Preaching Another Jesus

2 Corinthians

Preaching Another Jesus

June 17th, 1956 @ 7:30 PM

2 Corinthians 11:4

For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.
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PREACHING ANOTHER JESUS 

Dr. W. A. Criswell 

2 Corinthians 11:4 

6-17-56    7:30 p.m. 

 

 

Turn to the second Corinthian letter and the eleventh chapter, the second Corinthian letter and the eleventh chapter.  Then when you turn to that place, put your finger there and turn over – in my Bible it’s two more leaves – to the Book of Galatians which immediately follows Second Corinthians, and we’re going to read the first twelve verses of the Book of Galatians – Paul’s letter to the churches of Galatia.  It immediately follows Second Corinthians.  The text will be Second Corinthians 11:4, and our background Scripture will be the first chapter of the Book of Galatians and the first twelve verses.  We’ll read the first chapter of Galatians, the first twelve verses.  Now, do you have it?  All right, reading it together now. Galatians, first chapter, one through twelve, together:  

 

Paul, an apostle (not of men neither by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead), 

And all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia: 

Grace be to you and peace from God the Father and from our Lord Jesus Christ, 

Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father, 

To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. 

I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ, unto another gospel, 

Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 

But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 

As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. 

For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet please men, I should not be the servant of Christ. 

But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. 

For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. 

[Galatians 1:1-12]

 

Do you notice?  "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him unto another gospel which is not another actual gospel; but there be some that pervert it.  But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached, let him be accursed.   I say again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed" [Galatians 1:6-9].  

Now turn back to my text, 2 Corinthians 11:4: "For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus whom we have not preached . . ." That’s my text: Preaching Another Jesus.  Preaching another gospel.  He doesn’t mean by that that they would come preaching another Jesus than the historical son of Mary [Matthew 1:20-21; Luke 1:26-33], raised in Nazareth [Matthew 2:23; Luke 2:51, 4:16], crucified in Jerusalem [Matthew 20:18; Mark 10:33; Luke 13:33].  It’d be the same historical Jesus; but what Paul would say, they preached that same historical Jesus in such a way leaving out great facts in His life and what facts that remain so interpreting them until it is another Jesus. 

Going home today from this morning preaching hour, I took my time – took about ten to twelve minutes to get there.  If I’m in a hurry, I make it in about six minutes or seven minutes, but I took my time today going home.  I was interested in an hour, a famous religious hour that is very much known in America, a preaching hour over the radio.  I could hardly believe that what I was hearing was true for I had listened to that famous preaching hour many, many times in the years past.  They had an incomparable preacher.  He was a great man of God, and he preached the message of Christ with tremendous power and conviction.  He died.  That great preacher of that hour died, and they have a new preacher.  And the new preacher that I listened to today, listened to him for about twelve minutes, that new preacher belongs to the new age, to the new day, and he preaches the new theology. 

I copied this.  The changed attitude of the modern pulpit towards the Bible is nothing short of a complete right-about-face.  For the old-time preacher, there was no other rule of faith.  In the inspired Word of God was the only truth clearly spoken of God unto men.  But now, professors in the seminaries draw out, with a careless toss of the hand, whole books of the Scripture – essential passages in the gospels, any chapter or verse that does not please their fancy.  Now, it makes no difference what you believe just so long as you do what you consider right.  No wonder that the modern pulpit has become year by year less religious and more purely social in character.  And as I listened to that man preach today, he was preaching a typical social gospel. 

What is the social gospel?  This is it.  The Bible addresses itself to the salvation of man, the soul of a man.  The great strain of the Christian faith has addressed itself to that problem.  How is a man going to see the face of God?  How is a sinful man ever going to be saved?  Our great hymns, our great ordinances, our great creeds, the great strain of the Christian faith has always been that:  "What must I do to be saved?" [Acts 16:30]  And the great answer: "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." [Acts 16:31]  That’s the faith of the New Testament.  That’s the gospel of the Son of God. 

