Pastor’s Pen: More than Jesus can change lives
“Come to Jesus because Jesus changes lives.” You may have heard that statement or even used it in talking with others about Christ. I’ve heard it many times as well and, honestly, it has bothered me. Even worse is this statement: “Only Jesus can change your life.”
Really? Is Jesus truly the ONLY one who can change lives? I have to respectfully disagree. I think that other people and even circumstances can change lives.
For example, I’ve been working in youth ministry for over 15 years. I have witnessed guys that don’t know Jesus who have been in trouble or even went to jail. They’re lives were a mess. Some of those guys upon finding out they will be fathers have a life change. They begin to take responsibility, find jobs and be there for their child. They go from completely selfish living to an unselfish life, living for this small human being.
I know others who have accepted religions like Buddhism and Islam. This new found faith changed their lives. They are no longer angry and giving into every temptation that comes their way. They have found peace in this religion and find it has changed their lives.
But even those who do not believe in God at all have life changes. Some see others in turmoil while they themselves have plenty. They go from taking in for themselves to giving to others.
If we come to Jesus only because He changes lives than we can just as easily claim that having a baby, getting a job, losing a loved one, having a near death experience, finding a new religion, serving overseas, or a host of other circumstances and people are just as valid as Jesus Christ.
But I don’t have faith in Jesus because He changed my life. Does He change lives? Yes, but that’s not why I trust Him. It helps to support what He says, but that’s not what makes Him unique. I believe in Jesus because He is God and the evidence backs up His statement.
Past prophecy predicted Jesus’ coming. It was completely accurate on a scale greater than having one chance to pick out a quarter with an “x” on it from a pile encompassing the entire USA while blindfolded. It’s a mathematical impossibility. Yet Jesus fulfilled all those prophecies. He was also verified as living and doing miraculous things and saying He was God from various sources both inside the writings of Scripture and outside of Scripture.
His resurrection was also witnessed by many and those who saw it died for that truth. Historically He proves who He is. Theologically He verifies who He is. And He definitely made the claim that He was and is God, showing that He was either crazy or He is God.
I also have faith in Jesus because He is the only way to the Father. In John 14:6 Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” He is the only way a person can be saved from eternal death and into eternal life. Does Jesus change lives? Yes, most definitely.
But even more exclusive than that, He saves people from the judgment to come and makes them completely innocent before God. Other religions and people and circumstances may change me, but they can never save me. That’s something only Jesus can do.