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Monday, May 24, 2010

The Way, The Truth, The Life

‘I have read in Plato and Cicero sayings that are very wise and very beautiful; but I never read in either of them: ‘Come unto Me all you who labor and are heavy laden.’
Augustine

‘Had Christ the death of death to death, not given death by dying, the gates of life had never been to mortals open lying.’
Author Unknown

‘If anyone could prove to me that Christ is outside the truth, and if the truth really did exclude Christ, I should prefer to stay with Christ and not with truth.’
Fyodor M. Dostoevsky

When God introduced Himself in the Old Testament He did it with few words shrouded in mystery. “I am that I am” was God’s answer to Moses’ query, and it was enough for Moses to fall on his face and acknowledge the fact that He stood before a sovereign and omnipotent God.

In the New Testament however, we see a once mysterious definition take on more clarity as well as more complexity. As Jesus spoke to His disciples, He revealed Himself to them by saying, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life.’

It is important for us to know the fullness of Christ, and what it means for us that He is the way, the truth, and the life, because in knowing the truth of who Jesus is assures the sufficiency of our salvation in Him. When we realize what it means that Jesus is the way, when we acknowledge that He is the truth, and believe that He is the life, our faith in Him is unshakable, our path is made straight and easily discernable, and our hope rests in the life that He promised us.

John 14:1-6, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in god, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house there are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am you may be also, and where I go you know, and the way you know. Thomas said to Him, ‘Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

We begin with Jesus the Way, which to most should be self explanatory. Jesus did not say He was one of many ways, and He did not say He was one of many paths. When He spoke these words He made sure to stress the singularity of the way, and the fact that no one could come to the Father except through Him.

Knowing that Jesus is the way denotes certain truths, which we must take to heart and take strength from. By telling us that He is the way, Jesus is not only showing us the singularity of the way, but also the simplicity, the certainty, and the sufficiency of it. If we can come to the Father through Him, then He is sufficient. If we can come to the Father through no other but through Him, then He is singular. If He promised that He will come again and receive us to Himself, then it is a certainty, and if what we must do is repent and believe in Him, then there is simplicity in the way as well.

No matter how men might try to twist it, the truth is that there are only two paths in this life. These two paths lead toward two different destinations that are as far removed and different from each other as the earth is from the stars.

Jeremiah 21:8, “Behold I set before you the way of life and the way of death.”

One way leads to life and an eternity in the home that Jesus went to prepare for us. The other way leads to death, and an eternity in the lake of fire, absent from the presence of God, where there will be wailing, gnashing of teeth, and where the worm never sleeps.

‘Brother Mike, that sounds kind of harsh, can’t you word it differently? Can’t you pull your punches just a little?’

To be honest, no I cannot. It is because we have lost sight of the reality of hell that so many feel as though they have free reign to do as their desires dictate without any sort of blowback or consequence. Even though some preachers are still teaching the reality of heaven, there is only a handful that still insists upon the reality of hell nowadays. No, it is not politically correct, yes, it might hurt somebody’s feelings, but if it causes one person to wake up from their slumber, to see the true reality of where sin ultimately leads to, then I can live with hurt feelings and angry letters.

It may justify a sinner when he hears that everyone goes to heaven eventually, and that hell does not exist, it may even embolden him to continue in his disobedience and rebellion, but if we believe this, then we are calling Jesus a liar. Yes, if we believe that everyone eventually gets a pass anyway and ends up in heaven, or that God does not punish sin, or that He is not a righteous God any longer, than we are calling Jesus a liar, and disregarding the entirety of Scripture.

The way of life is straight, narrow, and well defined within the pages of Scripture. The way of life is tethered in Christ, it is Christ, and there can be no deviation from this absolute truth.

The way of death is wide, with no boundaries or restrictions, it is winding, never leading directly to Christ and it is also short. Why would I say the way of death is short? The way of death is short because the pleasures of sin are fleeting and momentary, and they pass in an instant. Although the way of death is short the repercussions and consequences of sin have eternal ramifications.

When discussing Christ the truth there is one thing we must always be aware of; in a world of deceit, the battle for truth is an existential one. We don’t just choose to stand for the truth when it suits us, we don’t just choose to battle deceit when we have nothing else to do, we battle for truth because our existence depends on it. We have seen time and time again that when the children of God do not defend the truth, when the children of God are too indifferent or apathetic to stand for Christ, the enemy gains ground, sweeps through the ranks of groggy believers unencumbered, and the house of God suffers yet another setback.

Pilate stood before the embodiment of truth and asked Him what truth was. That’s pretty much where the dialogue between Jesus and Pilate ended, because if Pilate was unable to see the Truth standing before him, then there was no point in further discourse.

In the gospel according to John, we see a portrait of Jesus defined unlike anywhere else in scripture. It is both succinct and beautiful, to the point and conclusive.

John 1:1-2, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.”


John 17:17, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.”

Mocked, despised, and even hated as the Truth might be today, He is still the truth. God never said there wouldn’t be opposition, God never said that the world would embrace us and love us if we followed after Him, what He did say was that if the world hated Him, surely they will hate His followers. The truth is being trampled underfoot by men claiming to be bondservants of Christ, and followers of God. In order to appease a dying, corrupt, and sinful world, fools with titles have taken it upon themselves to disprove the sovereignty, deity, and nature of Christ, because then they would be seen as forward thinking, and tolerant. It makes me cringe outwardly, and weep inwardly when I see men who posses doctorates in theology, who lead some of the biggest congregations in the nation, and are some of the best known so-called religious thinkers of our time treat Jesus like a piñata, there to be swung at with brutal force in the hope that something cracks. They do this to the glee and amusement of the wicked, because if they can disprove the Christ, if they can discredit the way, the truth and the life, well, then there’s no point to faith in Him, there’s no point to submission and obedience to His commands, and the world is free to do as it wills.

We come to Jesus the life, and herein we discover a profound and often overlooked truth. If Jesus is the life, than anyone not in Jesus is dead! Simple, to the point, black and white, no further debate required.

If Jesus is the life, than anyone not rooted in Him, anyone not obedient to Him, anyone not possessing His nature is dead. Absent of Christ we are ambulatory corpses. Please don’t misunderstand, this is not some sort of fatalism borrowed from the Babylonians, it is the present reality of all who reject Christ as the life. We are here but for a breath, dependent on food, water, air, and the sun God allows to shine upon our faces, then we return to the dust from which we came.

Jesus defined Himself as being the way, the truth and the life. If we have Jesus, we possess the truth, we are on the right path, and on our way toward eternal life.

 
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you again for your courage in reminding us of the exclusiveness of the Way and the reality of hell.

Melanie