Stream or download Why was the world so hostile to the coming of the Son of God?, Pt2
We have noted in our previous broadcast, that the Lord Jesus was not welcomed when He came into this world some 2000 years ago.
HIS REJECTION STEMMED FROM IGNORANCE. HE WAS NOT KNOWN BY HIS CREATURES.
The world knew not its Creator and Preserver. “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not,” John 1:10-11. He was not known when born, during His life, or in His death and resurrection.
HE WAS NOT RECEIVED BY HIS OWN.
Those who were His own did not know Him. To them He came specifically but He was not received or welcomed. They had the privilege of the prophecies, the demonstrations of His power, the evidence of His love and mercy – their history was a record of the deeds of God’s love and care toward them but they did not know Him. “And say unto him, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority to do these things?” Mark 11:28. When He did tell them Who He was they refused to believe Him! “Art thou the Christ? tell us. And he said unto them, If I tell you, ye will not believe,” Luke 22:67.“Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning,” Matthew 8:25. Though He had repeatedly told them, they did not believe.
OVERALL, HE WAS REJECTED.
The word ‘received’ repeated in John 1:10-11; “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not,” means to ‘take with the hand in order to use’. The hands of men pushed Christ away rather than reaching out in a welcoming embrace. Listen to Peter: “Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain,” Acts 2:23. Calvary marked the final rejection of the Saviour by His ancient people.
BUT THE REJECTION OF CHRIST CONTINUED WHEREVER THE GOSPEL WAS PREACHED.
The men Christ sent forth saying: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,” (Mark 16:15) were received as was their Master! They were treated despicably. Paul wrote: “We are fools for Christ’s sake, . . . . but we are despised. Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace; and labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day,” 1 Corinthians 4:10-13. These men came with the message of life! They came to point men to heaven and eternal bliss but they were treated as criminals and miscreants! WHY – because of the message they preached and the One whom they served! The Saviour had warned them: “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you,” John 15:18-19.
Those of us who try to point out that the activities that take place at this time of the year bear no resemblance to the gospel story are mocked and called ‘kill joys’. We encounter just a little of what the men of God in former times endured for preaching the gospel.
Over the ages of time, the rejection of Christ not only brought about the dreadful events of Calvary but numerous multitudes have paid the price of faithfulness to Christ with their lives.
HOWEVER, LET ME END ON A HAPPIER NOTE: THOSE WHO DO WELCOME CHRIST ARE MARVELLOUSLY CHANGED
So said John. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God,” John 1:12-13. The mercy of God was not in vain. Not everyone rejected the gospel message and refused the mercy extended to them by the Saviour. There were those who received and believed in Him.
Please consider with me the change that takes places when a person receives Christ, for change there most certainly is.
Just after I was converted I learned the little hymn which says it all!
What a wonderful change in my life has been wrought
since Jesus came into my heart!
I have light in my soul for which long I had sought,
since Jesus came into my heart!
Since Jesus came into my heart,
since Jesus came into my heart,
floods of joy o’er my soul like the sea billows roll,
since Jesus came into my heart.
This is gloriously true!
The change is called a birth. The Lord Jesus said: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God,” John 3:3. The ‘New Birth” marks new spiritual life within and the beginning of new life, a new person! Paul wrote these famous words: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new,” 2 Corinthians 5:17. This is no ‘surface change’! Conversion does not mean a new coat of paint! It does not mean. ‘turning over a new leaf’, which is what I, and all other pupils in our day in school did when they blotted ink on their exercise book! No, this is a change within and without!
Here is how the Lord stated the matter in ancient times. “And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: that they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God,” Ezekiel 11:19-20. The changed person becomes a walking example of God’s law.
The one who is thus ‘born again’ has a heavenly nature imparted to them. They become the sons and daughters of God. “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint–heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together,” Romans 8:16-17. “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; (that is, do not sin habitually, do not make a habit of sinning so that sinning is their way of life) for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother,” 1 John 3:9-10. Again we read “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith,” 1 John 5:4.
Thus the true believer lives separate from the ways of the world and is not of this world!
Those thus born have a glorious hope before them. The true Christian has the wonderful comfort of Christ’s company in life. He says: “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee,” Hebrews 13:5. But even better, He will be with us at journey’s end. How often we sing those words of David without really considering what they are saying! “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me,” Psalm 23:4.
Our broadcast is over. Please, do you have this hope within you? Does the birth of Christ mean more to you than a mere occasion for partying and carousing?
Rather, has it brought to you that which the angels heralded to the shepherds.
“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men,” Luke 2:10-14.
I sincerely hope it does.
Goodbye and God bless you.