he called, they came

Posted: January 19th, 2010 | Filed under: life | Tags: | 11 Comments »

If you haven’t read the first post in this series, please do. This post is built on top of that one.

…he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him. -Mark 3:13 ESV

If God has given you to Jesus, can you reject it?

No, you can’t reject it, ultimately. You can run, but you can’t hide. Think about how many people you’ve heard tell their stories about running from God and God messing with their circumstances enough to break them and cause them to give up the chase. We always find comfort when people say that God’s relentless love outlasted their rebellious flight. God never gave up on them. He’s the breath on the back of your neck letting you know He could do this all day. He has eternity and you’re running out of breath.

If God has given you to Jesus, can you reject it? Ask Paul.

He set off. When he got to the outskirts of Damascus, he was suddenly dazed by a blinding flash of light. As he fell to the ground, he heard a voice: “Saul, Saul, why are you out to get me?”

He said, “Who are you, Master?”

“I am Jesus, the One you’re hunting down. -Acts 9:3-6

Paul did not call Jesus, Jesus accosted him on his way to kill Christians. Jesus told Ananias to meet with him and when Ananias protested, ‘The Master’ said:

“Don’t argue. Go! I have picked him as my personal representative to non-Jews and kings and Jews. And now I’m about to show him what he’s in for—the hard suffering that goes with this job.” -Acts 9:15-16

He was chosen, his circumstances were messed with and now he’s the author of most of the New Testament.

Jesus has a more direct answer to that question:

Every person the Father gives me eventually comes running to me. And once that person is with me, I hold on and don’t let go. -John 6:37

Unless He doesn’t know what He’s talking about, you can run, but eventually you will come running to Him.

Is it possible to not believe something that you believe?

That’s a rhetorical question. I want to get sparks flying in your brain.

Hebrews 6, The Amplified version, calls the following ‘advanced teaching’ and I have to agree. I hope I do well in explaining this scripture. It’s one that is often used against Christians who sin. Such use is so debilitating that it’s very important to me that I explain it well so that it’s not used to condemn people, but to bring them hope.

Faith is a gift. You cannot ‘believe’ without faith. The gift is irrevocable. If the gift is irrevocable, then you can never lose it. It’s impossible.

Insight (enlightenment) is a gift, faith (living water to ‘taste’) is a gift and the Holy Spirit is a gift.

For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. -Romans 11:29

(I’m being redundant on purpose.)

Once people have seen the light, gotten a taste of heaven and been part of the work of the Holy Spirit, once they’ve personally experienced the sheer goodness of God’s Word and the powers breaking in on us—if then they turn their backs on it, washing their hands of the whole thing, well, they can’t start over as if nothing happened. That’s impossible. -Hebrews 6:4-6

You can’t ‘unbelieve’ something. It’s not even a word. You can’t go back in time and start from scratch as if nothing ever happened. It’s impossible.

Picture it like this: Jesus went through hell to bring you to him. He was humiliated and disgraced so that you didn’t have to be. If you enter that gate, walk down the path, then walk backward going through every step in reverse, you end up putting Him on the cross again. You can’t stand there at the beginning as though you didn’t know what lay ahead. You can mess up, you can fall, but you cannot ‘unbelieve’ what you believe.

I want somebody to ask about Judas…anybody…?

Judas was clearly given to Jesus by God, but he walked away. He sold Jesus out for thirty pieces of silver. The place where he died is called ‘The Field of Blood’ or ‘Murder Meadow’ (depending on translation).

The story of Judas sort of debunks what Jesus said about no one being able to be ‘snatched out of His hand.’ That is, until you study the scriptures yourself.

God has a plan for everything and every one. He had one regarding the sacrifice of Jesus. Old Testament scriptures spell it out. Here is one of them:

Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me. -Psalm 41:9 ESV

Jesus was praying in John 17 and tells God that He has not lost one person God has given Him. With one exception.

I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. -John 17:12 ESV

God is not a liar and His word is final. Everything is orchestrated in such a way that glorifies Him and His word.

I know precisely whom I’ve selected, so as not to interfere with the fulfillment of this Scripture: ‘The one who ate bread at my table turned on his heel against me.’ I’m telling you all this ahead of time so that when it happens you will believe that I am who I say I am. -John 13:18-19

Jesus said, “The one to whom I give this crust of bread after I’ve dipped it.” Then he dipped the crust and gave it to Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot. As soon as the bread was in his hand, Satan entered him. “What you must do,” said Jesus, “do. Do it and get it over with.” -John 13:26-27

After everything was finished and Jesus had ascended, Peter referenced this when they were choosing Judas’s replacement:

Peter stood up in the company—there were about 120 of them in the room at the time—and said, “Friends, long ago the Holy Spirit spoke through David regarding Judas, who became the guide to those who arrested Jesus. That Scripture had to be fulfilled, and now has been. Judas was one of us and had his assigned place in this ministry. -Acts 1:15-17

Just for thoughts, when a person ‘walks away’, is it from what they believe or is it from their church or some other part of the culture? You can stop going to church, stop reading the Bible, stop doing a lot of things, but deep down, still know and believe the truth. Many a Sunday morning couch is warm with the bodies of disenchanted believers.

You can run from your call, but eventually, you’ll run home. If you don’t believe something that you believe, then you don’t believe it. Once you know the truth, everything around you looks much smaller and you no longer fit. Denying it is asinine and it’s only a matter of time.



