I’ve always been intrigued, primarily, by two denominations that proclaim themselves to be Christian: the Mormons and the Jehovah’s Witnesses (which, for brevity, I’ll label LDS and JW for the remainder of this post). Although there’s a myriad of other world religions that could capture my attention, it is these two that I find my curiosity invested in due to their claim to be Christian organizations, but in truth, are not. How dare I make such a judgement? Not without an intense search for their held beliefs, that’s for sure. Searching not to condemn them because I know they’re mistaken, but truly looking into whether they’re right and the Christians who do judge them are, in actuality, wrong. After an always enlightening conversation with family friends this last weekend, the truest test to discover what a Christian is or isn’t came to my simple mind; who is Jesus Christ?
Both LDS and JW will adhere to the fact that Christ is the Son of God, but then that’s where the lines become blurry. Like, seriously meddled and messy. At the top of the pyramid where the message fails is when the idea of the Trinity is broached. Admittedly, to fully grasp the mystery of the inner workings of the Trinity can feel futile; however, the overall importance of believing that Jesus wasn’t only the Son of God, but is God Himself is significant to the point where it determines our very salvation.
There are many arguable Scripture verses that can cast doubt and presumably build up a mislead member’s case against the Trinitarian Godhead, but I’ve relied on three within one book that offer succinct simplicity in solidifying this truth: “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:8), “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come” (Revelation 4:8), and “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End” (Revelation 22:13). Regardless of whether the Bible read is a handy red letter edition, it is clear as a bell that these three verses are recorded as being words from God and also from Jesus Christ, both claiming the same divinity and deity.
Jesus Christ was not created. He has no “spirit brothers.” He was not merely a perfectly sinless man who submitted to the Father without blemish, a more obedient Adam. These things we would know if we deeply desired to seek out who Jesus Christ is. And where else can we find that He was God Almighty in the flesh but within the pages of Scripture. Not a Scripture translated by a society of men and promoted as the Word of God, wherein any verse that even hints at the deity of Christ is rewritten, nor by adding an entire book of supposed revelation into the mix as though the Holy Bible alone wasn’t sufficient in speaking the truth of God.
In Matthew 7:21-23, Jesus explains that many will claim to have known Him by their works while on earth, but that He “will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evil-doers!'” (7:23). These folks were mistaken, mistaken because they thought they knew Him, but didn’t. They tried to serve Him with their limited knowledge, but ended up serving a false god. To deny the deity of Jesus Christ and simultaneously claim to worship the God of the Bible is a deceit that’ll cost those who seek to enter the kingdom of heaven the admittance they’re expecting. Sadly, Christ will greet them with the piercing words, “I never knew you,” and that will be the response for those that do not know Him.
“The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch,” (Acts 11:26) and many have been calling themselves Christians ever since. The very root of the label Christian is Christ, so to lay claim as one must imply a belief in Jesus Christ. Not only the Christ that was born of a virgin, the Christ who brought us to a deeper understanding of our depravity, the Christ who willingly went through a tortuous death to rescue His elect from their relentless state of sin, but the Jesus Christ that is, was, and always will be the focus of a Christian’s worship because He is our God, Redeemer, Savior, and Deliverer. He is the I AM and His sheep will know Him.