John 1:10-13: “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. 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.”
Today, I am continuing the Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, which is aimed at bringing lost souls to Jesus Christ and reminding Christians, in this election year, to keep the main thing the main thing — preaching the Gospel to every creature and not getting caught up in the presidential campaign.
Warren Wiersbe said, “Why did people reject Jesus Christ? Because they ‘knew him not.’ They were spiritually ignorant. Jesus is the ‘true Light’ — the original of which every other light is a copy. The Jews were content with copies. They had Moses and the law, the temple and the sacrifices, but they did not comprehend that these ‘lights’ pointed to the true Light who was the fulfillment, the completion, of the Old Testament religion.”
One might find it surprising, but when Jesus Christ came into the world, He was not received with open arms. Notice the reaction of three groups of people as described in John chapter 1:
1. The world in general rejected Jesus. “The world knew him not…” The Son of God had a remarkable entrance into this world. He was born of a virgin, thousands of angels announced his birth, and wise men from the East came to present him with gifts. Yet, unlike the Christmas celebrations which go on today, the world in general barely glanced at the manger in Bethlehem. When King Herod, who was the ruler of Judea at that time, found out from the Jewish religious scholars that a king was expected to be born, sent out his army to kill all boys under two years of age. What a way to welcome the Son of God. Jesus was in the world that he had made, yet the world did not receive him, and many did not even know he had come.
2. Jesus’ own people, the Jews, rejected him. John says, “He came unto his own, and his own received him not.” Of all the groups of people in first century Palestine, the ones most likely to welcome the Messiah with open arms did not receive him either. Many of the Jews who had been looking for and hoping for a Savior hated Jesus. He upset the established religious order. He did not come to affirm the hypocritical traditions of the religious leaders, rather he turned it on its head, stating that the poor, the sinners, the humble, and the Gentiles would be the first to enter into the kingdom of God.
One is reminded of one of Flannery O’Connor’s short stories titled “Revelation.” In the story, Mrs. Turpin, a well-to-do southern white woman living in the 1960s, sits in a hospital waiting room observing the different types of people coming in and out as she waits for her husband to be treated. It is revealed that she has a hidden disdain for Negroes, “white trashy” people, and people who are, in her words, not “trashy, just common.” They are not as good as she and her husband. Later that day, after she returns home and has an unpleasant (in her mind) exchange with her Negro servants, she goes out to the field where she has an “epiphany.” The sky opens before her and she sees a long line of people going up to Heaven. To her shock and amazement, at the front of the line are the Negroes, the “white trashy” people, and the common folk dancing and singing on their way to the pearly gates. And the well-to-do whites like herself are in the back, coming along at a slower pace.
That is the kind of story Jesus told the Jews when he came to earth, and they didn’t like it, so they, too, rejected him and eventually turned him over to be crucified.
3. Finally, we have the people who received Jesus. There were only a few at the time, but John says, “to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” These people who believed on Jesus were born again into God’s family. This new birth “was not of blood” — that is, their human birth did not get them into God’s family. Unlike what some in our culture teach, just because you are human does not mean that you are going to Heaven or that you are a child of God. This new birth was also “not of the will of the flesh” — that is, their human works, what they did in the flesh, did not make them children of God. Nor was this new birth “of the will of man” — that is, nothing done by any other man got them into God’s family. This new birth was “of God.” Everyone who accepts Jesus Christ is born again by the power of God.
So how will you receive Jesus? Here is how you should:
First, please understand that you are a sinner and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Please understand that because of your sins, you deserve punishment in hell. Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death…” This is both physical death and spiritual death in hell.
But here is the good news. John 3:16 reads, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
The phrase “For God so loved the world” means that if you are in this world, God loves you no matter what you have done.
The next phrase, “that He gave His only begotten Son” refers to Jesus Christ. He is God’s son who suffered, bled, and died on the cross for your sins and for mine, and He was buried and rose again.
Our next phrase is “that whosoever believeth in Him”. The word “whosoever” means anybody at anytime. The phrase “believeth in Him” means to trust in Him, to depend upon Him, to rely on Him, or to have faith in Him for your salvation.
Our next phrase, “should not perish”, refers to eternal punishment in a place called hell.
And, lastly, the phrase “but have everlasting life” means to live eternally in Heaven with God.
The Bible also says in Romans 10:9 and 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved…. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.