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Jesus, Why the Fascination?
Jesus, Why the World is Still Fascinated by Him
Jesus Christ . . . a carpenter, born to a life of poverty. He managed to stay relatively anonymous for 30 years, but when He finally made the move from Nazareth to Capernaum and Jerusalem, He quickly rose to fame. Almost overnight He had dozens of followers. Within three years He'd managed to rise to a level of popularity that forced Him to go into seclusion for rest. People came to him by the thousands to hear Him speak and perhaps get a glimpse of the miraculous, almost magic, feats they kept hearing about.It's all of this fame that got the attention of the religious leaders in Jerusalem. And it's the words He spoke condemning these same leaders that brought Him to Golgotha.Very few deny the accuracy of this bit of history; however, throughout the ages more than just the Pharisees have disputed the carpenter's claim to deity. Many don't realize that Christ was not the first to come claiming to be the Messiah; however, He's the only one that has caused a stir that continues to divide people 2000 years later.Regardless of where one stands on the validity of Jesus' claim to be the Son of God, the Savior of the World and the Hope for the nations, they would be hard pressed to deny the impact He's had since He walked on this earth. That's the subject of this book by Tim Lahaye, renowned author, minister and nationally recognized speaker on Biblical prophecy. Believe what you want about Jesus Christ, the World is still fascinated by Him.
This link will take you to the Kindle version, but the paper and ink version is also available!
An Excellent Book by Tim Lahaye - Jesus, Why the World is Still Fascinated by Him
by Tim Lahaye
I've read many books by Rev. Lahaye, including "The Left Behind" Series. This book is one of the most interesting. Although this Bible authority does quote scripture, his most persuasive arguments are real life stories of people whose lives have been transformed as well as indisputable evidence in the form of archeological finds.One of my favorite parts of the book is the chapter Lahaye dedicates to comparing the Bible to other ancient texts. His purpose is not to discredit the other writings, but to demonstrate that due to the overwhelming number of copies of the Bible compared to that of the other ancient wisdom as well as the unquestionable acceptance of those documents, the Bible can not be discounted as many would like.Like the author, I often contemplate why so many people who don't believe that Jesus Christ was anything more than a misguided Jewish personality put so much effort into thwarting His message. After 2000 years, you'd think that if this man really was a phony, His popularity would have waned. On the contrary, the world is fascinated by Him, either because they believe He is who He says is or because they don't.If you are one of those who is curious about this historical figure who was of really no account for most of His life, I encourage you to buy or borrow the book you'll find below. It may not convince you to become a Christian, but it will challenge you to base your conviction on the facts.
Do they turn you off?
I wish that I could live my life as a reflection of Jesus Christ 100% of the time. The truth is, I mess it up more often than I'd like to admit. But another truth that I'd ask you to consider is this: I'm not asking you to follow me or another Christian, I'm encouraging you to consider following Jesus Christ.You see, well meaning Christians are constantly trying to get the cart before the horse. They've discovered that following Christ has changed their life, and they want others to experience a similar life changing experience. So, they begin to tell people all the things they need to change in their lives. The Christian life starts sounding like a list of "do's and don't's" rather than a relationship with the Almighty. They've discovered their own life is better since they gave up some of the things that the world today says are OK, but neglect to share that the means of this revelation, the fact that Christ loved them and accepted them BEFORE they changed a thing.
Here are some truths of the faith that I've discovered in Scripture:Christ was sent to change lives. I was not! I have discovered by reading the Bible that Jesus has not asked me to convict anyone of sin. He said that He sent the Holy Spirit to do that. The Bible does give me permission to point out sin to those who are already followers of Christ, but it doesn't grant me license to treat anyone with disrespect or judgement.Christ was sent to restore relationship with God. One part of Christ's message was that He came to fulfill the law. You see, the job of the 10 Commandments was to help people become righteous enough to earn a place in heaven. God used those 2 tablets of stone to prove that humans would never be able to live a good enough life.
