To Know Jesus Christ Is To Be In Love With Him

“BACK TO SCHOOL.” One reason those dreaded words elicited a “Yuk!” from me is that very little I was taught arrested my attention. It was not until someone excitedly pointed me to the Word of God—and showed me how to understand it—that I became a passionate learner. When I first sat through a biblical curriculum, I couldn’t wait for the next session. I couldn’t get enough.

But what wasn’t made totally clear to me at first is that The Book is about The Man, Jesus Christ (Luke 24:27; John 5:39). Knowing the written Word—and obeying it—helps us know the Living Word, Jesus. In John 8:32, Jesus said that knowing the truth (and obeying it—John 14:21) makes one free. Truth has practical benefit. The converse is also true: believing (and trying to practice) error puts one in bondage in some practical way. Sure.

A skeptic is not someone who clings doggedly to groundless unbelief (like those who embrace the absurd and mathematically impossible idea that everything randomly came from nothing). Rather, a skeptic is one who suspends belief in something until sufficient evidence is provided to him. John 1:45–49 shows how Nathaniel’s initial skepticism evaporated when he came face-to-face with the Son of God.

Thinking people are hard pressed to believe the non-sense being pawned off today as “Christian” doctrine. In fact, it is pitiful what most Christians today are being taught. Let’s think seriously about a few major doctrines and the practical consequences of trying to believe them:

1. The insane fable of “the Trinity.” This absolutely ridiculous assault on reason, logic, linguistics, and Scripture is an insult to anyone’s intelligence. Every honest Trinitarian admits that it is nowhere in Scripture, but was concocted by theologians during the 4th and 5th centuries. And yet they say it is the “cornerstone” of Christianity, and that despite the fact that no one can either understand or explain it, we must believe it. Seriously, what kind of image do you think that gives God and His Son?

Practical consequences: Besides being idolatrous and confusing countless Bible passages, particularly those about holy spirit, the oxymoronic Trinitarian “God-Man” minimizes both the love of God and the heroism of Jesus. It took far more love for God to watch His Son mutilated and murdered than it would have for Him to somehow become a human being (which He says He is not—Num. 23:19). And if Jesus is God, what he accomplished in living a sinless life and enduring the torture of the Cross is unimpressive. Furthermore, the Trinitarian Jesus is out of reach as far as our identifying with him in any real way. In short, believing this lie makes it harder for someone to love God and Jesus. See One God & One Lord.

2. Dead people are alive in some inexplicable, non-corporeal form. The universal linguistic (and visibly obvious) definition of “death”—”the end of life”—is changed to mean “separation from God” and “passing” into another sphere of existence.

Practical consequences: This historically pagan myth makes death, which God calls an “enemy” (1 Cor. 15:26), a friend that introduces one to Jesus, and that can dilute one’s will to live. It also distorts the true Hope of Christ’s appearing to raise us to new life. It opens people to attending a séance to hear from a departed loved one. It diminishes the horrible reality of death and thus also diminishes the glory of resurrection, and it minimizes what Jesus did for us, making it harder to love him. See Is There Death After Life?

3. God is in control of everything that happens. This demonic lie has various offshoot untruths such as: everything that happens is God’s will; God has a master plan that includes unspeakable human tragedy and suffering; God has absolute foreknowledge; His ways are mysterious but we should not question them.

Practical consequences: Clearly, the biggest consequence of believing this monstrous lie is that it makes God and Christ nearly impossible to truly love. It also makes people fatalistic and haphazard in the life choices they make. And it renders prayer meaningless. See Don’t Blame God.

4. Some parts of the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) and the Four Gospels and the book of Revelation are speaking about Christians and are directly applicable for us.

Practical consequences: Misconstruing what parts of Scripture are written TO WHOM (Israel or Christians—past, present, or future) makes the Bible impossible to understand. Worse, trying to apply directives addressed to other people brings confusion and frustration that often leads to turning away from God and Christ. See The End Times.

We could add to the above list many other prevailing errors such as: salvation can be lost; speaking in tongues is a gift—or no longer available; not every Christian can utilize all nine manifestations; Christians will go through the Tribulation; we’re all going to “heaven” forever; women can’t teach in the Church; etc., etc., etc. Every one of the above topics is clearly exposited in One Day With The Creator. Do you have a copy? If so, please let us know how you like it.

Question: If you know the accuracy of the Word regarding these issues, why would you choose to align yourself with a group that promotes such debilitating fables? What do you hope to accomplish? How many people there have come to a knowledge of the Word you have shared with them? Could your time be better spent freely sharing the Truth with no fear of reprisal by the powers-that-be? And now you have a wonderful tool with which to do just that. One Day With The Creator is one of the greatest adventures in learning on the earth today. Why not use it to build a local fellowship of informed saints?

Satan’s goal in relentlessly distorting the written Word is to stop people from knowing the Lord Jesus Christ (and thus knowing God). Why? Because if one truly knows Jesus, he will love him and serve him.

A dear brother in Christ shared with me the following insight: Many teach that agape means, “the love of God.” That seems to fit in most instances, but not all. For example, Luke 6:32: “…Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them,” which is agapao in both places. Luke 11:43: the Pharisees “loved the chief seats in the synagogue,” and again it is agapao. It seems that a better definition of agape would be, “devotion at the exclusion of other things.” Phileo means ” to have an affection for,” which could be one love among many others. In the scintillating record in John 21, Jesus had Peter bring over the fish, which he didn’t need because he was already cooking some. Most likely pointing to the fish, Jesus asked him, “…do you love [agapao] me more than these?” That is, do you love me with a devotional love to the exclusion of other pursuits? Peter could not commit to that, and said, “You know that I love [phileo] you.” That is, I have affection for you, as I do for other things, such as fishing.

Are you in love with Jesus Christ? Is your devotion to him paramount? What behaviors would be evidence of a resounding “YES!” to those questions? Those in love with Jesus are more concerned with obeying him than fulfilling the status quo. A person who is in love with Jesus will do things that don’t always make sense in terms of success or wealth on this earth. People in love with Jesus do not consider service a burden. Those who love Jesus love people. They are known as givers, not takers.

A person in love with Jesus knows that the best thing he can do is be faithful to his Savior in every aspect of his life, continually saying, “Thank You!” and “I love you” to him. He knows there can never be intimacy with his Lord if he is unwilling to fearlessly look into the nuances of the sin that dwells in him so that the Lord can help him overcome it. He revels in his role as beloved child of God and friend of Jesus.

A big key to loving Jesus is understanding what he did for you. “We love because he first loved us.” This wonderful Man devoted every moment of his life to obeying God, for your sake. Ultimately, he saved you from everlasting death. We express our thanks to him by continuing the work he began, and he lives within us to help us do so. As we walk with him the path of faith that he blazed to the heart of God, he continually beckons us forward to that great day when he will gather us together to him.

Martin Luther once said: “There are two days on my calendar: this day and that day.” Well said. We are to pour our hearts into each moment of today with a view toward our glorious Hope of meeting our Lord in the air and receiving the rewards he has promised those who love and serve him.

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