(Wednesday, December 17th, 2008 – 9pm)
The world cannot hate you; but me it hates, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.- John 7:7 (AKJV)
* This is exactly why the world hated Him then, and it’s exactly why the world hates Him now. Everyone will say that they like Jesus, that they think He’s cool, hip, and they like what He stands for; at least until Jesus speaks as from the scriptures, and then they hate Him. Then they create false Jesus’ that they like the image of (graven as they are); and doing that in itself is hating Him.
We hear people say all the time (many believers have said as much) that they don’t dislike Jesus per se, they just don’t give Him any thought one way or another, and we all nod and accept that as if it were somehow better than those who openly loathe and protest our King. It is no better. If you love Jesus Christ – that means that you submit to Him, repent of your awful sinfulness and spend the rest of your life worshiping and glorifying Him as much as you muster in humble gratitude for His incredible mercy in saving you. Anything other than that, is far less than the least that He deserves. Let’s be clear on this point:
Jesus Christ is the Lord High God, who is Holy and Perfect and holds all things together in His hands merely by choosing to do so. He is the most wonderful, incredible, truly awesome being that has ever or will ever exist. As such he deserves absolute and total love and devotion and praise from every living thing that He has created. So, anything less than that, anything less at all, is absolutely equivalent to hating Him. It’s just that simple.
And the Jews marveled, saying, How knows this man letters, having never learned? – John 7:15 (AKJV)
* This verse alone effectively cancels out Rob Bell’s ridiculous tripe about Jesus being trained and schooled for years and years as a Rabbi (as he prattled on so much about in his “Snow” video from Nooma), and that is the reason why He was such a great teacher and knew the scriptures so well.
Horse manure! The real “snow job” in that video was the utter pile of crud he is trying to teach (subliminally indoctrinate!) into the people who watch it – not the shoveler outside the window: no, the real the shoveler was inside the window sitting in his den…talking trash about God.
Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. – John 7:16 (AKJV)
* Jesus knew the scriptures because they were of God, as He was of God!!! Not because he spent years in some Rabbinical school as Bell insists He did; and the disciples didn’t drop their fishing lines and follow Jesus when He told them to “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” because they knew Him to be some hip local professor who held degrees from the local Rabbi U and they wanted to hang out with Him. The real Jewish “scholars”, in the local “temple” no less, repudiate that very idea themselves – right here in scripture.
Perhaps Rob Bell would be better to spend time pondering what the scriptures do say, rather than spending as much time as he does trying to convince people of what he thinks they should say.
If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. – John 7:17a (AKJV)
* There is so much depth in this verse besides the most obvious point(s) that Christ was making (using Himself as a correct illustration): “If any man will do His will” – if anyone will submit himself to serving God as God wants…“he shall know of the doctrine“ – the holy spirit of God will give him (put within him in fact) knowledge of God’s will, precepts, desires, and commandments…“whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself” – and the one who serves God, who is submitted to Him and His will, will be able to discern when what another teaches, says, or does is truly something of God, or merely the wisdom or desires of men: he will know false teaching and false prophets when he encounters them, no matter what they profess.
Big meaty heavy powerful stuff right there!!
Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. 25 Then said some of them of Jerusalem, Is not this he, whom they seek to kill? John 7:24-25 (AKJV)
* Don’t judge someone’s godliness by some personal standard of speech, or clothes, or rituals (ala folks and Mark Driscoll oftentimes); but judge him by whether the results truly proclaim the glory of God or not. People worry that someone’s hands look dirty, though their works show themselves to be holy. Pharisitical! And the rallying cry of defense that always rings out among the brethren (sadly) as well as the unbelievers: “Judge Not!!! Judge Not!!!!” Those verses are SO abused and mis-contextualized within the church; but that is a subject for another time.
Is not this He, whom they seek to kill? 26 But, see, He speaks boldly, and they say nothing to Him. John 7:25b-26a (AKJV)
* They tried to kill Him, to have Him killed, as a mob to run Him out of Dodge at the very least; and How did he respond? He spoke boldly! He would not be shut up, shouted down, or driven away. And they had nothing to say to Him – surely they still murmured, grumbled, even taunted and jeered at some points…but the biblical text says “they say nothing to him”. Nothing…of substance, nothing…of depth, nothing…to prove themselves wiser or smarter, nothing…to repudiate the truth He spoke. About that, they…had…nothing…to…say.
Is this true of us as His followers? Do we stand on the truth of the word of God and continue to speak even when non-believers, enemies of the cross try and shout us down? Or do we clam up and slink away at the slightest challenge to the gospel? What was the last thing that Jesus said to the disciples before He ascended? What was his last command to them (and us)?
19 Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatever I have commanded you: and, see, I am with you always, even to the end of the world. Amen. – Matthew 28:19-20 (AKJV)
Go! You! Not, go pastor, go evangelist, go missionary, but GO YOU! Get up, get out, and spread the gospel to all nations – not some, all. The entire world. Teach them the gospel of Jesus Christ, teach them to repent and turn their lives over to God, and to “observe all things whatever have I commanded” – to live by His ways, His desires, His rules. It is His creation isn’t it? How can we obey God, our Lord and master, if we do not take hold of the fire of the spirit he has placed in us, and go out and preach the word to ALL PEOPLE, not just those who wander up and politely ask us if we can tell them anything about this guy Jesus!
ALL means ALL – All the people who get defensive and attack us with loud or nasty rebuttals. All the people who threaten to sue us, or pop us in the mouth if we don’t shut up. All the people who point at us and tell everyone else within earshot that we’re nutty, regular Jeez-US Freaks! All the people who turn and walk or even run away from the proclamation of the gospel that we speak. We need to speak boldly to them, and then do it again, and again! And then probably, again!!
They literally tried to kill Jesus. They literally tried to have Him killed. Still He spoke!! When was the last time someone actually truly tried to kill one of us for preaching the gospel? When was the last time that you honestly felt your life would be forfeit if you did not just shut up about God and walk away?
It isn’t something that happens very often, not to very many people, even in the worst of places. The threats are always there of course, but, the true intent needed to commit murder? Seldom ever seen. And besides, what if it does appear? What if some deranged slathering psycho screaming “I hate Christians!” does run at you with a butcher knife? All he can do, at the very most, is kill your body, and send your soul on a fast flight home to be with your Father in Heaven who loves you and has prepared a place for you with Him, forevermore! That’s something to be afraid of??? Seriously? Read that over again:
IF you die, your soul goes on an immediate and fast flight home to be with your Father in Heaven who loves you and has prepared a place for you with Him, forevermore!!
And that is the worst that could happen to you,.. if you belong to Jesus.The worst that could happen to them…to the non-believers you let run you off, is that they could very well end up in the most horrible of all places, prepared for all of those who don’t repent, without Him,…forevermore.
So, let us all pray that the very next time, and every time that we are in a place where we have the opportunity to speak of God, to spread his gospel, to draw the damned up out of the darkness and to draw them near to His glorious and merciful light, that we will remember John, Chapter 7, verse 26, and we will not cease to speak boldly! All of eternity is at stake!
And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God. – Philippians 1:28