Why is Jesus Christ such a controversial figure? Dr. John MacArthur explains why Jesus’ claims cause offense in our culture.
Jesus Christ is a controversial figure because He said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6, NASB). It is the exclusivity of His claim that is so outrageous to a postmodern mentality, to a world of tolerance, and to a world with myriad of religions. The truth is, Jesus said, “You either believe in Me or you’re on your way to eternal punishment—eternal hell.” That’s what He says. “If you believe not on Me, you will die in your sins” (see John 8:24, NASB) and, “Where I go, you will never come.” I mean, that is a radically narrow, exclusive statement, and that is the offense; that is the offense of Christianity. If Christians take that away, they can talk about Jesus all they want as long as they will allow for some other religion to be acceptable to God. They can say nice things about Jesus as long as they tolerate other things. But as soon as you say, “He is the way, the truth, the life, and anyone who does not put trust in Jesus Christ will perish forever in hell,” the offense is just massive. It’s the exclusivity of His claims that is so offensive.
Editor’s Note: This post was first published on April 1, 2019.