did Jesus promote easy believism?

I ended yesterday’s post with the question, ‘How’s this for a new church sign?’

MAY THE FATHER, SON AND SPIRIT MAKE THEIR HOME IN YOU

You may say, “But Bernie, that is too mysterious and bizarre … that will scare people off.”

Yes, that is indeed true … but …

Did anything Jesus teach scare people off?

Consider the following …

“I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.” Then the Jews began to argue with one another, saying, “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?” So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides IN Me, and I IN him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever.” These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum. Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this said, “This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?” But Jesus, conscious that His disciples grumbled at this, said to them, “Does this cause you to stumble? What then if you see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before? It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him. And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.” As a result of this MANY of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore. John 6:51-66 (NASB)

The end result of this encounter with Jesus … MANY of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore … not one or two … not a few … MANY. Why? Because a difficult teaching revealed who was of the flesh and who was of the Spirit …

Jesus knew that some of the disciples did not believe … did that mean there was some kind of failure on God’s part? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Note the points that Jesus made regarding the disciples who did not believe

  • No one can come to Jesus unless it has granted him from the Father … a problem then and now
  • The flesh profits nothing … some ‘disciples’ are of the flesh alone … a problem then and now
  • It is the Spirit who gives life … the words He spoke to the people were spirit and life … and the flesh cannot understand spiritual things … a problem then and now

In regard to my new church sign message above, please consider this verse from the passage above …

He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides IN Me, and I IN him.

Maybe God’s will would be better served, if a church sign displayed the above verbatim … what do you think?

IMHO …

Church growth apart from the will of God, apart from belief IN Jesus, apart from the truth of Scripture and apart from the work of the Holy Spirit … is no growth at all.

Did Jesus promote easy believism?

I just have a hard time seeing the cross of Jesus as a symbol of easy believism …

And it happened that while He was praying alone, the disciples were with Him, and He questioned them, saying, “Who do the people say that I am?” They answered and said, “John the Baptist, and others say Elijah; but others, that one of the prophets of old has risen again.” And He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered and said, “The Christ of God.” But He warned them and instructed them not to tell this to anyone, saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed and be raised up on the third day.” And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.” Luke 9:18-24 (NASB)

For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes. 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 (NASB)

IN remembrance of Jesus … IN remembrance …

Bernie

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About bwebbjr

A grandfather, father, husband, man, and a child of God who is following Christ Jesus and working out his salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work IN me, both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:12-13). I dodged my first bullet with cancer when a cancerous polyp was removed in a sigmoid colectomy surgery in August 2007. Four years later, in the midst of a second colectomy surgery we discovered I had Stage IV metastatic colon cancer. Rather than colectomy surgery I had colostomy surgery, which now means the colostomy bag is a part of my everyday life ... with the emphasis on life. God has given us a peace beyond understanding as my wife and I have traveled this journey. By the grace of God I am blessed to be a 6 plus year cancer survivor aka warrior. In writing, I am often wrestling with my own personal struggles and beliefs and in the midst God leads me to a lesson He wants me to learn ... or sometimes He simply touches me in the revelation of Himself. My hope is that the result you see here might touch your heart and glorify God. And let me be clear ... I am not the only one with something to say. Please join in the conversation sharing your faith, your cancer experiences, etc. I would love to hear from you. Bernie
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5 Responses to did Jesus promote easy believism?

  1. Jesus didn’t promote easy-believism, but many in churches today do. Just raise your hand, come forward, say a prayer … etc. Then we wonder why so many people turn their backs on Jesus, “lose” their salvation or fall away. Only God creates wheat, but we’ve become very good at creating tares to fill the pews.

    If I had a church road sign, I’d put John 6:56 on it and let you know the results.

    Thanks brother.

    • bwebbjr says:

      Unfortunately … in too many cases, a valid assessment Richard.

      While no doubt the fountain runs deep and wide … the way is oftentimes shallow and broad for many … with only a few finding the deep and narrow way. And I believe that is indeed one of the points being made in this passage of Scripture..

  2. jimdavenport says:

    The way to our salvation was paved with the suffering, the pain, the scars and the blood of Jesus. When He was crucified And raised from the dead He conquered sin and death. The way for Him was never EASY. Comparatively speaking we, as believers, have it sooooo easy. As has been said by so many … It is much easier to become a Christian than to be a Christian! Jim

    • bwebbjr says:

      Once again well said … compared to Christ our way is significantly easier. Like your closing quote. In the recent sermon series at North Point, Andy Stanley taught ‘The Jesus model is less complicated than the temple model but far more demanding.’ http://www.brandnewseries.org AND YET our Lord and Savior meets those demands by living IN and THRU the surrendered and submitted believer … the battle is His if we will only relinquish control. Thanks for priming the spiritual pump for me Jim. Bernie

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