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August 29, 2020 1:00 am
Christianity claims to be the only way, but so do some other religions. How do you know which one is true? What makes Christ different from other religions figures? This week on Let My People Think, RZIM's Founder, the late Ravi Zacharias, examines these questions as he explores the uniqueness of Christ in world religions.
Do you realize in order to explain unity and diversity in the event my more and more convinced I would have to be unity and diversity in the first cause, and only in the Christian dogma is the unity and diversity in the doctrine of the Trinity, the first you see the unity and diversity within the doctrine of the Trinity and the community that is established distinction, yet identity and purpose of being one in all of that. How does this work out in life you hear it all the time from skeptics.
All religions are fundamentally the same is on Lilo markets that my people think last week Ozzie iambs found that the late Ravi Zacharias sat how the claims of Christ stand apart from. When you examine his life and his teaching defined it only provides an onset to the dark reality of human nature. Today will be joined Ravi if he continues absolute and present steam of vital points that set Jesus apart in the conclusion of his theories uniqueness of Christ and while predicting so we've established the law of non-contradiction that the laws of logic apply to reality.
We've established the fact that we have been attacked by one principle of the philosophy around a belief system around today, but that belief system self-destructs in its philosophical assumptions. So let me take the person of Christ and his uniqueness in the religions of the world and if you bed long enough, you will see how marvelously the applications move from one mind to another, each with its distinctive strength. First is Jesus's description on the reality of human nature. The reality of human nature. He knew what was in the hearts of men and women. Evil is not victimless, it victimizes the very person like one of the judges at the Nuremberg trials said after I took the life of the first innocent man, I was no longer the same person. What you do with this. How we going to change it.
How are we going to change it. I have a beautiful story that I tell I love it so much. Nothing expresses it better of these two very wealthy men who were rather immoral people. Both of them were pretty bad in their behavior and they were notorious in the city and all of a sudden one of them suddenly died and so the surviving brother went to the local preacher and said would you preach at my brothers funeral and the preacher didn't want to do it.
The surviving brothers give you a fat lot of money and name the amount is what I'd like you to breach of the funeral and only do me one favor in the middle of your eulogy of my brother. He assumed there was none of your eulogy is in the middle of the eulogy of my brother will you just refer to him as a saint and I'll pay you what I said I would. The preacher was a good business manager decided to take on the challenge and the day of the funeral came and he waxed eloquent and he said the man you see lying on the coffin is a motor he's a liar is an adult or he's duplicitous is done every dirty rotten stinking thing.
Your mind can think of, but compared to his brother is a sign.
Who are you compared to someone else, maybe a saint compared to someone else. The Bible describes sin not only in transgression. It describes sin is coming short of the glory of God coming short of the glory of God. And I want you to know that the powerful treatment that Jesus gives to this whole issue of the nature of man and sin is felt more and more in our world today than ever before. Just think about it. The 20th century has been the most bloodletting century in history.
Think about that and we are supposedly in the age of progress. I think of the hearts around the world. I think of the slaughter of infants in all the rights that we now claim to ourselves. I think of the tragedies, so much so that one recent appointee of President Clinton when he was being quizzed by the Senate committee for his confirmation describe the world as a thousand points of darkness, a thousand points of darkness.
One of the men I had as a hero in my teenage years was the great tennis player Arthur Ashe who just died of AIDS. Very recently he was a gentleman on and off the court and through a blood transfusion contracted the disease and died. I did not hear it directly. My sister quoted it to me and I was using it at Harvard University some time ago speaking and all of the students nodded their head when I said it, so I assume it is exactly as it was communicated to me he said I have lived with a lot of pain in my life, including AIDS, having gained it innocently, he said, but nothing has hurt me more. Please hear me than the pain that I have felt for the rejection of my race. Think of a man dying of AIDS saying to you, not to me. You and me to the world nothing is hurt me more than the pain. I have experience before, but the rejection of my race lips of dying men seldom lie how we going to change this. How are we going to change this. Please believe me it will never happen. Just because we institute new laws in any land unless we understand the nature of the human heart and the unique onset that Christ gives. We will never be able to change it. Listen to Hobart Mara one time president of the American psychological Association. Who else ultimately ended up committing suicide in the American psychologist in 1960 said this for several decades.
