All Saints Weekly Devotional

Volume 1 Number 36

October 11, 2012

Why Did Jesus Come to this Earth?

From Pastor Bordwine

 

It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.

(1 Timothy 1:15)

Preaching recently from 1 John, I examined John’s words concerning false teaching and the threat of antichrists. Sometimes, you don’t even have to leave your house to encounter these enemies of the gospel. With these topics still fresh in my mind, I decided to share this experience.

Early this morning, our doorbell rang and when I opened the door, there stood a well-dressed man and woman. I knew who they were immediately—or, I should say, I knew who they represented immediately.

Without delay, the man asked me a question: “Do you think that a lot of people these days are having trouble finding happiness?” Still drowsy and wearing jogging pants and a tee shirt, I mumbled something like “Yes, I would say so.” Then he added: “Did you know that Jesus talked about this problem a long time ago?” Apparently, this was a rhetorical question because he didn’t wait for my response. Instead, the man opened a book and pointed to what he said was the Gospel of Matthew.

With his finger resting on the page, the man stated that “In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said: ‘Those who find happiness will be blessed.’” As he explained, the man said: “This is why Jesus came to earth—to make us happy.” Before he could ask me if I wanted to be happy, I interrupted with a question of my own: “What is that book you just read from?” Thinking he had just met the ideal candidate for proselytization, the man raised the book to eye level and replied: “This is the Bible.”

At that moment, the conversation took an uneasy turn as I said: “I don’t think so.” The eyes of the woman popped open wide as she turned to look at her friend. For his part, the man remained cool and collected. My guess is that he had faced an experience like this before. Whatever the case, I didn’t wait for his answer. Instead, I added: “Jesus never said anything like that in His Sermon on the Mount. And I know for a fact that Jesus didn’t come to Earth to make us happy.” [NOTE: The Jehovah’s Witnesses “bible” is called The New World Translation and falsely claims to be a faithful translation of ancient Biblical texts.]

The man shot back: “I assure you that this is the Bible. It was produced by a host of Hebrew and Greek scholars based on many, many ancient manuscripts.” Being quite familiar with the history of his book, I asked: “Which ancient manuscripts?” “Well, we aren’t here to debate such technical details,” the man said.

“Do you see the reliability of your book as a mere technical detail,” I responded. “No, no, that’s not what I meant,” the man answered, “My purpose for being here today is to help people find what Jesus offers.” “Happiness?” I asked. “Is that all people need—happiness? What about sin? What does your book say about sin?”

“Well, we believe that people hear enough bad news. They need to hear something encouraging,” the gentleman declared. “But wouldn’t it be most helpful to tell people how God sees them so that they could then learn about His provision of salvation?” I responded.

By this point, I was a little annoyed as I thought of the deception this man was taking from door to door in my neighborhood. I decided to end the conversation: “Jesus came to Earth because we were condemned before God. We were helpless and hopeless and faced the wrath of a holy God. As my Substitute, Jesus came to pay the penalty demanded by God’s perfect justice. I didn’t need happiness, I needed redemption. Does your book say anything about such things?”

The man did not respond immediately, but reached into his briefcase and pulled out some literature, which he handed to me. “May we leave this material with you?” he asked, “It will tell you more about us and the wonderful message we have to share.” As I took the pamphlets, I said: “After I read these, I may have some more questions for you. How do I contact you?” Already making his way down the sidewalk, the Watchtower agent said back over his shoulder: “Contact information is printed inside.”

Although this is a simple report on something I experienced, it does have devotional value. My conversation with the representative of the Watchtower Society gave me three points to ponder. First, threats against the pure gospel of Jesus Christ are still very active in this world. In fact, as long as the Church preaches the gospel, we can expect determined opposition to remain. This opposition is deceptive by nature; it consists of lies. Therefore, we should be vigilant in guarding our own hearts and those of others by committing ourselves to the defense of the gospel.

Second, we should be thankful that God has given us a gospel that is true, reliable, defendable, and, above all, supernatural. Our problem as fallen men and women was one that required divine intervention. We have that power of God in the gospel. Jesus Christ came to this Earth according to the merciful provision of God for our redemption.

Third, Christians need not be intimidated when it comes to confronting false teachers. I say that because God has given us the truth. It is not difficult to expose error when you know the truth.

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