Jesus, however, did. He lived the life that earned Him the right to not only be called the Son of the Most High, but to also do what the law was unable to do, make a way for us to have a real relationship with God.Christ loves You. It doesn't matter what you've done, how terrible or how wonderful you think you are, Jesus Christ loves you enough to die for you. Many people don't believe that. They have a hard time accepting the fact that someone would give their life without some sort of string attached. That's what Jesus did. He offered Himself up as a sacrifice with no obligation on our part. He is God! He could force us to follow Him, but He loves us, and His love is so deep that He wants the feeling to be mutual.
Atheists, Agnostics, Gnostics Find Christ
Some of the most convincing evidence that Christ is who He said He is are the men and women whose lives have been totally transformed by Him. Even a few famous men who never came to accept that Jesus could be their Savior admitted that there was something to be said about this message that thousands of men and women from the 1st Century believed and spread. Tim LaHaye shared a few of their stories in this book.
One such man was C. S. Lewis. Most well known for his book series, "The Chronicles of Narnia," Lewis was not always a Christian. In fact, from age 15 until he was 33, C. S. Lewis was a self-avowed atheist. However, after studying the life of Christ, he decided that the common practice of dismissing Jesus wasn't really an option. History would not allow pretending He didn't exist, and the wisdom of His words and the transformation of lives for 2000 years wouldn't permit Lewis to call this historical figure a liar or a lunatic. Rev. Lewis said his only option was to believe that Jesus, the Son of Mary, was indeed Lord.
A second man with a similar story is still alive today. Lee Strobel, then legal editor of the Chicago Tribune, was also an atheist until his investigative reporting (while trying to disprove the legitimacy of Christ's claim) brought him to the conclusion that the man who called Himself the Son of God was indeed the promised Messiah and Savior of the World.Many years ago, while writing a report for school, I found it quite interesting that Gandhi, while never becoming a Christian himself, admitted that he would have turned to that religion if not for Christians. Gandhi studied the scriptures and believed the words he found within the book.
Unfortunately, we Christians don't get it right much of the time, and folks like Gandhi judge Jesus based on his followers rather than on His own merit. We wouldn't think that was fair if someone was judged that way today, but for some reason, it's quite acceptable to dismiss Jesus' testimony because humans can't measure up to God on earth, regardless of the transformation belief in Him has made in countless lives.
Finally, the father of evolution and agnostic, Charles Darwin, published these words:"To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree. " Quote found on ("Answers In Genesis" ) He went on to explain the absurdity away; however, it's interesting to note that even this man who refused to believe that there was a Creator was forced to explain away the evidence of one.
More Books to Challenge Your Belief in Christ - (or lack of)
C.S. Lewis and Lee Strobel have both written several books to challenge the thinking of non-believers. Below you'll see a few of my favorite.
One of my favorite fictional works from Mr. Lewis. Screwtape is a demon sent by the commander in chief of demons. These letters give insight to the workings of the enemy of Christianity. They make real the fallen angel we call Satan and remind me that there is power in the person of Jesus Christ.
Another of Mr. Strobel's "The Case for . . ." Check out Amazon or your local Christian Book store to find many more from this series.
What if I'm Wrong?
What if Jesus was just a nice guy from the first century?
What if . . .?
What if despite all the evidence, the more than 5,700 copies* of the original text of the Bible available today and the changes that I've seen in my life there really is no Christ? What if God doesn't really exist?
Although Mr. Lahaye as well as other theologians and historians have done a great job of presenting the facts in a logical and trustworthy manner, I'll explore the idea that I am wrong. But what if . . . ?
You see, if I'm deluded by this faith I've embraced, if I've been deceived by people I've grown to love and respect, the worst that happens is this:
I've learned to love myself and respect others more. I value human life and respect creation because I believe that the one who gave me life is the ultimate owner of everything in the universe. I've come to realize not everyone is created just like me, but we all have the potential to become something great because the One who created us wants to work in our life and lead us to that special purpose He created us for. He loves us enough to give us free will, so we don't have to follow, but I've decided that I believe, and that's given me this feeling of love and respect for myself and others.
