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The Daily Word of Righteousness
John 6:25-58, #20
Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" (John 6:52)
Selling the Gospel.
You can imagine the consternation of His Jewish listeners when Christ spoke of eating His flesh and drinking His blood. For one thing, the Law of Moses strictly forbids drinking blood.
One point stands out clearly. Jesus made no attempt to sell His Gospel, to gather people to Himself. Can that be said of us today who are supposed to be representing Him as we preach the Gospel?
The Lord knew the thousands of men who followed Him because He fed them with fish and barley loaves would never accept His teaching that they must eat His flesh and drink His blood. He understood that clearly. So He went ahead and told them the truth, knowing they would be confused and turn away. This fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah.
He said, "Go and tell this people: ‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.' "Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed." (Isaiah 6:9,10)
You know, we need some more of the above in our Christian preaching. We are altogether too humanistic, too man-pleasing in our approach. The Lord Jesus is our example. He knew no one could come to Him except the Father draw that individual. Therefore Christ preached exactly what God gave Him to preach and teach. He realized that those whom God had not drawn, who came to Christ for some other reason, would never remain when the true salvation was preached.
Is it like this today? Are people brought into the Christian churches for some reason other than that God has drawn them to Christ? Any assembly can be put to the test quite easily. Preach that no person can be a Christian, a disciple, until he denies himself, takes up his cross, and follow Jesus every day of his life. Those whom God has sent will stay as long as you preach the true Gospel of Christ.
But don't preach this unless you are willing to live with the consequences! It may be said of you that you do not have love. Were you actually showing love when you told people they could not be a Christian unless they remained in the prison where God had placed them?
You may end up with a church of five people. But one of them may prove to be an apostle. Have you done the right thing, or should you have appeased the people by preaching only that which is "positive"?
To be continued.