Chapter 30 The Jesus Code: 52 Scripture Questions Every Believer Should Answer by O.S. Hawkins.
This week’s question: “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” (Matthew 16.13).
When the disciples were asked this question, they responded, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
In other words, there was a variety of opinions. Some thought He was John the Baptist reincarnated. Some thought He was Elijah, and others, Jeremiah. Some thought He was just another Prophet.
It is the same today. Some people think Jesus was just a good teacher. Muslims think He was a prophet. Mormons believe He was a created being. Some believe He was truly the Son of God and others deny His existence all together.
So even today one of the greatest challenges believers face is how people answer the question Jesus asked in Matthew 16:13. What men say tends to carry more weight than what God says. Most often the opinions of anyone and everyone are more highly respected than the convictions of believers in Jesus Christ. The proof of this is all around us. Pick up a newspaper and you will find an “Opinion Section.” I’ve always thought how wonderful it would be to read a “Conviction Section.” But we live in a world that is much more attuned to what men say about anything and everything than to what God says about how to live life. Television talk shows lead the ratings in today’s media-crazed, celebrity-obsessed world, further evidence that we care more about what so-called celebrities and experts think than about what our Creator, our Almighty, our Sovereign God says.
This focus on what people think about Jesus rather than what God says results in two things:
- Pluralistic Compromise
- Political Correctness
A pluralist believes that all roads lead to heaven.
In an effort to reach those listening to men, some mainline Christian groups have taken their theological remote controls and pushed the mute button when it comes to such topics as the wrath of God, His judgment, the sole authority of Scripture, and the exclusivity of the gospel message. Ironically— and parenthetically— one seldom ever finds these same individuals challenging other religions about their exclusive claims. Have you ever heard a liberal pluralist speaking up against Islam’s claims of exclusivity?
In order to be politically correct you must be inclusive.
Inclusivism argues that since Jesus died on the cross for all people, everyone is included in atonement for sin accomplished by His crucifixion and resurrection. Again, whether your personal faith is in Christ alone is irrelevant.
Pluarism is contrary to the Gospel. The Bible teaches that Jesus is “The Way,” the only way to God (Jn. 14.6), and inclusivism removes the need to share the Gospel with a lost world.
If we in fact believe that everyone is going to heaven, then we in the church no longer need to work on evangelism and missions. The church then loses its sense of urgency and passion to reach a lost world with the saving news of Jesus’ victory over sin and death.
Who do men say that He is? An important question to consider, but next week’s question goes even deeper, “Who do you say that I am?”
Next week’s question: “Who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16.15).
Last week’s question: “Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?” (Matthew 6.27). Read it here.
I have been pulling a few thoughts out of each chapter, but I cannot cover all the nuggets Hawkins shares in this little gem of a book. I hope these excerpts whet your appetite to purchase the book for yourself. Just click on one of the links below.
You can get a copy of The Jesus Code and follow along with these 52 vital questions. The chapters are short and can easily be read in one sitting. If you do, I’d love your feedback. Click here to get the book or HERE for Kindle.
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