Why does "The Name" of Jesus stir both awe and animosity? Jesus Christ is a lightning rod because His name represents the division of life between good and evil, God and Satan, light and darkness, righteousness and sin, Heaven and Hell.

It is this bristling truth that invites intolerance toward Christians in the 21st Century. Jesus did not say, “Do your own thing," or "All roads lead to God.” That would have made Jesus “politically correct,” but Jesus is not politically correct. HE IS LORD!

Franklin Graham, son of the world-renowned evangelist, Billy Graham, faced controversy just days after the tragic killing of students at Columbine High School shocked the world in April, 1999. He was invited by Colorado’s governor to speak at a memorial service for families and friends.

Graham challenged the crowd of 70,000 and millions who watched by television to seek comfort, hope and salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ. Later, he received both words of commendation and criticism for his message. Even clergymen from various religious faiths stated that his emphasis on Jesus name was offensive.

Later Franklin reflected, “Why is it when people curse using His Name, hardly anyone complains? But, if you speak about Him with respect or pray in His Name, some people call 'foul’?”

In recent years there has been growing criticism not only of the Name, Jesus Christ, but Christianity. In a recent magazine article the author identified how to many of the “culturally elite,” the enemy of civilization is not terrorism but instead religious believers of “all types, including Orthodox Jews and Christians.”
(Marvin Olasky, “The Greatest Spin Ever Sold,“ World, May/June 2002, 9)

“Maybe we should not be shocked;” added Graham, “people have been taking pot-shots at Jesus for more than twenty centuries. Even one who was to become an ardent disciple started out as a skeptic.”
(Excerpts taken from Franklin Graham’s book, The Name, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, 2002)

Jesus told His disciples,
“the world … hates Me because I testify that what it does is evil.” (John 7:7, NIV) On another occasion, Jesus explained that those who follow Him would face trials and persecution. He was right. As the centuries have rolled by, the Name of Jesus and His followers have encountered opposition resulting in severe persecution and martyrdom even to the present generation.

Jesus declared to His disciples, as He faced His crucifixion, death on the Cross, and resurrection,
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6, NIV) It was these words which eventually led to His execution.

The apostle Peter declared, after Pentecost, “
Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved,” (Acts 2:21, NIV) proclaiming the prophet Joel’s words, and “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under Heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12, NIV) He was arrested and put in prison and eventually suffered a violent death at the hands of his enemies.

Paul, the great apostle and missionary to the world, wrote these powerful words while in prison, declaring,
“every knee should bow” and “every tongue will confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord!” (Philippians 2:10-11, NIV) Paul, too, faced execution for his faith in Jesus Christ.

Do you know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord? Your acceptance or denial of Him could mean the determination of your eternal destiny. I invite you to proclaim Jesus as your Savior today!

Bill and Gloria Gaither penned these powerful words,

    Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,
    There’s just something about that Name. 
    Master, Savior, Jesus, like the fragrance after the rain. 
    Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, let all Heaven and earth proclaim, 
    Kings and kingdoms will all pass away,
    But there’s something about that Name.
    (Bill and Gloria Gaither,


(Excerpts of this original article were published in the “Your Faith” page of the Newark Advocate, OH, 2003)