Lessons Of A Lifetime

JUST A STONE’S THROW AWAY
OR
BELIEVE THE WORKS
SUNDAY JUNE 13, 2021

Scripture To Consider:
“Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, ‘Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?’ The Jews answered Him, saying, ‘For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.’”

“Jesus answered them, ‘Is it not written in your law, “I said, ‘You are gods”? If He called them gods, to whom the Word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, “I am the Son of God”? If I do not the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.’

“Therefore, they sought again to seize Him, but He escaped out of their hand. And He went away again beyond the Jordan to the place where John was baptizing at first, and there He stayed. Then many came to Him and said, ‘John performed no sign, but all the things that John spoke about this Man were true.’” John 10.31-42

Something To Consider:
Everywhere Jesus went the people were just a stone’s throw away from believing. But because of their unbelief this Jewish crowd of religious leaders, could only see Jesus as a man. Therefore, they accused Him of blasphemy because He made Himself equal with God. They did not have the luxury of reading John’s gospel which clearly proclaims Jesus as being the Word of God who was in the beginning with God.

And yet, billions of people since have read the four gospels and still remain just a stone’s throw away from believing in Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Why is that? Why do some believe and others do not? To those who believe, there appears to be sufficient evidence recorded in the Word of God. Why then do so many not believe?

Something Else To Consider:
Jesus, in Luke chapter 16, told a true story about a certain rich man who had everything in this life, and a certain beggar named Lazarus who was left at the rich man’s gate every day desiring the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table. You might say this certain beggar was just a stone’s throw away from having everything and yet, receiving nothing according to Jesus.

And Luke records, in the words of Jesus, “So it was in time that the beggar died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried.” We are told that the rich man being in torments cried out to Father Abraham for help. But none could be offered. His eternal fate had been sealed. Therefore, Jesus closed the story by declaring that the rich man begged Abraham to send someone back to earth to warn his five brothers.

Abraham’s response according to Jesus was, “If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded [made to believe] though one rise from the dead.” And that is exactly what Jesus did for all the world to see, hear, read, and believe. Yes, Jesus has risen from the dead, but many if not most, still choose not to believe!

Something More To Consider:
In our Scripture to consider, Jesus attempted to reason with those who did not believe, by saying, “If I do not the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.” Therefore, they sought to seize Him and to unload on Him the stones of bitterness, anger, resentment, jealousy, envy, and continued unbelief. But Jesus escaped out of their hands!

In other words, it was not His time to be relieved of His duties, therefore God, His Father, made a way of escape out of their evil hands. Our time on this earth is in the hands of our Almighty God and heavenly Father. No out of nowhere accident, no deceitful attempt on our life, and no satanic behind the scenes scheme can prosper against us unless our Father in heaven has allowed it. And if that is of our Father’s wisdom for the moment, to be absent from the body is to be present with our Lord!

Jesus, in seeking some solitude, returned to the place where John the Baptist had been baptizing beyond the Jordan. Even there Jesus was quick to draw a following of those who believed the words of John the Baptist concerning Jesus. The same is still true today. There are those living, working, and just existing, that we rub shoulders with on a daily basis that are just a stone’s throw away from believing in Jesus. And yet, according to Jesus, those believing are among the few!

And if we, as immature believers are laboring under a heavy burden and backpack full of stones, ready at a moment’s notice to cast as some unsuspected stranger, we will remain as ineffective as those in our text today. Believing in Jesus allows us the freedom to lay down our stones of defense and to take up His cross of offense. Therefore, what is it that we have chosen to let go of and what have we elected to wrongfully cling to?

A Few Final Words:
How many times has God unloaded the heavy stone filled to overflowing back pack of life for us? The answer for most of us is as many times as we have been willing to seek His forgiveness and His help in unloading the stone strewn burdens we carry due to unbelief. Is our unbelief in certain areas of our earthly existence causing us to become just a stone’s throw away from deliverance?

Stoning someone physically or verbally is a cruel method of punishing a person, but unbelief destroys a person for all of eternity. Therefore, believe the works recorded not only by Moses and the prophets, but believe the works of the early disciples, and especially the Word and works of Jesus.

According to John’s gospel, “Jesus answered them, ‘Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?’ We must expect evil actions from unbelievers. We should plan for future betrayals of those closest to us. We must be prepared for the stones of bitterness, hatred, anger, and deception as we enter into these end times. As believers we are always just a stone’s throw away from being in the eternal presence of Jesus and our heavenly Father!

Prayer:
Our Father in heaven, eliminate any unbelief we may have surrounding Jesus, and help us to lay down any and all stones we are still holding onto. In Him Always, Amen!

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