Culture loves to define things for us, to take the created things of God and reshape them. What God has created and given to us for our enjoyment and His glory, sinful man loves to take, redefine and re-image not into God's image but into man's own image, it is what Romans refers to as "suppressing the truth". The changing climate towards marriage, sexuality, and gender roles are just a few examples.
Mustaches, Machismo, Muscles, Muscle Cars, being tough, these are a few of the measuring sticks the world uses to define what a "real man" is and what a man's man looks like.
If you want to find and example of what a real man is then look no further than the internet and behold the mighty works of Chuck Norris and Mr. T who have become internet legends and icons.
5 quick facts you may not have known about Chuck Norris - taken from chucknorrisfacts.com
- When the Boogeyman goes to sleep every night, he checks his closet for Chuck Norris.
- Chuck Norris doesn't read books. He stares them down until he gets the information he wants.
- There is no theory of evolution. Just a list of creatures Chuck Norris has allowed to live.
- Outer space exists because it's afraid to be on the same planet with Chuck Norris.
- Chuck Norris does not sleep. He waits.
5 quick facts you may not have know about Mr. T - taken from Mr. T Facts
- Mr. T never learned to read. Letters learned to accommodate Mr. T’s mind.
- Richard Simmons is Vin Diesel, after being pitied by Mr. T.
- If you could calculate the amount of pity generated by Mr. T every second, you could make infinity feel ashamed of being ridiculously small.
- Mr. T was actually raised by a tribe of wookies living high in the Sierra mountains. They blessed him with the ability to pity fools and taught him their sacred language of Jibba Jabba.
- Guns don’t kill people, Mr. T kills people.
According to the marketing agencies being a man today means little more than having a six pack in the fridge, a six pack under the shirt - which physically won't work as there is no such thing as “beer abs” see "beer gut" - a couple of hot babes on the side, and a flat screen in the den. This is where we get sayings like - "He who dies with the most toys wins...." No, he who dies with the most toys still dies.
1 John 2:15-17 refers to this as "lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, and pride in possessions" and if this is you and if this is your view of what it is and what it takes to be a man not only are you wrong but you are not of God, you are anti-Christ, and satanic.
And while the world likes to pigeon hole masculinity into mustaches, machismo, and possessions I would submit to you that there has never been anyone who has roamed this earth, not Chuck Norris, Mr. T, Bruce Lee, not Samuel Jackson who was or is tougher and more of a man than Jesus.
Jesus never went to college, never traveled far from His home, never ran or held political office, never wrote a book, or owned a Nintendo 64. For the first 30 years of His life He lived in obscurity, working a job and after 30 years He began His earthly ministry and it is at this point that His life was marked with tough words (the things He stated and commanded) tough works (the things He did), and tough love (His death on the cross).
Jesus wasn't afraid to tell the truth, shoot straight, be open, honest, to be direct even when it might cost him friendships, bring Him persecution, even death.
#1 Jesus spoke tough words concerning Himself.
When asked who Jesus is many people will say that He was a good man or a good teacher but will deny that He is God. Mormons teach that Jesus was a man who became God. Islam teaches that Jesus was a great prophet. Others will say things like, "Jesus never said he was God, you just made that up. Jesus was a good man but he never said he was God."
It is important to know that Jesus stated clearly, emphatically, unapologetically stated many times that He was indeed God which caused many to hate Him and drove some to seek Him murdered.
1. Jesus said He was God - Mark 14:61-64, John 8:58-59, John 10:30-33
In these three examples Jesus states that He is God, that He and God are equal and one, and that He has always existed before Moses, before Abraham. In each of these examples upon proclaiming Himself God the immediate reaction of the people was to kill Jesus for blaspheme.
2. Jesus said His purposes in coming were to: Preach the good news - Luke 4:16-21, to seek and to save - Luke 19:10 and to serve - Matthew 20:28, Mark 10:45.
Jesus picks up the scroll, turns to the book of Isaiah and tells the crowd in His own hometown that the prophecy which He just read has been fulfilled in Him. He is the messiah, the promised redeemer. How can anyone state that they are the fulfillment of scripture unless they are a lunatic, satanic, or really God?
3. Jesus said He was sinless - John 8:46 and that He forgives sin - Mark 2:5-7
These are astonishing claims! If any of us were to proclaim we were sinless scores of people would come out of the woodworks to confront us, friends, co-workers, and family would line up to testify against us. Not only did Jesus say he was without sin but that He could forgive sins.
As, perfect, sinless, God, Jesus establishes His authority to do the things He does - tough works and to say and command the things He says - tough words not only does Jesus say tough things about Himself but He also talks about Heaven, those who hear Him and heckle Him, and Hell.
#2. Jesus spoke tough words concerning Heaven.
1. Jesus said that heaven is a real place – John 14:2 – “In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.” Jesus resurrected in a physical body and ascended in His physical body and resides in heaven and will return in a physical body.
2. Jesus said the names of those who believe in Him are written in heaven – Luke 10:20
Our treasure is in heaven – Matthew 19:21
3. Jesus said that no one has ever gone into heaven except Himself - John 3:13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven - the Son of Man.
4. Jesus said Heaven is His home - John 6:38, 41-42. 60, 66
No other religion or religious leaders make this claim. There are others who claim to have glimpsed into heaven for a brief moment or to have visited heaven for a day but no one other than Jesus makes the claim that they are from heaven and that heaven is their home. These words caused many to leave Jesus and it began the talks among the religious people on how to capture and kill Jesus for blaspheme.
5. Jesus said the way to heaven is narrow – Matthew 7:13-14.
6. Jesus said not everyone will enter into heaven – Matthew 7:21.
7. Jesus claimed that He alone is the only way to heaven John 14:6
Jesus is essentially saying that you can't get to heaven through works, through religion, through being a good person, no, "I am the way, the truth, and the life..." everything else leads to a dead end, is a bunch of lies, and ultimately leads to death.
It’s interesting that statistically speaking an overwhelming majority of people state that they believe in heaven and that they are going to heaven. These same people also state that they believe everyone else is going to hell.
#3 Jesus said tough things about those who followed Him at a distance, the hecklers and the hearers.
These were the people who followed Jesus at a distance, they heard Him teach, heard His words, saw His miracles, yet never got close, never had a relationship with Jesus, would sometimes heckle Him, try to trick Him with their questions but never fully submitted to Jesus as Lord and Savior.
1. Jesus said that lukewarm believers make Him throw up – Revelation 3:16
2. Jesus said religious people who don’t believe in Him are bastard children of the devil - John 8:42-47
42Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me. 43Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! 46Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don't you believe me? 47He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God."
#4 Jesus said tough things about Hell.
1. Jesus said there is fire in Hell – Matthew 5:22
2. Jesus said Hell is a place of torment – Luke 16:23
3. Jesus said Hell is a place of torment – Luke 16:23
4. Jesus said Hell is a place where God destroys the body and the soul – Matthew 10:28
5. Jesus said Hell is a place where religious people go – Matthew 23:33
6. Jesus said that He alone holds the keys to death and hell – Revelation 1:18
Jesus said He was God, perfect and without sin, that heaven is His home, that the way to heaven is narrow and that He is the only way to heaven. Jesus said if you are a lukewarm believer you make Him want to vomit and if you are religious then your mom shagged the devil and you are a bastard child of Satan. Jesus said religious people would not be able to escape being condemned to hell and that hell is a place of fire, torment, and that He alone holds the keys to death and hell.
C.S. Lewis said of Jesus - "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 a man who says he is a poached egg - or he would be the devil of hell. You must take your choice. Either this was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool 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."
What is your relationship with Jesus today?