But what is this new theology?  What is this new preaching?  What is this new, modernistic pulpit?  This is it.  They now address themselves to the reformation of the social order. The man preaches today about war, or about peace, or about the NAACP.  He’s preaching about the UN, or UNESCO, or SEATO, or NATO, or he’s preaching about slum clearance, or he’s preaching about the economic life of the people on the other side of the Ganges River.  Then in our time in our last few years, it has taken one other social turn.  We are now listening from the pulpits of America to applied psychiatry: how to get the warts and bumps and marks out of your head and off of your brains – peace of mind and all of the things that go along with it.  That’s the new gospel.  That’s the new theology.  That’s the new ministry.  That’s the new pulpit.  That’s the new preaching. 

What a vast difference between the gospel of the modern pulpit and the gospel of the old-time religionist who read the Bible and made known to the people the call of God and the will of the Lord.  Preaching Another Jesus.  "He that cometh preaching another Jesus . . ." [2 Corinthians 11:4]. 

Now, there are some things that you will find about these men who preach another Jesus.  There’s some things you find about them that is almost universally true of them.  This other Jesus – the same historical person that lived back there in the long ago, the same historical person – but this other Jesus that they preach – this new Jesus, this modern Jesus – there are certain, great, fundamental facts they leave out of His life, and the facts that remain, they so interpret them until it is actually another Christ and another Savior and another Jesus. 

Now, I haven’t time, oh, we’d be here for a month entering into all of those things.  So I have taken one fact – just one – that they all leave out of the life of our Lord.  And then I have taken one fact that they accept in the life of our Lord but so change it and so reinterpret it until it actually is another Jesus. 

Now, the one fact that they leave out of the life of our Lord – that they reject from the life of our Lord – the one fact:  The Bible, the New Testament – the story of the Son of God – begins with an incarnation of God Almighty in human flesh [Matthew 1:18-25; John 1:1-3, 14].  And not only does the Bible avow that great miracle of the incarnation of God – that God became flesh and dwelt among men [Matthew 1:23; John 1:14] – not only does the Bible avow that, but it tells how it was done.  Right along, the Bible describes the miracle of the incarnation of the Son of God.  You know the story.  First Gabriel goes to Zacharias [Luke 1:5-25], then six months later, he’s sent to Nazareth and he appears before a virgin girl by the name of Mary, and he announces to her that the power of the Holy Ghost shall overshadow her [Luke 1:26-38].  " . . . And the holy thing that shall be born of her shall be called the Son of God" [Luke 1:35]. 

All of that is carefully delineated in the Bible.  He was born of the virgin Mary [Matthew 1:23-25; Luke 1:34-35].  He was born without an earthly father: He was conceived by the Holy Ghost [Matthew 1:20; Luke 1:35]. God was His Father [Luke 1:32].  Mary, a virgin, was His mother [Matthew 1:20-21; Luke 1:26-31].  And when God became flesh, it was an inexplicable and unfathomable miracle. 

All right, there the modernist – the liberal, the new pulpit, the new Jesus, the new theology – there they begin to depart for the modern minister says, "To our enlightened and educated minds, the Bible story of the miraculous birth of Christ is biologically inconceivable and cannot be accepted by any enlightened people of today."  I quote from one of the most popular preachers of this hour:

 

The historical evidence for the virgin birth is not conclusive.  It must lead to a verdict of "not proved."  I think the doctrine of the virgin birth found its place in the creed because the life of Jesus seemed to his followers to demand such a miracle.  A unique personality demanded a unique birth.

[From I Believe: Sermons on the Apostle’s Creed, by G.A. Studdert Kennedy, 1928] 

 

So the modern pulpit, the modern preacher, this liberal who’s now almost in every pulpit of the land, he says to our modern, intellectual, enlightened mind and age, the biological miracle of the birth of Jesus is impossible to accept.  Therefore, they say, He was born by natural generation like anybody else was born; and He was not of the virgin Mary, and God was not His Father, but He had a Joseph for a father and a mother named Mary, and He came into this world like all other men come.  That’s the new way; that’s the new Jesus.  That’s the Jesus of the liberal pulpit. 

