By Nathan Jones
Who really is Jesus Christ?
Dr. David Reagan and I on our ministry's television show Christ in Prophecy had the pleasure of asking this question of Eric Barger of Take a Stand! Ministries. Eric is an authority on the cults, the New Age, and rock music today. From his past as a former drug addict and rock n' roll musician who was deeply involved in the New Age movement, Eric has emerged since he gave his life to Jesus Christ to become a great defender of Christianity in America. He joined us to answer the most frequently asked questions by non-Christians about the Bible and Christianity.
Dr. Reagan: We're talking about questions that both Christians and non-Christians most frequently ask about Christianity and about the Bible. This is a question that both Christians and non-Christians struggle with. Was Jesus just a man? Was He only a great prophet? Who was Jesus and who is He today?
Eric Barger: Scriptures teach He was fully God and fully man. Jesus is God in the flesh. He came and fulfilled the many, many prophecies that the Messiah had to fulfill in order to be called the Messiah. Jesus is the Messiah that the Jews are looking for. He's the one who the Gentiles are looking for. He is the Savior of all men who would come to Him. The Bible says in John 3:16, "For God so loved the world He sent His only begotten Son." This is what are told in Scripture. This is what the Scriptures speak about concerning Him. "That whosoever believeth in Him would never perish or have eternal life." That's the Jesus we serve. He is God incarnate and the One who fulfilled all of the prophetic passages.
Dr. Reagan: The Bible teaches us that Jesus lived a perfect life and never sinned, therefore when He died He did not die for His sins, but instead He died for our sins. Our sins were place upon Him. His righteousness was transferred to those who in faith believe in Him. Jesus had to die for the sins of mankind, to reconcile us with God.
Why do you believe in such a bloody religion?
Dr. Reagan: Another question that people always throw at Christians is, "Why do you have a belief in such a bloody religion?"
There was a woman in New York City just recently who as the pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in New York City called a press conference and said to the effect, "I'm fed up with the bloody religion of Christianity." She's a graduate of Baylor University, as a matter of fact. She went on, "I'm fed up with this religion. I have decided we're just going to take all the songs out of the song book that refer to blood. I'm not going to preach about blood." Well, I thought, you're going to have to change the name of your church, for "Calvary" refers to the blood of Christ. Here is a Christian leader saying this. What is it about the blood?
Eric Barger: The blood is an offense to the Devil. I believe that it is the most feared weapon in the arsenal of the Christian. I really do. I believe the blood is the demarcation line between death and life. It's where our sins were paid. It's the difference between Satan having control over each and every human and those who will follow Jesus, being saved because of His precious blood sacrifice.
By the way, the Emergent Church hates the blood. They want a relationship with God, but no bloody cross between us and God.
Dr. Reagan: The Mormon religion will not have a cross anywhere. The cross is offensive to a Mormon.
Eric Barger: And yet, they believe Jesus sweat blood in Gethsemane.
Nathan Jones: Hebrews 9:22 tells us, "In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness." In other words, we have to have something sacrificed on our behalf. So, like the Old Testament, yes they had lots of animal sacrifices, but those animals died in the place of the people for a temporary covering until Jesus who is the ultimate sacrifice died for our sins.
No, Christianity isn't a bloody religion, it is in truth a religion of love. Where else does the Creator God give up His own blood so that we can be saved? Christianity isn't a religion of death and destruction, but a religion of love and grace.
Eric Barger: I mentioned Gethsemane a minute ago, and I want to clarify that, because somebody will hear that and not get the whole picture. We believe that according to the Bible Jesus in Gethsemane sweat blood too, but Mormons never talk about the cross in Mormonism. Gethsemane is the only place that the blood of Jesus is spoken about inside Mormonism, where He sweat great drops of blood.
In the fifth and last segment of this series concerning common questions from non-believers, we'll cover a few questions including, "Why do bad things happen to good people?"