Sunday, August 27, 2006

# 164: If Jesus Was Born on Dec.25, 1976

If Jesus Christ was reborn 30 years ago, how would He respond to modern religion in America and the world? This post will attempt to tell His most likely reactions. He was born in a Jewish ghetto in Shanty Town, U.S.A. His parents are devout Orthodox Jews. He was sent to a private school for Jewish children, paid for by Jewish charity.

Even in a strict orthodox Jewish environment, Jesus, as a young boy—having some memories of His experiences in His earlier life—was looked upon as an oddball by His peers and even His teachers; the confusion of His parents was remarkable. Many of the conversations He had with a few friends seemed like nonsense; even some of the replies He gave to His teachers and parents were way out of line as to what the Lord their God is like. Nevertheless, He never apologized for what He said, and for that reason, was disciplined many times, but still would not waver.

When Jesus became a teenager, the memory of His past became more vivid. With that in mind, He had a difficult time believing this was the same planet He lived on 2,000 years ago. Much of what He previously taught in Galilee and Judah, as mostly described in the New Testament, was distorted through additions, omissions and mistranslations; what disturbed Him even more was how many religious interpretations of His teachings were indescribably erroneous. Also, He was astounded by what was being taught in the synagogues and Christian churches which had absolutely nothing to do with the importance of living a righteous and holy life.

He knew His destiny was going to be somewhat similar to what happened to Him some 2,000 years ago; He again would attempt to persuade the multitudes, especially the Jewish community, to believe and live as He teaches, and that He is the promised Messiah incarnate to rescue Israel–spiritual deliverance from their enemy.

In the year 2006, He turned 30 years old. Jesus knew His way of life, what He believed and what He was about to teach, would be the most daunting challenge in existence. Of course, He knew that mere religious words had little or no power to persuade anyone as to the true way to His Father.

Before He started His ministry, Jesus spent many days in seclusion praying, being encouraged, and receiving last-minute information as to what and how He must teach and live.

Because of His EXCLUSIVE DEVOTION to the business of His Heavenly Father, He automatically was given power by His Father to perform miracles and heal many who were in distress, especially little children and babies. Without these supernatural events, He would be shrugged off by most as a religious fanatic with nothing better to do (exactly what many think of this author). Along with that, He was strongly criticized for not recognizing certain large Christian denominations as teaching the truth as displayed in the Bible.

The biggest advantage over His last ministry was that millions could see and hear everything He said and did via television, video cameras, and other forms of recording equipment. Therefore, regardless of some skepticism, there was little denying that what was happening was extra ordinary and most likely from God, although many religious groups believed otherwise since His most critical theme was to criticize the organized church per se.

Jesus started to have a fairly large following, even though the vast majority were following Him more as a novelty and not accepting His teaching as an absolute necessity to please God. They had seemingly legitimate reasons for not pledging their exclusive devotion to The Lord, although those reasons were not accepted as valid by Jesus Christ. He knew this would happen and accepted it as normal because of all the false teachings and all the ungodliness in the world that is being accepted as the status quo of Christianity.

As Jesus continued His ministry, His biggest opponents were religious people. The more religious they were, the more they opposed Him. This saddened Him greatly—doesn’t this sound like it was 2,000 years ago? Many secular people accepted His teaching as truth, but did not have the ability, because of lack of genuine desire, to change their lives.

His teaching and supernatural works were creating mixed emotions of turmoil and doubt in all parts of the world, especially with non-Christian religions. That goes to show that even with the truth staring the world right in the face, it is not easy, even if the desire is there, to change one’s beliefs and lifestyle.

Above and beyond all that He taught, according to the New Testament, His greatest accomplishment was with the healing of thousands of people and deformed children which could not be helped by conventional ways. The fact is that Jesus spent more time healing than he did teaching.

As I have mentioned many times in this blog, concerning the incompatibility of wealth and being a follower of Christ: His most rejected teaching concerning wealth is identical. He realized who His most formidable enemies were: Many, if not most, of His followers wanted to incorporate their present “Got-it-made” easy life of comfort, convenience, and leisure into Christ’s gospel message.

It would be extremely sad for children who are used to eating cake, ice cream, cookies, and other pleasurable sweet-tasting foods to be suddenly told, “From now on, your main diet will be spinach, broccoli, and other not-so-sweet foods.” They would rebel. The same is true for adults who have been accustomed to living the “Good Life” in the name of The Lord, to be suddenly told by Jesus Christ Himself, “That is not an acceptable form of Christianity.”

What really surprised Jesus—actually, it is unbelievable to Him—is all the ungodly stuff that was/is going on in the world. Most of the attitudes that are admired, desired, accepted and sought after are contrary to living the Christian life. For example, most students desire to earn a college degree in whatever so they can get a good-paying job and have life easy from then on; everyone, college student or not, desires to live the “good life”; we modern people desire to be entertained by television, movies, DVDs, the WWW, live performances, Internet porn and through whatever other means. If it doesn’t feel or taste good, we don’t want it; we forgot what it was to use some form of physical effort to go places; we preferred to use a motor vehicle, plane, bus, train, ship, etc. Could that mean we are lazy? Oops, I used that dirty four-letter word. “No, we are in a hurry and couldn’t live without fast transportation.” We spend wads of money on the semi-yearly vacation so we can get away from it all; new home, auto, clothes, motor homes, etc. so we can keep in style, etc.

Actually, all these above attitudes and things are not evil in themselves, but the evil they harbor is stealing precious time and money (loyalty) from the necessary and all-important activities that followers of Christ must be engaged in. As Jesus said over and over again, “Christianity is an active religion; no bystanders allowed.”

Of all Christ’s teachings, the following directive was the one He emphasized the most: (Jesus speaking) “Being a follower of Mine means to believe and live in the same manner as I live and believe; also, I command all GENUINE Christians to have the same attitude as I have. Do that and My Heavenly Father will give you the same ability and power as I have. All other pretend Christians can do as they see fit; I have no control over them. They take on My holy name and treat it like a dirty rag. That actually causes Me more physical pain than all other evils in this modern culture.”

As Christ’s anti-modern-Christian exploits claimed more and more media attention, there were secret talks between a few large denominations of some way to silence all this anti-church rhetoric and miracles, believing that this man who claimed to be the Christ, was a deceptive aberration of some form and not human. The main motive was to do God a favor by snatching Him and keeping him in seclusion without food and water until all the fervor about Him quieted down. By that time, Jesus would have been dead.

Before that plan was enacted, some orthodox Jews, who love money, had more to lose than other religions; since Jesus was a Jew, they decided to hire a hit man to finish Him off. Jesus knew the time was close when an event of epic proportions was about to unfold. He didn’t know exactly what it would be, although His mission was just about finished and the end was near.

Whenever Jesus came to a certain town, He, as usual, would spend some time in a pre-planned location on some college grounds, engage in candid dialog with several hundred students, answering questions that have mystified Bible scholars for centuries. His answers were more precious than any earthly treasure could equal. You may be able to identify a few of them in this blog.

As in everything Jesus ever said, it was being videotaped. Halfway through the get-together, a sudden enormous explosion killed every person there, leaving nothing but a gigantic crater. The perpetrators were never identified or apprehended.

The moral of this event was that “The truth hurts more than lies,” and retribution is in store for whomever, especially when it involves loss of reputation, finances and the good name of many religious leaders worldwide.

Here is the New Testament account of what Jesus said concerning what some religious people will do to Christ’s followers who are making every effort to do His work of testifying to the truth that hurts: John 16:2-3. “They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, a time is coming when everyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God. They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me.” Since this is what some of us can expect, I am ready; I hope you are also.

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