From 1956 until 1968 a popular television show aired in America called “To tell the truth”. The show was hosted by Bud Colyer and had four celebrity guests. Three individuals would be brought out on stage, each claiming to be the same person. The celebrities were given a brief description of the individual in question and then the celebrities were allowed 1 minute to ask each of the three persons questions about themselves to determine which of the three was the real deal. After the time of questioning, each of the four celebrities had to vote on which one of the individuals was the real person. The real person was then asked to stand to reveal their true identity.
Sadly, the Church in America and around the world has created a type of game show environment surrounding the true Jesus of Scripture where each person makes Jesus into their own image. There are many views of who the true Jesus is, but most are simply idols of the mind. The true Jesus is in fact nothing like the Jesus fashioned by most who is merely a carbon copy of their own beliefs, feelings, and emotions. To fashion a Jesus in your own mind is idolatry of the mind and is no different than creating a physical idol with your hands and bowing down to worship it. Both are idolatry and blasphemy. So what are some of the false Jesus' that those both in and outside the Church have created and worship?
Today we have heirloom Jesus who is an icon passed down from generation to generation by families and their children who inherit Jesus and their faith from their parents. No need to repent and place their faith and trust personally in Jesus. They are born into this world fully redeemed by nature of their natural birth into their families who have "always" been Christian.
We also have “Prosperity” Jesus, who died for us in order that we can receive all the material blessings our hearts would ever desire. His only purpose is not to bestow spiriutal blessings and eternal life on the followers of this Jesus but make make them rich and happy in this present world and give them the earthly desires of their heart no matter how ungodly.
Then we have the “Political” Jesus who is either Republican, Democrat, Libertarian or Independent depending on the voting preferences of this Jesus' creator and supports the causes of that political party. They all claim Jesus would have supported that same ideology and platforms of their political pary.
We also have the “Moral” Jesus who died in order that we may be reformed on the outside but left untouched on the inside. No inward transformation occurs. This Jesus not only puts new clothes on his creator but sprays some perfume or cologne on them to cover the stench of their depravity and wickedness.
We also have the “Hippie” Jesus who died so His disciples could sit around the campfire holding hands singing Kumbuya while roasting marshmellows and weenies around the campfire (Hebrew National of Course) while promoting free love, sex and drugs.
Then of course we have “Entertainer” Jesus. “Entertainer” Jesus’ mission is to make sure you are never bored in life or Church. He never fails to show up without a spectacular laser light show, fog machines, skits, a song and dance routine, relevant music for the day, story telling or spectacular special effects.
Closely related is “Comedy Club” Jesus who has more one-liners than Rodney Dangerfield. He will keep you in stitches and constantly laughing the entire service since of course the world believes it is His job to keep them happy, not holy and “tickle” their funny bone. Never a dull moment from Comedy Club Jesus. He is long on comedy and completely short on theology.
Then we have “Rockstar” or “Disco” Jesus who comes with His Rock band producing mind blowing music and ear-piercing music that will get any congregation rocking. He wants worship to mimic the night club you visit each week. In fact, this Jesus even has a Broadway play named after Him. Jesus Christ, Superstar.
And of course, there is “Mystical Jesus” who came to reveal new divine revelation not contained in scripture but to wow the crowds with His prophetic mystical gifts and miracles. He often utters false prophecies concerning the future but no one cares as long as this Jesus preaches extra-biblical revelation so that His followers can claim to have special revelation no one else has.
Then there is “Country Club” Jesus who came to earth to ensure that His body maintains very strict standards of entrance to His kingdom based on a person’s pedigree, familial ties, bank account and stature in society. The poor, the outcast and those who do not meet the false standards of this Jeus need not apply. No one is allowed in the Country Club Jesus' Church that doesn't dress the proper way or is not a member of one of the Country Club Churches founding members.
You also have "Nickels and Noses" Jesus who only cares about numbers. His only goal is to have the largest, richest church possible or claim the most baptisms, so any form of gimmicks, manipulation, church welfare or community events is always central to attract the largest crowd possible. This Jesus loves to have bragging rights about having the largest Church in a community and loves to brag at Pastor's Conferences about the size and riches of His Congregation. He continually boasts of His accomplishments on social media just to make sure everyone knows about His success and to attract more people who only want to be part of the latest and greatest local Church who is doing great things for God and are movers and shakers. Of course he never tells the truth of the Gospel to these large crowds as that may reduce His numbers and numbers are the only things that matter. "Quantity over quality" is His motto.
