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.