Now, there’s something about that that they try to foist upon us that we’re just not going to accept and that thing is this:  They make out as though the rejection of the virgin birth of Christ is because of our enlightened, scientific age.  Back there when men were dumb, and back there when there was no science, and back there when there was no enlightenment, why people followed those myths and those fables.  But today, with our new knowledge of great laws and our new scientific achievements, why those things are impossible – inconceivable to a modern, enlightened mind.  That’s what they say. 

But that’s not true.  That’s a delusion and a lie for the biological miracle of the birth of the Son of God through all the ages has been unacceptable and not believed in by any and all who refuse the testimony and the witness of the Scriptures.  No matter what the age or no matter who or where.  I’ll show you. 

Now the modern man says we cannot accept it because of our enlightened, scientific knowledge.  Let’s just take the thing back.  Thomas Paine didn’t accept it.  He was born in 1737, and in his Age of Reason, this is what Tom Paine wrote about that miracle:

 

It is, however, not difficult to account for the credit that was given to the story of Jesus Christ being the Son of God.  He was born when the heathen mythology had still some fashion . . . in the world, and that mythology had prepared the people for the belief of such a story.  Almost all the extraordinary men that lived under the heathen mythology were reputed to be the sons of some of the gods.  It was not a new thing at that time to believe a man to have been celestially begotten. 

[The Age of Reason, Thomas Paine, 1794] 

 

Thomas Paine, back there in the 1700s, he didn’t believe in the virgin birth. 

All right, let’s go back, clear on back to the father of them all: to Celsus, who lived in the second century.  Celsus was the great assailant of the Christian faith and doctrine, and in his True Discourse [177-78 CE] – Celsus lived, oh, about 180 AD, about 180 in the second century.  Celsus said in his True Discourse – he introduces the testimony of a Jew and that Jew refutes Jesus, and he says, "I know how He was born." And Celsus describes Him: Jesus was born, according to the testimony of this Jew who knew, Jesus was born of a woman named Mary and of a Roman soldier named Panthera [Known from Against Celsus, by Origen, 248 CE].  And Celsus says that the reason they believe that story of the virgin birth is because of the gullibility of people who have been, through the years, made to believe the fables of Greece and of Rome. 

We can go back further than that – go back further than that.  Cerinthus [c. 100 CE] was a contemporary of John the apostle.  Both of them lived at the same time in the city of Ephesus, and Cerinthus rejected the biological miracle of the birth of Jesus Christ.  He was the great Gnostic who founded Cerinthian Gnosticism, and his theory was this: that Jesus was born of natural generation, just like all of us were born, and that at His baptism, the eon, the power, the Messiahship, the Godhood came upon Him at His baptism and that it left Him at the Cross.  In between those two – the baptism and the cross – Jesus was the Son of God, but He wasn’t before and He wasn’t after, and certainly He wasn’t born of any virgin Mary.  That’s Cerinthus who was a contemporary of the apostle John. 

You listen to me.  Unbelief is not a new thing.  When a man stands up and he says, "Because of my enlightened day and because of my great education and because of my scientific knowledge, I have learned better then all the old myths and fables here in the Bible," that’s not a new thing.  Go clear back to the beginning of time, and the first thing you find in the Bible is this:  And Satan said unto the woman, "Yea, hath God said?" [Genesis 3:1]  Hath God said?"  Great, big question mark.  "Hath God said?"  I can just hear him turn that.  "Hath God?  Did God say that?" 

The Bible is a Book of "thus saith the Lord" [Isaiah 45:1, 11; 66:1, 12].  The Bible is a book of "Hear ye the Word of the Lord" [Jeremiah 10:1, 19:3, 44:26].  The Bible is the Book of "and God said" [Genesis 1:3; 2 Corinthians 6:16].  And that Satan work: "Yea, did God say that?  Does the Bible say Jesus was born of a virgin Mary, conceived of the Holy Ghost?  Does it?  Does God say that?  Does the Book say that?  Why that’s a falsehood.  That’s a fabrication.  That’s a myth; that’s a fable; that’s a lie; that’s an illusion.  No man in his right mind believe that." 

