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Matthew 16:13-16

IS THAT YOUR FINAL ANSWER?

Intro: Over the past couple of years reality based television programming has become very popular. One of the most successful programs in this genre is the game show "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" Contestants on this show are asked a series of questions, each one worth more money than the previous one. If the contestant successfully answers all the question, he or she wins one million dollars. Before each question is answered, the host of the show asks the contestant, "Is that your final answer?" The implication being, there is no turning back. Once that answer is given, the fate of the contestant is sealed. This show appeals to us because most of the contestants are just common people like you and me. And, the prospect of winning one million dollars is something that appeals to us all. I mean, who hasn't been asked, or at least asked someone else, "What would you do with a million dollars?"? A million dollars is a lot of dough!

From a human standpoint, a million dollars is a lot of money. But, in the light of eternity, a million dollars means absolutely nothing. Friend, it doesn't matter how much money you make in this life, or how many possessions you own. When your time on this earth is over, you won't take a single penny with you into eternity, 1 Tim. 6:7. All that will matter when this life is over is what you did concerning Jesus Christ. That is what this text is about this morning. The Disciples are called upon to tell Jesus Who they think He is. Their answer determines where they go in eternity.

You see, knowing who Jesus is, is more important than any other knowledge in the world. When Jesus asks, "But whom say ye that I am?", he is asking the most important question you will ever be asked in your life! Because what you determine about Jesus will determine where you spend eternity. And, coming to the wrong conclusion will cost you far more than missing a question on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire! Missing the truth about Jesus will cost you the most precious and valuable possession you have. It will cost you your soul, Mark 8:37-38.

So, today I want to investigate what we know about Who Jesus is. As we go through this material, I want you to look into your own heart. See who you think He is. Then, ask yourself, "Is this my final answer? Am I willing to bank all eternity on Who I think Jesus Christ is?" Let's see what is said about Jesus as we consider the question, "Is That Your Final Answer?"

I. LET'S ASK HUMANITY

A. What Did Men Say In The Past? - During the life of Christ, men had a lot to say about Him and who they thought He was. Some thought:

1. John The Baptist - A holy man willing to die for his faith. Even King Herod thought that Jesus was John the Baptist raised from the dead, Matt. 14:1-2.

2. Elijah - The greatest of all the OT prophets. The Jews were expecting Elijah to return just before Messiah came, Mal. 4:5. Some believed that Jesus was the forerunner, but not the messiah.

3. Jeremiah - A holy prophet who was expected to return to earth just before Messiah came. He was supposed to bring with him the Tabernacle, the Ark of the Covenant and the Altar of Incense which he had hidden in Mount Nebo before he died, 2 Maccabees 2:1-12; 2 Esdres 2:18.

4. One of the Prophets - A man of God sent with a message for their time, or a man in whom dwelt the spirit of one of the great prophets.

(Note: All of these views elevated Jesus above the status of an ordinary man. They show that the Jews at least believed Him to be a great man, even a holy man, but their views of Him fall far short of what is required for salvation.)

5. Not everyone on Jesus' day thought He was a great man. Some thought He was nothing more than a nobody. Some even thought He was an evil man.

a. A lowly carpenter - Mark 6:3

b. The son of Joseph - John 6:42

c. A sinner - John 9:24

d. An illegitimate child - John 8:41

e. A devil - Matt. 12:24

f. A mad man - John 10:20

g. A fool and the object of contempt and scorn - Matt. 27:38-43

6. Even His half-brothers had harsh things to say about Jesus - John 7:3-5.

Note: If they will say these types of things about Jesus now, what will they say about Him when He isn't here on earth, working miracles and demonstrating His power, Luke 23:31?

B. What Do Men Say In The Present? - Just as men had an opinion concerning the identity of Jesus Christ in His day, so they still do today. Here is what a few people are saying about Jesus.

1. The Jehovah's Witnesses - "Michael the Archangel is no other than the only begotten Son of God, now Jesus Christ." (New Heavens and New Earth, pp, 30-31)

2. The Mormons - "…Jesus, our elder brother was begotten in the flesh by the same character that was in the garden of Eden, and who is our father in Heaven." (Journal of Discourses; Vol. 1, pp. 50-51.) "…that Lucifer the son of the morning is our elder brother, and the brother of Jesus." (Apostle B. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, pp. 163-164.) "Jesus was married at Cana of Galilee and had many wives, including Mary and Martha, he also had man children." (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 1, pp. 345-346; Vol. 2, pp. 79-82; Vol. 4, pp. 259-260; The Seer, p. 172).

3. The Moonies - "He (Jesus) can by no means be God Himself." (Divine Principles, pp. 210-211.)

4. Islam - "Jesus was no more than a mortal whom Allah favored and made and example to the Israelites. They are unbelievers who say God is Messiah, Mary's son." (Sura 43:59)

5. The Jesus Seminar - A group of liberal scholars that meet to decide which of Christ's words are authentic. They deny some 80 % of the words of Jesus. Only 15 says of Christ as considered to be absolutely accurate by the Jesus Seminar.

6. The Jewish Talmud - Jewish writings that detail how Jews are to live their lives, has the following things to say about Jesus. "She who was the descendant of princes and governors played the harlot with carpenters." (Sanhedrin, 106a) "Miriam (Mary) the hairdresser had sexual with man men.", (Shabbeth 104b) "Jesus was executed because He practiced Sorcery", (Sanhedrin 43a) "Jesus is in Hell being boiled in hot excrement." (Giffin 57a) The Jewish Encyclopedia pictures Jesus as "blind in one eye and lame in one foot."

