“God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him.” These were the famous words by Friedrich Nietzsche when he wrote his book “The Gay Science” What I find disturbing and sad; is that these words still echo the streets of our community and cites around the globe today! To this present world God is dead and they are quite content in that ignorance. Listen to some other comments about God, “When a man is freed of religion, he has a better chance to live a normal and wholesome life.” Sigmund Freud. “God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.” Voltaire. “If it turns out that there is a God, I don't think that he's evil. But the worst that you can say about him is that basically he's an underachiever.” Woody Allen. I’m not going to keep this to myself! This was a really hard week! Having to read through all this garbage about the One I love dearly! To know that there are people out there [many] who think God is a joke….a fake….a liar…..and a mad up story to help the weak and feeble people is really sad. And what’s more amazing is that God came to this earth any ways to show the love from the Godhead.
We come to a portion of John’s opening letter that grieves my heart; reason being is that I was one of them for nearly 30 years! Look what John wrote [John 1:9-11] This reminds me of a story I came across this week……“A poor family was farming some land during the depression. There was one son in the family and the parents wanted the best for him. They scrimped and saved so they could send him to college. After he has gone for a year or so, his parents, who loved him very much longed to see him again. They sold some things, saved their meager income and went to visit their boy. When they arrived on campus, poorly dressed in their simple and plain farm clothes they spotted their son with some other boys. The father ran to him and called out, “Son, son it’s your father.” The boy looked at his dad with no sign of recognition. The father repeated his words. “Son, it’s your father and mother. We’ve come to see you.” The boy no doubt embarrassed by his parents’ poverty turned to the other students and said, “I don’t know who this is. He must be crazy.”
You and I may hear that story and think there could be nothing more horrible but we just
read the ultimate rejection. In [v11] we read these painful words, “He came to his own people, and even they rejected Him." Jesus Christ is rejected on a daily basis! I Read this passage and I’m reminded of what Jesus said in Mark’s gospel! Mark 12:1-11 “And he began to speak to them in parables." A man planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a pit for the winepress and built a tower, and leased it to tenants and went into another country. When the season came, he sent a servant to the tenants to get from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. And they took him and beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Again he sent to them another servant, and they struck him on the head and treated him shamefully. And he sent another, and him they killed. And so with many others: some they beat, and some they killed. He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, 'They will respect my son.' But those tenants said to one another, 'This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.' And they took him and killed him and threw him out of the vineyard. What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others. Have you not read this Scripture: " The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes'?" Sadly this is continuing to happen even after what Jesus did accomplished [His death and resurrection]. Before we look at this a little further….I want to ask you a question! WHERE HAS GOD BEEN REJECTED? Usually the first thing that comes to mind is schools and governments! Sadly God was never in either of those institutions…..history tells the story! How about our homes? Is our homes obeying the commands given to us in Deut 5 and 6?
How about our own personal lives?
- How about when things are going well or comfortable?
- How about when finances are good?
- How about when were in good health?
- How about when our marriage is relatively peaceful and happy?
- How about when our children are all grown up?
Think about those statements for a moment! We tend to put God on the back burner when things are going well......
- When we have enough money in the bank
- When our health seem good
- When our marriage is doing fine
- When our children are gone
Sadly sometimes the only time you [we] don’t reject God is when all these things are falling apart and our lives a mess! This should never be in happening in our lives……but it does and when this happens we’re no different than the people that John writes about.
Why was Jesus rejected in His time? When you look at the cults of this world they all have one major thing in common. They reject Jesus for who he claimed to be and was “the God man”. Rejection is a harsh word….it almost has the same feel or meaning as hate. Rejection by definition is “The act of throwing away; the act of casting off or forsaking; refusal to accept or grant.” What’s amazing is that Jesus knew in eternity past that this world and His own [Jews] would reject Him........That’s grace church family! As I said Christmas morning during the devotion time “don’t you find it amazing that the angels went to common men to proclaim the good news and not the high priests, the religious leaders or the ruling government?” Why? He knew their hearts would reject him. What’s amazing until your salvation God knew you would reject Him as well. This why you get mixed emotions about this passage …….why won’t the world listen to the good news? Why didn’t the Jews embrace the Messiah? We read over and over again in the Old Testament about their rejection, despite the clear testimony of those who proclaimed this promise........
