Lessons Of A Lifetime


Scripture To Consider:
“Then the officers came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, ‘Why have you not brought Him [Jesus]?’ The officers answered, ‘No man ever spoke like this Man!’ Then the Pharisees answered them, ‘Are you also deceived? Have any of the rulers of the Pharisees believed in Him? But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed.’”

“Nicodemus (he who came to Jesus by night, being one of them) said to them, ‘Does our law judge a man before it hears him and knows what he is doing?’ They answered and said to him, ‘Are you also from Galilee? Search and look, for no prophet has arisen out of Galilee.’” John 7.45-52

Something To Consider:
We left off last week with a division being created among the people concerning Jesus. This was nothing new for Jesus. The chief priests had sent officers to arrest Him, but the officers returned empty handed, saying, “No man ever spoke like this Man!” In other words, in their own opinion there was no other man like this Man, Jesus of Nazareth.

And yet, Jesus was a man. But He was much more than a man. He was according to the Word of God, the Son of Man. And yet also according to the Word of God He was and is the God Man come in the flesh that He might identify with us and our sufferings. As true believers, do we too identify with His sufferings? Are we willing to identify with His sufferings? 

In much of the 21st century so-called church, the concept of suffering has been replaced with the false belief system that we are entitled to health, wealth, and prosperity as American Christians. This is a false and wrong worldly philosophy that no longer works in the true Christian church of China and elsewhere around the world. Many leading Christian leaders have realized the unbiblical gospel of the above mentioned wrongly declared entitlements only weakened the church in China and elsewhere, and now they are suffering the severe consequences of false teaching.

The Psalmist wrote in Psalm 44.22, as a prayer unto God; “Yet for your sake [God’s sake] we [Old Testament saints] are killed all day long. We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” But this biblical concept of suffering for God’s sake is foreign to the so-called church of this western world. And all that will change the moment the Antichrist is revealed and His rule and strict obedience to His rule is demanded and cruelly enforced through the threat of isolation and or death. Therefore, what voice are we listening to? Are we listening to the same unbiblical voice that the church of China listened to in past decades? God forbid that be the case!

Something Else To Consider:
Jesus, in Acts 9.16 proclaimed of Saul, who soon after became Paul, the great apostle and New Testament preacher and scribe; “I will show him [Saul, soon to be Paul] great things he must suffer for My name’s sake.” And in 1 Peter 3.14, we are admonished; “But even if you should suffer for righteousness sake, you [we] are blessed.” And still the so-called church of America preaches just the opposite and that which is contrary to the written and preserved Word of God. God help us in this 21st century end time generation to teach the Word of God!

In our Scripture to consider, Nicodemus, who some fault for his coming to Jesus as if in secret at night, put his position among the religious rulers in jeopardy by stepping forward and speaking on behalf of Jesus. That is an ideal picture of the transformation that takes place in an individual who has come into contact with Jesus.

Evidently, Nicodemus had been contemplating the things Jesus had spoken that night so many months ago. It now appears that Nicodemus has moved closer to the point of no return. For once a person, a new convert to true Christianity, or a leader in training steps up to the lectern of life and begins voicing his or her convictions in favor of Jesus, a holy boldness begins to be born in the life and heart of that believer. And that is a very good thing!

Before a decisive, God-ordained victory over King Ahab and his four hundred and fifty false prophets at Mount Carmel, Elijah, God’s true prophet, came to all the people and said, “How long will you falter [flip flop] between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal [false god], follow him.”

Something More To Consider:
On this day in the life of Nicodemus, He chose to speak up for Jesus, and no doubt he suffered for it! What about us? Did we speak up for Jesus yesterday, the day before, or last week? Will we be willing to speak for Christ today or tomorrow if life’s situations allow it? That decision must be made before the opportunity arises, or the answer just may be no!

And so as Nicodemus steps to the forefront of the spiritual conflict concerning Jesus, He is rebuked by the religious leaders. As leaders and leaders in training, we should expect opposition whenever we speak out or up for Jesus from those who are satisfied being religious rather than spiritual and biblical. It is part of the process, therefore, be prepared like Nicodemus was.

Nicodemus was convinced of what the law, the Word of God stated. Just as we need to be aware and convinced through the study of what the Word of God in its entirety declares. And we can be sure that the Word of God proclaims that there is no man like this Man Jesus. Therefore, we can rest confidently in the truth that there shall never be any other man like unto Jesus.

We are instructed in Proverbs 16.9; “A man’s [woman’s] heart plans his [or her] way, but the LORD directs his [or her] steps.” Therefore, as the Lord directs our steps, our perfect will destiny, which may include suffering and end time persecution from the opposition; will we plan to remain faithful and speak for Jesus and the things of God? The alternative is not a pretty picture!

A Few Final Words:
As sure as the Lord Jesus is coming again, end time persecution and end time suffering is also coming to the faithful few willing to speak for Jesus. In speaking for Him, Peter wrote in 1 Peter 4.12; “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial [time of suffering] which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you.”

Peter continued in verse 13, by stating; “But rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings [trials and persecutions], that when His glory is revealed [at His soon second coming], you [we] may also be glad with exceeding joy.” All suffering for Christ’s sake will be rewarded at the appearing of Jesus and the gathering together of His saints at the sound of the last trumpet.

As true believers in Christ, we should thank God often for the preservation of the words of Jesus, for they are eternal life to all who read and heed their eternal message of hope. For according to Jesus, “The officers answered, ‘No man ever spoke like this Man!’” Are we heeding the words of Jesus?

Our Father in heaven, create in us a holy boldness under the rule and reign of Your Holy Spirit, that we may speak up often and boldly for Jesus Christ. In Him Always, Amen!

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