The Necessity Of Believing In The Real Jesus
Concerns arise regarding the inhabitants of the Amazon jungle and the unreached communities, wherein the gospel remains unheard. Could they continue to be deemed "innocent" despite their lack of knowledge about the Lord Jesus Christ? And what about those who identify as Christians but lack a biblical grasp of the real Jesus Christ of the Scriptures? May we assert that their salvation is merely superficial, given their erroneous understanding of Christ? These are valid questions that need to be answered.
If the term "innocent" describes people who know nothing about Jesus Christ, then they will not be saved unless they believe the true Jesus Christ revealed in the Bible as Lord, God, and Savior. Since the Lord Jesus Christ demands that a person believe in Him, He can reveal Himself to these individuals by guiding them to a biblical understanding of who He is. The Lord led the various people groups to separate geographical locations as they dispersed due to linguistic differences. These people are where they are right now because of the will of the Lord. And if they choose to turn toward Him, they still have the opportunity to know the Lord and receive His redemption, even if He brought them to those locations. The apostle Paul writes,
From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. Acts 17:26–27 NIV
You'll notice that the Lord chose exactly where people should live, whether in cities, provinces, or mountains. He did this so that they would look for him and be able to reach out and find him. Eternity is written in every man's heart, as the Bible makes clear (cf. Ecc. 3:11). This text is explained below by Adam Clarke.
“The proper translation of this clause is the following: ‘Also that eternity hath he placed in their heart, without which man could not find out the work which God hath made from the commencement to the end.’ God has deeply rooted the idea of eternity in every human heart; and every considerate man sees, that all the operations of God refer to that endless duration. See Ecc 3:14. And it is only in eternity that man will be able to discover what God has designed by the various works he has formed.”
When a man is confronted with his past and future (that is, an infinite duration), he will begin to question his purpose in existence. This can happen to anyone, whether they live in the big city of New York or the jungle of the Amazon. Numerous inquiries will arise in his mind, including the following:
Where am I going with all of the things I do in life?
What am I doing here?
Where am I going?
What exactly is God?
And the Lord will graciously guide him to Christ if he seeks Him.
Man will continue to seek to worship a being higher than him. It comes as no surprise that a tribal person reveres nature. To prove the origins of man, an atheist will always appeal to a higher human authority, such as Charles Darwin. Modern men will always call on the "god" of their revered religious founder. A story was told about a vicious and dangerous tribe in the Amazon to whom the Lord finally sent two missionaries, Bob and Steve, in the 1960s to preach the gospel. After several years, many in that tribal group came to grips with Jesus Christ, which saved them because the gospel seed was planted. Perhaps someone was already seeking God before that time. Who can say? The apostle Paul emphasized the significance of bringing the gospel to every person.
For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” - Rom. 10:13–15
Clearly, there is a need for everyone to know the real Jesus of the Scriptures, given that this Jesus ought to be preached. Additionally, it is this Lord upon whom they ought to call forth that believers ought to proclaim and declare.
For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it! - 2 Cor. 11:4
I was recently speaking with a young Muslim girl. She informed me about her encounter with the real Jesus Christ. She came to the conclusion that Jesus is who He genuinely claims to be as Lord, God, and Savior after reading the book of John, which they despise. Another young Muslim girl discovered the real Jesus after having a dream about a figure dressed in white riding a horse. After a while, she happened to read the book of Revelation, which describes Jesus riding a white horse in Revelations 19:11. Today, she is a follower of Isa al-Masih.
Although my wife's name is Liza, there are many ladies with the name "Liza" all over the world, but I know my Liza. Her perfect smile, beautiful face, lovely appearance, unique voice, godly character, and perfume are familiar to me. Similarly, there are numerous religious and cult groups that preach a different Jesus (cf. 2 Cor. 11:4) But I know whom I have believed (cf. 2 Tim. 1:12). My Lord, God, and Savior is Jesus. The second Person in the Godhead. The One who gave His life for me and saved me from my sin is the Jesus of the Scriptures. The One who takes away my guilt, shame, and condemnation is the Jesus of the Scripture. This is the real Jesus that I believe in and receive.
The repentant criminal on the cross acknowledged the real Jesus when he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Luk. 23:43). Only a Messiah like Jesus, he believed, could take him to eternal paradise. On the other hand, the bleeding woman also heard reports about what Jesus Christ, being the Son of God, can do; this is why she touched the hem of His garment (cf. Mk. 5:27). We tend to dismiss Jesus Christ's calling of God as His own Father and the meaning of the titles, Son of God and Lord, since we are so far removed from His time. According to the apostle John, Jesus calling God His own Father makes Him equal in nature with the Father, making Himself God as well (cf. Jn. 5:18). Furthermore, the title "Son of God" emphasizes equality in divine nature with the Father, as Jews believe a tree or an animal can only produce something according to its kind; therefore, the Father's nature is the same as His Son's (cf. Gen. 1:11, 12, 21, 25; 6:20; 7:14).The English word LORD, as found in the Old Testament and applied to Jesus Christ in the New Testament, simply means "Jesus is Yahweh." (cf. Phil. 2:9–11; Isa. 45:23).
Today, many people who claim to be Christians of various denominations merely attend church services and ignore the doctrine about Jesus Christ. They mistakenly believed that doctrine had nothing to do with salvation (cf. 1 Tim. 4:16). Nothing is further from the truth. The Lord Jesus Christ Himself stated that until we realize who He actually was, we will perish in our sins (cf. Jn. 8:24). Interestingly, He asked His disciples who He was when He said, "But who do you say I am?" (Matt. 16:15). The right doctrine concerning Christ must be preached to all people of all tribes, languages, and nations. It is no surprise that Jesus Christ is the first foundation that must be established because all other foundations are built on this main foundation, the principal cornerstone (cf. 1 Cor. 3:11). If the foundation of Jesus Christ's identity is marred, everything will fall apart. It is therefore important to believe in the real Jesus in order to experience an intimate relationship with Him. The Lord will never lower His salvation standards.
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