What's Wrong With
As you read the following scene, try to guess:
What's wrong with this picture?
"You know what I hate about Christians?" Ed asked Harry as they were
stumbling out of the bar.
"All Christians?" slurred Harry.
"No, no. Just the pushy ones. The kind that go around pointing a
finger in your face." Ed illustrated by raising a shaky finger in Harry's
direction. "I'm tired of them implying that I'm some sort of sinner."
"The nerve of them," Harry added.
"That's right. Who do they think they are?" continued Ed. "Don't they
know that Jesus said, Judge not your neighbor?"
"You're right," Harry said, stumbling again. "They make Jesus out to be
some sort of fire and brimstone-breathing meany."
"The truth is," Ed said, "He wouldn't send a fly to Hell."
"That's right, He didn't go around calling people sinners either."
Harry fumbled through his pockets. "You seen my keys?"
"No. Maybe those Christians should watch more Jesus movies."
"Yeah," chuckled Harry. "Then they would learn something. Here
they are! I found them."
"Give them to me, I'll drive," Ed said. "Jesus got along with everyone."
"Except those mean Roman soldiers."
"Yeah, look what they did to Ben Hur."
Turn the page to see if you guessed the right answer.
The problem with this picture is that it contains
three common misconceptions about Jesus Christ.
The First one is expressed by Ed when he says:
"Don't they know that Jesus said, Judge not your neighbor."
The teachings of Jesus Christ concerning judgment is one of the most misunderstood
subjects in the Bible. Many will try to paint Jesus as a person who never judged anyone.
But while Jesus did teach not to hypocritically judge others (Matt. 7:1-5). He certainly
didn't say not to exercise judgment when it comes to sin and false doctrine. He told His
disciples to: "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but
inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits.
Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth
forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit." (Mat. 7:15-17) This
"corrupt tree" is a picture of an unrepentant sinner. And Jesus Himself obviously
exercised judgment when He said: "Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn
down, and cast into the fire." Mat. 7:19
Some will even claim that Christ was so non-judgmental that He never called anyone a
sinner. But Jesus said: "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to
repentance." (Luke 5:32) To repent means to change your mind: forsake sin and
anything you may be trusting in to get you to Heaven (such as baptism, good deeds,
church membership, self-righteousness. . .) and place all your trust on Jesus' death and
shed blood as payment for your sins, making Him the Lord and Saviour of your life. And
when sinners refuse to repent, and die in their sins, Jesus will say to them on Judgment
Day: "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil
and his angels:" (Matt. 25:41). No one can read the preceding verses and conclude that
Jesus is not judgmental when it comes to sinners and their sin.
The Second misconception about Jesus Christ is a big one. Ed said:
"He wouldn't send a fly to Hell."
Yet Jesus actually taught more about Hell than He did about Heaven because He wants
no one to go there. In fact, Jesus warns us not to assume that God wouldn't send anyone
to Hell. He said: "But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after
he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear
him." Luke 12:5
Rejecting Christ is the worst thing anyone can do. Jesus said: "If a man abide not in
me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast
them into the fire, and they are burned." John 15:6
Unfortunately most people ignore these warnings and that is why Jesus said most are
NOT going to Heaven. He said: "Enter ye in at the strait gate [REPENT]: for wide is
the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction [HELL], and many there
be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which
leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." Mat. 7:13-14
The Third and final misconception is that:
". . . Jesus got along with everyone."
Common sense will tell you this cannot be true. Otherwise: why was He crucified in the
first place? In fact, throughout the gospels we find Jesus not getting along with the
religious leaders of His time because they had superceded the Scriptures with their
traditions and consequently were leading many people to Hell. During one encounter,
Jesus said to them: "But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye
shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in
yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. ...ye make him twofold
more the child of hell than yourselves." Matt. 23:13-15
Jesus didn't get along with them and He won't get along with unrepentant sinners
either. That is why He said: "The Son of man [Jesus Christ] shall send forth his
angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and
them which do iniquity [SIN]; And shall cast them into a furnace
of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth." Mat. 13:41-42
IF You were to die today, are you 100% SURE
you would go to Heaven? The Bible says
YOU CAN BE SURE (1 John 5:13).
BUT FIRST, you must realize that what keeps
you from going to Heaven are your sins, because:
"...your iniquities [sins] have separated
between you and your God," Isa. 59:2.
In fact, in God's eyes YOU ARE A SINNER: "For
all have sinned, and come short
of the glory of God;" Rom. 3:23.
And Jesus, referring to sinners, said that He:
"shall send forth his angels, and they shall
gather out of his kingdom all things that offend,
and them which do iniquity [sinners];
And shall cast them into
a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing
and gnashing of teeth." Mat. 13:41-42
SECONDLY, you must realize that there is
NOTHING you can do to save yourself and earn
Heaven: "For by grace are ye saved through
faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the
gift of God: Not of works, lest any man
should boast." Eph. 2:8-9 Baptism, good deeds,
church membership, self-righteousness are all
examples of good works that cannot save you,
because: "Not by works of
righteousness which we have done, but
according to his mercy he [Christ] saved
us," Titus 3:5.
THE ONLY WAY you can get saved
is through Jesus Christ. He said: "I am the
way, the truth, and the life: no man
cometh unto the Father, but by me."
(John 14:6) THAT'S WHY: "...while we were
yet sinners, Christ died for us."
(Rom. 5:8-9) THEREFORE: You must REPENT
(change your mind); admit that you are a Hell
deserving sinner and can't save yourself. And
call upon Christ, and Him alone, to save you.
"if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord
Jesus [REPENT], and shalt believe in thine
heart [TRUST] that God hath raised him
from the dead, thou shalt be saved." Rom. 10:9
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[Christian Helps Ministry (USA)] [Christian Home Bible Course]