“Some people are troubled by the things in the Bible they can’t understand,” said Mark Twain. “The things that trouble me are the things I can understand.”
This was the case when the religious leaders heard Jesus teach in Jerusalem. Jesus’ teaching threatened their religious tradition, which caused them to plot his murder.
Jesus told the religious leaders, “I know that you are Abraham’s descendants, but you seek to kill me, because my word has no place in you,” (John 8:37).
From John 1, we know that Jesus is the eternal Word who spoke our world and all creation into existence. Yet, his word couldn’t find a place in the hearts of many who heard him.
“Some people refuse to hear God’s word because they do not belong to God and they belong to the devil,” says Briana, 7.
Briana probably won’t be elected president of her class if she tells people they belong to the devil and do his bidding. But that’s exactly what Jesus did. It’s no wonder religious leaders wanted to silence him permanently.
God’s unmerited grace is always a threat to entrenched, religious systems. Give me a list of things to do to earn God’s favor, and I’m all in. I’m in control when I can check boxes that make me feel good about myself.
But don’t tell me there’s nothing I can do to punch my ticket to heaven. Don’t tell me I’m helpless before a holy God and need a savior. Don’t show me a bloody cross on which Jesus suffered the death of a common criminal to pay for my sins. I can’t be that bad of a person, can I?
Compared to most people, you and I may be good people. But when standing in the presence of a holy, righteous God in our own righteousness, we will fall short of the righteousness needed to live with him forever. In a contest to jump across the Grand Canyon, what difference does it make if you jump further than anyone on the planet? Everyone dies when hitting the canyon floor.
Some people refuse to hear God’s Word because “they think the church words are better than God’s words,” says Jonathan, 7.
If you attend a church that values its religious traditions above God’s Word in the Bible, start looking for another church. Religious traditions can keep us from hearing God. To hear from Jesus, I suggest reading the Gospel of John.
Some refuse God’s Word because “the Devil is the king of lies and will trick you,” says Aiden, 8.
People act on what they believe. How else can someone wear a bomb vest, detonate it to kill himself and innocent people with the belief he has just punched his ticket to heaven?
Even if you don’t believe in a literal devil, I think you’ll agree that people believe lies. Advertisers sell products everyday by getting us to believe lies. Believing a beauty cream will make you look younger probably won’t wreck your life. Believing the lie that your good works will get you into heaven will wreck your eternity.
Think about this: Believing the truth that Jesus paid for your sins on the cross will guarantee that you will have the very righteousness of Christ credited to your life when you stand before a holy God.
Memorize this truth: “But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness,” (Romans 4:5).
Ask this question: Is your eternal destiny based on a lie or the truth?
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Bible quotations are from the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.
COPYRIGHT 2020 CAREY KINSOLVING