11 Comments on “he called, they came”

  1. 1 Franchesca said at 7:23 pm on January 18th, 2010:

    Agreed. It didn't fit. I believed and was saved for 3 years, before I truly made God the Lord of my life. It was through his guidance and faithfulness, that I finally grew to understanding that Salvation was just the beginning of the brilliance in life that God intended for me. Today, my life is not even recognizable to those whom have known me a lifetime. But…..it fits. Praise Him. Nice blog…thank you.

  2. 2 Serena Woods said at 7:28 pm on January 18th, 2010:

    Franchesca: Thanks for chiming in! I know what it is to make Jesus a lifestyle, but not really 'believe' what the Gospel meant. 🙂

  3. 3 April said at 2:37 am on January 19th, 2010:

    Again… I feel like maybe I am too simple minded… maybe the questions flew over my head. ha! I "asked Jesus into my heart" when I was 7, and if you've ever heard Beth Moore talk about how she was crazy about Christ when she was a little girl, that was me as well… I had sunday school teachers when I was in middle school tell me "you have wisdom beyond your years.." but, around age 17-18 I rejected him. I know that I did. Yes, He brought me back to him years later. So, that's what I was referring to … yes, He always has us in his hand, nothing can snatch us away from him… but we can walk away, our hearts can harden.

  4. 4 April said at 2:38 am on January 19th, 2010:

    that's a great pic at the bottom. made my morning, almost spit my coffee. 🙂

  5. 5 susankayroberts said at 5:51 am on January 19th, 2010:

    Okay. I'll ask the question. Will I see Judas in heaven?

  6. 6 susankayroberts said at 6:12 am on January 19th, 2010:

    After I sent my question I decided to "Google" it. Do you know there were 3,400,000 responses to "Judas in heaven?" Can't help but think the Lord has to chuckle at us!

  7. 7 Sisterlisa said at 6:26 am on January 19th, 2010:

    What a brain pop! Serena, I'm getting so much from you. The point of view Jesus is giving you is so refreshing.

  8. 8 Serena Woods said at 6:47 am on January 19th, 2010:

    Susan, I love that question because it will make people think!

    If I were on the jury at his trial I would take in to account that Matthew said he turned on Jesus. Matthew remembers this:

    Then Judas, already turned traitor, said, "It isn't me, is it, Rabbi?"

    Jesus said, "Don't play games with me, Judas." -Matthew 26:25

    Then, he watched Judas appear with the soldiers who arrested Jesus. After Judas realized what he had done, he was remorseful and tried to give the money back saying that he sinned and that Jesus was innocent. But, according to the high priests who wanted Jesus killed, it was too late.

    Mark makes sure that we know Judas was 'determined to betray Jesus.' He gives his account of Judas showing up with the ones who arrested Jesus.

    Luke makes sure that we know Judas was the one who betrayed Jesus. He also is the one who pinpoints the time Satan entered him. It was after Jesus said that he chose which of his friends would do it and the took the bread (like the scripture foretold) and handed it to him. When that happened, Satan entered him and Jesus told him to get it over with. (I wonder if Jesus was speaking to Satan or Judas at that point.)

    Then Luke gives his account of Judas showing up with the mob and tells us about the infamous kiss. He remembers this:

    Jesus said, "Judas, you would betray the Son of Man with a kiss?" -Luke 22:48

    John remembers Jesus calling Judas a devil. John obviously didn't like Judas because he was disgusted that Judas would act like he cared about the poor when he was nothing but a thief who embezzled money. He remarked about Judas being in the grip of Satan even when Jesus was washing their feet. John pinpointed the time when Satan entered Judas as being after Jesus gave him the bread, too. He told about appearing with the mob and said that Judas stood out like a sore thumb.

    The evidence causes question. Given what Jesus said and did, it makes me wonder what was going on under the surface of those two men. However, I think there is a majority that would sentence him to hell right now.

    Then, being someone who has seen (what I hope is) my personal worst, I know what it's like to be condemned without all the evidence being in. Without being heard or hearing from God. I know what it's like to do something terrible and wish I could take it back.

    The trial hasn't happened for any of us yet, so there is no way we can come to a decision, no matter how condemning the evidence is.

    I'll just apply to this what I am trying to teach others to apply to their own situations and relationships:

    So don't get ahead of the Master and jump to conclusions with your judgments before all the evidence is in. When he comes, he will bring out in the open and place in evidence all kinds of things we never even dreamed of—inner motives and purposes and prayers. -1 Corinthians 4:5

  9. 9 Serena Woods said at 6:48 am on January 19th, 2010:

    Lisa, I love brain pops, sparks, and fires. Just not fizzles and cloudy smoke. 😉

  10. 10 lisasmith said at 3:58 pm on January 20th, 2010:

    well said. nice food for thought.

  11. 11 Michelle said at 5:41 pm on January 26th, 2010:

    Such deep revelations, as always. I have had the same experience, having the Jesus lifestyle but not living like or for Jesus. I've been raised in a Christian home and probably accepted Christ when I was 3 years old. I just didn't start living for him until a year ago. It's been a great change.

    And on the front of "once you know the truth": my first true, real, experience with the Holy Spirit solidified my trust and faith in Him. So, I'd be willing to agree with that.