I've raised my children to be productive and responsible citizens. Because I believe in the potential we all have in Jesus, we taught our girls that love of Christ requires being the best one can be. Jesus gave it all for us, so living a mediocre life is not good enough. Jesus never allowed anyone to blame someone else for their mistakes. In every instance, those who would choose to follow Him were required to take responsibility for their actions, so we instilled that quality in our daughters. All of them are well liked and respected in their fields.
I have hope, peace, joy and feel exceedingly blessed. Something has happened inside of me. I believe it's because I've allowed the Holy Spirit to live there. I have suffered from depression and anxiety at times in my life; however, I now live a life of hope and peace. While I do experience times of despair and frustration, I have even more days that produce in me a feeling of overwhelming blessedness. It's an emotion I can't entirely explain, it transcends understanding. But fortunately, I don't have to understand it to feel it!
So, even if I'm wrong, I can live with this kind of deception. I'll stick with this story that brings me hope, has taught me to care about you and has given my daughters a tremendous life. But this question: "What if I'm wrong?" begs an answer to the alternative: "What if YOU'RE Wrong?"
What if YOU'RE Wrong?
You say there is no God . . . or that Jesus has no power
I will admit there is the slightest of chances I am wrong, and as you've read, even if I am mistaken, my life is none the worse because of it.
But what about the folks out there that think I'm crazy? What if you are wrong?
You're missing out on blessings. I believe the Bible says that we receive blessings while we are here on earth when we follow Jesus Christ. God wants to give us everything we need and then some (although I haven't found scriptural evidence that God wants to make me rich as some televangelists would have us believe). I think that many of these blessings are found in the peace of mind and indescribable hope He gives, but I also think that some of those blessings occur in the form of material things, relationships, jobs and more.
You'll never be all you were created to be. If you don't believe you've been created, there's no need to seek a creator and His guidance into his will for your life; however, I believe that God is the manufacturer of everything on the earth, making the Bible the "User's Manual." I have been amazed at what God has allowed me to create. He has inspired me and changed me. If I'm right, you're missing out on that.
You have an eternal destiny. Perhaps you're like me and eternity is not enough to convince you to follow Christ. I actually told God that about 20 years ago. I said, "Jesus, if this is all there is to Christianity, I'm just not doing it anymore. Heaven is too far away." And God showed me the Holy Spirit and the beauty of life lived for Him. But the honest truth is, if I'm right, there is a Heaven and a Hell, and despite what some Christians would have you believe, EVERYONE will live eternally. Those who have accepted Christ's sacrifice for their sins will have real life forever in Heaven, and those who have not will exist eternally in a place that feels like eternal death. Hell is forever. The Bible describes it as a fire that burns but does not consume. It smells like sulfur and causes weeping and grinding your teeth. Is that what you want for your eternal destiny?
If I'm wrong but everyone lives according to the Bible, everyone will have a more peaceful, productive and fulfilling life.
If I'm right, much of the population is not living up to their potential and is in danger of the fire of Hell. I'm just creating this to ask you to think about it. Consider what you believe, why you believe and whether you really have enough evidence to support your belief.If your belief is based on what someone else told you or some other myth (even if you do believe in Christ), I encourage you to read one of the books I've shared on this page and make an informed decision based on facts, based on the results of a similar faith in the life of someone else. Whether you believe it or not, Christ loves you and is waiting for your to believe, to strengthen your belief and begin to live even more for Him today!
Who Is this Man - by John Ortberg
Another great book about the person of Jesus Christ
Where do you stand?
Are You Fascinated by Jesus Christ?
John Ortberg has been on my top ten authors list for quite some time. In this book he shares a lot of historical information surrounding the time Jesus lived as well as some facts that help us understand the magnitude of what He did and why He is still the most influential man who ever walked on the earth. You can read my entire review HERE
More Christian Resources
- Heroes of the Bible - Children's Curriculum
Children's Curriculum for kids age 4-12 using the Heroes, Heroines, Champs and Chumps of the Bible. Because we can learn as much from the folks who followed God as those who didn't.
- Step Out On Faith - A Bible Study
On this page you'll find a Bible Study written for newcomers to the faith and seekers, although a more mature group that does more than just "answer the questions" could find it useful also.
- Devotions for Christians and Small Groups
Ten devotions to help you in your Christian Walk, with links to even more!