Friday, March 11, 2011

DEVOTION: Which Jesus? Kathi Macias

And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many (Matt. 24:4-5).

        It seems that lately I’ve been running into people of various faiths and religions who claim they believe in Jesus. After a few moments of talking with them, however, it’s obvious that they aren’t talking about the same Jesus I know and love and serve.
            Though Jesus in Matthew 24 was speaking specifically to the Jewish people, His warning to “take heed” that we not be deceived by Christ impersonators carries over to all cultures and eras, particularly today when “tolerance” of nearly anything and everything has become the most esteemed virtue, and absolute truth a disdained and rejected concept.
            Whether a writer or speaker, a pastor or Sunday school teacher, a truck driver or bookkeeper, if we have been born again and know the true Jesus through relationship with His Holy Spirit who lives within us, we are called to the ministry of reconciliation—devoting our lives to proclaiming the Gospel and leading people back into relationship with God, as well as restored relationships with others. But we must beware of seeking unity of earthly relationships at any cost. Human effort and a false Jesus can never accomplish true or lasting unity. In the name of tolerance we are asked to accept and even celebrate lifestyles, beliefs, and false religions that the Scriptures condemn. Many who promote this dangerous thinking also claim to believe in Jesus. But to what Jesus are they referring? Do they believe He is the one and only Son of God, the one and only way to the Father, the One who died on the cross for all their sins? Or do they believe He was simply a good man or a prophet or maybe even an angel? This is a crucial test, for belief in the wrong Jesus diminishes the work He did on the cross—and puts the onus back on us to somehow earn our own salvation.
            As we go about the ministry of reconciliation to which all believers have been called, let’s be careful that even as we offer unconditional love to a lost and dying world, we don’t portray a Jesus who is anything less than who He is—truly God and truly Man, come to earth to die for our sins—all of them—once and for all.
            In all that we do or say this day, may we proclaim that great truth with boldness and love. For when it comes to that truth—as ultimately it always does—there can be no compromise, not even for the sake of unity or tolerance.

Kathi Macias is a wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother—as well as an “occasional radio host” and an award-winning author of more than thirty books, including her popular international Extreme Devotion fiction series from New Hope Publishers. Thank you for sharing your devotions with us through this column, Kathi.


  1. Thanks for you post. this is so timely for me as I was faced with a discussion at my workplace this week about religions and God. My heart still hurts that the two people I was having a conversation with feel their way is the right way. And as many of you may experience, in most workplaces, Diversity and Inclusion is a big topic, whereas we are to embrace and tolerate those various lifestyles and beliefs. So, I always struggle with how I'm supposed to be when working with these people who are Muslim, Wiccan. I work with someone who is Gay. The person is so nice and has attended various churches growing up, has experience with various Christian and Catholic religions, but I can tell that this person has been hurt by things that have happened within her church and perhaps believes in the Oprah way of thinking, that all paths will lead to the Higher One. The scary thing was that both people I was speaking with seemed very educated in the Christan religion, but both said that it was what Christianity has turned into that has turned them away. The Wiccan believes her religion was there before Jesus. I agreed it was, but God was in place even before her religion. I also told them that the WORLD (which I know is Satan) wants them to believe that all religions are ok, but that is not the case. The Wiccan said to me that she believed Jesus was a "good man", that he did a lot of great things and he was a prophet. I argued with her, but I could see she was very strong in her beliefs. She walked away from the conversation saying this was a good discussion(???) While my heart hurt for her because I knew she was so wrong in her belief. We are to spread the Word. And I know spreading the WORD will not be easy. I guess I've said all of this to realize that I have to study up and be ready for whatever these people say to me, so that whatever they come back with, I will have the last word. I did tell them that the Holy Bible is the Word of God and no one can disprove that. Neither disagreed.

    Thanks for letting me rant and thanks for your post today!

  2. Christy, I think your experience is the flip-side of living in a multicultural world. We want to be tolerant and open and inclusive, but being asked to celebrate a lifestyle or belief we know to be anti-Christian places us in a dilemma. I can tell you that Bible Study helps. For one thing, you spend time with other Christians seeking to deepen their faith and understanding. For another, it gives you strong grounding in your own belief. In our world Christianity has been "culturalized" with many errors creeping in. When someone says "you Christians believe . . ." You'll know if the statement is true or only half-true and be able to respond accordingly.
    Blessings on you and yours.

  3. Thanks for sharing this, Kathi. And yes, few people will say they don't believe in Jesus. Scripture tells us "even the demons believe". But do they believe in Jesus, the One who came to earth to die for our sins? That's the real issue, and it's hard to explain to those who believe they know the truth, as Christy has said.

  4. Hi, Kathi. I can't wait to read your new book. My husband is from Lebanon, and he is very concerned about some new approaches of ministering to Muslims, which encourage Muslim converts to stay Muslim and just add Jesus into the mix. It's very dangerous because their versions of Biblical stories and of God's character are so different than the Christian version.

    I've also written a novel with a Muslim main character who converts to Christianity. I'm really hoping that this one finds a home with a good publisher.