"But, Preacher, why insist upon the miracle of the virgin birth?"  Got two reasons for it.  First one is this.  "God could have," they say, "incarnate – God – God made incarnate through natural regeneration."  But that mystifies the problem a thousand-fold.  God could have made another race.  God could have chosen another plan of redemption.  God could have done many things, but the Bible says God did this! 

And whenever you reject that miracle, then – and there is my second reason for why we believe in the virgin birth – whenever you reject that miracle, then you reject all of the rest.  There’s no such a thing as rejecting the miracle of the virgin birth and then keeping all of the other miracles in the Bible.  You take ’em all out.  The man who says, "I don’t believe in the biological miracle of the virgin birth of Jesus," is in the next verse saying, "And I don’t believe in the supernatural, in the Bible, and I don’t believe Jesus wrought any miracles at all."  They are actually disciples of Hume [David Hume 1711-1776] who said, "There’s no such a thing as a miracle now, and there’s no such a thing that a miracle ever happened" ["Of Miracles," An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, David Hume, 1748]. 

You take the miracles out of the woof and the warp of the life of Jesus, and you tear the garment apart.  The Jesus of the Gospels was a Jesus who wrought miracles, and the Jesus of the modernist pulpit is another Jesus.  He’s somebody else – preaching another Jesus [2 Corinthians 11:4].  All right, that’s just one of the facts that they reject. 

Now, we’re going to take, just for example – and our time’s gone, and I shall have been given out.  The one fact I’ll take as typical that they accept but so reinterpret it until it’s another Jesus, it’s another gospel, it’s another Christ, it’s another message – the one fact that all of your liberals and all of your modernists and all of your social gospels and all of your psychiatrical purveyors – the one fact they’ll all accept is this: that Jesus died on the cross.  They all accept that – everybody, no matter where – if it’s the Christian church, if it’s in New York, or if it’s in Los Angeles, or wherever it is.  When a fellow gets up to preach, no matter what Jesus he’s preaching, he’ll always accept that that He died on the cross.  That’s great. That’s fine – preaching the cross of the Son of God. 

The only difference is this: the cross of the New Testament is a cross of expiation.  It is a cross of atonement.  It is a cross for the washing away of our sins.  There’s no exception to that.  Like a great western river will crab close to the great towering rock walls through which it flows, so the great stream of the Christian faith has always pressed close to the atoning, redeeming love and grace of God in the cross of Jesus Christ.  There’s no exception to it.  When we have the Lord’s Supper, Jesus said, "This is My blood . . . which is shed for the remission of sins" [Matthew 26:28].  When Paul defines the gospel he says, "For I delivered unto you first of all . . . how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures" [1 Corinthians 15:3-4].  When John the apostle is speaking in 1 John 1:7, he’ll say: ". . . and the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanseth us from all sin."  And when you come to that great, final, triumphant vision in glory, who are these who "washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb"? [Revelation 7:14]  They’re they who by faith in Jesus have accepted Him as the atonement for all of their sins, and they’re washed in the blood of the Lamb.  That’s the unfailing testimony of the New Testament. 

But this other Jesus, this Jesus of the social gospeler, this Jesus of the psychiatrist, this Jesus of the modern and liberal pulpit, this Jesus of the new theology, He died on the cross but, oh, such a difference.  The new Jesus is a hero.  The new Jesus is dying for a great cause.  The new Jesus is a martyr. He’s pouring out His blood and His life because of a great devotion.  He’s an example.  By the moral influence of His life, He’s going to change men.  He’s dying, but in no sense is His death an atonement, is it an expiation, is it the washing away of the sins of the sinners.  But He’s a great example.  He’s a great hero.  He’s Socrates twice over again.  He’s Mahatma Gandhi lifted great and high.  He’s a Wellington.  He’s a marvelous Washington.  He’s a Lincoln.  He laid down his life because he had a tremendous devotion to His Father, God.  But in no sense is the new Jesus, in no sense is the new theology, the new gospel, an atonement for the sins of the world.  For example, a professor in one of our Baptist seminaries writes – listen:

