Truth Tuesday: Who Died and Made You God?!

A New Testament-inspired role-playing video game called “I Am Jesus Christ” was to be released in 2020 and would allow gamers to portray Jesus Christ.

Polish game developer PlayWay released a trailer for “I Am Jesus Christ” on YouTube on December 6, 2019, and shows how gamers can play out events in Jesus’ life, such as performing miracles for points. The game also depicts the crucifixion, and Jesus’ resurrection as the stone is rolled away from the tomb.

“I am Jesus Christ” is a realistic simulator game inspired by stories from the New Testament of the Bible; the company is hopeful that hard-core gamers will be intrigued and see this as a creative way to evangelize. The company also is optimistic that those same gamers will enjoy checking to see if they can perform all the famous miracles from the Bible–like Jesus Christ. It is a simulation game, and you can try to save the world as He did, fight with Satan in the desert, cure sick people, or calm the storm in the sea.

Delusions of Grandeur

I don’t know how popular, successful, or effective this game will be at evangelism. Still, I know that for years, as a community mental health counselor, I would come across several people who were dealing with delusions of grandeur (usually un-medicated people who have bipolar disorder and schizophrenia) who were convinced that they were convinced they were Jesus Christ.

Unfortunately, Jesus Himself, while warning His disciples of what would happen around the world right before His second return back to it, gave this specific warning: “‘Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, “I am the Messiah,” and will deceive many'” (Matthew 24: 4, 5, NIV).

In fact, you might be interested to know that the website “The Fuel Project” keeps a rolling list of the people who have, over time, claimed to be Jesus. By their count, thirty-five people have claimed to be the Son of God. And I’m sad to say that many thousands—if not—millions of people lost their money (and many: their lives) while believing this lie of lies!

I don’t know about you, but as I read about these names and learned about the many atrocities they committed literally in the name of Jesus, the question kept bouncing around in my head: how could they have been fooled to the point where they thought that these human beings were Jesus?! I could explain it to you, but it would literally take me about twenty pages—because I wrote a paper on this in college—but I digress.
In my estimation, and yours, too, I hope, is the most crucial question that must be asked: “How can you and I ensure that we are not fooled into thinking that someone is Jesus when they’re really not?”

The Son = Life!

“. . . God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:11-12, NIV).

I’m constantly amazed that when many people–even Christians–hear this verse, they get bothered, upset, offended . . . and some of them get really angry! When the Apostle John wrote this, his goal wasn’t to be mean, intolerant, or disrespectful. He was simply stating a reality of life. To make sure you don’t miss this profoundly important truth, here it is: If you have accepted Jesus’ offer to switch His life for yours, then you’ve got eternal life. If you haven’t done this, all you have is eternal death.

It would be silly to get angry with somebody and call them intolerant and a bigot if you told them that if they tried to go scuba diving without a tank of air, they would die! If a doctor told you that you would die if you didn’t take a specific medicine for your illness, why would you get angry? The doc’s just stating a simple fact! But the same holds true with our relationship with Jesus. John, who knew Jesus personally, says it like this: “In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind” (John 1:4, NIV). John’s equation is: Jesus = life! Simple–right? Wrong!

Once Saved, Always ____?

Today, many people want to split hairs, make excuses, and ask convoluted questions to complicate this issue when it is pretty straightforward. We all have to ask ourselves today–and hopefully ask others as well–this: do you have Jesus? How can you have somebody?

Okay, I’ll admit, it’s a difficult concept to explain; let me ask it another way: does Jesus have you? You know what I mean, don’t you? This is the difference between only knowing about Jesus and knowing Jesus. This is the difference between asking: “would doing __________ be breaking any commandments or rules?” vs. asking: “would doing ___________ pull me further from Jesus or draw me closer to Him?” It’s the difference between a: “how much can I get away with and still slide into Heaven by the skin of my teeth attitude” vs. an: “I hate things that will hurt my relationship with Jesus, and I want to stay as far away from sin as I possibly can” attitude.

Many people see Jesus simply as a ticket to stay out of hell. Jesus has been jokingly called “The Ultimate Fire Insurance.” But Jesus tells us Himself that there will be others who think that they have Jesus when, in fact, they don’t.

Relationship, Not Works

In the New Testament book of Matthew 7:21-23, Jesus tells a story of people who act and live as they know Him but check out Jesus’ response: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'” (NIV). Don’t you find it interesting that Jesus clearly states that not only does He not know all the people who did good things in His name, but that He never knew them?

Self-Deceived “Saints”

So how do we keep ourselves from being members of this shocked group of folks who will receive this shocking realization from Jesus and be headed to an eternity without Him? How do we keep from fooling not just others but ourselves?

Here are three suggestions that can help you to ensure that you not only know about Jesus but know Him:

  1. Ask God to reveal the true intents of your heart. God says that our hearts are deceitful above all else. Ask God to wake you up. Pray the prayer David prayed in Psalms 139:22-24, and then hold on. God will answer. When He brings things to your mind, confess, repent, and obey. Obedience to God paves the way for growing intimacy with Him. Then pray what David prayed in Psalms 51:10, and God will keep doing it. The Apostle Paul, in Romans 12:3b, instructs us: “Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us” (NLT). It’s essential for each of us to be honest with ourselves—ask God to help you see the truth about your relationship with Him…then buckle your seat belt because He will do it!
  2. Ask others for their genuine and honest opinions of you. Tell them what you’re doing and that you no longer want to live the life of being a Christian in name only. And when they tell you, listen and change. Don’t be stubborn or prideful or make excuses. Change! Where has doing things your way gotten you? Proverbs 11:14 states, “For lack of guidance a nation falls,
but victory is won through many advisers” (NIV).
  3. Connect with others consistently and authentically and talk about what’s happening in your life and with you spiritually. King Solomon wisely (pun totally intended) wrote:

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, NIV).

Hearing the Eternal Good News

In today’s culture, it’s so easy to focus our self-worth on our busyness—and for many people, it’s no different in their relationship with Jesus. But you can ensure that your relationship with Jesus is genuine by taking time to have God-fueled daily, honest self-examination, asking others for their honest opinions of your relationship with Jesus, and connecting with others in a regular, consistent way.

In doing these things, you will ensure that when Jesus returns, you won’t be fooled, but that you will be able to hear that eternal good news that He knows you, is pleased with you, and welcome you into His eternal presence.

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