How does the heart of man treat God? How man treated Christ displays that:
44 And Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in Me does not believe in Me, but in Him who sent Me. (NAS)
Why is it necessary for God to take the initiative to reveal Himself?
11 there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”
Mankind is desperately wicked in that they are governed by greed, selfishness not sacrifice, power, independence of any authority but themselves,
19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality,
20 idolatry, sorcery, [hatred], [conflict], jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, strife, dissension,
21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you just as I have forewarned you that those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
How do you live? Wonder about yourself. Do you resist God’s authority; refuse to surrender to God because you see no worldly advantage? Do you say to yourself, “Why should I believe in Christ?”
The majority in North America say they believe in God, if that were really true then they would receive the Lordship of Christ Jesus. We can often talk about God without offending anyone, but mention the name of Christ and you will discover the person’s true belief.
16 “The one who listens to you [believers] listens to Me, and the one who rejects you rejects Me; and he who rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me.” (NAS)
42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me; for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. (NAS)
If people were not so preoccupied with the affairs of this life and had time to look to Christ and all that He is, how would they respond? What about you? You, if you are a natural human being, would likely look for a way to dispense with Christ from being your Lord, you would look to excuses to disbelieve.
20 And Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again,
21 but they kept on calling out, saying, “Crucify, crucify Him!”
22 And he said to them the third time, “Why, what evil has this man done? I have found in Him no guilt demanding death; I will therefore punish Him and release Him.”
23 But they were insistent, with loud voices asking that He be crucified. And their voices began to prevail.
24 And Pilate pronounced sentence that their demand should be granted.
PILATE, WHO WAS AN UNSAVORY CHARACTER, EVEN SEEING JESUS’ INNOCENCE GAVE UP TO INJUSTICE, AND WE OTHER GENTILES ARE NO DIFFERENT; GENTILE UNBELIEVERS HAVE NO STOMACH FOR THIS JEWISH MESSIAH EITHER:. EVEN THE WORLD’S ATTITUDE TOWARD THE JEWS ILLUSTRATE THEIR DESPISING GOD; THE HOLOCAUST
26 Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.
27 Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him.
28 They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him,
29 and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said.
30 They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again.
31 After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.
33 They came to a place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull).
35 When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
36 And sitting down, they kept watch over him there.
37 Above his head they placed the written charge against him: THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS.
(NIV) Even Jesus’ friends, his disciples deserted him: Matt 26:56
56 But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled. (KJV)
HOW LONELY MUST GOD BE, HE CALLED OUT A PEOPLE UNTO HIMSELF, THE NATION OF ISRAEL, BUT THEY FORSOOK HIM, AND NOW THEY AND THE ROMAN EMPIRE, TURNED HIM OVER… ALONE AMONG THOSE WHO REJECT HIM, NOT JUST IGNORING HIM BUT ACTIVELY DISPENSE WITH HIM, AND THE REST OF MANKIND THE GENTILES ENTHUSIASTICALLY CARRYING OUT THE DEATH OF THIS DESPISED JEW
14 But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us. (KJV) Luke 19:27
27 “But these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them in my presence.” (NAS)
48 “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day.
49 “For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me commandment, what to say, and what to speak.
50 “And I know that His commandment is eternal life; therefore the things I speak, I speak just as the Father has told Me.”
(NAS) 1 Sam 8:7-9
7 And the LORD told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king.
8 As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you.
9 Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will do.”
THEN THE ULTIMATE – TO BEING ALONE, EVEN BY THE FATHER, WHEN THE CHRIST BECAME SIN FOR US.
34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? (KJV)
WHY WOULD GOD WANT TO SAVE SUCH A PEOPLE AS WE ARE? BECAUSE GOD KNOWS WHAT HE CAN DO FOR SUCH DESPERATE CREATURES – MAKE HIS ENEMIES FRIENDS.
10 For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved
God must take the initiative in enlightening our eyes to who Christ is:
44 “No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. (NAS)
BECAUSE GOD CAN CHANGE THE HEART AND RELATIONSHIP OF ANYONE WHO LETS HIM, AND HE WILL BECOME A CHILD OF GOD.
36 and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God’s children, since they are children of the resurrection. (NIV)
26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
GOD CHOOSES TO REDEEM ANY PERSON WHO COMES AND RESPONDS TO THE REVELATION OF GOD IN CHRIST JESUS.
20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. (KJV)
GOD’S PERSONALITY IS REVEALED THROUGH THE CRUCIFIXION AND RESURRECTION OF CHRIST.
32 “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.”
33 But He was saying this to indicate the kind of death by which He was to die.
AND GOD CAN MAKE ANYONE A NEW CREATURE THROUGH HIS ADOPTING OF US THROUGH FAITH IN HIS SON JESUS CHRIST
4 But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law,
5 in order that He might redeem those who were [condemned by the] Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.
6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”
7 Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.
GOD WILL EXERCISE HIS CREATIVE POWER ON YOUR BEHALF WHICH CAN MAKE YOU ACCEPTABLE TO HIS HOLY SELF BY YOUR RECEIVING GOD’S PROVISION FOR THE SIN OF REBELLION AND SELFISHNESS.
GOD’S HOLINESS DEMANDS PAYMENT FOR EVERYTHING WE HAVE DONE WRONG, AND EACH ONE OF US WILL PAY TO THE UTTERMOST EVERY OUNCE DUE PERSONAL GUILT IF WE DO NOT ACCEPT THE PROVISION GOD HAS MADE FOR US THROUGH CHRIST ON THE CROSS. WHEN WE ACCEPT THAT CROSS HE CAN REMAIN HOLY AND JUST IN BLESSING US WITH A NEW NAME *
12 Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name.
13 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
(NIV) AND A NEW HEART : Ezek 36:25-27
25 “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.
26 “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
27 “And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.
(NAS) AS A GIFT : Rom 6:23
23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (KJV)
WE THEN HAVE THE RESURRECTED LIFE TO LIVE. THE ETERNAL LIFE OF THE BLESSED HOPE OF LIVING IN ETERNITY IN HEAVEN. IN THIS LIFE WE MAY CONTINUE TO HAVE TRIBULATION BUT IN THE MIDST OF IT, WITH OUR NEW HEARTS AND RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD, WE WILL HAVE COMFORT AND HOPE AS WE ABIDE IN HIS LOVE.
The thief could offer no comfort to the dying Christ on the cross, but this was a poignant situation, why Christ was dying at the hands of ignorant and cruel mankind, was illustrated by the plea from the thief, “Remember me.” CHRIST, EVEN AS HE HUNG ON THE CROSS, GAVE COMFORT TO A DYING THIEF DESTINED FOR HELL AND SEPARATION FROM THE LOVE OF GOD FOREVER.
43 And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” (NAS)
THAT IS WHY CHRIST DIED SO GOD MAY REMEMBER AND HONOR YOUR NAME WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF LIFE. THE NAMES WRITTEN THERE ARE THOSE WHO HAVE RECEIVED CHRIST AS THEIR LORD AND SAVIOR FROM A HEART FELT DECISION
12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God–
13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
(NIV) Acts 2:22-24
22 “Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know.
23 This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.
24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.
32 God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact.
33 Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.
34 For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said, “‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand
35 until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” ‘
36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off– for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
GOD CALLING YOU TODAY TO THE LIFE OF SURRENDER; WILL YOU RESPOND TO HIM TODAY?