 

Paul’s idea of law, of penalty, of expiation, offends the modern sense of justice and contradicts our ethical values . . . It may be compared to ideas that prevail in certain police circles today.  A sensational crime is committed.  The public . . . demands punishment of the criminal.  This the police are unable to accomplish – they don’t know who did it – but . . . something must be done to silence public clamor.  So they frame up a case against someone who could be made the scapegoat.  He is convicted . . . the public cry is silenced . . . justice is satisfied. 

But we are no longer content with that kind of justice.  We insist that justice cannot be satisfied by the punishment of the innocent.  Yet our own theology teaches us that the Almighty could find no better expedient to save man than to frame up a case against His own Son and put Him to death – the innocent for the guilty.  And that which fills us with horror when done by man to man, we praise and glorify when done by God to God. 

[The Fundamentals of Christianity, by Henry Clay Vedder, 1923] 

 

That’s the new Jesus.  That’s the new theology.  That’s the new pulpit.  That’s the new gospel.  That’s the new preaching.  I say new?  New?  New? It’s as old as time itself!  Carry it back.  Carry it back. 

Why when I went to school, Robert Ingersoll [1833-1899] had already died and gone to – Robert Ingersoll had already died when I went to school, but he was the great infidel.  He was the great exemplar. Robert Ingersoll.  Robert Ingersoll died in 1899.  He was still alive when some of you were here.  You listen to the infidel Robert Ingersoll.  Listen to him: "The Christian system is that if you will believe something, you get credit for something somebody else did, and as you are charged with the sin of Adam, you are credited with the virtues of the Lord" [Farrell, Works of Robert J. Ingersoll, Vol. II, 1915, p.370].  That’s what Christianity is, Robert Ingersoll said.  You get something for nothing.  That’s the system of Christ. 

All right, let’s go to Tom Paine, who lived, as I say, back there in those 1700s.  Listen to Tom Paine:  

 

The Christian Mythologists tell us, that Christ died for the sins of the world, and that he came on purpose to die . . .

That [Christ’s death] does not prevent our dying is evident, because we all die . . . And with respect to the second explanation . . . it is impertinently representing the Creator coming off, or revoking sentence, by a pun or a quibble upon the word death.  That manufacturer of quibbles, St. Paul . . . has helped this quibble on by making another quibble upon the word Adam.  He makes there to be two Adams; the one who sins in fact, and suffers by proxy; and the other who sins by proxy, suffers in fact." 

[The Age of Reason, by Thomas Paine, 1794] 

 

That’s what Tom Paine said.  Let’s go back to Celsus, who’s the father of them all.  Let’s go clear on back to Celsus.  Celsus said, "This Jesus you’re preaching about, this Lord who died on the cross" – why, he scoffed at the Lord’s sufferings and reproached Him for lack of fortitude and pain [known from Against Celsus, by Origen, 248 CE].  He said that Christ weakly prayed in Gethsemane that let the cup pass from Him [Matthew 26:39; Luke 22:42], that He could not endure a thirst as any other ordinary man [John 19:28-30], and that there was nothing in His conduct to compare with the fortitude of Epictetus. 

Epictetus was a great Stoic philosopher who lived, oh, right about Paul’s time.  He was a great Greek Stoic philosopher.  His master got a hold of his leg one time and twisted it, and Epictetus said to the master, "If you keep twisting my leg, you’ll break it."  And the master kept on twisting his leg and broke it right square in two, and Epictetus remarked, "Didn’t I tell you if you kept on twisting my leg, you’d break it?"  What Celsus was talking about was the tremendous fortitude of Epictetus in his suffering:  never winced, never groaned, never cried, never prayed, never called on God, did nothing; just remarked, "You busted my leg in two." That’s all.  And he applies that to the Lord Jesus. 