We psychologist looked upon the whole matter of sin and moral accountability is a great incubus and acclaimed our liberation from it as epochmaking, but at length, we have discovered that to be free in the sense that is to have the excuse of being sick rather than sinful is to court the danger of also becoming lost. This danger is, I believe betoken by the widespread interest in existentialism which we are presently witnessing in becoming amoral and ethically neutral and free. We have cut the very roots of our being lost.
Our deepest sense of self within identity and would neurotics themselves find ourselves asking who am I what is my deepest destiny. What does living mean the reality of human nature is best portrayed in the teaching of Christ and even secular, atheistic psychologist as Hobart Mara was that something is been lost when we lost the understanding of the dog Marson and he said when he wrote that article he received more letters to him than any other thing he'd ever written is trying to recover concept of sin.
The reality of human nature secondly is the spirituality of genuine worship. The uniqueness of Christ.
The spirituality of genuine worship Jesus rescued us from the tyranny of limiting worship to geographical boundaries and building here that he rescued us from the tyranny of the restricting worship to geographical locations and buildings. You know that entire tragedy, which India today captured under two words on the front page of the cover of danger today magazine.
India's shame is what it called it the destruction of the mosque by some fanatics because they said it was holy ground and belonged to one of the gods of their pathology and so on. How tragic to inflict things like this, while men and women would killed children were killed because worship was restricted to a certain geographical location. When you go to the Old Testament. You see something fascinating happening.
God is describing the tabernacle for Moses.
He says this make it so high and no higher so wide and no water so long and no longer use such and such a material usage and such a person. You such and such colors. There were very specific directives. There was no equivocation on it. This is the way it had to be. And Moses comply. But you see in our day. We had church buildings. We don't have tabernacles or temples of world where specific directions were given. Why is that because as Christ taught us we don't go to the temple anymore. We take the temple with us. So when 300 people gathered together for worship. It is not 300 people going into a sanctuary, but 300 sanctuaries gathering at the point so that we could be rescued from the tyranny of a locational worship and how this body has become sacred because of that to think that on these flesh and bones. God himself has branded the fact that I can. How does the very living God.
Christ in me.
That's what David Livingstone, the last words he etched on a rock Christ in me David Livingstone Christ in you as a believer. Jesus gave us the reality of human nature. The spirituality of genuine worship. Certainly the purity of his own person. Which of you convinces me of sin. I find no fault in this man, but what I think I want to draw here is very significant.
I know the last time I was here I gave you that beautiful thought, which is like a treasured nugget in my own life now. Remember what I mentioned to you how the pursuit of the Hebrews was light the pursuit of the Greeks as knowledge and the pursuit of the Romans was glory. The Hebrews pursued light rock Greeks knowledge in Romans glory and I said how the apostle Paul said God has caused his light to shine in our hearts to give to us the light in the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ Jesus. Remember how in the convergence of the person of Christ like knowledge and glory. Converge let me stretch that point a little more peaceful now.
Anything you create.
At best, will be somewhat different from you. Anything you create. At best, will be somewhat different from you. It may be similar, but never be essentially the same.
So an artist can do a self-portrait. The sculptor can do a self-portrait on stone and you can create all kinds of pieces of musical works of art and so on. It may be a similarity to you, but it would be different to you only that which is begotten is identical to the begetter and Jesus Christ is the begotten of the father.
I and the father are one. And in that garden of Gethsemane.
This one who is begotten of the father, impeccable and spotless praise and in his prayers. He refers to God as his holy father as his holy father. Now here's the dramatic truth. In Christian faith. When the Holy Spirit works within our heart that internal charge we become begotten of the spirit and when we are begotten of the spirit and the Christ comes in lives within us, we can lay claim because of his purity, his work and his regeneration. We too can turn to God and call them holy father so the purity of Christ is not merely an abstract dogma that purity which is so marvelous that light, knowledge, and glory converges. There is no religious teacher in history repeat that there is no profit in history. There is no apostle in history. None of them can ever affirm what Jesus did, even in fact, the Koran refers to him as born of the virgin without any fall, do you realize that the greatest pursuit of the philosophers has been to find unity in diversity to find unity in diversity. Socrates tried it. Plato tried it. Aristotle tried it. Aristotle's best known student was Alexander the great. Alexander the great. Tried to take Aristotelian philosophy and unify the world and Greek language and Greek thought unity and diversity has been a historical pursuit. In fact, the very word University means trying to find unity in diversity in the American coins you have these words. E pluribus unum, which means out of the many, one. The melting pot, but finding unity. The very word quintessence, which literally means the fifth essence comes from the Greek philosophers when you think back that they said there were four essences art and water fire somebody said what is the fifth essence that unites these four essences.
