By Joe McKeever
No one has been to Heaven except the One who came from there. (John 3:13) How clear is that? He is the One who knows.
No one can come to God the Father except through Jesus. (John 14:6) How clear is that? He is our mediator.
No one can know God unless Jesus reveals Him to them. (Matthew 11:27) How clear is that? He is the revealer.
There is no other name under Heaven given among men whereby we must be saved. Only Jesus. (Acts 4:12) How clear is that? He is our Savior.
Jesus said He was given authority over all mankind. (John 3:35; 13:3; 17:2 and Matthew 28:18) How clear is that? He is Lord.
Here’s an outline that sums it up for me.
It got me out of bed in the middle of the night recently. Use it if you can and if the Lord leads.
- There is only One who has come from Heaven – and He alone is our AUTHORITY on matters of Heaven and eternity. (John 3:13) That’s why even the Father told people, “Listen to Him!” (Luke 9:35)
- There is only One who has gone to the cross and made atonement for our sins–and He alone is our SAVIOR. (John 3:16) That’s why the Holy Spirit draws people to Him. He is the door. (John 10)
- There is only One who has risen from the dead and ascended to the Father – and He alone is our LORD. (Acts 2:32-36)
That’s why every knee shall bow, every tongue confess. He alone is Lord.
Jesus is our Authority on things of life and the afterlife, our Savior from our sins and from the world, and Lord of Heaven and earth. He alone is worthy of all worship.
Jesus. It all comes down to Jesus. He is the focus of all God has revealed.
“Jesus Christ is everything God has to say about Himself.” – John Bisagno
This is where people miss it.
They speak of God and think that’s enough. If they preach about God, what could be wrong with that? If they tell people to turn to God, they’re solid.
But they’re wrong.
Lots of people believe in God, they say, but have no use for Jesus.
It’s all about Jesus, friend. People have a thousand concepts of God, and have even made gods in their own image. They have no trouble with you telling them to “believe in God,” “turn to God” and “worship God.” It’s when you bring Jesus into the conversation that they jump ship.
No one in the New Testament was persecuted for talking about God. It was the Jesus-talk that got them into trouble.
In Acts 4, the disciples were “proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead,” and were arrested. When put on trial, they announced, “it is by the name of Jesus the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, that this man was healed.” The authorities conferred and agreed to demand that “they speak no more to any man in that name.”
Had they preached the typical “God-only” message in a thousand churches today, they would have been safe.
In Acts 5, they are arrested. The authorities say, “We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name….” After the believers were flogged, they went on their way, “rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name.” And they kept right on preaching Jesus.
Had they chosen to leave Jesus out of it, as is done in a thousand churches today, they could have spared themselves the suffering.
In Acts 8, Philip joins himself to the Ethiopian who was puzzled by what he was reading in Scripture. “And beginning from this scripture, he preached Jesus to him.”
In Acts 9, when Saul of Tarsus is knocked off his high horse, he stares into the brightest light he has ever seen and he hears a voice coming from it. “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” And then, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.”
When Saul took action against the believers, Jesus took it personally.
Anyone see a trend here? It’s all about Jesus.
To stay safe in ministry, leave Jesus out of it. To our shame, a great portion of our congregations will never notice. But the ones who know the Father will notice and will care. And at judgement, those who heard you but never knew Jesus will rise up and witness against you.
Tell them of Jesus, friend.
Tell them He is the Authority on spiritual matters and heavenly things. Tell them He is the only Savior who can save us from our sins. Tell them He is Lord, for now and forever.
Tell them that a day will come when every eye will see Him, every knee bow before Him, and every tongue will cry out that Jesus is Lord! And that they would do well to get started now.
As I write, just yesterday a pastor friend held a funeral for a lovely young mother who died unexpectedly. She left a grieving husband and a small child. At the funeral, friend after friend rose to tell of her good works. But not a soul mentioned her faith or her relationship with Jesus. Afterward, a family member came up. “Pastor, did you know her?” No, he had never met her.
“Well, did you know she was not a believer?” No, he had no way of knowing.
“You did a good job of skirting the issue,” the family member said. “That makes this even more tragic.”
The pastor’s wife told me this and added, “My own family did not go to church. Our parents never took us. All our church friends just assumed we were Christians. They never asked.”
Let us not be guilty of assuming everyone around us knows the Lord Jesus Christ, friend. Let’s go tell them.
Tell them of Jesus.
Joe McKeever is a retired pastor and a past director of missions for New Orleans Baptist Association. This editorial first appeared on his blog.