Letters to the Prison - Week 60

Hello, everyone.  We’re grateful for you.  We’re reading through John 6.
Looking back on last week’s verses there is something else to think about.  Jesus, the bread / person from heaven gives life to the world (John 6:33).  So, the work Jesus does is a gift.  Yet, two verses later, that gift is for those who “come to” Jesus and “believe in” him (John 6:35).  This once again shows the sort of relationship a Christian has with Jesus.  Our work is to believe in him and come to him.  His work is to give us the gift of eternal life.  But the order of these two things is important, as we are about to see.
Consider this:  Why do the Jews in Capernaum still not get it after Jesus makes it so plain?  It all seems so simple.  Yet, we will soon see that their confusion is only going to get worse.  Jesus gives us the reason in the very next verse:
•36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe.    -John 6:36
Once again, we see that belief is the key.  Even though Jesus is right there with them doing amazing signs right in front of them… even though they “see him,” the Jews in Capernaum still “don’t get it” because they don’t believe.  And because they don’t believe, no sign will convince them.  No amount of explanation will help them.  
This goes back to what we saw several weeks ago:  We talked about the popular phrase “I’ll believe it when I see it.”  Ever use that phrase?  It’s popular enough and it makes sense on the surface.  Yet from these verses, we learn that when it comes to God, it’s the other way around.  Clearly, according to Jesus, unless one “believes it” first they will never “see it.”  This is how belief is so important.  For those who don’t believe, there isn’t enough evidence.  And there never will be.  For those who do believe, the evidence is everywhere and it’s plain to see.  Jesus goes on to explain how this very thing works as he says yet another profound thing about himself:
•37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.                                                              -John 6:37
“All” in this verse refers to each and every person --past present and future-- who will ever come to believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.  So, we see that each and every Christian is given by God the Father to Jesus first.  Then, they come to Jesus.  That is the order of it.  Then we see the great promise Jesus makes: “whoever comes to me I will never cast out.”  
We need to linger for a moment on that last part.  When you’ve stumbled in the past, have you ever thought “that’s the last straw.  God will never accept me now for what I’ve done”?  Have you ever felt “not good enough” to come to Jesus?  Such thoughts and feelings are not true for one simple reason:  Friends, the fact that you want to come to Jesus… that you would even be concerned to be “good enough” for him is an indicator that God the Father is giving you to Jesus and that you will one day come to him and submit to him as Lord and Savior.  Look back on verse 37 and ask yourself:  Does it say, “All who are perfect?”  Does the Father give “only those who are good enough” to Jesus?  Does Jesus say, “whoever comes to me who meets my qualifications and has cleansed themselves of all unrighteousness I will never cast out?”  The answer, dear friends is no…  No… and again, NO!!!  Jesus will never cast out anyone who comes to him.  Why?  Because the Father gave them to him!  
Brothers… friends… let your faith fail not!  If you have doubts about your salvation, remember this:  If you believe in your heart that Jesus is who he says he is, and you’ve confessed with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord…  Lord of the universe and Lord of your life…  then know this:  You are already a gift from God the Father to God the Son.  And Jesus will never cast you out.  
Will there be trial and trouble?  Yep.  Will you face the consequences of bad decisions you’ve made?  Definitely.  Does God discipline those whom he loves?  Surely.  See Proverbs 3:12 and Hebrews 12:6 --It is an unmistakable truth.  Will that discipline be difficult and uncomfortable?  Probably!  But you are not lost forever.  Jesus never breaks a promise.  Ever.  How do we know this?  Look what Jesus says next:
•38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.    -John 6:38-39
Jesus isn’t just some guy running around making promises he can’t or won’t keep.  We know Jesus keeps his word because of who he claims to be.  Look again at what he says about himself:
•Jesus has “come down from heaven” to do the will of the one who sent him (God the Father).
•And the will of God is that Jesus should lose nothing of all (every person who ever believes in Jesus as Lord and Savior) that God the Father has given him.
•Not one of them will be lost.  Why?  Because it is the will of God.
Look at the power Jesus claims for himself:  The power to “raise it up on the last day.”  “It” being all of those who ever believe in him.  Jesus claims that he will be there on the very last day –of each believer’s life and on the last day of all history-- to raise his people from the dead to eternal life.  Jesus has the power and authority to do that.  Why?  Because it is God’s will that Jesus should do so.
What an amazing claim!  What a wonderful promise!
There is another word for “belief:” Faith.  As we believe that Jesus is who he says he is, we place our faith in him.  This faith allows us to trust that what he has just said is true for us.  We can trust that he will not cast us out.  We can trust that even if we don’t always obey the will of God, Jesus will.  Jesus always obeys the will of God the Father –even when it leads to his own death, as we will see.  So, if Jesus always obeys the will of God, and the will of God is that none of those who believe in him should perish but have eternal life, we have a great hope in which to place our faith… and every reason to trust that everything will happen according to what Jesus has said.  This faith and trust in Jesus then frees us to serve and worship him and live a life that’s pleasing to him.  What pleases God is not reluctant or half-hearted adherence to a bunch of rules.  What pleases God is a heart that loves him and wants to please him.  With all this in mind, where is your heart?  We hope it belongs to Jesus.  Until next week!  We love you!

Dean A.



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