Do You Have the Wrong Jesus?

World religions do not pay much attention to Jesus Christ. Cults that attach themselves to the name of Jesus do, however, have things to say about Jesus. Cults distort the Person and work of the Son of God sent from heaven, as a way of distinguishing themselves from orthodoxy and from other cults. What does it profit a cult to ignore or distort the Bible in order to have distinction? How should Christians respond when zealous cult members knock on their door?

First, we must be assured that nothing can separate Christ’s people from their Good Shepherd (Jn 10:28–29; Rom 8:35–39). Stated another way, world religions and cults pose zero threat to God’s predetermined plan to save His people from their sins (Mt 1:21; Acts 2:23). The Lord knows those who are His (2 Tim 2:19), and the Spirit is able to find and secure the lost who belong to Christ (Lk 19:10; 1 Cor 3:23).

Second, if we are to love the enemies of Christ and His cross, then we must tell them the truth in love (Eph 4:15). Questions that make the point are one way to get the cult member’s attention. For example, “Were you born into your cult, or did someone persuade you along the way?” To be biblical, one could inquire, “Who will deliver you from the wrath to come (Mt 3:7; Lk 3:7)?” Another technique is to show the cult member a passage in the Bible that profiles false teachers along with the inquiry, “Did you know that the Apostle wrote about you and your organization? Look with me at this text…(e.g. 2 Cor 11:3–5).”

It is a bit more disturbing when you realize how many church members have the wrong Jesus. This should be inspiration for elders to preach the Word of truth in earnest (2 Tim 4:2). Elders must also examine themselves when any number of members is exposed for holding to positions of unsound doctrine. Where are they receiving the bad teaching? Who is influencing the flock to believe false ideas about Jesus Christ? Of course, there is not much hope if the elders themselves hold to unsound doctrine.

Let us consider some essential beliefs about the biblical Jesus.

First, Jesus is the eternal Son of God, the second Person of the Trinitarian Godhead. As a Spirit, along with the Father and the Holy Spirit, Jesus was in eternal community. That continues today, but with Jesus incarnate and glorified.

Second, Jesus is the Creator of all things (Col 1:15), who sustains all things by the Word of His power (Heb 1:2). He is Lord of all (Acts 10:36).

Third, in the Old Testament, Jesus appeared in a number of Christophanies, where as a Spirit, He was with His people, personally, at key points in history. For example, He appeared to Joshua at the Jordan River and later to the boys in Babylon, who survived the fiery furnace.

Fourth, Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary. This event highlights that Jesus is fully God and fully man. It was also necessary for Jesus to avoid the sin of Adam, so He would be without original (inherited) sin in maintaining His impeccability (sinless perfection) throughout life unto the Cross (Heb 4:15).

Fifth, Jesus demonstrated and even defended His deity by performing miracles and teaching others with the wisdom of God. He suffered in life and death as a man…more than any man because God made Him to be sin for us (2 Cor 5:21).

Sixth, God poured out His wrath on Jesus as just punishment for the sins of His beloved people (1 Pet 2:24). He took our place in order to suffer the just judgment for all our sins (1 Cor 15:3). In this way, Jesus cancelled our debt of sin (Col 2:14).

Seventh, with His precious blood poured out in payment, God’s Law/Justice was satisfied, but His offering to God was also a purchase with blood (Acts 20:28). He bought His chosen, redeemed people for a price (1 Cor 6:20; 7:23). His ransom payment was for many but not all people (Mt 20:28; Mk 10:45).

Eighth, many are called to come to Jesus for justification before God and forgiveness of sins (Rom 8:30; Eph 1:7), but few are the chosen remnant graciously drawn by God the Father to the Son (Mt 22:14; Jn 6:44, 65), who promises that none will be cast out from Him (Jn 6:37). It is Jesus’ will to reveal God the Father to the ones the Father has given Him and whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life from the foundation of the world (Mt 11:25–27; Jn 17:2, 6, 24; Rev 13:8; 17:8; 21:25).

Ninth, Jesus’ shed blood, as a substitute sacrifice, brings God’s elect near to God with right standing (righteousness) before Him (Eph 2:13). This is an alien righteousness imputed to every believer in Jesus (1 Cor 1:30; 2 Cor 5:21), who has been transferred from the domain of darkness and into the kingdom of God’s beloved Son (Col 1:13).

Tenth, Jesus Christ is the King of kings and the King of glory (Ps 24:1; 1 Tim 6:15), who has been entrusted with all authority in heaven and on earth to rule and reign over all. Because of His triumph over sin, death, the devil, and the world at the Cross, Jesus sits on the throne of God, today, in heaven at the right hand of the Father in Majesty (Ps 110:1; Acts 2:33; Heb 1:3; 8:1; Rev 7:17).

Eleventh, Jesus has sent the Holy Spirit to gather in God’s elect people from every nation — into the body of Christ, His church, the Israel of God (Mt 16:18; 1 Cor 12:13; Gal 6:16). The full number must be accounted for and then comes the end.

Twelfth, Jesus will come again as the dread champion to Judge the world (Ps 9:8; Jer 20:11), the angels (1 Cor 6:3; Jude 1:6), and the living and the dead of humanity (Acts 10:42; 2 Tim 4:1; 1 Pet 4:5). At His command, the dead will be resurrected and join the living at His great white throne of judgment, upon which will be His judgment seat (2 Cor 5:10; Rev 20:11).

Thirteenth, Jesus will separate His people unto Himself from those who will be sentenced to eternal punishment in fiery hell, forever (Mt 25:32).

Fourteenth, Jesus will destroy the present earth and heavens with fire (2 Pet 3:10–12). He will then produce the new heavens and earth where righteousness dwells (2 Pet 3:13). Jesus will be the central figure in His new creation…the city of God, heavenly Zion, the New Jerusalem (Heb 12:22; Rev 21–22).

Finally, God’s elect people, His adopted children (Eph 1:4–5; Rom 8:15, 23), redeemed by Jesus and made alive by the Spirit of the Lord will be with Him, as He is in glorified body and soul.

This brief accounting of Jesus’ person and work is meant for you to examine your own knowledge and relationship with the Jesus of the Bible. If this is not your Jesus, then be warned that you have no place with Him and truth be told…you really do not care. If, however, this is your Jesus, then rejoice because it is all “yes” and “amen” for you with Him, from this day forth and forever.

David Norczyk

Missoula, Montana

August 11, 2022

Some random theologian out West somewhere, Christian writer, preacher

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David Norczyk

Some random theologian out West somewhere, Christian writer, preacher