Life.Church Pastor Craig Groeschel said many people only accept notions about Jesus forgiving sinners and doing miracles but are often dismayed by His "exclusive" teachings.
Groeschel made his remarks in a sermon on May 15 as part of a series called "Doubting God," in which he told his Edmond, Oklahoma-based megachurch that people are often willing to engage in debates about God until it contains Jesus' "exclusive" teachings.
When a celebrity claims they've been "praying to God" or a professional sportsperson thanks God after winning a game, Groeschel says nobody flips out. He claimed tension begins when people started to hear the name of Jesus.
The author of "Winning the War in Your Mind" alludes to the idea that people can lose out on Jesus' entire ministry if they concentrate solely on the love and miracles that occurred during His life. Groeschel said that while it's fine to focus on Jesus' many strange and incredibly modest miracles, he believes it's also important for people to consider Jesus' "exclusive" sayings.
Groeschel cited John 11 as an example of Jesus' "exclusive" and "strong" claims. In that verse, Jesus met with Mary and Martha after their brother Lazarus died, which He said "I am the resurrection and the life." The pastor explained it was a bold claim.
The pasot also cited the time when Jesus said "I am the Lord of the Sabbath," when Pharisees confronted Him for performing a miracle during the Sabbath.
Another one was when He boldly declared, "If you love your mother or father more than you love Me, you're not worthy of Me."
Groeschel used another passage from John's Gospel, in which Jesus claimed to be the same as God the Father. In addition, Jesus stated that He is the only route to salvation.
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Salvation Through Jesus Christ Alone
Groeschel disputed the prevalent notion that there are many paths to God, claiming that while most world faiths have some truth and beauty, they "are not all the same." He went on to explain Christianity wherein a personal God who loves His people unconditionally, became one of them in the person of Jesus, and sacrificed His life for the redemption of sins.
The preacher claimed that whereas every other religious founder was a regular human, Jesus was God in the flesh who came out in the world and this fact sets Christianity apart from every other world religion. He said many Eastern religions will try to separate people from this world. Such religion challenges people to overcome the world through stages of mindfulness. While in the West, many would emphasize the importance of good morals and good works to attain Heaven after death.
However, in Christianity, God so loved the world that He sacrificed His beloved Son to save the world from eternal death, according to John 3:16. God knows that people can't save themselves, the pastor explained. He assured his congregation of God's promise that one day He would fulfill His eternal promise, emphasizing that Christian belief is not just a temporary escape.
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