“A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”
And, how so sadly true. Most people are prone to believe untruths, rather than the truth. I’m sure that you’ve also heard the old adage, “Truth is stranger than fiction.” People are so apt to be suspect of the truth. So they were, in Christ’s day:
Then Jesus said to them, “A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.”
These things Jesus spoke, and departed, and was hidden from them. But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him, that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke:“Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?”
Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again:
“He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, lest they should see with their eyes, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them.”
These things Isaiah said when he saw His glory and spoke of Him. John 12:35-41
Why can’t the ungodly – the non-Christian – the unregenerate [unconverted] gravitate to that which is holy, Scriptural, Godly, and just plain, “Christian?”
Encountering “difficult” Scriptures:
Divine written revelation, through the prophet, Isaiah, asks a very similar question. [Isaiah 53:1] In fact, the New Testament Gospel of John records Christ quoting one of the most perplexing of all Scripture. It is difficult, because on the surface, it almost leads a person to believe that theTriune God directly causes or blocks people from believing the Lord and His Divine Revelation and, thus, being able to come to faith in Christ.
When the Christian believer comes across “difficult” Scriptures that are hard to understand, the temptation is to doubt the truthfulness of Holy Scripture. That same temptation, that was voiced in the Garden of Eden by Satan, is repeated over and over, throughout human history:
“Yea, hath God said…..?” [KJV] Or, in other words -- “Has God indeed said?” Genesis 3:1 – NKJV
Correctly, understanding the divine revelation – the Scriptures:
We know from the rest of Scripture – comparing Scripture with Scripture that faithfulness to God’s written revelation gift requires us to interpret correctly. Just because we come upon difficult Scriptures that are hard to understand, does not prevent us from accepting and believing their spiritual realities.
It is imperative to interpret God’s written revelation with literary standards. Please note that the following short list, are, but (only) several hermeneutical principles, with which to correctly interpret the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures:
- Scripture, itself, claims to be God’s Word. God is the ultimate author who utilized His specific chosen people to pen what He so desired to convey upon scroll and parchment. 2 Peter 1:21 ; 2 Timothy 3:16a
- Scripture was written by various human authors, using a variety of literary styles – and, as such, must carefully be interpreted “exegetically” in context. [Note: The Book of Psalms as compared to Proverbs] Scripture writings contain poetry, prose, history, prophecy, etc. And, they contain various literary “devices” such as hyperbole, figurative language, symbolism, etc.
- Scripture, itself, claims to be without error, as the Triune God, by His holy nature, cannot lie. Psalm 12:6 ; Psalm 19:7 ; Psalm 119:144 ; John 17:17
- Scripture is the primary “vehicle” (“means” of divine grace) to bring people to saving faith in Jesus Christ. Psalm 19:7 ; Psalm 119:144 ; Psalm 119:151-152 ; John 17:17 ; 2 Timothy 3:14-17 ; Romans 10:17 ; 1 Peter 1:22-23 ; James 1:21
- Scripture does not claim to be a science or biology book. Many people and skeptics throughout history have derided the Bible because they have found what they “think,” are contradictions. However, upon the passage of time and continuing archaeological and scientific discoveries, they have been proven wrong and have been exposed for having presumed Scripture to be just like any other human book.
Christ explained that people ought to live and order their lives while they have, available, the “light.” He, of course, was referring to Himself, as He unabashedly proclaimed Himself to be the “Light.” [John 8:1f] John the Baptist ushered in Christ’s short, 3 year ministry, proclaiming Christ, the “Light of the world.” Various Old and New Testament Scriptures proclaim Christ as that “light” to shine upon men’s souls. Psalm 43:3 ; Psalm 119:105 ; Isaiah 9:2 ; 2 Corinthians 4:6
What Christ was saying -- [Paraphrase]
“Cop onto me while I am here. Don’t reject Me [the Light]. Believe on Me, the Light, so that you can become mine – the sons of Light. Take advantage of my presence – while you have the opportunity!”
Many souls throughout history, who have ended up, eternally damned, mistakenly thought that they could put off God and go about their lives, doing their own thing, waiting until the last possible moment, to believe God and repent, thus, making their end peace with God. But with most people, the opportunity is lost, because they willfully reject the Lord and His Gospel promptings. The Scripture empathically states:
Seek the Lord while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near…… Isaiah 55:6
He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy. Proverbs 29:1
Contrary to popular thought, death bed confessions and people “making their peace with God” at the end of their lives, are few and far between. They are as scare, as hen’s teeth.
As the Gospel of John 12:1f, Scripture says, the people didn’t “cop onto” Christ, the “Light.” They didn’t believe in Him – even though He performed miracles in their presence –- they continued in their unbelief. They ended up missing the opportunity of coming to faith in Christ, because they didn’t cop onto Christ when the the occasion and the time, presented itself. [The "Day of Grace"]
Then, Christ quotes the prophet Isaiah Scripture. The Scripture states that because people miss the prospect of coping onto the light – they instead become immune, hardened – hard of spiritual hearing. Although it may sound [in this Scripture] as if God brought this condition upon them, we know that this is not God’s character.