Now, Celsus did something.  Unwittingly, he put his finger on the great distinctive fact in the sufferings of the Son of God.  If Epictetus suffered, he did it just as a man.  If Socrates suffered, he did it just as a man.  If Mahatma Gandhi was martyred, he was martyred just as a man.  If Lincoln [Abraham Lincoln, 1809-1865] was slain and assassinated, he died just like a man.  But the sufferings of our Lord Jesus Christ, as presented in the Bible, are not in that class.  He didn’t die a hero.  He didn’t die a martyr.  But the sufferings of the Lord Jesus Christ were expiatory.  They were atoning.  He was bearing the sins of the world.  And the cry, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" [Matthew 27:46], and the cry in Gethsemane, "O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me" [Matthew 26:39], He was doing something other and beside and beyond than just dying in this world suffering the pangs that any other man suffers.  His soul was poured out unto death.  And as the Bible says, His soul was made an offering for sin [Isaiah 53:10], and God shall see of the travail of His soul and be satisfied [Isaiah 53:11].  It was God’s remedy whereby a lost sinner might be justified in the presence of the Lord [Romans 5:1]. 

Now, I have to close.  We’ve been here longer then you think.  You listen; you listen.  Why is it that these men of the day and these men of the centuries and these men back to the beginning, why is it that they have scoffed at and refused to accept what they call the bloody gospel – the gospel of the atoning grace of the Son of God?  The cross of expiation: what’s the matter with it?  All right, this is it.  Paul calls it the offense of the cross [Galatians 5:11].  The offense of the cross is too great.  What is the offense of the cross?  It is simply and humbly this: the cross not only saves, but it condemns. 

When a man preaches the cross of the Son of God, he preaches that all of a man’s wealth, all of his fame, all of his fortune, all of his enlightenment, all of his knowledge, all of his education, all of his achievements past, present, and those to come, they are nothing [Philippians 3:8] – that the man is nothing.  Whatever he is, whatever he has, and whatever he’s done or is going to do, that the man is nothing [2 Corinthians 3:5; Galatians 3:16; Philippians 3:9].  There is nothing.  But he’s a lost, undone sinner: that in the presence of God, he’s doomed and dying and damned and that the only way he can be saved is by humbling himself and coming to Jesus in contrition and in repentance and in faith – "Lord, I am nothing. I am a lost sinner.  God be merciful unto me" – and that the proud and lifted up man will not due [Luke 18:9-17]. 

Whether it’s Celsus or Voltaire or Ingersoll or Tom Paine or the honeyed preacher who, on beautiful words and accents and poetry and high flung perorations, streams forth his modern message for the modern pulpit of the day, and all alike, they refuse to accept the condemnation of the cross on man and what man is, and what he does, and what he’s able to do. They refuse to humble themselves and accept the condemnatory message of the Son of God.  They refuse it.  They refuse it. 

I want to show you how you can know that’s true.  You listen to Thomas Paine and Celsus; the ancient and the modern.  Listen to these men.  Thomas Paine – listen to him:

 

It is by a man’s being taught to contemplate himself as an outlaw, as an outcast, as a beggar, as a pauper, as one thrown, as it were, on the dunghill at an immense distance from his Creator, and who must make his approaches by creeping and cringing to intermediate beings, that a man conceives a contemptuous disregard for . . . religion or if he turns to what he calls devotion . . . he consumes his life in grief or the affectation of it. 

[The Age of Reason, by Thomas Paine, 1794]

 

Tom Paine says, "You think I’m going to call myself an outlaw, an outcast, a beggar, a pauper, one on the dunghill?  You think I’m going to cringe and creep to intermediate beings like Jesus in order to be saved?  Sir, I?" 

All right, let’s take Celsus.  It’s all the same spirit.  He compared Christians to, now I quote, "to a flight of bats or to a swarm of ants issuing out of their nest, or to frogs holding counsel in a marsh, or to worms crawling together in the corner of a dunghill and quarreling with one another as to which of them is the greatest sinner" [Known from Against Celsus, by Origen, 248 CE].  That’s is what Celsus said a bunch of Christians were.  The offense of the cross, and they refused. 