What is the quintessence of life.
So it is a purpose.
You know University unity and diversity.
Whatever it is.
Do you realize in order to explain unity and diversity in the effect I am more and more convinced I would have to be unity and diversity in the first cause, and only in the Christian dogma is the unity and diversity in the doctrine of the Trinity in the first cause you see the unity and diversity within the doctrine of the Trinity and the community that is established distinction, yet identity and purpose of being one in all of that.
How does this work out in life. The unity and diversity doctrine coalesces my own life. It coalesces my own life in the worship of Christ whom I can worship in spirit internally and in truth within boundaries that he's established Archbishop William Temple defined worship in these words he said. Worship is the submission of all of my nature to God. It is a quickening of conscience by his Holiness, nourishment of mind by his truth purifying of imagination by his beauty opening of the heart to his love and submission of will to his purpose. All this gathered up in adoration is the greatest expression of which we are capable quickening of conscience by his Holiness, nourishment of mind by his truth, purifying of imagination by his beauty opening of the heart to his love and submission of will to his purpose. The coalescing of all of my faculties in the unity of worship to remember the film chariots of fire are the Scottish runner Eric, little is challenged by his sister in that film. She says Eric you're giving up so much to order to win this gold medal and he says to her journey God has made me for a purpose for China but he's also made me fast and when I run. I feel his pleasure is seen not only his missionary activity was an expression of his worship of God. So was is running on the track and field, and when his gold medal was over, but it was over with. He wanted he was gone on to a missionary in China and he lived his life of worship which was coextensive with all that he did so we worship not only when we take the Lord's supper we worship even with we are out in a tennis court taking the exercise that the body needs as an expression of my gratitude to God. Worship is the unity in diversity. So we've got here in Jesus. The reality of human nature.
The spirituality of genuine worship. The purity of his own person the unity in life's diversity and lastly the continuity of life beyond the grave. The continuity of life beyond the grave. It is interesting to read in the chronic writings where they describe the Jesus did raise people from the dead is found in the current very interesting that he did raise people from the dead. Of course, today our entire Christian doctrine hangs on that pagan Paul said of Christ be not raised from the dead, that our faith is all in vain. But put yourself in the place of the disciples, who all of a sudden lost it when they saw him on two pieces of timber dying such a shameful death and then his body is taken and tucked away. They were hiding like a bunch of frightened Boy Scouts, not knowing what to do with there tomorrow themselves.
And as they pondered that in the marvelous breaking of the chains of death as Jesus emerge alive as he prophesied he would destroy this temple.
He said, and three days in in three days I will raise it up and you go back right to the Old Testament to see the prognostication of his resurrection.
You see it in the New Testament to very different to some of these mythical legends that people espoused some some remote mystery religion somewhere but here it is. He said that would not be able to hold him he was going to go back to being glory with his father. Prepare a place so that we could go and that dogma of the resurrection fuses life with such hope and such guaranty because our home is not just here for now, but our home is ultimately in a realm with God himself. Have you ever pondered on this one idea what would you do to frighten Lazarus after he'd been raised from the dead. Is there anything you could do to say to him. I'm going to scare you, Lazarus, i.e. I'm gonna kill you. There is a well-known play by Eugene O'Neill entitled Lazarus laughed because Caligula is going around killing the Christians and everybody's getting scared ugly bumps in the Lazarus and is is Lazarus I want to kill you of your Christian Lazarus goes, and the argument goes back and forth and finally says Lazarus one more ha ha how to view your going to be a dead man and Lazarus bends over in uncontrollable laughter. Now comes up for air and says, haven't you heard Caligula death is dead. Death is dead. How do you frighten somebody who's already been there and knows the one dilemma GK Chesterton wrote it so beautifully in the words he put words into Lazarus is bound body coming out of the tomb. He says this after one moment when I bowed my head in the whole world turned over and came up right.
