Lakeview Church of the Nazarene
Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Ask

ASK ME ABOUT JESUS CHRIST 

This study will answer several critical questions that people often ask, including: 

 

Who is Jesus Christ? 

Why should I care about Him? 

What can He do for me? 

Why do I need Him? 

What happens if I ignore Him? 

How can I come to know Him? 

How do I access all He has to offer? 

What do I do once I have come to know Him? 

  

  

  

WHO IS JESUS CHRIST? 

The answer is right there in His very name. 

The name Jesus (Yeshua, actually) means "The God Who saves". 

And the word Christ means "Anointed One" or "Chosen One". 

So literally, Jesus Christ is the One Chosen by God to be our Savior. 

Did you know that every human being ever born was born in need of a savior? 

This is the case because we are descendants from Adam and Eve, whom God created and placed in the Garden of Eden. He told them not to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They could eat from every other tree, but not from this one. 

But Eve was beguiled by the serpent and believed that God was withholding something good from her and Adam, that by eating, they would become more like God, so she ate and then gave some to Adam and he ateBy doing this they disobeyed God (they sinned)And as a result they (their impulses and attractions) became twisted. They became oriented not toward God or His creation or one another in purity and innocence; but rather toward themselves. Knowing that they could abuse God's creation for their own pleasure overtook their minds, their bodies, their lives. They became aware that one another could do the same with themselves. They also knew that each other was untrustworthy. They instantly became suspicious of one another, and ashamed of themselves, and they hid themselves from one another with makeshift clothing. 

In the end, because they sinned, every one of their offspring were born just as they were, natural-born sinners. Life instantly became very hard for them as they were forced out of the Garden and into a harsh new world that would resist their efforts to provide for themselves, and Eve and all women after her would have great pain in child-birth. 

But God was not going to leave them and their descendants in this hopeless situation. He created humans a race of beings for the express purpose of becoming part of this race Himself, so He could bring redemption, forgiveness, cleansing and purity back into the human experience, and restore those who follow Him to everlasting life, just as Adam and Eve were created to have. 

And through thousands of years of human history, God worked to prepare the world for the moment of His arrival in the form of a baby. But this baby was different in one very important way. He was conceived in His mother, not by a human father, but by God Himself. As such, He was the first and only human being ever to be born without sin in His heart. He was born in the condition that Adam was created. In fact, He is often called the "Second Adam". The first Adam brought sin into this world; and the second Adam took that sin away. And the name of this baby was Jesus, the Son of God. 

  

WHY SHOULD I CARE ABOUT JESUS? 

The best reason I can give for us caring about Jesus is that Jesus cares about us. His mission, as He Himself stated it in John 10:10 was this, He said, "The thief comes to steal and kill and destroy. But I have come that they (humans) might have life, and have it in abundance." 

In Romans 5:8, we read, "but God showed His love for us in this, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." 

You may have heard the expression, "Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." Well, guess who said that? Jesus did. And Jesus took it a step farther and actually laid down His life for His enemies. He even prayed for God the Father to forgive the very men who nailed Him to the cross where He would die because they did not know what they were doing. 

Jesus is the ultimate expression of God's love for humanity. He came into this world, leaving the throne of the Universe, to suffer all that we suffer as humans, even down to stubbing one's toe in the middle of the night. He was tempted in every way that we are, "yet without sin". And so, He became the only one capable of paying for the sins of all humanity. He became "the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world", as John the Baptist described Him. 

We should care about Jesus, because He is the ONLY WAY that we can be forgiven of our sins, redeemed from everlasting destruction and receive everlasting life. He Himself said, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through Me." (John 14:6) And we are told that ". . . there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under Heaven given among men by which we can be saved." (Acts 4:12). So we should care about Him as if He was the cure for cancer; because He actually a cure for something far more terrifying, He is the. one and only cure for everlasting destruction that awaits every human who does not believe in Him and receive His salvation. 

  

WHAT CAN JESUS DO FOR ME? 