We must be honest and true to Scripture and its context when it tells us that it is God’s will that all people be “saved” and that they come to the “knowledge of the truth.” [1 Timothy 2:1-6] But when people have the Light of God surround them, and end up rejecting that Light, they become hardened in their hearts. And, Scripture tells us that God consequently “sends” [allows] them to be [naturally] deluded in their perverted thinking. Romans 1:18-32 ; 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12
One Scripture scholar puts it this way:
“…..The more men reject the gospel, the harder it becomes for them to receive it. When men close their eyes to the Light, God makes it more difficult for them to see the Light. God causes them to be struck with what is known as judicial blindness, that is, a blindness which is God’s judgment on them for refusing His Son.” [William MacDonald]
Friend, don’t wait to make your “peace with God:”
It is common reality that people aren’t moved to believe Christ and His Scriptures even when they can read the historical Gospel testimony. Fulfilled, detailed prophecies of the life of Christ, hundreds of years before His birth, are readily discarded. The testimony of the New Testament Church with martyred Christians makes little impression upon the skeptic soul.
Fairly recent discoveries such as the Dead Sea Scrolls, which confirm and corroborate the historical documents of the Hebrew Scriptures, are also readily deemed null and void by unbelieving souls. Even if Noah’s Ark were to be discovered, scientifically examined and certified to be that ship of the Biblical record, few people would be influenced to believe Christ and repent of their sins and turn away from their damnable lifestyles.
The fact is, people will not be motivated out of their unbelief and into acceptance of the Gospel of Christ, even if one of their loved ones came back from the dead and told them that they were fools for rejecting the Triune God and His sacrificed Son for the saving sacrifice of their priceless souls. Luke 16:19-31
I am convinced that despite all the bogus reasons for people to reject Christ and His Gospel, good news, message [John 3:14-21] – one major reason stands out among them all. It is because scores of people love to live in their sins. Rather than giving up their pet sins and turning to Christ for forgiveness of those sins, they would rather grasp those sins until their life’s final breath. John 3:18-21
What finally moves people to become spiritually serious?
Those of you, whose consciences convict you of being sinners, don’t be satisfied that you only feel sorry for those sins. Remember, Judas – he also, felt sorry. But your “sorry” must be more than remorse. You, being sorry for your sins, must be like Christ’s disciple Peter, who publicly denied Christ 3 straight times in a matter of moments. Your “sorry” must be a contrition [deep sorrow] like Peter, for your sins against God and fellowman, rather than a cheap emotional remorse.
A true contrition for sins will motivate you to “repent” – to turn away from sin and embrace the Triune God’s way. And that “way” is to “cop onto” – embrace the Christ, the “Lamb of God,” sacrificed for your sins to appease a just and angry God, who hates your sin, and who must [without Christ’s substitution for sin, for you] damn you in a forever hell, because of your sins. The Triune just God cannot allow heaven to be contaminated by your sins or mine!
Christ clearly indicated that a major reason why people are so stubborn and resist accepting Him and the Scriptures, which he so readily endorsed, supported and quoted during His Gospel ministry here on earth, was:
And He said to them, “You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”[John 8:23-24]
Friend, unless you believe that Jesus Christ is, who He said He was, you will eternally die in your sins. Unless you believe that He came to be your supreme sacrifice for your human sin, and, the world’s, you will eternally die in your sins. [hell] Unless you genuinely believe that Jesus Christ came to purge you of all your sins, you will eternally die in your sins. [hell]
Simply put – in order for you to possess your “peace with God,” you desperately need to readily admit that you are a damnable sinner headed for God’s just punishment in hell for those sins. And, finally, you, in faith [that issues from God] must embrace Christ as your only Savior from your sin. May God’s Holy Spirit motivate and move you to finally come to this point in your earthly life, before it is too late.
Also note: "Hell to Pay: Believing that something is a figment of the imagination doesn’t change its hereafter reality"
Related Scriptures [below] -- Intended to be utilized in a simple worship format:
Isaiah 55:1f -- Seek the Lord while He may be found
Proverbs 1:1f – Seek the wisdom of God
Matthew 7:1f – Various sayings of Christ, and, most importantly; the "narrow way" and the “house” that is built upon “the rock.”
John 3:14-21 – The Scripture that is commonly called, “The Gospel, in a Nutshell.” But please note the rest of this Scripture section
Of Whom Does the Prophet Speak" -- by Victor Buksbazen -- Isaiah 53:1-12 -- an in-depth view of and the prophecy of Christ, hundred of years before his birth. Isaiah 53:1-12 underscores the truthfulness of Divine Revelation as exemplified in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures.
Please note: Topical Messages, by subject
Pastor (emeritus) Nathan Bickel
Please also note: