Trials From Without - Lesson 10 - The Outcome of Unbelief
1 Peter 2:7-8, Philippians 2:5-11, Revelation 19: 11-16
7 This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve, “The stone which the builders rejected, this became the very corner stone,”
8 and, “A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense”; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.
The sad reality is that many people don’t ever believe in Jesus. And they will be hugely disappointed one day and forever. The troubling thing is that to a non-believer the precious Corner Stone becomes a stumbling stone. They are offended by Him on many counts. Peter was an eye witness to this rejection and stumbling as he spent several years with Him throughout His earthly ministry. People were upset by what He did.
Jesus healed people all the time and very often on the Sabbath. Since they did not believe in Him, the Pharisees went crazy over how He broke their version of the Law. Jesus taught them many things about the right way to do Sabbath, but their love for coercion through religion made their ears deaf. Also, they didn’t like what He taught. John 6 was a high water mark as He taught about the necessity of eating His flesh and drinking His blood. And then about salvation being possible only if God causes it. When Jesus finished His teaching that day He looked and everyone but the twelve disciples had left. He said, “Are you going to quit too?” Peter said, “Where would we go and with whom? Only you have the words of life.”
They didn’t like who He hung out with either. These self-righteously bloated religionists were horribly offended when He ate with Zacheus the IRS Agent. Or when a woman who was a sinner anointed his feet with perfume and her tears.
But it was His claim of deity that put everything over the top. They very correctly interpreted His statements to mean, “I am God. The Jehovah God of the Old Testament, the One and Only True God, and I am equal with my Father.” From, this launching point He forgave sins, healed the sick, raised the dead and began to build an eternal kingdom.
It is quite evident that the main reason people stumble over Jesus now and then is rebellion. They resent the accountability He stresses and want nothing to do with submission to His authority. And authority He has.
5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,
6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,
7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.
8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,
10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
His passion at Calvary resulted in sin being paid for and Him being exalted above all but the Father.
Revelation 19: 11-16
11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war.
12 His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself.
13 He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.
14 And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses.
15 From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.
16 And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “King of kings, and Lord of lords.”
When He comes in glory they will all confess His greatness. But their disobedience to His Word will mean it’s too late and they will bear the weight of their doom for eternity. It’s a wonderful thing to be a believer in Jesus!