In many ways, it is more a question of what has Jesus ALREADY done for us? He became one of us. He revealed the glory (truth) of God to us through His teachings and His healings and even through His interactions with His enemies. But most importantly, He died for us. In in the process of dying for us, we are told that "For our sake he [GOD] made him [JESUS] to be sin [OUR SIN] who knew no sin, so that in him [JESUS] we might become the righteousness of God." 

Notice that I highlighted the word "be" in that passage. That is because Jesus did not just "take our sin upon Himself"; He was transformed into our sin on the cross; so when He died, our sins died with Him. He put to death the guilt and the curse of sin for all who choose to believe in Him. And this free gift is available to all who believe, as He Himself said in John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten [fathered] Son that whoever believes in Him might not perish [the default resolution for sinful people] but have everlasting life. [emphasis added] 

And because of what He did on that cross nearly 2,000 years ago, He is able to do for us today what no other person in the universe can do; He can take away our sin-guilt and our punishment for all our sins and transfer our spiritual citizenship from the kingdom of Everlasting Death to the kingdom of Everlasting Life. 

  

WHY DO I NEED JESUS? 

We need Jesus primarily because of what will happen to us if we do not have Him. Revelation 20 tells us: 

11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose [a]presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and [b]books were opened; and another [c]book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the [d]books, according to their deeds. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if [e]anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. 

Revelation 20:11 Lit face 
Revelation 20:12 Or scrolls 
Revelation 20:12 Or scroll 
Revelation 20:12 Or scrolls 
Revelation 20:15 Lit anyone was 

(English Standard Version (C) 2001, Crossway, Wheaton, IL 60187, U.S.A.) 

 Hell is a real, but temporary place for those who choose not to believe in and follow Jesus Christ. As the passage above indicates, someday, even Hell itself will be emptied and all its inhabitants judged by God. Each one will be judged on two things, his or her deeds done while alive, and whether or not his or her name is listed in the Lamb's Book of Life (another term for saying, "Those who belong to the Kingdom of Heaven" - The "Book of Life" in ancient times was a name for the list of all the citizens living in a certain place - essentially, a census.) 

Those who have not believed in Jesus and chosen to follow Him will not have their name written in the Lamb's Book of Life, and their fate will be the Lake of Fire prepared for the Devil and his angels. 

  

WHAT HAPPENS IF I IGNORE HIM? 

"God is a gentleman", as my mother used to say, He will not force Himself upon anyone. If we choose not to believe in Him through Jesus and follow Him as Jesus instructed, He will leave us to our choice. 

But every choice has consequences. And the consequence of refusing to believe in and follow Jesus is everlasting death. Or perhaps better stated, ever dying, but never dead. It will be an existence totally separated from God Who IS love and the source of all love. It will be, as Jesus described it, "Outer darkness, where there will be weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth." Jesus described it this way, not only once, but six times in the Gospel of Matthew alone. 

  • Matthew 8:12 

  • but the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 

  • Matthew 13:42 

  • and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 

  • Matthew 13:50 

  • and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 

  • Matthew 22:13 

  • Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 

  • Matthew 24:51 

  • and will cut him in pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 

  • Matthew 25:30 

  • Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 

  

  

  

HOW CAN I COME TO KNOW HIM? 

There are a few basic steps to becoming a believer. But the most obvious step is just that, to believe. A person has to accept it as a fact and a truth that what the Bible says about Jesus is true and correct. One has to accept several facts: 

1. That I, myself, am indeed a sinner. 

2. That in my current condition, my destination is Hell in the short-term, and the Lake of Fire in the long-term. 

3. Because of 1 and 2 above, I am in need of someone to rescue me from this horrific fate and to pluck me out of my present reality. 

4. That God has sent His only begotten Son, Jesus, to be the Only One capable of rescuing me and plucking me from my current situation. 

5. That He is not only able, but He is also willing - desiring - to rescue me. 

The Apostle Peter wrote: "The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance."  (2 Peter 3:9) 

  

Next, one must confess that I am a sinner in need of salvation. 

Romans 10 tells us: 

But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, [a]that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, [b]resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, [c]resulting in salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be [d]disappointed.” 

