Have you ever wondered how would the Jesus Christ of the New Testament be received if he was to return to earth today? Would Jesus be welcomed in your church?
In the modern culture of political correctness and tolerance, it is interesting to explore the hypothesis of Christ’s second coming in the context of liberal western values. One cannot help but think would the Christ of the Bible be an offensive judgmental, out of touch dinosaur in the eyes of contemporary society. Maybe the words, “your kind is not welcome here, we are a tolerant, inclusive, and loving church” will be on the lips of the respectable and benevolent Pastor.
Mark Twain the American writer is credited to have once said that if Jesus was alive today the last thing, he would be is a Christian. I suggest that there is an element of truth in that statement considering how the modern church portraits Jesus Christ. Today a large section of those who profess Christianity as their faith preaches a Jesus that is contrary to the one, we see in the New Testament. Take Matthew 23 for example where Jesus used very direct and strong language to condemn the practices of the religious people of his day. In verse 15 Jesus said, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.” Did Jesus really say this, did the meek and mild gentle Jesus of modern Christianity utter such damming words? As we read on Jesus’s condemnation is still very strong, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence” is recorded in verse 25.
It is evident that the teachings of Jesus are at odds with the values and customs of the modern age. In fact, this is nothing new. The world has always fought against the teachings of Christ. In the 1850s there was conflict regarding the origins of the universe. This is just one example of the teachings of the Bible being brought into question by society.
As we live in an ever-growing secular society it is very important that Christian people have a good grasp of key doctrines of Scripture and able to defend their beliefs in the public sphere. Alas, the teachings of Scripture are not popular, and some might say they have no place in our society today. However, with that being said we need to really consider whose approval do we value more, men or God. If it is God’s approval, then we must be faithful to Scripture and unashamed of the truth. Our Lord and Saviour said in Matthew 6:24, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” This means that we can’t be faithful servants of God while trying to please those around us all the time.
In James 4:4 the Bible says, “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” There is of course much more to be said regarding the subject in hand, however, today my aim is to encourage you, the Christian to ponder, pray, and search your heart before God.
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”
1 John 2:15-17