When we follow Jesus Christ with our lives, and we teach what is truth, from God’s Word, although some people will welcome the truth, some will not, and they may even strongly oppose us.
This is not to say that we will always get everything right, though, for we are not God, although God is living within us. But, if we are truly following the Lord with our lives, he will guide us into truth, if we are willing, and if we will obey.
And, then we should share that truth with others, even if they reject us, and even if they strongly oppose us, or even falsely accuse us.
The Lord Jesus led me to read John 8 (Select vv. NASB).
Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” v. 12
Jesus Christ, the Son of God (and God) is the way, the truth and the life. He is love, and he is righteousness and holiness. He is the only way to God the Father and to eternal life with God in heaven. Only through faith in Him can we be delivered from our sins and have the hope of eternal life with God.
But, this faith in Christ is not a mere intellectual assent to who he was and is, nor is it mere words we repeat after someone else in a prayer, nor is it a mere acceptance of God’s grace, i.e. of what Jesus did for us in dying for our sins. It is also not a one-time emotional decision we make at an altar, and it is not joining membership in an institution of men.
Jesus said that if we want to come after him, we must deny self, take up our cross daily and follow (obey) him. He said that if we hold on to our old lives of sin, we will lose them for eternity, but if we lose our lives, i.e. if we die with Christ to sin, we will save our lives for eternity (Lu. 9:23-25).
So, if we want to have the light of life, then we must follow (obey) him, and then we will not walk (conduct our lives) in darkness (sin, wickedness).
Jesus answered, “You know neither Me nor My Father; if you knew Me, you would know My Father also.” v. 19b
Some people will say they believe in the One True God, and yet they reject Jesus Christ as their Messiah and Lord. Yet, we can’t know God the Father if we do not receive Jesus Christ to be our Lord and Savior. And, we can’t know Jesus Christ, if we are not willing to walk in his ways and in his truth.
So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” vv. 31-32
Belief in Jesus Christ, as I stated already, is not a one-time event in our lives, then we live our lives, and one day we go to heaven when we leave this earth. The Bible clearly teaches us that it is those believing (presently) in him, and it is those who continue in him, and in his word, and it is those who walk (in lifestyle) according to the Spirit, in obedience to him, who are in him, by faith, and who have the hope of eternal life with God.
This is not to say that we will never sin, though, but that sin should no longer have mastery over our lives. We should no longer engage in sinful practices, for the Bible teaches that if we make sin our practice, we will die in our sins, not have the hope of eternal life. So, if we walk according to the flesh, we will die, but if by the Spirit we are putting sinful practices to death, then we will live with Christ for eternity (Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17).
Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me. Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me? He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.” vv. 43-47
Many people who call themselves followers of God and who claim to believe in Jesus Christ, will reject the truth of scripture, or will only accept parts of it, while they will ignore whatever does not fit within their own belief system. They will pick and choose the scriptures which agree with what they want to believe, and even if you show them what the rest of scripture teaches, on the same subjects, they will stubbornly hold on to just those few verses, and will not accept the rest.
But, if we are to be followers of God, of Christ, then we need to listen to all of scripture which applies to the lives of believers in Christ, even if it doesn’t fit with what someone taught us previously. We should always be growing, always learning, and always open to hear whatever the Word teaches us we must do. And, we must be willing to change our way of thinking or believing if what the Bible teaches says differently.
I think many people today have bought into a diluted gospel message, for instance, because they want to continue in sin without guilt or remorse. They want to believe that all they have to do is say some magic words or merely acknowledge who Jesus is and what he did for us, and that heaven is guaranteed them, no matter how they live from this point forward.
But, the bulk of the New Testament scriptures debunks that notion. All throughout the New Testament we read that we must walk (in lifestyle) according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh, if we want to have eternal life with God. We must not practice sin, and we must not hold on to our old way of living for sin and self, but we must continue in Christ and in his Word in in obedience to him and to his Word if we want to have the promise of heaven when we die. This is the truth! So, why do so many who call themselves Christians not believe this?
“Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he will never see death.” v. 51
So, if we want to have eternal life with God, and have the hope of heaven when we leave this earth, then we need to walk in obedience to our Lord and to the truths of his Word, and not pick and choose only the scriptures we like because they fit with our lifestyles or with what we want to believe.
We should read scriptures in context, too. It is good if we can read chapter by chapter and book by book so we understand the context of what is being taught so that we don’t err in our interpretation. Many false beliefs come about because scriptures are pulled out of context and are made to say something which they are not teaching at all.
And, if we are among those who are willing to listen to the Lord and to his Word and to change our thinking and believing, if the scriptures clearly show us where we are wrong in our thinking, then we should also be prepared to face the kind of opposition which Jesus faced, and even from within the church, too. For many people are set in their ways and are ensconced in their traditions, and they will not be moved. But, we should find our strength, hope and confidence in our Lord, and we should rest in Him.
Hear my Voice
An Original Work / July 9, 2012
Based off Psalm 27
The Lord is my great salvation.
He’s the stronghold of my life.
When my enemies attack me,
My heart will not fear at all.
Though a war break out against me,
Confident in Christ I’ll be.
Of the Lord, I ask that I may
Live with Him eternally.
Hear my voice, Lord, when I call you.
Merciful to me You’ll be.
Though my relatives forsake me,
My Lord God will receive me.
Teach me Your way, O my Jesus.
Lead me in Your righteousness.
I will sacrifice to my Lord.
I will sing with joyfulness.
I am confident that I will
See the goodness of the Lord.
All the richness of His blessings,
My Lord has for me in store.
He asks me to be of courage;
To be strong and to take heart,
Patiently as I wait for Him,
And from Him to ne’er depart.
Monday, December 4, 2017, 1:30 a.m. – Thank you, Jesus, for these encouraging words which give hope, courage, and strength to your servants.