  1. Romans 10:9 Or because 

  1. Romans 10:10 Lit to righteousness 

  1. Romans 10:10 Lit to salvation 

  1. Romans 10:11 Lit put to shame 

  

HOW DO I ACCESS ALL HE HAS TO OFFER? 

Once again, the answer is somewhat ironic. If you want all that Jesus has to offer you, you must give Jesus all you have to offer Him. And you can rest assured that what He has is infinitely greater than all you have. 

The Apostle Paul wrote that, in response to all that God has already done for us,  

1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, [a]acceptable to God, which is your [b]spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this [c]world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may [d]prove what the will of God is, that which is good and [e]acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12) 

  1. Romans 12:1 Or well-pleasing 

  1. Romans 12:1 Or rational 

  1. Romans 12:2 Or age 

  1. Romans 12:2 Or approve 

  1. Romans 12:2 Or well-pleasing 

 Basically, as one song-writer stated it, "I'll live for Him Who died for me; how happy then my life will be. I'll live for Him Who died for me; my Savior and my God." 

  

WHAT DO I DO ONCE I HAVE COME TO KNOW HIM? 

 Much of the New Testament is written to new believers who were struggling to flesh out what it means to live as Christians in a world that was extremely hostile and alien to the Christian way of thinking and acting. So one of the best ways to answer this question is to spend time reading the Bible, especially the New Testament at first, focusing on the various letters as well as the Gospels. Become familiar with what the Bible says about the Christian way of life. 

And one of Jesus' greatest promises is that we do not have to do this on our own. He told His disciples at thew Last Supper before He died,  

in John's Gospel (chapter 14), 

16 I will ask the Father, and He will give you another [a]Helper, that He may be with you forever; 17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. 

18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 [b]After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. 20 In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. 21 He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.” 22 Judas (not Iscariot) *said to Him, “Lord, what then has happened that You are going to disclose Yourself to us and not to the world?” 23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. 24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me. 

25 “These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.  

  1. John 14:16 Gr Paracletos, one called alongside to help; or Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor 

  1. John 14:19 Lit Yet a little and the world 

The Holy Spirit will come and take up residence in your spirit's heart and will guide you into all truth and remind you of all that Jesus has said, and He will even help you to do things you could not otherwise do to bring honor and glory to Jesus and the Heavenly Father. 

You will not be on your own; God Himself will be with you every step of the way as you journey through life. 

  

WHAT DO I DO TO GET STARTED? 

  

Pray this prayer from your heart: 

  

"Heavenly Father, I want to know You. I want to be right in my relationship with You. I know that I am not right at this moment. I have done and said and thought things that were not what You would have wanted. I am sorry that I was not the kind of person You want me to be. I confess that I am in need of someone to reach out and save me; I cannot do it for myself. I believe that You sent Jesus to be the Savior of the World. And I believe that You sent Him to be MY Savior as a part of that. I ask you to consider my sins as being transferred to Him when He hung on that cross. Allow them to be put to death as He died. Free me from the guilt and the power or those sins and from the punishment that goes with them. Forgive me; Wash my heart and make it clean; Accept me into Your family as an adopted child of God; Fill me with Your Holy Spirit; Take up residence in me, guide me, remind me, and enable me through His presence in me. And Help me to know and to do Your will each and every moment of my life from this moment forward, in the name of Jesus Christ I pray, Amen." 

  

If you prayed that prayer and meant it with all your heart, here is an awesome promise for you . . . 

1 John 3 

English Standard Version 

  

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears[a] we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure. 

Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's[b] seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God. 10 By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. 

Love One Another 

11 For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 12 We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother's righteous. 13 Do not be surprised, brothers,[c] that the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. 15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. 

16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17 But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. 

19 By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; 20 for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. 21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; 22 and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. 24 Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God,[d] and God[e] in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us. 

  1. 1 John 3:2 Or when it appears 

  1. 1 John 3:9 Greek his 

  1. 1 John 3:13 Or brothers and sisters. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, the plural Greek word adelphoi (translated “brothers”) may refer either to brothers or to brothers and sisters; also verses 1416 

  1. 1 John 3:24 Greek him 

  1. 1 John 3:24 Greek he 

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God bless you with every blessing available in Christ Jesus, Amen.