In the past 12 months several national magazines and television programs have attempted to answer the question ÒWho is Jesus?Ó To provide an accurate answer to that question, Kirk Noonan, associate editor, spoke with Thomas E. Trask, general superintendent of the Assemblies of God.
PE: Many people donÕt believe Jesus is who He claims to be — what do you say to such people?
TRASK: You need to meet Him because when you get to know Him youÕll quickly discover the reality of Jesus. He is a genuine friend who sticks closer to you than a brother. He will not abandon you during hardships, difficulty or pain.
PE: How do we know JesusÕ claims are true?
TRASK: The proof is in history. All of His claims have been supported over time. He said, ÒIn three days I will rise again.Ó And He did. ItÕs a historical fact that He died, was buried and rose again.The proof is also in the multiplied millions of people who have experienced His power, love, compassion and miracles.
PE: Why is Jesus such a controversial figure?
TRASK: Because He says, ÒThe only way to have eternal life is through Me.Ó That offends some people. All that Christ asks of us is that we accept His free gift of salvation.
PE: How does Jesus bring us closer to God?
TRASK: Jesus tells us what the Father tells Him. He is that intermediary along with the third Person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, who reveals God to us. Jesus says, ÒIf youÕve seen Me, youÕve seen the Father.Ó
PE: Can Jesus change dire circumstances?
TRASK: When it seems that our world is collapsing, Jesus will come to us with strength and hope that is beyond our comprehension. We can always go to Him in prayer and ask for His help during any situation because He is always there to respond.
PE: Is God concerned with our individual needs?
TRASK: The Bible says HeÕs numbered every hair on our head. I donÕt know how He does it, but I know I am the recipient of His care and provision, a beneficiary of all He has to offer.
PE: How do you reply to the person who says, ÒIÕve spent my life sinning. Why would Jesus want anything to do with me?Ó
TRASK: Everyone is a sinner. Jesus died for the person who lived the life of wretchedness as well as for the person who has led a good, clean life. No matter what kind of life we have lived, Jesus loves us and wants to have a relationship with us. But itÕs up to us to accept Him as Savior.
PE: How does a person do that?
TRASK: Jesus does not force himself upon us; He waits for us to invite Him in. When we ask forgiveness for our sins and ask Him into our lives we are saved. Our salvation is not predicated upon church affiliation, heritage, finances or good works. We must only accept Him as Lord and Savior to have eternal life.
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