But that is the message of the Son of God.  God says, we don’t walk into His kingdom proud and lifted up.  A man doesn’t stand in the presence of God boasting of His own righteousness [Ephesians 2:8-9].  God says our righteousnesses are as filthy rags [Isaiah 64:6].  God says there’s none of us but is come short of the glory and expectation of God [Romans 3:23].  And the cross says, if I’m ever to be saved, if I’m ever to see the face of God, I must meet, I must bow, I must humble myself.  I must confess that I am a lost sinner, and if I don’t, I can never be saved.  That’s the Jesus of the gospel.  That’s the preaching of the cross of the New Testament.  We’re lost.  We’re an undone people.  All we can achieve never suffices to the saving of our souls.  Somebody must die for us [Romans 6:23].  Somebody must pay the penalty for us.  Somebody must be our righteousness, and that Somebody is the Son of God [Romans 5:8; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Corinthians 5:21]: born of a virgin [Luke 1:26-38]; crucified under Pontius Pilate [Mark 15:1-15]; buried in Joseph’s tomb [Matthew 27:57-60], and rose again for our justification [John 20:1-18; Romans 4:25].  To accept that makes one a New Testament Christian [1 Corinthians 15:1-4]. 

God bless the message the preacher tried deliver tonight.  May He give us you in contrition, in repentance, in humble faith, in the casting of your soul as we’ve cast our souls upon the mercy of God.  "O Lord, remember me.  Forgive me.  Save me.  Lord, here I come, and here I am.  Help me, a sinner – lost, undone.  Help me, Lord.  Save me."  That’s the way to glory.  That’s God’s open door into heaven, and it’s our appeal to you tonight.  Somebody you, anywhere, you, to accept Him as your Savior – died in your stead – to believe in Jesus, to look to Him and be saved [John 3:14-16].  Somebody you, put your life in the church – a family, or one you.  While we sing the song, while we make the appeal, will you come?  Will you make it now?  Come and stand by me while all of us stand and sing together. 

PREACHING ANOTHER JESUS

Dr. W. A. Criswell

2 Corinthians 11:4

6-17-56

 

I.          Introduction

A.  Speak of the same historical Jesus, but their presentation of Him so different it were as if they spoke of an altogether different Jesus

B.  The changed attitude of the modern pulpit toward the Bible

C.  The social gospel – no longer salvation through Christ, but reformation(Acts 16:31)

D.  In two respects the Jesus of the modern pulpit is another Jesus than that of the New Testament

 

II.         Denial of important facts in the story of Jesus’ life

A.  The initial fact – His birth

1.  Gospels not only tell of the incarnation, but how it was done(Luke 1:35)

B.  Modern liberal denies miracle birth of Christ

1.  Make out as though rejection of virgin birth is because of our enlightened, scientific age

2.  Through the ages it is a miracle any unbeliever could not receive

a. Thomas Paine’s Age of Reason

b. Celsus’ True Discourse

c. Cerinthus, Gnosticism

3.  Unbelief not a new thing(Genesis 3:1)

C.  Why insist on a virgin birth?

1.  Incarnation through natural regeneration mystifies the problem a thousand-fold

2.  Reject this miracle, you reject all the rest

 

III.        The different interpretation of the facts that still remain

A.  Jesus’ death and atonement

1.  Cross of the New Testament is the cross of expiation and atonement(Matthew 26:28, 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, 1 John 1:7, Revelation 7:14)

2.  Modern liberal Jesus died for a great cause; is a great example, hero

a. Professor in Baptist seminary

b. Robert Ingersoll

c. Thomas Paine

d. Celsus – unwittingly laid his finger upon the distinctive thing about the death of Christ(Matthew 26:42, 27:46)

B.  The offense of the cross – it not only saves, but it condemns

1.  Thomas Paine, Celsus refused to humble themselves and accept condemnatory message of Son of God

2.  We are lost, undone – Somebody must die for us