For instance, if 2 people are talking about “God,” there will inevitably come out of their conversation / discussion, two separate understandings of the whole discussion. One may have an understanding of what a “god” or “God” consists of. The other may be thinking and speaking with the perspective in mind, that there are many gods, rather than one [Triune] God. Furthermore, the two, involved in the discussion, may possess their various definitions of God or various gods and how He or they form a significant role in the life of all people.
We live in a global culture where the latest news on one end of the globe can be broadcast within seconds. Modern communications, enhanced by space satellite technology make it possible for information to be readily accessed at a computer’s home keyboard. But, understanding data and information is something which takes time and understanding.
Comparatively few people come to a common understanding of the “Christian Message.” Communication is often stifled for a number of reasons.
The Christian Message Has Been Around for a Long Time – But (comparatively) Few People Understand It
First of all, what is the “Christian Message?” I prefer to think of the Christian Message as that message of what Jesus Christ communicated when He spent His ministry time, here on earth. After Christ’s perfect life, suffering, death and Resurrection, that “message” [of Christ] was codified in the completed Scriptural (revelation) record when the Christian New Testament was added to the of Hebrew [Old Testament] Scriptures.
Off the top of my head, this emeritus Christian pastor thinks of 3 Scriptures and 2 creeds that summarize the “Christian Message.” [These “segments,” of course, do not contain all the teachings and detail. But these 3 Scriptures and 2 Creeds spell out, how unique the Christian Message is, among all the world’s religions and various individual beliefs]:
The prophecy of the Messiah Christ – Isaiah 53:1-12
Christ’s words recorded in Matthew 7:13-29
St. Paul’s words (under the Holy Spirit’s inspiration) of 1 Corinthians 15:1-58
The Apostle’s Creed and the Nicene Creed
The Christian Message (Tersely) Explained
The Christian Message is very simple. It is about the sinless birth, life, suffering, death and Resurrection of the God-Man, Jesus Christ, who was God’s appointed Son / Messiah to be sacrificed for human sin – past, present and future. His holy blood was [is] the pure ingredient that could only wipe the [human] sinful slate clean before a just God who must punish sin to the fullest, because all people are sinners by both birth and practice. And, as a result of that sin, it brings physical death and eternal death to all people.
However, those who truly identify with the Savior, Christ, are those who have the favor of God resting upon them. They have believed in this Christ and the forgiveness which He brought and continues to bring. They then, are accepted by a just, holy and loving God, to be His children, both now and in the hereafter. God’s punishing wrath for them is averted [turned away]. They are thus, “clothed” with Christ’s holiness, [Phil. 3:7-13] as a result of having put their [God-given] faith in the sacrificial Lamb of God [Christ] who died for their sins, on their behalf, to ward off God’s impending just and eternal punishment upon their souls. John 3:14-21
The Ultimate Reason Why the Christian Message is Rejected and Regarded as Foolish
Scripture itself makes it clear why many people do not receive the Christian Message:
"Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ." 2 Corinthians 2:14-17
Christian witness is often (only) thought of, as a “positive” witness. But that’s not what God reveals in His Scriptural written revelation. Here, we have the Christian witness [proclamation by word and deed] rejected because it is insulting to those human souls, who, as the Scripture says, are, “perishing.” Damnation isn’t (only) something which takes place in the hereafter. It begins here on earth. It is a continued process of rejecting the Gospel [good] news of Jesus Christ, -- his sinless birth, life, suffering, death and Resurrection. It is the continual sinful practice of rejecting the forgiveness of sins, of which He came to offer as a free gift, accepted, by faith.
The Scripture states that the Christian Message is (by and large) rejected by Jewish people, because, to them, it is a “stumbling block.” [1 Corinthians 1:23 ; 1 Peter 2:7-8] The Jewish people, of whom the Triune God entrusted with the Old Testament Hebrew Scriptures, have a very difficult time believing in Jesus Christ. They cannot, for the spiritual and eternal life of them, accept Him as the One whom God Almighty sent, to be their Messiah –- their divine rescuer. They make the ultimate mistake of minimizing the historical Christ, to the spiritual detriment and damnation of their priceless souls [John 1:1-14] They are offended in and at Christ whose earthly life abruptly ceased, being, spiked to a Roman cross –- a death that was only reserved for the worst of humanity.
That (crude) “end of Christ,” spells to the Jew, a great offense. And, consequently, Jesus Christ cannot be their Savior [so, many of them think] –- as, they mistakenly have anticipated a Messiah on the basis of physical and material grounds. Sadly and pathetically, they reject the Old Testament (Hebrew) prophecy of Christ, [Isaiah 53:1-12] and its fulfillment, as wonderfully portrayed in the 4 New Testament Christian Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
Gentiles [non Jews] on the other hand, reject the Christ of the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures because to them it is, simply “foolishness.” The very same Gospel Message [Christian Message] that can work for the cleansing of their sins and make them right with their Creator God, -- that same Message and Person, they reject. Why? Because they close their minds off, only to listen to [sinful] human reason and thereby, discard divine revelation.
Scripture tells us that unbelief, damns. [Mark 16:16-17 ; John 8:23-24] It also relates that rejection of Christ is motivated by the sinner, content to continue in sin. John 3:17-21
Beneath the rejection of Christ, whether He, being regarded as offensive or, foolish, is the spiritual blindness, which the unbelieving soul possesses. Scripture again, explains:
"But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." 1 Corinthians 2:14
Note: The “they” in this verse are the “[spiritual] blessings of God,” which, of course include forgiveness of sins and a right standing with God, both now, and in eternity.
Friend, it is only by the grace of God that you can attain an understanding of Him. It is only by being spiritually awakened, that you can understand the Triune God’s Communication to you. Once you are awakened, then you can truly be on the receiving, communication, end. Until the good and gracious Lord breaks upon the spiritual blindness of your soul – until He does, you will be confused with all this world’s mixed messages.
The Christian Message will only be understood and comprehended by you, and acted upon, when God the Holy Spirit makes His communication plain to you. Acting upon your own reasoning, you will miss out. Offended at the Christian Message, -- you will also, miss out. And, eventually, you will miss out on any of God’s goodness and forgiveness to you, in a Christless [Godless] eternity in hell, itself.
May God have mercy on your soul. May you avail yourself to read and hear of His great love for your soul. May you with non bias expose yourself to the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures, where the Christian Faith can begin, and then, grow. [Romans 10:17] Then, and only then, will the Christian Message make any kind of communication sense to you. Amen.
Related Scriptures [below] -- Intended to be utilized in a simple worship format:
John 1:1-14 -- Rejection of Christ by his own [the Jewish race].
1 Corinthians 1:23 -- Christ, as a "stumbling block." to the Jewish race [in general]
1 Corinthians 2:14 --The "beneath the iceberg" reason for a human soul's intolerance to the Triune God
Philippians 1:27-30 --Those who are on the road to perdition will be reminded of such when those of the Christian Faith live out that Faith, before them.
Isaiah 55:1-13 – The Triune God’s invitation to drink of the eternal waters
John 3:14-21 – The “Gospel” which is absolutely necessary for the human soul
Romans 10:17 - Faith comes through God's Word
John 3:36 – God’s eternal condemnation [damnation] of those who reject His soul saving gift of Christ
Of Whom Does the Prophet Speak" -- by Victor Buksbazen -- Isaiah 53:1-12 -- an in-depth view of and the prophecy of Christ, hundred of years before his birth. Isaiah 53:1-12 underscores the truthfulness of Divine Revelation as exemplified in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures.
Please note: Topical Messages, by subject
Pastor (emeritus) Nathan Bickel
Please also note: