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Reasons to Believe in Jesus (Part 2 of 2)

Original Air Date 04/14/2017

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In our most popular program of 2017, the Rev. Canon J.John highlights a few of the reasons Christianity is appealing - its historical accuracy, the opportunity to be forgiven and the fact that the Christian faith really works. (Part 2 of 2)

 

Episode Transcript

Opening:

Excerpt:

Canon Rev.J.John: I’m a Christian because it’s true. I’m a Christian because I need forgiveness. I’m a Christian because Jesus died for me. I’m a Christian because it actually works.

End of Excerpt

John Fuller: What a declaration. This is Focus on the Family and your host is Focus president Jim Daly, I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: John, today we’re coming back to a message from British evangelist J.John, who we just heard in that clip explaining four reasons why he’s a Christian and if you missed part one of his presentation yesterday, please get in touch with us. This message is just one of fifteen that are featured in our Best of 2017 CD collection and we’re offering that for a donation of any amount. This really is the best of the year’s programs.

John: And you can get all the great content when you donate at focusonthefamily.com/radio.

Jim: J.John is a world traveling evangelist and he and his wife Killy live in Hertfordshire, England. He’s authored several books and if he sounds familiar, we’ve aired his message called, “Gaining a New Perspective on Life” a couple of years ago. That became one of our Best of 2015 programs. He really seems to strike a chord with our listeners.

John: And that’s why he’s back again today. Here’s J.John at an Easter service in Australia. And we’re going to start with a brief recap of what we heard on the last Focus on the Family Program.

Body:

J.John: I’m gonna give you four reasons why I’m a Christian; four reasons why you should be a Christian. Now, there’s a very famous verse in the Bible located in John’s Gospel, chapter 3, verse 16. It says this: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” That little one sentence kind of captures the essence of what Christianity is all about.

The first reason why I am a Christian is because Jesus Christ is alive. His resurrection authenticates (Applause) everything that He said, everything that He did. After Jesus rose from the dead, He spent 40 days before his ascension into heaven. During the 40-day period that He taught, He neither withdrew, nor added anything that He had taught the previous three years. That is why we can believe Jesus about the past, about the present and about the future. I am a Christian because Christianity is true. (Audience response)

The second reason why I am a Christian is because I need forgiveness. I need forgiveness. I gave a whole series of lectures at Oxford University and a student comes up to me and he said, “I’ve listened to all your lectures and I’ve enjoyed them, dah, dah, dah.” And I said, “Yeah, yeah, yeah,” you know. And then he goes, this is what he said, “But personally I believe Christianity is a crutch.” I said, “Really? If you broke both of your legs, would you appreciate the use of a wheelchair to get around?” He said, “Yes, I would.” I said, “If you broke one leg, would you appreciate the use of crutches to get around?” He said, “Yes, I would.” I said, “I am a broken person. So are you. I’ve never met a person who isn’t broken and I’m so pleased I can lean on Jesus while He’s putting me back together again.” (Applause)

I am a Christian because it’s true. I am a Christian because I need forgiveness. That’s why you should become a Christian, because you need forgiveness. The third reason why I’m a Christian is because Jesus did something for me and for you to clear the overdraft. So, “For God so loved the world,” put your name in there, “For God so loved John,” “For God so loved” your name in there. For God so loved you, me, “He gave His only Son.” He gave His only Son. Jesus came into this world to do something for us.

I was doing my shopping at a supermarket and the lady at the supermarket on the checkout desk, she had a cross around her neck. So, I said, “Oh, hello.” I said, “You’re a Christian.” She said, “What are you talking about?” I said, “You’ve got a cross around your neck.” She goes, “Oh, it’s nice.” (Laughter) I looked at her name, Tracy. I said, “Tracy (Laughter), it was not nice. It was nasty.” She looks at me as though I was an alien that had just landed from another planet. (Laughter)

So, I’m putting the stuff on the conveyor belt. We’re packing. We’re talking. I said, “Tracy, listen; if I have an earring here and you said, “What’s your earring there?” “That’s a gas chamber.” “Noooo.” “Yes, gas chamber.” (Laughter) “Why are you wearing a gas chamber earring?” I said, “Well, I want to remember how millions of Jewish people died in the second World War.” And then you said to me, “What’s your other earring?” Oh, that one there, electric chair.” “Noooo.” “Yes, electric chair.” (Laughter) “Why are you wearing an electric chair earring?” I said, “Well, I want to remember how certain criminals got executed in the United States.”

I said, “Tracy, what would you think of me if I was walking around with an electric chair earring and a gas chamber earring? What would you think?” Well, she goes, “I’d think you’ve lost it; you’ve lost it.” (Laughter) Now so, I said, “Tracy, is that because they’re symbols of execution?” She goes, “Yeah, yeah, yeah.” I said, “So, Tracy, what do you think you’re wearing around your neck?” (Laughter) I said, “Tracy, you gotta remember this. Jesus didn’t wear it around his neck; he wore it on his back. Big difference.” And we were in this huge supermarket and it’s like the whole place went quiet. (Laughter) Jesus came into this world to clear our overdraft, to clear our overdraft. (Applause)

There was a very famous artist who went back to the very small town where he grew up and he’s walking around the stores of the little town and in an antique shop, he cannot believe it. In the front window is one of his masterpieces. It was one that he painted years before he was famous. The frame was broken. It was scratched. It was dented. The painting was dirty, but it was his. But he couldn’t go into the antique store and say, “That’s my painting. Give it back to me.” If he wanted it back, he had to buy it back before he could clean it, restore it, reframe it. (murmuring) Jesus bought us back. (Applause) Jesus bought us back. (Applause) Jesus came into this world and died upon the cross, because by dying on the cross, He was purchasing for us forgiveness from the past.

You know, when I experienced this, I experienced this on the 9thof February, 1975 (Sound of a snap of fingers), the light came on. Straightaway, the light came on. My heart, “Whoa! And what was that?” I didn’t know what it was. Now I know, but it was like “Whoa!” My mother said, “You’re brainwashed.” I said, “Mother, my brain has been washed.” (Laughter) “If you only knew, mum, what was in my brain, you’d be pleased it got washed.” (Laughter)

It is an incredibly amazing experience to be set free from the past. You and I cannot alter the past, but we can bring the past to the altar of God. (Audience Response) And we can be cleansed and set free. I’m a Christian. Why am I a Christian? Because it’s true. I am a Christian because I need forgiveness. I am a Christian because Jesus died on the cross for me to purchase for me forgiveness from the past.

Back to our verse, “For God so loved the world, He gave His only Son, so whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Jesus died on the cross, rose from the dead, to give you and me forgiveness from the past, new life! New life! Today and a hope for the future!

I love it when you read the Bible, you read about Jesus and you read about who He was and what He did and who He is. It’s amazing.There are so many different images in the Bible to help us capture it. Jesus is the Bread of Life, so that bakers can understand. (Laughter) Jesus is the Water of Life so that plumbers can understand. Jesus is the Light of the World so that electricians can understand. (Laughter)

Jesus is the Cornerstone, so that architects can understand. Jesus is the Great Physician, so that doctors and nurses can understand. Jesus is the Good Teacher, so that educators can understand.

Jesus is the Lily of the Valley so that florists can understand. (Laughter) Jesus is the Rock of Ages, so that geologists can understand. Jesus is the Pearl of Great Price, so that jewelers can understand. Jesus is Wisdom, so that philosophers can understand.

Jesus is the Word (Applause), so that actors can understand. (Applause) Jesus is the Good Shepherd, so that farmers can understand. Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega, so that scientists can understand. Jesus is the King of Kings, so that the royalty can understand. Jesus is the Way, so that traffic wardens can understand. (Laughter) Jesus is the Truth, so that politicians can understand. (Laughter, Cheers and Applause) Jesus is the Resurrection, so that funeral directors can understand. (Laughter) Jesus is the One! (Cheers) Jesus is (Applause) the One.

Audience: (Extended Applause)

Why should you be a Christian, you should be a Christian ‘cause it’s true. You should be a Christian because you need forgiveness. You should be a Christian because Jesus died for you so that you can have forgiveness from the past, new life today and a hope for the future.

The word “Christian” has got the word “Christ” in it. If you remove the word “Christ” from the word “Christian,” you’re left with I-A-N. Ian isn’t gonna help you. (Laughter and Applause) Now I’m sure Ian’s a nice guy (Laughter), but he ain’t gonna help you. (Laughter) You know, I meet too many people today who say, “Oh, yeah, I’m Christian, yeah, Christian.” And they’ve got more in common with Ian (Laughter) than they do with Christ.

Program Note:

John F.: That’s British evangelist J.John. He’s our guest speaker on Focus on the Family and this broadcast, in its entirety, is available as one of our Best of 2017 presentations. We have 15 broadcasts bundled together in a CD collection and we’ll send the entire set to you for a gift of any amount today. Make that financial donation when you call 800-A-FAMILY. 800-232-6459 or donate and request that CD set at focusonthefamily.com/radio. Let’s go ahead and return now to J.John.

End of Program Note

J.John: Think of your life like a car, just for a moment like a car, okay, the car of your life. To be a Christian means Christ is in your car. Now I know many of you have got Him in the car. You’ve got Him in the car. Others of you haven’t. Invite Him in tonight. Those of you that have got Him in the car, where is He? (Laughter) Do you drive your car to church, unlock the boot or the trunk, get Jesus out for religious happy hour (Laughter) and then you say, “Get back in there.” (Pshh)

You’re going, “No, J.John, He’s not in the boot, in the trunk; He’s in the car.” “Where? On the backseat, a bit of a passenger?” “No, he’s in the front passenger seat.” “Ah! A bit of a companion, but still a passenger.” Now you’re thinking, “Ah, we know where you’re going with this, J.John.” You don’t actually. (Laughter) But you’re thinking, he’s now gonna say, “Ah, is he in the driving seat of the car of your life?” I am actually. Is He in the driving seat of the car of your life?

Now everybody who thought, “Yes, He’s in the driving seat of the car of my life,” I have one more question for you. Are you a backseat driver? (Laughter) The car gets to an intersection. Jesus turns left. “Where are you going?” (Laughter). “I’m going down the road of generosity.” (Vroom) “I don’t want to be generous.” (Laughter and Applause and Cheers) You know, a lot of people haven’t yet heard the “Sermon on the Amount.” (Laughter) You get to another intersection, Jesus turns right. “Where are You going?” “I’m going down the road of forgiveness.” “Oh, I don’t want to forgive her.” (Laughter)

But my belief in Jesus has to affect my behavior. Some of you tonight, you know Jesus is in the car of your life, but you need to reposition Jesus. Some of you have gotta get Him out of the trunk, the boot, out of the backseat and you’ve gotta say, “Jesus, I want you in the driving seat of my life,” because if He … if He’s in the driving seat, this is what’s gonna happen. His Spirit will produce in you and through you love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.

So- how long you’ve been a Christian? Five months? Five years? Fifteen years? Okay, how fruity are you? (Laughter) If you’re lacking some of that fruit, that means you’ve got a little red light in your car flashing, saying it’s time for a repositioning. So some of you tonight have gotta stand up and say, “Hey, I want Him in my life. I want Him in the driving seat. I want my overdraft cleared.” Others of you have gotta say, “Tonight I need to reposition Jesus. I’m a Christian because it’s true, because I need forgiveness, because Jesus died for me.”

Okay, let me give you another reason, one more. (Laughter) I’m a Christian because it works! (Audience Response and Applause) It works! It actually works. It makes a difference. Our next-door neighbors, they’re not Christians yet. They call my wife and I the neighbors from heaven. (Laughter) That’s quite encouraging actually, isn’t it? You don’t want to be called the neighbors from the other side, do you? (Laughter)

Anyway, the lady, she had a stroke and as a consequence of the stroke, she fell into a coma and had to be admitted into a hospital and the family came round and said, “We’ve just met the doctors and the doctors have told us that there’s no brain activity and we’re going to switch off the life-support machine in five days.”

And, uh, my wife said, I was away that day, my wife said, “Ah, listen. Is there any way that we can go visit her before you turn the life-support machine off?” They said, “Oh, would you, because she was so fond of you.” And it worked out, because I was away, I got back. We went on the fifth day, so the day after they were gonna turn off the life-support machine. We go to the hospital. We walk into this intensive care room and she’s there on her own.

We walk in. I … I called out to her and I say, “Hey, the neighbors from heaven are here.” My wife’s like, “Be quiet. (Laughter) We’re in intensive care.” Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, sorry, sorry, sorry.” So then I start speaking to her and I say to her, “Listen, we’ve come to pray for you.” So, Killy gets hold of her hand. I hold Killy’s hand. I hold her other hand and I say, “Killy, let’s pray the prayer that Jesus taught us.”

And we prayed. “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come.” As we said, “Your kingdom come (Sound of fingers snapping), she woke up. (Audience Response and Applause) She’s home. She’s home. She’s still not a Christian! (Laughter). What’s all that about?! (Laughter) Christianity works. Now listen, listen.

I’ve been in the ministry for 33 years. Christians are Easter people, who live in a Good Friday world. The world is broken. In our world, there is the tension between miracle and mystery and I realize that.

And you might be in a situation where you feel, ah … overwhelmed by these mysteries that are happening to you, burdens, whatever it is. God knows. God knows. If you have a concern about your health, okay, wherever you are, put your hand now on your heart. Just put your hand on your heart.

We’re now … we’re now going to pray for everyone that has a health need. So, Jesus, You are the King of Kings and You are the Great Physician. So, we’re asking You to release more of Your healing presence and where there is any sickness, infection, disease, we pray that You will flush this out of our systems now.

Where there has been any kind of degeneration, we’re asking You for regeneration. We’re asking You for restoration and we pray health and wholeness and well-being in body, in mind and spirit. And we pray that You will continue to minister Your healing grace throughout this night, all through the hours of our sleep, minister healing to us. And may we experience this week a tangible sign of Your healing at work. We pray this in the name of Christ, amen. (Crowd: Amen)

I’ve given you four reasons why I’m a Christian. I’m a Christian because it’s true. I’m a Christian because I need forgiveness. I’m a Christian because Jesus died for me. I’m a Christian because it actually works.

Closing:

John: British evangelist J.John as we close out this Best of 2017 edition of Focus on the Family and Jim, I think we can also say that Christianity, for us, actually works!

Jim: It’s so true John! And you might not have seen someone come out of a coma while you were praying for them- I mean, that’s extraordinary- as J.John and Killy did, but I think all of us could say that we’ve seen circumstances where God has obviously been working behind the scenes for our good. And get this-- when we aired this program just before Easter, people actually experienced healing! And here is one note we received from Andrew. He said, “We try to listen to your broadcast whenever possible and are so thankful we heard J.John’s message. My wife had two mammograms and an ultrasound that confirmed she had a suspicious mass. We prayed for physical healing along with J.John and felt a real connection to God. We were blessed with a miracle because today when the doctors prepared to do a biopsy, no mass could be found! We thank the Lord for Focus on the Family!’ And man, I would just say thank the Lord for being the Lord!

John: Oh, that is such a tremendous story, Jim of faithfulness and God using these broadcasts in ways that we could never dream of.

Jim: Boy, I’ll tell ya John, that note was quite a blessing to all of our staff and who knows how many other people were healed of a physical problem or an emotional problem by praying along with J.John that didn’t have time to let us know? That’s what encourages me. I think that’s just a great example of how the Holy Spirit moves through the work we’re doing here at Focus on the Family every day.

And here we are at the beginning of December, the last month of the year and we want to commemorate the greatest gift of all, the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. And as you’re making your gift list, can I please ask you to add Focus on the Family? Think of it as giving the gift of family to those who come into contact with our ministry through this broadcast, our magazines, our Hope Restored Marriage Intensive program- which is saving marriages that are breaking apart- and so much more. We are here to provide marriage and parenting resources and to share the gospel so that we can introduce people to Jesus Christ. Andthat’ssomething to support, I think! Focus on the Family is a non-profit organization, so your gift is tax-deductible and I know that’s important at this time of year. Please consider supporting the ministry and give the gift of family.

And when you donate, we’ve got the best gift of the year to send back to you! Our Best of 2017 CD collection, which features this message from J.John along with over a dozen of our very best broadcasts of the year. And we’ll send that to you for a generous donation of any amount and if you act quickly, we’ll get it to you in time for Christmas. And even better, by giving now you can double your impact because of good friends of this ministry who are offering to match your donation dollar for dollar. So take advantage of that-- now is a great time to give.

John: Well, it really is and the CD collection will make a great Christmas present. It’s got 12 CDs, 15 programs, and we can get that in time for you to put it under the tree if you call or request it online today. Our number is 800-A-FAMILY or stop by focusonthefamily.com/radio.

While you’re online, we’ll direct your attention to a little e-booklet that you can read calledComing Home: An Invitation to Join God’s Family. Tens of thousands of people have found this to be a helpful resource as they want to check out Christianity more or get a little firmer grasp on what their faith is all about. Again, it’s calledComing Homeand it’s at our website.

Now join us next time; we’ll have another top broadcast of the year featuring LeRoy and Kimberly Wagner.

Teaser:

Kimberly Wagner: But a fierce woman can be one of two things. She can be beautiful and encouraging and inspiring to a man to be all that he can be, all that God created him to be. Or she can be destructive. She can emasculate him. And that’s what I was doing to LeRoy for so many years and I didn’t even realize it.

End of Teaser

John: That’s next time on Focus on the Family and thanks for listening today. I’m John Fuller. On behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team, join us next time as we help you and your family thrive in Christ. And as we wrap up today, one final thought from J.John.

J.John: If you haven’t yet received this, receive it tonight. In just a moment, just a minute, I’m gonna ask you to stand up if you need to say yes, if you need to reposition Jesus. I’m not asking you to stand up to embarrass you. I … I wouldn’t do that,I’m asking you to stand upbecause if you cannot stand up here, you’ll never be able to stand up out there.

If you would like to begin to be a follower of Jesus and invite Jesus into your life, or you would like to reposition Jesus in your life, can you please stand up. Stand now. Now is your opportunity. Please stand. Please stand.

Fantastic. Keep standing. Come on; stand up and say “yes, I want to do this.”

May you, and all of us, knowGod’s protection as we endeavor to fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author of our faith. So, we ask for the blessing of the Holy Trinity—God, the Father, who made us, God, the Son, who died for us and God, the Holy Spirit—be with us now and forevermore, amen.

All stand. (Applause) Thank You, Lord. (Applause)

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Guest

J.John

View Bio

J.John is an evangelist, minister, social activist and a popular public speaker who has addressed audiences in 69 countries on six continents. He has authored numerous books, of which there are more than a million copies in print in 13 languages. J.John resides in Chorleywood, Hertfordshire. He and his wife, Killy, have three sons. Learn more about J.John by visiting his website, www.canonjjohn.com, and following him on Twitter @canonjjohn.