Lessons Of A Lifetime

SUNDAY MAY 16, 2021

Scripture To Consider:
“Jesus heard that they had cast him [the once blind man] out, and when He had found him, Jesus said to him, ‘Do you believe in the Son of God?’ He answered and said, ‘Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?’ And Jesus said to him, ‘You have both seen Him, and it is He who is talking with you.’

“Then he said, ‘Lord, I believe!’ And he worshipped Him. And Jesus said, ‘For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind.’

“Then some of the Pharisees who were with Jesus heard these words, and said to Him, ‘Are we blind also?’ Jesus said to them, ‘If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, “We see.” Therefore your sin remains.’ John 9.35-41

Something To Consider:
This man who was born blind but now sees was cast out of the synagogue, that local place of worship. This is a perfect example of being persecuted for Christ’s sake or for righteousness sake. And the sad part of this picture is that it is a prime example that is being repeated in many local fellowships and churches around the world.

Sometimes this occurs due to the touch or call of God upon a person’s life. Other times it is a conflict of opinions or interpretation of Scripture. For leaders of God’s people, the casting out of believers because of envy, jealousy, or bitterness that has risen is a serious spiritual crime, and one that God does not condone or ignore!

It should never be so among the leaders or leaders in training who claim the name of Christ, never! And yet, hatred has risen within the church for many reasons. According to Leviticus 19.17, “You shall not hate your brother [or sister within the family of God] in your heart.” Notice hatred begins in the heart, and yet any sin always is revealed through our actions and or our words.

Hatred, envy, and bitterness towards others has and will continue according to Jesus in Matthew chapter 24. Therefore, in verses 9 and 10, Jesus declared; “You will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.”

Something Else To Consider:
As soon as Jesus heard that the one-time blind man was cast out Jesus went searching, just as He still does for any and all outcasts. Jesus looks until he or she is found. But take note what Jesus did not do. He did not console him concerning his being cast out. But rather, He confirmed his faith, by asking, “Do you believe in the Son of God?” After realizing that Jesus was the Son of God, the outcast exclaimed, “Lord I believe!” And he worshipped Jesus.

He worshipped the Son of God outside of the local assembly, even after being made an outcast by religious leaders. One of my favorite T-shirts has a picture of Jesus teaching His disciples on the front and Jesus and the two thieves on crosses on the back, and the words that declare many personal testimonies by stating, “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see!”

These words from John Newton’s hymn should become the anthem cry of all leaders in training, and never to be forgotten, especially by those who have experienced being cast out themselves by jealous low self-esteemed religious leaders of every generation. And yet, according to Jesus in Matthew 28.19; “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…” Whether we are a part of a local assembly, or whether we have been angrily cast out, we are to be a part of the discipling process of ourselves and others.

And also according to Jesus in verse 20 of Matthew chapter 28, we are to be teaching others to observe all things Jesus has commanded. And His reminder to us and to all outcasts who have been found by Jesus is; “And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Something More To Consider:
Being an outcast is indeed a very difficult life lesson to learn and to endure. But confirming our faith in Jesus Christ is critical and biblically required. And upon finding this man who was cast out, Jesus revealed Himself to him as never before. Many of us know this to be true in our own outcast but not forsaken lives!

We are not given the name of this man, but it is possible that he became a leader in training. Certainly, his boldness among the so-called religious leaders was a step in the right direction. And it is an undeniable historical fact that many spiritual outcasts having been proven as leaders in training, have become bold, yet compassionate spiritual leaders for Christ.

What about us? Are we among the many outcasts found by Jesus? If so, we ought to be among those either being discipled or helping in the discipleship of others. We are either leaders or we should be leaders in training! Before coming to Christ, we are all outcasts of the kingdom of God. After coming to Jesus and believing in Him, we run the risk of becoming outcasts from the established and extremely organized earthly church.

A Few Final Words:
As true end time enduring to the end believers in Jesus Christ and in His Word, we must be careful not to allow our becoming spiritual outcasts from organized religious circles to damage our eternal relationship with Christ. The only remedy for being an outcast of the established earthly church is to remain a true born-again enduring to the end believer in Jesus and the Word of God!

Believing, according to Jesus, is more important than belonging, if it is Jesus, the Word of God come in the flesh, full of grace and full of truth in whom we are believing. For according to John in our Scripture to consider, “Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when Jesus had found him, He said to him, ‘Do you believe in the Son of God?’

Who, or in what, are we believing? It will become extremely important just moments before we pass from this realm of earthly living into the eternal realm of everlasting life in the presence of an Almighty God, or in the presence of Satan, eternal darkness and punishment. Who, or in what, will we believe, when the Antichrist is revealed and true Christians are betrayed, persecuted, and faced with their death or to deny Jesus? That day is fast approaching!

Our Father in heaven, if we ever experience the tragedy of becoming spiritual outcasts, let us be found by You Lord, stronger in faith and willing to endure unto the end as Christ endured the suffering and shame of the cross. In Him Always, Amen!

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