I walked again where the old road shone white and heard what men said the sages have 100 maps to give that trace their crawling cosmos like a tree. They rattle reason out through many assume that stores the dust and lets the gold go free and all these things are less than dust to me for my name is Lazarus and I live all these things are less than dust to me for my name is Lazarus and I live. Billy Graham said once he was in the offices of Conrad Adenauer, Mayor of Cologne and the Chancellor of Germany succeeding Hitler and Adenauer Oscar Billy Graham to come and visit him and he looked at the young evangelist, eyeball to eyeball asked him a lot of questions and then he went over to the window looking across the ruins of the city and he says Mr. Graham, I want to ask you a question. He said do you really believe that Jesus rose from the dead.
Do you really believe in the resurrection of the dead, those who are in Christ. As he looked over the debris of his befallen city Billy Graham the nervous young evangelist said Mr. Adenauer.
If I didn't believe in the resurrection of the dead because of Christ.
I would not be preaching the gospel and Adenauer continued look outside and this great 20th-century statesman said this to the young evangelist. He said Mr. Graham outside of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. I know of no other hope for mankind outside of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
I know of no other hope for mankind. I promise to review these words earlier on, let me end with this and then I'll be true. Believe me, have clipped a lot, but you're grateful for that to GK Chesterton ends his classic book orthodoxy with these words. As I think of the joy that awaits us when we see him face-to-face. Our Lord in all of this purity and the splendor and in his high priestly prayer. He prayed that we would be with him so that we could see him in his glory. I think of Peter and James and John at the top of the mountain so stunned by the transfiguration. What is heaven going to be like because was it not Don works on the songwriter who said when engulfed by the terror of tempestuous these unknown ways before you roll in the end of trials and so on is your destiny and Devon fear and conflict seizes your soul, he said, but just think of stepping on shore and finding it heaven of touching her hand and finding it guards of breathing new air and finding it. Celeste Teal of waking up in glory and finding a toll.
That's the destiny, the bliss here is a marvelous way in which Chesterton ends his book orthodoxy. I love the stanza. I wish I could quoted verbatim but I blew some of the beauty he has here joy which was the small publicity of the pagan is the gigantic secret of the Christian listen that again joy which was a small publicity of the pagan is the gigantic secret of the Christian see because for the pagan. Only the peripheral questions are on so the fundamental ones are not there for Joy's peripheral foramen and sorrow is fundamental for the Christian joy is fundamental and sorrows peripheral so joy which was a small publicity. The pagan is the gigantic secret of the Christian and as I close this chaotic volume I open again the strange small book from which all Christianity came and I'm again haunted by a kind of confirmation. This tremendous figure of Jesus which fills the Gospels powers in this respect, as in every other about all the thinkers who ever taught themselves tall. His pathos was natural, almost casual the Stoics, ancient and modern were proud of concealing their tears. He never concealed his tears. He showed them plainly on his face at any daily site such as the far side of his native city. Yet he did conceal something solemn supermen and Imperial diplomatists are proud of restraining their anger.
He never restrained his anger. He flung furniture down the front steps of the temple announcement, how they expected to escape the damnation of hell. Yet he restrained something. I say it with reverence that was in that shattering personality or thread that must be called shyness. It was something that he had from all men. When he went up to a mountain to pray. There was something that he covered constantly by abrupt silence or impetuous isolation. There was some one thing that was too great for God to show us when he walked upon our earth and I have sometimes fancied that it was his mirth.
I have sometimes fancied that it was his mirth is joy, his laughter and I say to you that is the glory that John saw in the Revelation and the beauty of what was going on no longer everyone fell down and said holy, holy, holy, this Christ who understood the reality of human nature through his purity bringing unity and diversity ultimately has the continuity in our lives to take us to our very heavenly dwelling. There is no one in history like our blessed Lord Jesus, and that is the truth as he is unique amongst the religions of the world listening to the conclusion of the message from Ozzie.
I am found that the late Ravi Zacharias titled the uniqueness of Christ and weld relating antique and pad to Christ's reality with the man-made religions of the wild. We hope the thoughts and insights. He sat and encourage Steve and giving further understanding to the passion of Christ and the gift of faith to each one of us that his plan for our lives is not always easy. He offers the fulfillment, pathos, and love that no other weld pecan and its completeness stage is available in both ODA and VBA format. If you would like to order a copy. Be sure to cool us at 1-800-448-6766 and off for the title.
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