The first day of my junior year of high school I was looking the wrong way and hit the back of a lady in front of me. It was totally my fault and completely embarrassing as many of my friends from school drove by on their way to class. The most unfortunate part of the whole ordeal was that I was totally unprepared for the collision- I was looking the wrong way.
In many ways, this is where I believe many Christians find themselves today. We are on a collision course with culture because of our connection to Christ. In John 5, Jesus experiences a collision with the Jewish people of his day. While the collision today may focus on different issues, there will always be a conflict between the truth of Christ and the error of the world.
Here are three collisions from John 5 we are facing today as we stand with Christ
- Jesus is God- thus every other religion is flawed (16-20)
“You really think Jesus Christ is the only way to God? How can you be so narrow-minded?!” This cultural collision is all around us, but it centers on the fact that only Christ is fully God and fully man. Given this, He is the ONLY one who can pay for our sins through his death and resurrection.
- Jesus has resurrection power- thus the supernatural is real (21-26)
“You believe in miracles? How can someone living in 2015 really believe a Jewish carpenter died and rose again over 2000 years ago!?” This collision cuts right at the heart of the Gospel because without the resurrection, our faith is meaningless! If there is no resurrection, then we are looking to a Savior who couldn’t defeat death and sin. Because of this, we MUST defend the historical reliability of the resurrection.
- Jesus is the final judge- thus hell is real (27-30)
“You believe in Hell? How can you believe in a God who would send anyone to Hell?” This is probably the most sensitive collision because most people have a warped view of both God and love. We must explain that because God is loving, he is committed to judgment. Just as my love for my wife commits me to oppose any who would harm her, God’s love for His son commits him to condemn any who would reject Him. This condemnation is the judgment of God in an eternal hell.
Standing with Christ means there will be collisions with our culture. Our task is to anticipate those collisions and to be ready to respond in grace and truth. If we engage our culture unprepared for these collisions then we can respond in frustration or worse, abandon our convictions. For more help on preparing for these cultural collisions, listen to the message on John 5 here.