They’re Recreating Jesus’ Character

2 Peter 2:1-3 ESV

“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.”

There are all sorts of destructive heresies which are being brought into the gatherings of the church in our day and time, and I am most likely not even aware of most of them, for it seems as though new ones keep popping up on a regular basis. But what I am noticing a lot these days is this move toward recreating the image of Jesus Christ to make him more acceptable to human flesh. Those who are doing this appear to be working to make Jesus more like us and less than who he actually was and is.

But there was a reason that Jesus was hung on that cross to die by those who wanted him dead, and it wasn’t because he only said pleasant and fine sounding things to the people. But you will hear some people say that Jesus only said nice things to the people, things which were pleasing to them, and that he never said anything that they would consider abrasive or critical or judgmental. But that is not the Jesus I know. For he spoke strong words to the religious hypocrites and he spoke hard words to the people.

A summation of Jesus’ words in John 6:25-58: Jesus said that he is the bread of life, the bread that came down from heaven and if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that he gives for the life of the world is his flesh. And whoever is feeding on his flesh and drinking his blood has eternal life, and he abides in Christ, and Christ in him, and he will raise him up on the last day. And he said again that whoever is feeding on this bread will live forever.

Now I believe we are to take some of this symbolically and not literally, for I believe our Lord’s flesh and blood symbolize his giving of his life on that cross to put our sins to death with him so that we can now die with Christ to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. And eating has to do with partaking, so this is about us participating in his death and resurrection via us being crucified with Christ in death to sin and us being raised to walk in newness of life in him now free from slavery to sin and in walks of holiness and righteousness and in obedience to our Lord (Romans 6:1-23)

And this is not a one-time thing which takes place in our lives for Jesus said that if anyone would come after him, he must deny self and take up his cross daily (daily die to sin and to self) and follow (obey) him, which is ongoing. So, if we hold on to our old lives of living in sin and for self, we will lose them for eternity. But if we lose our lives for the sake of Jesus, i.e. if we die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness, then we have eternal life in him (Luke 9:23-26). And some of the verb tenses in John 6 are active ongoing verbs like feeding, eating, and drinking.

And Jesus also said that not everyone who says to him, “Lord, Lord,” is going to enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one DOING the will of God the Father who is in heaven. For many people are going to stand before Jesus “on that Day,” and they are going to claim Jesus as Lord and claim the things they believed they did in his name, and he is going to say to them, “I never knew you. Depart from me you workers of lawlessness,” because they were not obeying the Lord. They were not doing his will (Matthew 7:21-23).

And then Jesus said at another time, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26-27 ESV but read to verse 33).

Now, if we look up this word “hate” in the Greek interlinear we learn that it can mean to “love less.” And since we know that Jesus taught against us hating one another, then we must search to find out what he really meant. So, the message here was that if we come to him, but we don’t love our family members less than him, and love him more than them, then we cannot be his disciples. And we have to be bearing (carrying) our cross, i.e. be dying with him to sin and to self daily or we cannot be his disciples.

And this is just a sampling of Jesus’ messages which he gave while he was on the earth. So you see, these were not nicey-nice feel good messages that made everyone love him. Jesus stood for holiness, righteousness, godliness, moral purity, honesty, faithfulness, and uprightness, etc. And he set boundaries for us, and he gave us restrictions and limitations and rules to follow, and people hated him for what he taught and for the things that he did and for who he was.

So, when teachers and preachers are bringing into the church destructive heresies that lessen who Jesus was and is, and which alter his character, and which teach that he only said pleasant things to the people, and which do not teach the truth of Jesus’ words, they are leading many people to believe their lies, and thus to reject the truth. And so many people are being taught a false gospel of salvation based on lies, and they are being led straight to hell on the promise of heaven.

So we who believe in Jesus need to be on the lookout for such things as these so that we do not fall prey to deception.

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

He Lifted Our Burdens

An Original Work / February 15, 2014
Based off Isaiah 9:2-7

People walk in darkness.
They abide in their sin.
It has power o’er them.
True belief escapes them.

Jesus Christ came to save them.
He gave His life up for them;
Crucified; died for our sin,
So we might be forgiven,
And have life up in heaven.

Many come to know Him.
God’s love now o’erflows them.
They rejoice in vict’ry.
Their sin is but hist’ry.

We were once bound in slav’ry.
Jesus lifted our burdens;
Set us now free from Satan,
So we now walk in freedom.
Sin has no more dominion.

Praise be to our Savior!
He showed us His favor.
He took all our burdens;
Cast them all upon Him.

He is our mediator;
The Light which shines in darkness.
Counselor in our troubles;
He gives peace now in our hearts;
Joy which is everlasting.

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