7. All around us live people who have an opinion concerning Jesus Christ. Some think He was a good man. Others think He was a great teacher. People hold all types of ideas concerning who Jesus Christ is. What is sad is that nothing I have shared with you thus far is even close to the truth. Al of these people and groups have ideas about Jesus, but none of them are biblical ideas. Since humanity cannot help us determine the identity of Jesus, then let's ask Heaven.

II. LET'S ASK HEAVEN

A. The Sovereign - Notice what God the Father says about Jesus. "And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.", Matt. 3:17. "While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.", Matt. 17:5.

B. The Spirits - The Spirit world has something to say about Jesus.

1. Heavenly Spirits - Matt. 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38; Luke 2:8-20

2. Hellish Spirits - Matt. 8:29; Luke 4:41; James 2:19

C. The Scriptures - Isa. 9:6; Micah 5:2; Isa. 11:1-5; Jer. 23:5; Isa. 53:1-12; John 1:1, 14; Mark 1:1; Phil. 2:5-11; Acts 2:36; Acts 10:36. Even the names given to Jesus in the Bible speak of His position: He is called Lord, this implies that He is in control. That He is deity. He is called Jesus, this name means "Jehovah is salvation." He is called Christ, the name means "anointed", it refers to Jesus as the One chosen by God to be the Messiah. The Bible is crystal clear on Who Jesus Christ is!

D. The Saints - Many of the great figures of the New Testament offered their testimony to the identity of the Lord Jesus Christ. As Jesus told Peter in Matt. 16:17, the knowledge of Who Jesus is does not come from the human heart, it comes from Heaven above. For the sake of time, we will only ask two of these great men at the moment: John the Baptist, John 1:34 and Paul, Acts 9:20.

E. The Savior - What a person says about himself is also important in discussing his identity. Here are some of the things Jesus said about Himself. John 14:9, "he that hath seen me hath seen the Father"

John 10:30, "I and my Father are one."

John 8:58, "Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am."

John 14:6, "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."

John 17 - The whole chapter!

John 6:35, "I am the bread of life."

John 8:12, "I am the light of the world."

John 10:9, "I am the door."

John 10:11, "I am the good shepherd."

John 10:36, "I am the Son of God"

John 11:25, "I am the resurrection and the life."

John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth and the life…"

John 15:1, "I am the true vine."

As C.S. Lewis said, Jesus Christ is either liar, lunatic or Lord! If you had to decide who He was, which would you choose?

III. LET'S ASK OUR OWN HEARTS

(Note: we have heard the testimony from humanity. We have also heard the testimony of the heavenly. Now, let's hear testimony from the heart.)

A. Let Hear From Other Hearts - In the pages of the Bible, several people had a personal encounter with Jesus that forever changed their lives. I want to share a few of their statements about Jesus with you today.

1. Simeon - Luke 2:28-32, "Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel."

2. Nathaniel - John 1:49, "Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel."

3. Simon Peter - Matt. 16:16, "And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God."

4. The Woman At The Well - John 4:29, "Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?"

5. Martha - John 11:27, "She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world."

6. The Dying Thief - Luke 23:39-43, "And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise."

7. The Roman Centurion - Mark 15:39, "And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God."

8. Thomas - John 20:24-28, "But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God."

(Note: There are many other witness that we could call to testify as to Who Jesus is. But, these are sufficient to see that any life that is touched directly by His is a life that is profoundly affected!)

B. Let's Hear From Our Hearts - We have heard from man this morning. We have seen that, among the human race, there are those who deny that Jesus is the Son of God and the only way of salvation. We have other testimony from lives that have been changed by Him. These indicate that He is Who He claims to be. We have heard what God Almighty has said about Him. We have listened as the angels gave voice to what they know to be the truth. We have even heard the grudging witness of the demonic spirits. We have heard enough to be convinced today that Jesus Christ is Someone about Whom we must make a decision. With that in mind, what does your heart say about Him today?

1. Is He just a baby at Christmas and a guy on a cross at Easter, or is He the crucified and risen Lord of your life?

2. Is He a way to God, or the way, the truth and the life?

3. Is He a good man, A great teacher and a prophet, or is He the Son of God and your only hope for salvation?

4. Is He a liar? A lunatic? Or, is He your Lord?

5. What is the testimony of your heart today? Has there ever been that moment in time when you trusted Jesus and Him alone for the salvation of your soul? Has there been that time when you saw yourself as a sinner and Him as your only hope? Are you trusting Jesus alone for your soul's salvation today?

6. Let's hear from the Bible one more time: John 3:16; Acts 16:31; Acts 4:12; Rom. 10:13; Rom. 10:9. Where do you stand in the midst of all this? Who is Jesus to you?

Conc: What is your final answer to day? Is your answer the right answer that will guarantee you a home in heaven when you leave this world? Is your answer the kind that pleases the flesh, the world and the devil, or is it the kind that pleases the Lord? Are you saved? Is that your final answer? Do you want to be saved? Is that your final answer? Will you some to Jesus right now? Is that your final answer? The question is vital. Right now you are asking "What should I do with Jesus?" One day the question will be," What will Jesus do with me?"



What will you do with Jesus?



Jesus is standing at your heart's door,

Standing and waiting, He's knocked before.

This is the question you face once more,

What will you do with Jesus?



At you sad heart, He is knocking still,

Longing to enter, your soul to fill.

You must accept or rejct His will,

What will you do with Jesus?



Oh, will you leave Him alone outside,

Or, will you chose Him, what'er betide,

This is the question you must decide,

What will you do with Jesus?



Chorus

What will you do with Jesus?

What will you do with Jesus?

Neutral you cannot be!

One day your heart will be asking,

What will Jesus do with me?



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