Trick Tracts Facts: Jesus

In the Chick Tracts Flight 144 [tract][review] and The Good Ol' Boys [tract], Chicksters would have you believe that "Lord Jesus is a jealous God" and that "good works can't save anyone" (emphasis theirs). In fact, the teachings of Jesus, taken from the Bible itself, say the exact opposite.

For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
- Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)

In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
- Matthew 5:16 (NIV)

Jesus was a simple man who lived a nomadic lifestyle wherein he preached kindness, forgiveness and Love - for all and everything, up to and including, your enemies. Jesus' entire message resounded with love and forgiveness, and he lived by example. Every thing Jesus did, he did for others - he helped the poor, the sick and down-trodden. His entire life was about "good works". He also encouraged others to do the same; to go out and help the less fortunate just as he did. How could a man who dedicated his life to "good works" for those that were suffering condemn those that continued to carry out similar "good works" in his name centuries after his death?

Jesus was not a jealous prophet, and though he worshipped his "Father in heaven" never did he require his followers or those he helped to do the same "or burn in everlasting hell". Jesus did not push his religion in other peoples' faces, and he did not get "jealous" if they worshipped differently than he. To him, everyone was special and loved - even his persecutors. How could the concept of such an accepting and loving being even be heaped into the same thought with something as petty as "jealousy"? Human beings are jealous; not enlightened prophets like Jesus or the omnipotent being that is our Creator. Jealous of what? If God is Love and God is "everything" and "in everything" - do we not all worship the same God regardless of the name we call that supreme being or the methods through which we venerate our chosen deity?

If you still have any confusion over whether Jesus, and/or God, has any quibble with "good works" and helping others, and whether doing them or not makes you "favorable" in their eyes (you are, regardless, you know), I refer you to this infamous passage from the Book of Matthew:

"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'

"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'

"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'
- Matthew 25:31-45 (NIV)

More Info on Jesus Christ and Good Works

Jesus Christ on
The Gospels of Matthew and Luke contain narratives of Jesus' birth and infancy, which disagree in many points but concur in asserting that he was the miraculously conceived son of Mary, the wife of Joseph, and that he was born at Bethlehem in Judaea. All four Gospels agree in dating his call to public ministry from the time of his baptism at the hands of John "the baptizer," after which he took up the life of an itinerant preacher, teacher, and healer, accompanied by a small band of disciples (see apostle ). The central theme of Jesus' teaching, often conveyed in the form of a parable , was the near advent of God's Reign or Kingdom, attested not merely by his words but by the "wonders" or "signs" that he performed. The chronology of this period in Jesus' life is entirely uncertain; what seems clear is that his activities evoked skepticism and hostility in high quarters, Roman as well as Jewish. After perhaps three years in Galilee, he went to Jerusalem to observe Passover. There he was received enthusiastically by the populace, but was eventually arrested and, with the cooperation of the Jewish authorities, executed under Roman law as a dangerous messianic pretender. The Gospels give relatively detailed and lengthy accounts of his last days, suggesting that the story of Jesus' Passion was a central element in early Christian oral tradition. They close with accounts of his empty tomb, discovered on the "third day," and of his later appearances to Mary and Mary Magdalene and to the circle of his disciples as risen from the dead.

The Christian calendar revolves around the life of Jesus; important feasts include (in the Western Church) the Annunciation (Mar. 25); Christmas (Dec. 25), with its preparatory season of Advent ; the Circumcision (Jan. 1); the Epiphany (Jan. 6); Candlemas (Feb. 2); and the Transfiguration (Aug. 6). The Easter cycle of movable feasts and fasts begins with Lent , which ends in Holy Week; after Easter comes the Ascension. Sunday, the Christian sabbath, is the weekly memorial of Jesus' resurrection.

The Rev. C.G. Finney believes in good works from Jesus Christ Doing Good:

Jesus Christ went about promoting the well-being of men wherever He went. He did what He could wisely do for the bodies of men, healing the sick, supplying physical wants; but more especially He sought to promote the highest spiritual good of the people, teaching, warning, rebuking and entreating, as circumstances seemed to require, evermore intent upon promoting the highest human happiness by every means in his power. His history shows amply how He did this more.

Jesus and his life from rejesus:

Two thousand years after he walked the earth, Jesus of Nazareth remains one of the most talked-about and influential people who has ever lived. In the pages that follow, we explore his life, character, teaching and more.

The creation of Christianity from Jesus' teachings from PBS: From Jesus to Christ:

This FRONTLINE series is an intellectual and visual guide to the new and controversial historical evidence which challenges familiar assumptions about the life of Jesus and the epic rise of more.

Jesus' life, death, identity and resurrection from a Christian perspective from

Who was Jesus, really? What did he say about himself? What evidence is there to support what he said? How and why did Jesus actually die? Did he really rise from the dead? ...and much more.

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