by Mike Ratliff
Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. And he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept. (John 11:32-35 ESV)
As we stand firm against the onslaught of false teachers and heretics attacking the modern church, we can wear ourselves out at times seeking every nuance of what they are saying and doing. Sometimes it can be overwhelming. However, most of the time, the very best way to stand against what is false is to teach God’s Truth clearly to all who will hear. When Rob Bell attacks the veracity of the Gospel from every angle or Rick Warren, dummies it down so that it is no longer recognizable, they do these things from a point of motivation. There is a reason or goal in mind. Mostly, it is to simply appear to be non-offensive to people, to be man-pleasers, to attract as many people as possible come under their Big Tent where all forms of theology are welcome, that is, all forms except the one we hold to here. No Exclusivity is allowed. No Five Solas are allowed. No Sovereignty of God! No Justification ALONE! No, there can be none of that for then others would be offended and there would go their artificial unity. Of course, in the make-believe-Christendom they have created, they have a made-up Jesus. He is not Jesus Christ of the Bible, the Son of God. No, because He is the one who said that No One comes to the Father except through Him, and that would be offensive so they have their own Jesus who just loves everyone and died on the Cross either to save everyone or just to show everyone a better way.
I barely scratched the surface, but you see how it can appear to be overwhelming to deal with all of this because it comes from all sorts of angles and appears to be touching so many areas all at the same time. The answer, however, is quite succinct. It is to teach the truth about Jesus as we know Him from God’s Word. When we do that, doesn’t the Holy Spirit open hearts and minds and draw people into the light who were formerly enemies of God to become His children? Weren’t we all once in that darkness?
The person and name of Jesus has been under continual attack through the ages. Both His deity and humanity have always been battlegrounds. Don’t we have countless cults and heretics by the hundreds who have denied the “historical Jesus?” This is still going on as I type this.
The name Jesus is a translation of the Greek Ἰησοῦς or Iēsous or Jehoshua. This is the Greek translation of the Hebrew name “Joshua,” which means, “The Lord [Yahweh] is salvation.” Read what the angel told Joseph in Matthew 1:21, “She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” Isn’t it obvious my brethren that there is power in the name of Jesus! When Peter and John stood before the authorities and were told to account for the healing of the crippled man, Peter said boldly, “Salvation [also healing] is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mane by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). The writer of the book of Hebrews tells us to fix our eyes on Jesus, “the author and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 3:1; 12:2). He is also the mediator of the New Covenant (Hebrews 12:24).
Now my brethren, why is it that men must attack, and try to destroy Jesus or replace Him with a phony man-made jesus? It is because, with Him intact, they must deny themselves, deny their religion, deny their works, and trust Him only for salvation—and those who are man-centered will not do it.
As I said above, “there is power in the name of Jesus!” It is a call to repentance (acts 2:38), it’s the name that heals the sick (Acts 3:6), it’s the name by which demons are cast our (Acts 16:18), and it’s the name that saves (1 Corinthians 1:2). While He walked this earth, men tried to destroy Him. In our day men deny Him. However, there is a day coming soon when “…that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth” (Philippians 2:10). Compare this Jesus to the milquetoast Jesus of Rob Bell, the Seeker Sensitive bunch, and the Joel Osteen crowd.
My brethren, Jesus Christ is Lord!
Soli Deo Gloria!