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

Does Christ Dwell in Us Literally? (Episode 18)

Plain Bible Teaching Podcast

The question we’ll be considering in this episode is this:

Does Christ dwell in us literally?

The Scriptures teach that Jesus dwells in us as Christians. How does this happen? Is it a direct, personal indwelling? Or is it something different? We’ll consider this question in our episode.

Additional resources:

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Some Thoughts on Sheep

Sheep

The term “sheep” has become somewhat controversial in our current social and political climate. It is often used disparagingly to describe those who seem to naively follow whatever their leaders tell them to do, even if they are being told to do what appears to be foolish, harmful, irrational, or even wrong. Some have pushed back against this criticism by arguing that, as Christians, we have been called to be like sheep so we should simply follow whatever these orders might be (though each one who argues this will probably have in mind some limit as to how far they believe this compliance should go).

[Note: In this article, I am not going to address any specific cases in which this concept may arise; but I do believe it will be helpful for us to consider some general principles.]

Does the Bible say anything that would address this controversy? Let us consider some thoughts.Continue Reading

The Cross as a Symbol

Cross and sunset

It is common to see the image of a cross being used as a symbol – a symbol of “Christianity,” an image in art and jewelry, and so on. However, that is not what we will be discussing here. A Christian does not need a cross around his neck, nor does a church need a cross on its building. Instead, we will be talking about “the word of the cross” (1 Corinthians 1:18) – the message of the gospel.

In the gospel, the cross is shown as a symbol representing some fundamental concepts. In following Christ, we are to take up our cross (Luke 9:23), making the same traits which are symbolized by the cross manifested in our lives.

So what does the cross symbolize?Continue Reading

Take Courage in the Face of Tribulation

Jesus with His Disciples

Behold, an hour is coming, and has already come, for you to be scattered, each to his own home, and to leave Me alone; and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world” (John 16:32-33).

On this occasion, Jesus was talking with His apostles shortly before His death. He warned them that they would be scattered, which would happen when He was arrested (Matthew 26:56). However, despite the fact that these men would leave Him, Jesus knew that the Father would not leave Him so that He was “not alone.

Jesus encouraged them with the fact that He had “overcome the world.” It is important to note that this was said prior to the crucifixion and resurrection. Yet these events were so certain, Jesus could speak of them as though they had already happened. They were still in the future, yet they were facts. He told them this to give them the courage to endure the trials they would face (cf. John 16:2).

The Lord’s disciples continue to face tribulation even today. Paul encouraged the brethren on his first preaching tour “to continue in the faith, and saying, ‘Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God’” (Acts 14:22). We suffer in this life on account of persecution, sin, hardship, sickness, and more. Yet we can “take courage” just as the apostles were told to do.

So how can we “take courage” in the face of tribulation? Jesus made three points in our text – reasons why His disciples can take courage.Continue Reading

What If Jesus Was Not Raised from the Dead?

Empty Tomb

Photo by Ferrell Jenkins

The “Christian” world uses the Easter holiday to remember the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. It is certainly good to remember the resurrection. After all, it is part of the foundation of the gospel (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). Even so, the observance of “Easter” as a religious holy day is nowhere authorized in the Bible.

However, while people’s minds are turned to the resurrection during this time of year, we often find opportunities to discuss this important event. So in this article, I want us to consider the following question: What if Jesus was not raised from the dead? Paul gave an answer to this in his first letter to Corinth:

And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain” (1 Corinthians 15:14).

Without Jesus’ resurrection, our faith would be in vain. But why? Let us notice six reasons for this.Continue Reading

Why Would Anyone Be a Christian?

Sitting and Looking at SunsetIn the previous article, we discussed the demands of discipleship. We saw that in order to be one of Jesus’ disciples, we must be willing to surrender earthly homes and family relationships and make a lifelong commitment to Him. Many are unwilling to do this. Others are not only unwilling, but they also do not understand why anyone would do this.

The fact that people would question the reasonableness of being a Christian is understandable. In fact, the apostle Paul wrote, “If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied” (1 Corinthians 15:19). For one who is only looking at things as they pertain to life here on the earth, it does not make sense for anyone to be a disciple of Christ.

Yet there certainly are reasons for being a disciple despite the demanding nature of that life. In this article, we are going to consider four reasons why we are Christians and why we believe others should be as well.Continue Reading