Deut 10:16 “Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no longer stubborn.”
2 Kings 17:14 “But they would not listen, but were stubborn, as their fathers had been, who did not believe in the LORD their God.”
Neh 9:29 “And you warned them in order to turn them back to your law. Yet they acted presumptuously and did not obey your commandments, but sinned against your rules, which if a person does them, he shall live by them, and they turned a stubborn shoulder and stiffened their neck and would not obey.”
Jer 7:26 “Yet they did not listen to me or incline their ear, but stiffened their neck. They did worse than their fathers.”
Sadly we continue see this progression throughout the Old into the New….a complete disregard or rejection of the Incarnate Christ. The same thing is happening today! Families, marriages, children, churches, nations are rejecting the true God of the Bible for a substitute to appease their own conscience! Or worse they love their sin and do not want it exposed….we call this willful blindness and complete ignorance to desperate need of saving grace.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CONSEQUENCES OF REJECTING GOD?
LEADS MEN TO FOLLOW THEIR OWN DEVICES
Jer 2:13 “for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.”
LEADS PEOPLE TO PUTTING THEIR TRUST IN MAN
Jer 17:5 “Thus says the LORD: "Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the LORD.”
PROVOKES GOD TO FORSAKE MEN
Judges 10:13 “Yet you have forsaken me and served other gods; therefore I will save you no more.”
PUNISHMENT WILL BE SEVERE
Heb 10:30-31 “For we know him who said, "Vengeance is mine; I will repay." And again, "The Lord will judge his people." It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
IT ENDS IN ETERNAL SEPARATION FROM HIS GRACE AND MERCY
2Th 1:8-9 “in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,”
This world is heading into the path of despair and sorrow for all eternity all because they would not recognize the One who created them.
But there still hope for the lost….the ones who rejected Christ! [v12-v13] This is the promise to hold dear to your heart this morning! He is the one who saves…..Praise His Name! He is the one who calls you out of darkness and ignorance. He is the one who displayed the love of the Godhead by coming in humiliation [taking on the form of a man]. He is the one who gives eternal to whom He chooses. If receiving eternal life required our performance, none of us would make it, as God’s standard is perfection. No matter how hard we try to be good enough, each of us has sinned and fall short when measured by God’s standard of perfection… “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” [v13] “who were born, not of blood [racial or ethnic heritage] nor of the will of the flesh [personal desire] nor of the will of man [man-made systems], but of God. See there is nothing that we can do to in order to find or attain salvation!
- It’s not about working our way to Heaven
- It’s not about serving in a church
- It’s not about growing up in a Christian home
- It’s not about your ability to attain salvation
- It’s only by the overflowing grace of God unto sinners that anyone of us is saved.
Martin Luther said “The sun is not dimmed and darkened by shining on so many people or by providing the entire world with its light and splendor. It retains its light intact. It loses nothing; it is immeasurable, perhaps able to illumine ten more worlds. I suppose that a hundred thousand candles can be ignited from one light, and still this light will not lose any of it's brilliance... Thus Christ our Lord, to whom we must flee and of whom we must ask all, is
an interminable well, the chief source of all grace... Even if the whole world were to drawn from this fountain enough grace and truth to transform all people into angels, still it would not lose as much as a drop. This fountain constantly overflows with sheer grace.” Don’t overlook this promise with contempt or ignorance as the Jewish nation, Pharisee’s and as the world did and still does day. Acknowledge who is and never reject that wonderful truth. God came to this earth as a man to save men and women form there sin. How? By baring there sin and shame….dying on a cross and defeating the grave! Don’t reject this greatest gift……because the consequences will be devastating in the end.