“If there is no absolute beyond man’s ideas, then there is no final appeal to judge between individuals and groups whose moral judgments conflict. We are merely left with conflicting opinions.” —Francis Schaeffer
What did Jesus say when Pontius Pilate asked if he was a king? “ ‘You are a king, then!’ said Pilate.
“Jesus answered, ‘You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.’” John 18:37
Of all truths in the universe, the most important is the truth of who Jesus is. After all, Truth is not merely an impersonal moral standard. It is a living Person who loved us so much He bears on His hands eternal scars because He rescued us.
“Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life” John 6:47
The phrase “Truly I tell you” appears 79 times in Scripture, 78 times spoken by Jesus. He is the Truth, and He tells the truth. We can fully trust everything He says. His promises are written in blood.
Truth claims are exclusive. Jesus didn’t say He was a truth, but “the truth”. If someone says Jesus isn’t the primary truth, then either he’s wrong or Jesus is.
If we grasp this truth, we’ll undergo the ultimate paradigm shift: without Christ, any sacrifice we make is worthless. We are miserable without Jesus. Nothing we have can satisfy us. And even if it did, we couldn’t hold on to it.
When we hear Jesus tell us to take up our crosses and follow Him and say we should lose our lives for His sake, we’re tempted to think, “Too hard, I will never be happy.” But in fact, Jesus is saying our short-term sacrifices for Him are a means to an end, and that end is true and abundant life: “Whoever loses their life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 10:39).
Scripture is full of disheartening diagnoses, including that “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure” Jeremiah 17:9
But the Great Physician must tell us this hard truth so we can say,
“Create in me a clean heart, O God” (Psalm 51:10).
The Physician also promises,
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees” (Ezekiel 36:26-27).
Words that at first may sting us deeply don’t mean we are without hope, only that we cannot cure ourselves. But God has provided the cure:
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17
Eternal life is not found by believing in just any god but by believing in the “only true God.” False gods, both religious and secular, litter the landscape. “Jesus prayed, ‘Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent’” (John 17:3). The only true God is the one who sent the only true Savior, Jesus Christ.
Jesus gives us more than eternal existence. He gives us eternal life: “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” Ephesians 2:4-6
This great truth all hinges on the person and work of none other than Jesus.
God’s best and most perfect gift to us is Jesus Himself.
“All things were created through him and for him…and in Him, all things hold together” Colossians 1:16-17
How can we be anything less than optimistic? Our optimism is based squarely on realism: Jesus is real, atonement is real, resurrection is real, and Jesus soon coming Millennial Kingdom is real. The Gospel really is “good news.”
“They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.” Revelation 20:4-6