He hath chosen us in him before the
foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love. Ephesians 1:4,5Fellow Believers,
Do you know that when our Lord Jesus was ministering on this earth, many of His disciples actually turned away from Him?
I am not talking about Peter. That was a unique night. Heand, for that matter, all the other disciples as wellsimply could not have stood by the Lord. Why? Jesus, the head of the body of believers, had surrendered Himself to the enemy. It was the hour, as the Lord Himself puts it, "when darkness reigns" (Luke 22:53). Earlier that evening, Jesus had warned, "All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad" (Matt. 26:31). Hence, when He was arrested, "all the disciples forsook him, and fled" (v. 56).
You see, God's salvation program demanded that the Lord Jesus be betrayed into the hands of sinners and then be crucified. Had you and I lived in those days, we would surely have behaved no better than Peter. At least Peter wept bitterly once he was reminded of what the Lord had forewarned him. At any rate, he was restored by the resurrected Christ and became one of the most faithful apostles that had ever lived.
Far more sinister are those who profess to follow Christ but refuse to accept His teaching. We read about them in John 6. After Jesus had declared in parabolic language that only those who eat His flesh and drink His blood can have eternal life, verse 60 tells us, "Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?"
That's not all. We further read in verses 65 and 66: "And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him."
Those "disciples" turned away from Jesus because they didn't like the doctrine of election that He was teaching. They evidently wanted to have a role in securing their own salvation. Isn't that what's happening in almost all evangelical churches today? The trouble is, when we deny God's sovereignty in predestining whom He would save and insist that we make a freewill decision to accept Christ, we would also be walking no more with God. And if we don't walk with God, though we call ourselves disciples, we would be traveling on the broad way that leads to destruction.
May God, therefore, keep us from being deceived by that which is popular these days, but grant us the wisdom and courage to keep walking with Christ on the narrow way that leads to everlasting life.
First Quarter, 1999
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