Why People Do Not Receive Jesus

Scribes and Pharisees

He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:11-12).

When Jesus came and preached to the Jews, many “did not receive Him.” What does this mean?

Some today might explain this as receiving Jesus as their Savior and inviting Him into their heart. Certainly, we must see Jesus as our Savior; however, this is about more than that. This is about receiving Jesus as the Son of God and obeying Him as Lord. John said, “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36). To believe in the Son is to accept that Jesus is the Son of God. To obey the Son is to recognize Him as Lord – the one with the right to rule over us and expect us to do His will.

In his gospel account, John recorded certain events in Jesus’ life. The purpose of this record was to produce faith in us (John 20:30-31). Yet today, many are like “His own” who “did not receive Him.” Why? People today will often reject Jesus for the same reasons that people did during His time on earth. We will not be considering an exhaustive list of the reasons why people refuse to accept Jesus, but will notice some of the reasons recorded for us in the gospel of John.Continue Reading

How to Silence False Teachers

Man with duct tape over mouth

When Paul wrote to Titus about the qualifications for elders, one of the requirements for these men was that they have an ability to deal with false teachers.

Holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict. For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain” (Titus 1:9-11).

Paul said these false teachers “must be silenced.” But how would this be done? No one expects the elders of a local church to kidnap a false teacher, put duct tape over his mouth, tie him up, and then lock him in a closet to prevent him from spreading his error. Since they cannot use physical force to silence false teachers, how are they to do it?Continue Reading

Why Would Christians Follow Diotrephes?

Leader

I wrote something to the church; but Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them, does not accept what we say. For this reason, if I come, I will call attention to his deeds which he does, unjustly accusing us with wicked words; and not satisfied with this, he himself does not receive the brethren, either, and he forbids those who desire to do so and puts them out of the church” (3 John 9-10).

In John’s third epistle, he warned about a man named Diotrephes. We often talk about this man and his desire for preeminence, his rule over the church, and the trouble he caused. However, we usually do not talk about his followers. In this article, we will consider the followers of Diotrephes and why they would follow him.Continue Reading

Mark and Avoid

X-mark

Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple” (Romans 16:17-18, KJV).

At the close of his letter to Rome, Paul told the brethren to “mark” and “avoid” certain people. In other words, he was urging them to observe these individuals and be aware of who they were so they could not keep company with them.

Why would the apostle tell these brethren to do this? What was this to accomplish? What would this look like in practice? It is important that we understand what Paul was teaching here. We can answer these questions from the word of God.Continue Reading

Progressivism

Pointing - shadow

My son, fear the Lord and the king; do not associate with those who are given to change” (Proverbs 24:21).

The wise man warned about those who are “given to change.” These are ones who want change for the sake of change. Sometimes change is good and necessary, but other times it is not. However, change is inherently part of progressivism – the idea that we must continue to move forward and not remain as or where we were. In this article, we are going to discuss progressivism in religion – what it is and why it is dangerous.
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Always Learning, But Never Coming to Know the Truth

Bible study with coffee

Paul warned Timothy of those who were “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7). How is it possible for one to continue to progress in his learning but never come to know the truth of God’s word? There are three ways this can happen. Any one of these, or a combination of the three, will prevent someone from coming to know the truth.
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Elders in Every Church (Part 4): Other Qualifications for Elders

Elders in Every Church (Part 4): Other Qualifications for Elders

In addition to an elder being a mature man who exemplifies the life of a Christian, there are certain qualifications on top of the character qualifications we discussed in the previous two lessons. In this lesson, we will notice the qualifications that pertain to his family, his ability, as well as other miscellaneous qualifications.
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