If you don’t accept Him as the true Savior you must conclude that He was a phony, a madman, or that His disciples started the greatest hoax on earth. So, who was Jesus?
PHONY? Could He have been merely trying to gain a following? If He was, He certainly wasn’t very successful–if you gauge success by power or financial gain. He turned many away by His high standards and His unwillingness to overlook hypocrisy and halfheartedness. And He certainly wasn’t tricking people to get their money. The evidence does not support the possibility that He was a charlatan.
MADMAN? Self-deceived? Sincere but deluded about His own identity? His words and actions do not reflect the behavior of a person who is mentally unstable. Such a charge against Him does not explain the miracles, the brilliance of His teaching, nor His resurrection.
HOAX? Could the disciples have been guilty of painting a picture of Jesus that was far bigger than life? It doesn’t make sense that all the disciples would conspire to create a monstrous lie that would contradict what they knew to be true. Would you die for what you knew was a lie? The disciples wouldn’t have either, yet most of them died as martyrs.
TRUTH? We have good reason to believe that the Bible presents an accurate picture of Jesus Christ. His fulfillment of prophecy, His impact on history, His life and teachings, and the response of His disciples all point to a conclusion that He was and is all that He claimed to be — the Son of God.
Have you personally put your trust in Him as the One who died for you and who offers to you forgiveness of sin? Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me”(John 14:6)
The following chart is based on Pascal’s evidence for following Christ. If you have a better way of saying it I would appreciate it if you would let me know.
|God Exists and Jesus Christ is His Son||God does not exist|
|You follow God||You get a joyous, peaceful life, You get Heaven, You lose sinful pleasures, you avoid the pains of sinful choices||You get a joyous, peaceful life, You die permanently, You lose sinful pleasures|
|You Don’t follow God||You get Hell and sinful pleasures as well as their consequences, You lose Heaven||You get sinful pleasures as well as their consequences, You die permanently|
In other words, there is more to lose if you don’t follow Christ than there is to gain. And there is more to gain by following Christ than there is to lose.
Learn more about the Philosophy behind Pascal’s Wager
In response to the belief that: “I think all religions are pretty much alike. You just do the best you can, and if there is a God, well, He’ll respect your sincerity.”
The following argument may be made:
“I think there is one thing that clearly separates Christianity from other religions. Every other religion is an attempt to please God. It’s all about trying to make ourselves look good or doing things to impress God. But we can never do that. True Christianity is all about Christ. It’s why Christ came to die. We can’t come to God without Christ and the sacrifice He made for our sins.”
“Jesus said that no one comes to the Father except through Him. Christ is what makes Christianity different from other religions.”
The above is an excerpt from Campus Journal, an out of print devotional from RBC.
Additional resources for religious comparisons:
CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS & RESEARCH MINISTRY
World Religions Index
Christianity, Cults & Religions Comparison Chart by Rose Publishing