The Stumbling Block ... Where They Break Their Necks!
John 1:10 “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
11 He came unto his own, and his own
received him not.”
Jesus Christ’s own kin received HIM not. Jesus Christ’s own neighbors received HIM not."
“And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things? And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house. And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.” [Matthew 13:54-58]
Israel in particular rejected Jesus Christ “because of their unbelief.”
The NATION of Israel was cast to the four corners of the earth [71 A.D. when the Roman emperor Titus entered Jerusalem] because they rejected their Messiah … Jesus Christ THE SON of GOD.
[Romans 11:20] “Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear”
[Romans 11:21] “For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.”
[Romans 11:22] “Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.”
[Romans 11:23] “And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again.”
[Romans 11:24] “For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree?”
[Romans 11:25] “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.”
This is our problem too!! UNBELIEF!
Though, you and I were Jesus’ neighbors … though you and I were HIS kin; it would be no different. There are some things that are always the same. Rick St.James’s problem 34 years ago was UNBELIEF!
It was a HEART PROBLEM! . It’s a UNIVERSAL thing. It affects all of us! Unbelief will kill you. It’s DEATH in the pot!
You and I got it … when we were born of human
parents! [1 Corinthians 15:21] “For since by
man came death, by man came also the resurrection of
the dead.” [1 Corinthians 15:22] “For as in Adam all
die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”
1) Unbelief comes from an evil heart. [Hebrews 3:12] “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.”
2) Unbelief will not allow you to come into GOD’S REST – Jesus Christ. [Hebrews 3:19] “So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.”
3) Unbelief in all our hearts [the hearts of men] is universal [Romans 11:32-33] “For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.”
GOD said it! I believe it!!! Do you? Amen!
Now there can be MERCY. “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!”
4) Unbelief DISPELLED!
What can you do once you realize that you possess a heart of unbelief? The answer is this, go to: [Mark 9:24]. “And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”
The free fall end result of sin is always unbelief.
One of the methods God uses to break the free fall in our lives [as a brother or sister believer] is to have the brethren [fellow believers] “exhorting one another daily” to be in obedience to the BOOK in the fellowship of THE SPIRIT …to the WORD of GOD so that all honor goes to The Word … The SON of GOD.
[Hebrews 3:13] “But exhort one another
daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be
hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”John
1:12 "But as many as received him, to them
gave he power to become the sons of God, even to
them that believe on his name:
13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."
In Webster's 1828 dictionary:
RECE'IVED, pp. Taken; accepted; admitted; embraced; entertained; believed.
The Stumbling Block!
The biggest stumbling block to man is here in this verse of the King James Bible, specifically the word [RECEIVED]. In our fallen nature, which was received from Adam: [Romans 5:14] “Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression,” We [CREATURES] crave independence from GOD our [CREATOR].
This depravity of men has given rise to the desire to control his destiny apart from GOD. Man wants to be on the THRONE and control his own future, to set his own course, and to be his own god. According to Ephesians 2:1 we are the children of disobedience: “who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.”
This witness is true. This testimony is true. Admit it friend, we are rebels. We would rather be in charge and do things our own way. We do it to our hurt. We will get it [hurt] to HELL FIRE.
We do not want the testimony and witness of God’s WORD. [John 3:11] “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.”
Even when man does get in a condition [laziness] to want to receive something he did not earn, it will be for a handout to feed his own belly; i.e. food stamps from the government. [John 6:26-27] “Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.”
We can learn here, if man throws a little labor into something it will be for the temporal at the total loss of the permanent. “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.”
If a man is to receive anything of any worth in life he needs to get to a point where he realizes he can not work it for himself. We need to get to the very bottom … to our very wits end before we are willing to receive JESUS CHRIST PERSONALLY [John 3:27] “John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.”
It needs to be “given him from heaven”.
When a man will receive the gift revealed in Ephesians 2:8-9, it will be the GRACE of GOD that is shown to him. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."
None of our [MAN] works is acceptable before GOD. The BOOK GOD wrote says this of us in Isaiah. In [Isaiah 64:6] we find this: “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”
We are as some would describe: dead meat! The best we can do [works] leaves us standing before GOD as if we were dressed in filthy rags. These filthy rags picture our righteousness. We need to be clothed by the RIGHTEOUSNESS of another, even Jesus Christ, if we are to be saved from the wrath of GOD and from the eternal fire of a DEVILS HELL. [Revelation 20:14] “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.”
So the formula mandated by GOD is this: BELIEVE [by the GRACE of GOD through FAITH] that Jesus Christ is the SON of GOD as the eunuch confessed in Acts 8:37.
“And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”
This believing is receiving!!!
[Romans 5:17-18] “For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.”
John 1:14 "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."
God THE SON came to this earth to dwell amongst His own creation for a purpose. This involves a MYSTERY … something previously not made known to man.
[Colossians 1:27-28] “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.”
Man could never figure out in a million years the mind of God. [Philipians 2:6-8] “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”
Now, this preaching is foolishness with men. This business at hand here can not be understood in the wisdom of men. Turn to Corinthians Chapter 2.
“And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” [Verse 10] “But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.”