All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)
With His hand reached out, Jesus gave this invitation to all who would hear:
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle, and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28 through 30).
While many have responded and come to Him to have their burdens lifted, especially the heavy burden of sin…
- …a great many more still need to come and be saved!
- …even those who have accepted Jesus as their Savior…
✞ ...are still burdened by transgressions they carry because they haven’t given them over to the Lord! ✞ ...still need to respond to be relieved of the heavy burdens life can lay upon us!
Between the two classes of people mentioned above, I see six reasons why people have not yet responded to Jesus’ invitation:
- Some think they have no (or few) burdens, that everything is going pretty well at this point in their lives.
- Some feel like they can carry their burdens and solve their problems themselves.
- Some are laboring and heavy laden, but don’t know what to do with their burdens.
- Some have never heard this invitation.
- Some have heard it, maybe multiple times, but they don’t believe it is true.
- Some don’t feel worthy enough to come.
We have covered four in the two previous Gems, so lets consider the last two:
- Some have heard it, maybe multiple times, but they don’t believe it is true!
✞ Let me be very clear! I believe what Christ stated in John 14:6 is the utter truth: “Jesus said...‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’” ➔ This makes Christianity very exclusive – The one and only true way to be reconciled to God...Faith in Jesus Christ and what He has done to bring us to the Father – dying on the cross and rising from the dead! ➔ If this is true, all other religions, past, present, and future, lead people astray... because they are false! ✞ It is written twice, in Proverbs 14:12 and 16:25, and ten of the seventeen versions, including the King James Version, have it translated aright: “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” Here is why the way it is thus translated is so impor- tant: ➔ “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man....” A person does not hold multi- ple ways to order his or her life. It is one way, a way, and a person will follow what seemeth right to him or her! By the way, that one way which seemeth right may involve the belief that there are multiple ways to heaven – or there is no God at all! ➔ “...but the end thereof....” that is, the end of that way which seemeth right – if you follow a path you think is the right way, you eventually reach an end, not mul- tiple ends – one end to the one way that seemeth right! ➔ But since there are so many different ideas of how to please God and get to heaven, probably thousands of ways held in belief by people around the world! And if, as Jesus said, He is the only true way to eter- nal life, that means there are multiple ways that end in eternal death! An individual’s way is just one of the ways of death! ✞ Why is there such unbelief in the one way through faith in Jesus Christ? The answer, which is the main reason for such unbelief, will raise a lot of controversy! ➔ Satan, in II Corinthians 4:4, is called, “...the god of this world...”! He pulls the strings of the nations of the world, the societies that make up those nations! ➔ How did he get such authority? According to Genesis 1:28 (English Standard Version), God told Adam “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion...over every living thing that moves on the earth.” But when Satan tempted our first parents (see Genesis 3:1-5), and Adam fell (see Genesis 3:6, 7), Adam, as it were, bowed before Satan and transferred his God- given authority over all the earth to the devil! ➔ That’s why the evil one could make such an outrageous claim when he tempted Jesus on the mountain in Luke 4:5 through 7: Then the devil, taking [Jesus]...up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.” Satan had usurped the dominion and control of the earth that God gave Adam! ➔ Someday, perhaps soon, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever.” (Revelation 11: 15). Jesus will have it all anyway! ✞ Above I said that Satan is called “...the god of this world....” Now let’s look at all of the sur- rounding context, II Corinthians 4:3 and 4 (Modern King James Version): ...if our gospel is hidden, it is hidden to those being lost, in whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving ones, so that the light of the glorious gospel of Christ (who is the image of God) should not dawn on them. You might say, the devil is the king of unbelief! But God is so much more powerful! Just two verses later we read in II Corinthians 4:6 (Good News Bible): The God who said, “Out of darkness the light shall shine!” is the same God who made His light shine in our hearts, to bring us the knowledge of God's glory shining in the face of Christ.
But I warn you, because the Bible warns you in Proverbs chapter one: you can only reject for so long the Holy Spirit’s leading to come to Jesus and trust Him as your Savior! There will come a time sooner or later when you will not be able to come! (Read carefully Proverbs 1:20-33. Read also the Gems from September 13, 2013 and October 27, 2014 – both named Sealed From Beneath! A third Gem from September 16, 2013 called Almost Sealed From Beneath! may also help explain the warning).
Well, I thought I would conclude this series with this third Gem, but it looks like there will be a fourth!