Alistair Begg – Proclaiming the Exclusivity of Jesus Will Result in Persecution

photo via truthendures.com

via truthendures.comby LigonierMinistries

Alistair Begg speaks on the exclusivity of Jesus and how in church history, and today, proclaiming it results in persecution.

Recorded at the Ligonier Ministries 2010 National Conference, „Tough Questions Christians Face” http://www.ligonier.org/learn/conferences/tough-questions-christians-face-2010-national/

If the early Christians had been prepared to have Jesus simply included in the Roman pantheon of the time, then they would have managed to avoid persecution. But they didn’t, and they couldn’t. The common greetings of the Roman world which affirmed the essential deity of Caesar as their leader and sovereign meant that as they walked in the thoroughfares with each other they would affirm on a daily basis that Caesar is Lord. And as Christians they took the opportunity to say, ‘No,’ that actually ‘Jesus is Lord.’ They were beginning to understand that every knee would finally bow to Jesus. And therefore there was a radical difference in the way in which they viewed the culture at their time.

All they had to do was simply allow Jesus to be included amongst the other deities of the time.

‘Just don’t make a fuss; just find a place for him; why do you have to be these kind of people; why do you have to make such a fuss and bother about Jesus of Nazareth? We’re perfectly happy to have a place for Jesus. Look, we already have a plinth for him, and you can put a bust of Jesus there just with the rest.’

‘No,’ they said, ‘we won’t do that.’ Then they said, ‘Well if you don’t do that, we’ll turn you upside down, we’ll stick you in the ground and we’ll set fire to you. If you don’t do that we will force you to capitulate, or you will die.’ And you’ve read enough church history to know that the context in which the affirmation of the exclusive claims of Jesus was made was one which resulted in the death of those who held most forcefully to it.

But we’re a long way away from there and today is a different day, is it not? Here we are in America. Persecution may not be physical for most of us, but it certainly is intellectual. It is social in the every day events of life. And the prevailing mood which allows us to even face this question is a mood which sets itself apart from certainties. That is, apart from every certainty except the certainty that there are no certainties. The notion that somehow or another there is truth to be discovered and to be defined is increasingly missing at every point in our society.

Also from Paul Washer

Persecution or Great Awakening?

Dr. R C Sproul – We Must Stand Firm on Biblical Authority, Exclusivity of Christ

(via) the Christian Post. Read entire article here. By Lillian Kwon

Evangelical theologians who firmly hold to the inerrancy and authority of Scripture are preparing to help fellow believers stand firm in their faith amid an increasingly hostile culture.

Dr. R. C. Sproul, who will be leading Ligonier Ministries’ West Coast Conference in June, argues that while Christians should „live peaceably with all,” there are times „when we have to contend for the faith.”

He pointed to the increasing push for the separation of church and state and the „new atheists,” whom Sproul describes as having an „extraordinary sense of boldness,” as examples of hostility toward Christianity.

Sproul, who founded Ligonier, was joined in the broadcast by Dr. John MacArthur, pastor of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, Calif. Both will be featured speakers at the June 8-9 conference in Seattle where they will address biblical authority, the resurrection of Jesus, and the exclusivity of Christ, among other doctrines.

„We have … a culture that’s basically allergic to taking firm stands on anything theological,” Sproul described. „The idea that’s rampant is that doctrine divides; what we’re trying to do is build relationships and so we should stay away from theological debates and controversy.”

Doctrine, the Sanford, Fla., minister admitted, does divide „because Christ divides, truth divides.”

Unfortunately, he lamented, people tend to „retreat into this relativism that says it doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you’re sincere.”

„What we’re saying is it matters eternally what you believe.”

MacArthur said he wants to „help folks see why we can firmly stand on the absolute truthfulness and authority of Scripture” and if Christians don’t, „then everything is lost.”

„We have to trust the Word, … stand on the firm revelation of Holy Scripture, proclaim it unhesitatingly and yet lovingly and watch God do His work, redeem His people, build His kingdom through His truth,” he asserted.

Also joining Sproul and MacArthur at the June conference is Steven Lawson, senior pastor of Christ Fellowship Baptist Church in Mobile, Ala.

The conference will „explore several doctrines that define true Christianity, including biblical authority, the Trinity, the resurrection of Jesus, the exclusivity of Christ, justification by faith alone, the mortification of sin, and the existence of God.”

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