Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Which Jesus?

Tom Stegall has correctly observed that "any seasoned missionary will attest to the fact that merely proclaiming the name 'Jesus' and telling lost souls to believe in that name for eternal life will spell disaster on the mission field. This approach will be the surest recipe for syncretism and false professions of faith in Jesus. People must understand the good news of the gospel of Christ in order to truly believe in His name for everlasting life."1 Relating to this statement, we may ask the following questions: "Which 'Jesus' must a person believe in for eternal life?"2 Which "Jesus" is the real One? Which "Jesus" is the right One?

  • the JEHOVAH'S WITNESS "Jesus," who is just "a god," even Michael the archangel in disguise? 
  • the MORMON "Jesus," who is just a god on par with other faithful Mormons who believe they'll also reach godhood?
  • the MUSLIM (and so-called Samaritan) "Jesus," who never died on the cross or rose from the dead, and who is just a man, though a great prophet?
  • the GNOSTIC "Jesus," who didn't really die & rise again, who is also not truly human?
  • the HINDU "Jesus," who is just one god among many thousands if not millions of gods?
  • the CROSSLESS GOSPEL "Jesus," who can be virtually anyone or anything as long as the promise of John 6:47 is believed?
  • the GROUNDLESS GOSPEL "Jesus," who can be a non-buried and never-seen deceiver savior who died for our sins by cosmic accident (as opposed to "according to the Scriptures") and rose from the dead on the 666th day (as opposed to "on the third day according to the Scriptures") - could this be the Christ?3
  • the BIBLICAL Jesus Christ who died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and was buried, and was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve (1 Cor. 15:3-5)!4


                1 Tom Stegall, The Gospel of the Christ, p. 133, italics added.

                2 Ibid., p. 85. The following points are adapted from Stegall's chart "Which 'Jesus' must a person believe in for eternal life?" (Ibid., italics his).

                3 This highlights the problem of syncretism. According to the groundless gospel (which promotes the non-buried and never-seen savior), a lost soul would be considered a Christian even if he believes in a Christ who rose from the dead on the 666th day! However, it should be obvious that this is nothing more than a "false Christ "  (Matt. 24:24) - for such a one is not the Christ of the Scriptures (cf. Lk. 24:46; 1 Cor. 15:3ff). We must remember that "even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light" (2 Cor. 11:14, cf. 2 Cor. 11:1-4, NKJV).

                4 For further discussion see the article "Getting the Gospel Right".