Two significant reasons for rejection of Christian faith by opponents is first, the incredible claims of its founder, Jesus Christ. They are way above what any sane mortal would ever dare claim. Among them were His claim to be the Messiah of which the ancient Jewish prophets had often spoken of, to be the only begotten Son of God which signified deity, and to be the one and only Savior of the world.
The second significant reason is its exclusivity. Exclusiveness is naturally offensive unless you belong to the exclusive party. Never has it been as unpopular as in the present culture. An example of the exclusiveness of Jesus is His words in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” These words are in direct contradiction to those who say there are many paths that lead men to God. However, Christ’s words were never intended to exclude one single person. To the contrary they were intended to protect them from false religions and self-serving men more interested in power and money than in the welfare of human souls. We benefit with the extraordinary efforts made in making U.S. currency exclusive and unique so that worthless and counterfeit money can be distinguished from genuine currency.
Furthermore, the claims of Christ’s message do not stand on the merits of inspiring rhetoric and great promises as some leaders depend on today, but were supported by substantial evidence. As mentioned above, exhibit A is the several hundred prophesies of the birth, ministry, and shameful death of the coming Messiah that Jesus Christ fulfilled in minute detail including His virgin birth and resurrection from the dead.
Then again, the number of witnesses to the astonishing miracles that Jesus performed is unequalled in history -— healing of incurable diseases of the day, demonstrating power and authority over natural law such as wind and weather and, raising the dead to life. The Lords most audacious claim of all is found in John 10:17-18 where He said, “Therefore My Father loves me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.”
The evidence for this claim was demonstrated on the cross which he easily could have avoided. When Jesus spoke His last words, “It is finished,” it signified His purpose in atoning for the sins of the world by His own death had been accomplished and each one of us can now be fully and forever reconciled to God. But, this is not the end of the story. In three days Christ rose from the dead and appeared and spoke for 40 days to several hundred witnesses.
For unbiased minds, there is more than sufficient evidence to accept Christ’s claims and the incredible blessings of the Gospel completely justifies whatever offenses its exclusiveness may cause.
Pastor Gene Holman of Living Word Fellowship in Gardnerville is a member of Carson Valley Ministers’ Association.