Lessons Of A Lifetime

SUNDAY SEPT. 30, 2018

Scripture To Consider:
“Now when Jesus was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did. But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man.” John 2.23-25

Something To Consider:
Many believed in His name, in the name of Jesus, when they saw the signs which He did while in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast. The only sign written about thus far done in Jerusalem was Jesus cleansing the temple of those merchandising God’s place of prayer and worship. This one event in the life of Jesus was a giant step forward in His manifesting His authority over those scandalous religious leaders who were overly profiting off of God’s people.

Jesus, in turning over the money changers’ tables and casting out those who sold temple inspected and pre-approved animals at exorbitant high prices, was now attracting the interest and attention of the common worshiper of God. Jesus had stood up for God’s house and God’s people, and many began to believe in His name.

What is it that we are willing to stand up for in taking a biblical stand against in this 21st century? What is it that we should stand up for or against in this very possible final generation living upon planet earth under man’s evil rule and cruel reign? What will Jesus find us standing up for when He returns? Will He find us full of faith or full of false conceptions built upon the sinking sands of man-made and demonic approved doctrines and traditions?

What was it that Jesus stood up for and against? Jesus stood up for the people of God who were getting ripped off financially and spiritually. Jesus stood up for those who truly wanted to worship God! How or why should we do any less as true believers in Jesus Christ? Jesus stood up for the truth of God’s Word and He stood against the sin of hypocrisy within the religious ruling and yet evil established organized religion of His day. The religious leaders were taking advantage of God’s people financially and misrepresenting God to the people.

Can the same be said today of the highly organized and extremely established religions of this 21st century? If Jesus would return today would He find many religious leaders guilty of their misrepresenting God to the people by their financial schemes put in place to increase the monetary giving of God’s people? Would Jesus find many of the religious leaders of today wrongfully holding back the truth of His Word and at the same time propagating their own false and misleading version of the truth?

Something Else To Consider:
But Jesus did not commit Himself unto the people or leaders. This would have been according to some religious but not spiritual opportunists, the best time to have flyers, posters, and billboards created, announcing the next set of speaking engagements, time, place, and topic of discussion. Some might have thought it a good time for advertising the next round of Holy Land trips via a cruise on the Mediterranean Sea. But Jesus of course did none of these things! Jesus did not even share the slightest hint of His intentions and plans, because He knew all men. Jesus knew what was in the minds and hearts of all men, women, and young people; you and I included!

Jesus knew they believed in Him because of the signs. Believing in Jesus is important, but believing in Jesus as Savior and Lord is more important. Jesus said in John 14.1; “You believe in God, believe also in Me.” Believing in Jesus, the Word of God who came in the flesh, should bring about conviction and repentance of our sins or it is not true belief. Believing in Jesus will bring about a change in our lifestyle just as it did the early disciples. Jesus believed this whether we do or not. Therefore, He did not commit Himself to those who believed simply because they saw the signs which He did.

If we believe in Jesus, why is it that we believe in Jesus? Do we believe in Jesus as the many in our Scripture to consider, because of the signs Jesus did? Or is it because when we heard the Word of God we were convicted of our sins and following that eternal event faith flooded every fiber of our being? In Matthew chapter 9, a paralyzed man was brought to Jesus. When Jesus saw the faith of those who had brought the man, Jesus declared, “Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.” According to Jesus, the removal of sin through the repentance of our sin should be our priority.

After some discussion with the religious leaders who said within themselves of Jesus, “This Man blasphemes!”; Jesus told the paralyzed man, “Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” “And he [the once paralyzed man] arose and departed to his house.” Jesus first and foremost dealt with this man’s sin! Sin must always be dealt with first and foremost in our lives even after our being born again. For according to the Word of God, sin separates us from God. Without the forgiveness of our sin faith cannot arise in our hearts, nor can we be changed into the new spiritual creatures in Christ that the Word of God commands. Therefore, let us be of good cheer when our sins are forgiven!

Something More To Consider:
According to our text Jesus knew what was in man! Jesus knows what lies beneath our deepest thoughts and intentions. The writer of Hebrews 4.12 declared; “For the Word of God is living and powerful, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Jesus is still the Word of God and the Word of God is still alive and powerful. The Word of God is still a spiritual discerner of our individual thoughts and intentions. The Word of God brings light to reveal the intentions of our hearts. That can be a blessing or sometimes an embarrassing thought. Which of the two is most true in our lives today?

Do we among the many believing in Jesus, believe so we might reap some of the religious perks just as those in the days of Jesus? Are we among the many religious leaders of Jesus’ day who financially profited greatly by their being among the religious establishment? Though they benefited were they forgiven? John the Baptist and Jesus both began their ministries with the words, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”

The true Christian life and lifetime experience begins and ends with the understanding of how much importance there is in the repentance of our sin. The forgiveness of our past sin does not negate our need for forgiveness of present and future sin. The atonement for our present and future sin has been paid, but the forgiveness of those sins must be requested through our true repentance.

In Revelation 3.19, while addressing the lukewarm church of Laodicea, Jesus acknowledged; “As many as I [Jesus] love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous [have active interest] and repent.” Jesus was speaking to those attending the church in Laodicea and all in every generation who call themselves believers. And yet, because of their works not being hot or cold, and because they thought much more highly of themselves then they should have, Jesus called for their repentance!

He further instructed those who professed to be believers in Him, to overcome or to endure to the end. According to Jesus, repentance can and will once again open the door to God’s kingdom.

A Few Final Words:
The kingdom of heaven is always at hand to those who have been forgiven of their sins. The kingdom of heaven is always at hand to those who are willing to stand up for the truth of God’s kingdom and to stand against the evil kingdoms of this world which includes its worldly religious systems based on the misrepresentation of God’s holy, living, and powerfully preserved Word of God. Jesus knows the thoughts and intentions of every heart! Does that thought bring good cheer or great conviction? Our being forgiven through repentance will always bring us good cheer!

For leaders and leaders in training, believing in signs alone may lead a person and those following in a false and very destructive direction. There is coming in the future, an Antichrist, a final false prophet, and an evil beast showing great signs and wonders, and according to Jesus and others, they will deceive many. What if the end time deception has already begun? The apostle John writing in his introduction to his gospel declared of Jesus, “He [Jesus] came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.”

Jesus in John 5.43 reported, “I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in His own name, Him you will receive. Many false prophets have and will continue to come in their own name and will deceive many. But true believers must be found by Jesus standing up for the truth of God’s Word and for Christ!

Our Father in heaven, may we truly believe in more than just the name of Jesus, and may we believe in Him as Lord of our lives. In Him Always, Amen!

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