This post is taken from Unsealed.org – I am printing and including it in my Left Behind Package. SOURCE: http://www.unsealed.org/2017/07/which-jesus-do-you-follow.html
Which Jesus Do You Follow?
The Bible repeatedly states that simple belief in Christ is sufficient for salvation because Christ satisfied all the necessary requirements through His atoning sacrifice. Through faith in Him we have entered into a permanent Sabbath and have rested from our works (Hebrews 3-4).
Though it is through faith alone in Christ alone that we are reconciled to God, we have to be very careful to recognize the Christ to whom we refer. There are many people named Jesus and many who have been called Christ, but there is only one Jesus Christ with the power to save you. Many who believe they are following Jesus will one day come face to face with the reality that they never knew the only Jesus who could save them (Matthew 7:21-23).
This is where Christians are called to be most discerning because there are two kinds of people who will not inherit eternal life: those who do not believe in Jesus and those who believe in a Jesus not found in the Bible. People argue endlessly about Jesus’ Name. Is it Yeshua? Yehoshua? Iesous? Is it ok to just call Him Jesus? There are thousands of languages and Jesus is called by hundreds, even thousands of names, but the real concern is not by which name you call Him, but to which Jesus you refer:
This Jesus, also called Isa, can be found in the Quran. He is praised and held in high esteem by many Muslims. He’s even called the Messiah. That’s close enough, right? Unfortunately this isn’t the same Jesus that Christians know. The Muslim Jesus was tortured on a cross, but he didn’t die and went on to recover from his wounds. He didn’t rise from the dead and didn’t atone for mankind’s sins and therefore doesn’t have any power to save you. He’s also subservient to the false prophet Mohammed.
There are various beliefs about this Jesus. Perhaps he was just one of many prophets: Moses, Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed, Bahá’u’lláh, etc. Each of them provided an equally valid path to God. Everyone, regardless of what they believe, will end up in the same wonderful place. This Jesus may have died and rose again, but he clearly didn’t die for the sins of mankind if he was just one of many prophets or divine manifestations. This Jesus is nothing special and doesn’t provide you with anything you can’t get somewhere else.
New Age Jesus
The New Age Jesus is similar to the universalist Jesus – just one of many prophets or divine manifestations. In popular schools of New Age thought, Jesus is called an “Ascended Master”. “Ascended Masters” or “Mahatmas” are numerous beings that may be seen as divine or even alien creatures who have overcome physical limitations. In this second sense they seem eerily reminiscent of fallen angels or demonic beings. This Jesus is often said to have died and then come back to life as Christianity teaches, but he never atoned for sin nor is he seen as necessary for salvation.
This Jesus seems close to the real deal. He died for mankind’s sins and rose again. He is even called the Son of God. Yet that is where the similarities end. When you dig into the classical teachings of Mormonism you quickly discover that the god worshiped in that religion is a completely different god than the One worshiped in the Bible. The god of Mormonism is not One. He is one of at least three or four gods. Classical Mormonism is a rejection of biblical monotheism and a number of basic theological truths, so even though this “Jesus” may have done all the right things, He is certainly not the same Jesus found in the Bible. He is not YHWH in the flesh. Suppose a random person from Mexico named Jesús came along and claimed to die for your sins and rise again. The similarity of the name alone is not sufficient grounds for suggesting he is the same person as the Son of God.
Jehovah’s Witness Jesus
Like the Mormon Jesus, this Jesus seems close to authentic. He died for mankind’s sins and rose again. The problem is, this Jesus is a replay of an ancient heresy called Arianism, which teaches that Jesus is not God. He is a mere creation. On the other hand, the authentic Jesus is God in the flesh (Isaiah 9:6, Matthew 1:23, John 1:1, 18, 8:58, 20:28, Acts 20:28, Romans 9:5, 10:9, Philippians 2:5-8, Titus 2:13, Hebrews 1:8, 2 Peter 1:1, Revelation 1:8, 17:14). When Jehovah’s Witnesses and Christians talk about Jesus, they are not talking about the same person. And to be clear, there is no scholarly debate on this issue. Early Christians worshiped Jesus and the Scriptures absolutely affirm the deity of Christ (see here).
The secular Jesus was a wise man and a good teacher. He shook up the establishment and cared for the poor, yet he was killed by the Romans and that was the end of the story. He didn’t atone for any sins and he didn’t rise again. This Jesus can’t save anyone – this is not the Jesus of the Bible.
The Genuine Article: The Lord Jesus Christ
This Jesus is the One specifically chosen by God to be the Messiah of Israel and your personal Savior. He is God in the flesh, the Son of God, and the Ruler over all creation. He is Lord whether you want Him to be or not. He is the only provision for sin because He died for your sins and rose again. He is the original Jesus. Compare this Jesus to the previous persons mentioned and you’ll notice the obvious fact that they all come after Him because they are all counterfeits. The genuine article comes first.
The genuine Jesus was a real person who verifiably rose from the dead (having been seen alive after death by over 500 eyewitnesses) and whose life and claims were confirmed by over 350 specific prophecies that were written many centuries before He was born. It should be noted that the bodily remains of Buddha, Confucius, Mohammed, Bahá’u’lláh, and other founders of world religions are still with us today and we know where they are (Kandy, Sri Lanka; Qufu, China; Medina, Saudi Arabia; and Acre, Israel, respectively). Yet the body of Jesus is nowhere to be found because His body is currently alive and enthroned in glory.
And having brought them out, he was saying, ‘Sirs, what is necessary of me to do, that I may be saved?’
And they said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, you and your household.’– Acts 16:30-31
Belief in Jesus is synonymous with believing the Gospel. When you believe in the real Jesus you are believing in the Gospel by default because the real Jesus died for your sins, was buried, and rose again. And when you believe in the true Gospel you are also believing in the real Jesus because the Bible defines the Gospel to include the fact that Jesus is both Lord (Romans 10:9) and Christ (1 Corinthians 15:3).
Make sure that you trust and know the real Jesus because He is the only One who can save you.
I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. – C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity