Do We Accept Or Reject?
We all know what Nancy Pelosi did after the State Of The Union address last Tuesday night. Her display of disapproval will go down in history whether you agreed with it or thought it was wrong. We live in a country where if we don't like what is said, or disagree with it, we can just reject it, right? We can turn off the TV mid speech if we don't like where it is headed, we can just not watch at all if we think we will disagree with the speaker, and we can chose not to believe it when it's all over if it didn't support our own narrative. I'm not talking about the SOTU speech now, but anything and everything in life. Assuming the truth is spoken, turning it off, refusing to watch or displaying our objection to what is said doesn't change the truth if indeed the truth was spoken. Christ spoke the truth, so did His Apostles, and their message was rejected. So modern day rejection is certainly nothing new is it? Haven't people been doing this for thousands of years?
I didn't get to witness this personally, but a few years ago, a preacher stood up to give a sermon, and every time he referenced something that we were commanded to do in scripture, he said, "but I don't like that", and he would rip the page out of the Bible. (I'm not sure he used a real Bible). He preached on and on, and kept ripping pages from the Bible, one after another. Finally, when he was finished, he held up the covers to the book, but all the pages were missing. This was a strong visual lesson for his listeners, which if memory serves me was a group of teenagers at a youth conference.
How many people today do that, not by ripping out literal pages, but by simply ignoring what is written on those pages? If we don't like what Christ has to say, do we, for all practical purposes rip up His speech like we witnessed Tuesday? Can we do that to Jesus and it be OK? Certainly we know the answer is an emphatic 'NO', but we also see it happen day in and day out in every walk of life and in many religious doctrines around us. What Jesus says goes against what people want to do, so they just dis what He has to say, sometimes knowing full well it is the truth they simply don't want to acknowledge.
Jesus' words remain the truth, and continue to be our commands even if people disagree with Him. The facts don't change, and the path He has directed mankind to take doesn't get re-defined. Men and women look very foolish when they wave Him off, and reject Him. We know He allows us to do that, He will not force Himself upon people. He sadly will allow them to make their own choices all the way to Hell, but that's not what He desires. He remains "patient with [us], not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9)
Christ does not want us to turn our eyes and ears away from Him. He doesn't want any of us to listen to His word being preached just so when the sermon is over, we can flagrantly reject Him. What he wants is for all mankind to understand that the scoffing and mocking we see all around us is the same mocking that took place in the days of Noah, where God was so upset with the world that He destroyed it, just like He promised. He's promised to do that one more time you know, this time with fire and not water, but He wants to give everyone the opportunity this go-around to be on the boat. He patiently awaits for people to reject this world and its desires, and place ourselves inside His son, Christ Jesus where salvation is found.
A messenger of Christ once told a man named Saul, "what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name." (Acts 22:16). This man Saul believed in God, he had no problem believing. He had been praying for 3 days since being struck blind, and probably had prayed thousands of prayers before that happened, but those prayers had not saved him. He still had something to accomplish, he had to allow God to extend His grace of forgiveness to him for his salvation, and that only happened when he contacted the blood of Christ in baptism (Rom 6:3-10).
Today, are you tearing pages from the Bible? Are you ripping to shreds the speeches of Christ? Are you rejecting His plea to save your soul from an eternal punishment? If so, why? Why would you reject the best of the best, prepared for you? Why would anyone choose death over life? Why would anyone hold out, when salvation is so close and absolutely free?
Where are you today? Where do you want to be?