 4:3; 7:18).

There is one more thing.

On the cross Jesus took our sins upon Himself. This allows us to have a relationship with God. That was what was meant when the veil in the temple into the Holy-of-Holies was ripped from top to bottom—not from the bottom up—but torn from the top to the bottom by God.

Jesus was put in the tomb and rose after three days. All of this exactly fulfills prophecy given thousands of years earlier.

Jesus’ resurrection defeated Satan and death; the grave has no hold on those who have chosen Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Yes all men die physically. If you know Christ you are born twice, but die once. Those that reject Jesus and God, are born but one time, but die twice; a physical death and a spiritual death.

That means trusting Jesus as Lord of your life in this life and as Savior for the next.

Nevertheless we must remember Jesus told His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.”

Did he mean it? Well it is repeated three times (Mt. 16:24; Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23). This refutes the “cheap grace” preached by many churches today.

Jesus came to do the mission impossible. His mission is accomplished for you. It is a free gift, but you have to accept it—and take up your cross daily.

[1] Bruce Shelly, Church History in Plain Language (Nashville, Thomas Nelson, 2013), 3.

[2] Michael Rydelnik and  Vanlanignham, General Editors, The Moody Bible Commentary (Chicago, Moody Publishers, 2014) 1512.

[3] Ibid.

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