July 9, 2020
Christ-like Life

Does This Offend You?
By Traci Carson


"When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this (The parable of the Bread of Life), He said to them, "Does this offend you? What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before? It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit and they are life. But there are some of you who do not believe." For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him. And He said, "Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father." From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more…

So how do we respond then to this statement that Jesus made? Does it mean that Jesus selectively saves, or that the Father is only interested in certain people. Absolutely not! Jesus said, "If I be lifted up I will draw all men to me." The Fathers view is John 3:16. So it is a matter of belief and faith in the Son of God . So what did Jesus mean by this statement? He was addressing heart issues amongst His followers because some of them left after this statement. Therefore, the issue is not predestination, but a heart issue He was addressing.

 

.......Then Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also want to go away?" But Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus answered them, "Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?" He spoke of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, for it was he who would betray Him, being one of the twelve. (John 6:60-71)


Let's think on something for a moment. Judas, being one of the disciples, was without question accepted by the others. He was sent out just like his fellow brethren to do evangelistic work in gospel teams to tell others about Jesus. He was honored and trusted by other believers as treasurer. In fact, he was the holder of the only office they had. Judas sat down at the table with the twelve and Jesus Himself on more than a few occasions. He confessed his loyalty to Christ even through the blood money. Not one person other than Jesus Himself suspected that Judas was a man of betrayal. Even at the last supper they had no idea he was the one who would betray. They were terrified it was one of them selves for they knew Jesus knew all things. Even when Jesus said to Judas, "What you are about to do, do quickly," some thought Jesus was sending him out to give financial aid to the poor. Judas may have deceived the saints, but he never deceived Jesus.


God knows it is all too easy to deceive the saints through flattering words, kind actions, and great talents. It is also easy for those who have been brought up in Christian homes or involved for many years in Christian surroundings, to "speak the language," and know the expressions or patterns that need to occur in order to be accepted favorably. This message is not meant to cause a critical or accusing spirit, but to cause godly discernment. The Word of God says to teach those who are His to know the difference between holy and unholy, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean (Ezek. 44:23).


You know dear ones, we don't have to be a son of perdition these days. We can overcome the spirit of betrayal by yielding to the Cross (Gal.2:20; 1 Cor.15:31). Judas heard the warning, but ignored it. Over and again the Lord warned through parables and bold statements that left no one wondering what was on His mind. Yet, Judas refused to connect with his heart and repent. Judas knew the Lord's words, and knew them well for he recited them and repeated them. It is possible to know the Lord's miracles, signs and wonders, speak in tongues and interpret tongues, prophecy, heal the sick, cast out demons, lead the lost to Christ, and betray Him by neglecting the connection with our minds thoughts, and our hearts thoughts (Matt. 7:23). There is nothing wrong with signs, wonders, and miracles; but there is something wrong with not being connected with God who is connected with our heart motives. It is also possible to be very sorry for what we did and still be as lost as Judas. This is a horrible possibility, but it certainly doesn’t have to be a possibility. God is a God of Devine reality, and His desire is for us to be believers not make-believers.


Judas was more interested in those stinking hellish traditions that he learned from men, and like Judas, when reality hits, there is a tendency to commit spiritual suicide. Instead of taking the sin to the Cross, some allow condemnation to defeat them. We can get so lost in what we have done that we are tempted to throw a spiritual rope of condemnation around the tree of evil and hang our selves spiritually. Thank God for His loving grace! Once we acknowledge our sin, repent from the heart, and then receive the beautiful precious grace of God, we are forgiven! We have a clean slate! Praise the Lord!


Precious ones, God desires for us to be mature believers who are not ignorant of His Word. In Hebrews 5:12-14 we are told that the Word of God is food. What are we feeding on spiritually? Milk only? God desires for us to move from milk only to solid food which means we have moved from spiritual babies to adulthood. Then we are told further on in Chapter six that we are to leave the elementary principles of Christ once they are learned, and go unto perfection! This is the maturity mentioned: "Submitting to the pattern of Christ," not being formed to the ideas and traditions of men which is the custom of many who persecute those who are being conformed onto the Pattern Son in obedience to His Word.


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