Then of course we have “Faith Healer” Jesus who will heal all that ails you for a small fee. Faith Healer Jesus never visits hospitals or other places where there are many sick people but only large arenas where he can charge entrance fees and make a quick buck off the misery of others. He never really heals anyone as it is all for show and for dough. He will often utter false prophecies that are never fulfilled constantly brag about all the people He has healed.
You also have "Feminist" Jesus. This Jesus promotes the role of women as Elders and has no problem with females preaching to males and having biblical authority over them. He will be more than happy to take passges out of context to support the place of females in leadership roles to promote "fairness" in the Church. Nothing to Him is more important than being fair with all people so overriding scripture is not problem so as not to offend.
Of course, we also have “Charismatic” Jesus who speaks in unintelligible sounds and calls it speaking in tongues. This Jesus requires you to speak in so called tongues or else remain forever an inferior Christian or even lost. He and His followers go into ecstatic trances, roll around on the floor barking like dogs or engage in “holy” laughter. The evidence of your spirituality is always based on the use of supernatural sign gifts.
We also have the “Socialist” Jesus who died in order that the people and nations could have free healthcare, food for life and have cradle to grace protections and guarantees from the government. This Jesus has no problem stealing from the rich to give to the poor. Sharing your wealth is never an option as this Jesus takes it by force.
Or maybe you follow the “Rabbi” or “Sensei” Jesus who came merely to teach a set of moral values or principles to follow. His followers see Him as a good man or a good teacher but not God incarnate. He becomes a point of bragging rights to those who follow Him since he is the "spiritual" of all.
Some also like “Therapist” Jesus who died in order to fix His followers personal problems and hang-ups. You can rest assured that all the latest and greatest therapeutic gimmicks and tricks will be used to solve the spiritual problems of His listeners who in reality can only be changed by the Gospel and not wordly wisdom.
Or maybe you prefer the “Polytheistc” Jesus who died so that many ways could be made possible for eternal life. Polytheistic Jesus sits on the top of the tallest mountain glaring down on fallen humanity but does not act to enable those at the base of the mountain to reach him. Many roads lead up this mountain to the top representing the various religions of the world and no matter what road you choose or what religion you practice, one of these roads will take you to Jesus and you will find in the end for all those who successfully make this journey to the mountain top that all of humanity worships the same God.
Or closely related to Him is the “Universalist” Jesus who died to ensure every person ever born, past, present, and future will be in and part of His kingdom. This Jesus will continually tell you how much he loves humanity and would never ever send anyone to hell or judge them and assures them that all who ever lived will be in His kingdom. In fact, this Jesus will never speak of hell, holiness, righteousness, judgment, justice or His wrath. He will speak of nothing but His great love, mercy and grace.
And then there is the “Sympathetic” or “Tolerant” Jesus who was too weak and effeminate to say an unkind word to anyone or to challenge the sin or wrong beliefs of anyone. If fact, this Jesus regularly apologized to anyone who might have been offended by His words even if true. Being non-offensive is the central core of His teaching.
Many prefer the “Antinomian” or “Non-Judgmental” Jesus who never met a sin He did not like. In fact, his favorite quotation is Matthew 7:1, “Judge not lest you be Judged” which he quotes quite frequently anytime anyone called out the sin of another or makes someone "feel" as if they are being judged. This Jesus will always point you to the woman caught in the act of adultery in John 8 where Jesus tells her He doesn't condemn her but they always leave out that stickly little part about "go and sin no more."
Or the most popular Jesus of all today the “Social Justice” Jesus who died in order that He may solve all of the social ills of society by eliminating hunger, racism, poverty, immigration, inequality, sexism, bigotry, homophobia, xenophobia, white supremacy and climate change.
Everyone one of these false views of Jesus and many others are simply an idol of the mind of its creator. A false God who bears no resemblance to the Jesus of Scripture. A false Jesus who has no power at all to save mankind from their sins. We would all do well to remember the words of Jesus to the Samaritan woman in John 4, “You worship what you do not know”.
Do you know the true Jesus of Scripture? The one who came only to seek and save His lost people from their sins? The one who died a brutal death on a cross to secure eternal life for all those who will believe on Him. If not, repent today and place your complete faith in the finished work of the true Jesus of Scripture. A Jesus who is ineffably holy and has a holy hatred for sin. A Jesus who indeed will punish the wicked with eternal punishment from God as a righteous judgment for their sin, wickedness and refusal to repent.