Monday, April 26, 2010

Why do some come to Christ and not others? Part 3

The Judgment

31"But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 32"All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. 34"Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35'For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.' 37"Then the righteous will answer Him, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38'And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39'When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' 40"The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.'

Being on God's "right" is a place of favor. How does a person get himself in God's favor? This question should lead you to remember the definition of grace; undeserved favor. And it is exactly that.
How does a person make himself "blessed of My Father"? This very phrase tells a lot. Jesus doesn't say, "Come you who earned my Father's blessing by choosing Me." It is clear that the Father chose to bless this group of people and pour out His grace on them.
Notice that is also says, "inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world". This leaves me wondering; Where were you in the time of the foundation of the world? Well theres only one place you could possibly have been, and that is in God's omniscient, gracious foreknowledge, heart and mind. Not just the forknowledge of information, but knowing you intimitely "from the foundation of the world". Isn't that awesome? Well, only if you care to be known by God at all.

The passage goes on to explain how these people who were foreknown by God, live a life that evidences that they have been "blessed of My Father". They live this way because of the unmerited favor of God upon their lives. God chose them, prepared a kingdom for them, poured out His wrath upon His Son on their behalf, formed them in their mother's womb, pulled them out of grip of demons, covered their sins, caused them to be born again with a new heart that is alive to God, walked with them every step of the way as a new creation in Christ, disciplined them and formed them into the image of Christ, and will bring all of them to glory in the end. Amen

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Why do some come to Christ and not others? Part 2

John 17 - starting at verse 1 "When Jesus had spoken these words, He lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said, Father the hour has come; glorify Your Son that the Son may glorify You, since You have given Him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they know You the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent....."
v6. "I have manifested Your name to the people whom You gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and You gave them to me, and they have kept Your word."

Jesus also continues in His prayer to the Father and mentions that all whom the Father has given Him have believed and have kept His word. He also says that He has guarded them and kept them.

I find it interesting that shortly after I became a disciple of Christ, I truly believed that I just got tired of the party scene and finally decided to give my life to Christ. While all of that was true, I now know, thanks to the Holy Spirit's illuminating grace, that I belonged to the Father long before I chose to belong to Christ. It truly is a beautiful truth that the Father gave me to the Son, who took my wrath on the cross and stands at the right hand of the throne of God interceding for me. He is my advocate who defends me to my accuser, Satan. The Father then drew me to the Son by His Spirit, granted me the gift of faith and caused me to be born of God.

It was only by this gift of faith that I could believe God when He said how depraved I was. It was only by this gift of faith that I could believe God when He said that Jesus is the only way. It was only by this gift of faith that I could believe God's very first promise to me; "anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved". It was only by this gift of faith that I agreed with God about my sin and that I needed to turn from it or it will destroy me.

Praises to our merciful God!